Every moment of every day and night you're being watched by governments, big corporations and the Illuminati. Alright, alright, the reality probably isn't as dramatic as this, but the fact that traffic on the internet is being intercepted is, unfortunately, nothing new under the sun. However, did you know that you, as a website owner, can prevent this from happening with nothing more than an SSL certificate?
By using an SSL certificate for your website, the traffic between your website and its visitors becomes encrypted. This makes it impossible for third parties to intercept the traffic on your website. Normally an SSL certificate costs about the same as a domain name, but not anymore.
Today, we are proud to announce that we've activated over 60.000 SSL certificates for our webhosting customers for free, automatically making your website accessible by both HTTP and the encrypted HTTPS variant!
The advantages of SSL
One of the most common known advantage of using SSL is the increase in privacy and security of your website's visitors. Another lesser known advantage of using SSL is that it increases the trust of your website in the eyes of visitors and Google. Yes, HTTPS is even a ranking factor for the Google search results, confirmed by Google itself.
Also, web browsers visualize the HTTPS status with a green icon or padlock and generally use a neutral icon for HTTP. In the near future though, Chrome will start marking the icon for HTTP websites red, implying that the website is not safe (due to the use of HTTP). And from there its not far off to imagine that other browsers, like Firefox and Safari, will soon follow.
PCextreme and Let's Encrypt
So, how are we able to provide a free SSL certificate for our webhosting customers? It all starts with Let's Encrypt.
Normally, SSL certificates are issued by companies like Comodo and Symantec and charge a fee for the creation and use of the certificate. These companies are called a Certificate Authority (CA). Let's Encrypt is also a CA, but they have automated and simplified the entire process of requesting and activating a certificate, without charging a single dime for it. To learn more about Let's Encrypt, please visit their website: https://letsencrypt.org/about/.
Because of Let's Encrypt, we were able to create a fully automated SSL solution for our webhosting customers. Both existing customers and new customers now receive an SSL certificate with their webhosting plan, which automatically renews itself as long as your website is online.
The fine print
While this is all very exciting news, there are a few caveats however. Due to how Let's Encrypt works, we are only able to activate a certificate for domain names that are registered with PCextreme and are making use of any of our Dynamic webhosting plans. The reason for this is because we need access to the DNS to activate your certificate, which we then store in your webdirectory.
Also, subdomains are currently not yet supported. However, the SSL certificate does work for both the WWW and non-WWW variant of your website. In the near future we will add support in our Control Panel to manage additional subdomains.
Moving your website over to HTTPS
In order to reap the full benefits of HTTPS we advice to move your website over to the HTTPS protocol. This relatively easy to do, but does require some effort on your part. In order to make it as easy as possible for you, we've prepared several tutorials to help you out:
We hope you're as excited as we are about this new feature! Should things not be working out for you for some reason, then please let us know and we'll get it sorted. Our testing didn't show any bugs, but with 60.000 certificates you never know