Web Design, eCommerce and Development

Should I Use Free or Paid SSL Certificates?

Why You Should Always Use HTTPS on Your Site

Google has been pushing for site encryption on all websites.  They are now flagging sites with the “Not secure” warning, which is worrisome to your visitors.  Even if your site is a blog, a nonprofit, an organization or personal page,  your website will now be flagged as unencrypted.  As if that wasn’t enough, Google is now penalizing unencrypted sites in their search results.

5x5 Lab, Why SSL Certificates Matter

So, it’s really a matter of what type of SSL certificate you’ll need to install on your website.

Paid or Free SSL?

Use a Paid SSL if:

  • You’re running an eCommerce platform
  • You’re taking payment details online
  • You’re collecting any customer data or records
  • You need maximum security to protect logins or client data

Pros: Easily available and installed from Hosting Providers and Third Parties
Typically good for 1 or more years.
Cons: Can be expensive- $70-$300 per year


Use a Free SSL such as “Let’s Encrypt!” if:

  • Your site doesn’t collect or transmit sensitive data

Pros: Good support and help community
Cons: SSL certificates need to be renewed every 90 days


Our Recommendation: If you figure what your time is worth, as well as the quality of a long term certificate, go with the paid SSL certificate.