How to Install an SSL Certificate on SiteGround

This guide provides actionable, step-by-step instructions to help you through what should be an easy process. Securing your SiteGround-hosted website with an SSL certificate is necessary to prevent cyber attacks and build trust with visitors. Data encryption protects sensitive information from hackers, while visual indicators like the padlock icon and “https” build trust. At Small Biz Setup, we recommend installing an SSL certificate for every website you own.

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Before Starting, Ensure You Have:

  • A SiteGround hosting account.
  • A website domain that is connected to SiteGround.
  • Access to your SiteGround control panel.

Steps to Install an SSL Certificate on SiteGround

1. Log in to Your SiteGround Account

  • Go to the SiteGround login page.
  • Enter your username and password.
  • Click Login to access your account. If you do not already have an account, create one here.

2. Access the Site Tools

  • From the SiteGround dashboard, select the website you want to secure.
  • Click on Websites in the top menu and then Site Tools to access your site’s control panel.

Pro Tip: If you have multiple domains, each domain will have an independent set of controls under Site Tools, and you will need to repeat these steps for each website you host. If you do not yet have a website hosted, look for the “New Website” button (top right).

3. Navigate to the Security Section

  • In the left-hand menu, click on Security.
  • Select SSL Manager from the dropdown options.

Pro Tip: If you do not see a Security section, it could be due to your permissions.  Ensure you use the Administrative login for your SiteGround account if you have problems. 

4. Choose the Domain

  • Select the domain where you want to install the SSL certificate in the SSL Manager.

5. Select the SSL Certificate Type

  • Choose the type of SSL certificate you wish to install:
  • Let’s Encrypt: Free SSL certificate, suitable for most websites.
  • Let’s Encrypt Wildcard: Free SSL for your domain and all its subdomains.
  • Premium SSL: Paid options for higher levels of security and warranty.

Pro Tip: If your website is brand new, you probably need the “Let’s Encrypt” top choice instead of the wildcard or premium options. 

6. Install the SSL Certificate

  • After selecting the SSL type, click Get to install the certificate.
  • Wait for the installation process to complete. This may take a few minutes.

7. Enforce HTTPS

  • Once the SSL certificate is installed, enforce HTTPS to ensure all traffic is encrypted.
  • Go to Security in the left-hand menu.
  • Click on HTTPS Enforce.
  • Toggle the switch to On to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

8. Verify Installation

  • Open your website in a browser and check for the padlock icon next to the URL. If you are uncomfortable validating yourself, have a friend or family member access your site on their smart phone. If there is an SSL problem, usually you will see a pop-up error.
  • Alternatively, you can utilize an online testing tool (Google it) but make sure to test in multiple tools to insure you don’t see any false negative tests. The free online SSL checkers can be very prone to showing errors that lead to upsell campaigns for premium software.

Pro Tip: Manually type your website address with the “https://” at the front to ensure you properly load the SSL.  

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Mixed Content Warnings: Ensure all resources (images, scripts) on your site are loaded via HTTPS.
  • SSL Certificate Not Displaying: Clear your browser cache or wait for DNS changes to propagate.

Why SSL Certificates Matter

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are crucial for several reasons:

  • Data Encryption: SSL certificates encrypt data exchanged between your website and its visitors, making it difficult for hackers to intercept or tamper with the information. This is particularly important for websites handling sensitive data such as login credentials, personal information, and payment details.
  • Protection Against Cyber Attacks: SSL certificates help protect against common cyber attacks, such as Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, which involve attackers intercepting and altering communications between users and the website.
  • Search Rankings: Google and other search engines may prioritize secure websites in their search results. An SSL certificate may boost your website’s ranking, making it more visible to potential visitors.
  • Enhanced User Experience: A secure website reduces the likelihood of visitors encountering security warnings, which can drive them away. A smooth, safe browsing experience encourages users to stay on your site longer.
  • Visual Indicators: SSL certificates activate the padlock icon and the “https” prefix in the browser’s address bar. These visual indicators reassure visitors that your site is secure, fostering trust and confidence.
  • Compliance with Standards: Many industry regulations and standards require websites to use SSL certificates to protect sensitive data. Complying with these standards can prevent legal issues and build credibility with users.
  • Prevention of Data Tampering: SSL certificates help keep the data transferred between the user and the server intact, making it harder for malicious actors to inject harmful content or alter the data in transit.
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Now, It’s Your Turn

Take the next step in securing your website by logging into your SiteGround account and navigating to the SSL Manager. Select and install the appropriate SSL certificate for your site. This will enhance your site’s security and foster trust with your visitors. SiteGround’s support team is available to help if you run into any issues. Securing your website creates a safer and more reliable online environment for your audience, and that’s the goal, right?

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