Enabling Free SSL Certificate for Blogs

There is always a difference of opinion among website owners , whether Google’s Blogger is better or a WordPress based blog. This is primarily in terms of SEO, traffic , User Interface , appearance and utility and flexibility perspective.

Google’s Blogger offers free hosting, which is a serious deal breaker for many small time bloggers and also a simple easy to interface layout to host your blog. Along with it comes a set of a limited blog templates, adaptability for HTML/Javascript codes and also easy integration of  Google Ads or other Ad Networls.

WordPress offers a premium suite of apps for almost everything from beautiful themes,statistics trackers to ads to sharing buttons to SEO plugins or to even insert a small widget on the sides. For a free .wordpress.com blog, you won’t have access to any plugin or a premium theme. However if buy a third party hosting and domain (or even buy from wordpress.com itself), it allows you to customize the blog in any way possible. Some premium themes cost as much as 20-40$, altough you do have a stack of nice free themes offered by WP itself. SSL Certificate should also be bought separately through your domain provider

I manage two websites , this Marketing website through Blogger platform and my travel website through WordPress. This is primarily for experimentation, testing and option to try out different things with my content. From my evaluation, the WordPress site has marginally edged out in terms of SEO, quality of traffic and growth rate. Although the content in both sites are vastly different, the travel related content may have played a minor role in the traffic boost.

Advantages of HTTPS (SSL Certificate)

So amidst this battle between Google’s Blogger and WordPress platform, you’d wonder, why would I need to get a HTTPS for my website ?

The answer is pretty simple. The core ranking , indexing and search happens through the master of Internet, Google. A few years ago, Google had publicly stated that if two websites with similar type of content is being indexed, the website with the HTTPS layer will be pushed up to the top in search results than the other.

More importantly, a user while browing through your site feels safe after seeing the green lock symbol in the address bar.  He now knows that information is being transmitted or received in an encrypted method without any middle layer interference or hack.

This is also why it’s mandatory for a “HTTPS” certification for any website dealing with payments or critical / confidential information. Only with it , you can accept “Debit” or “Credit card” information to be accepted from your customers.

How to get a HTTPS certificate in Blogger.com

As said earlier, this is a new “Free” option that Google has provided for all its users. It’s super simple to enable it and it gets enabled in a matter of hours

Just login to blogger.com , click on settings -> Basic -> Under HTTPS Availability , click Yes
HTTPS Redirect : You might want to enable this option if you require a mandatory redirect of all website requests to the HTTPS version only.

Minor Downside of HTTPS :  

Suppose you have a blog template filled with a lot of javascripts for other widgets (Like an Amazon ad), it’ll thrown up an issue called “Mixed content error”. This is because the HTTPS cannot securely transmit these scripts and hence doesn’t allow to display the content in the blog. So it’s ideal to remove any extra scripts that may prove to be an obstacle.

HTTPS for a WordPress Site 

For a WordPress based site, you have to buy one separately either through your domain registrar (Like Godaddy/Namecheap/BigRock) or go for a CDN (Content Delivery Network) company like Cloudflare (best in the business)
So once your site is active and up & running, purchase a SSL certificate from the “security” section in the above domain selling sites. It costs anywhere between 250-600 Rs/ Year for a very basic plan. Once you buy it, you will be given new “nameservers” . You have to copy these IP addresses, go to domain settings in your hosting site and update with the new details.

Free SSL from Cloudflare:

If you can’t afford or not require a strongly encrypted advance SSL certificate, you can also choose the free version from Cloudflare site : https://www.cloudflare.com/ssl/

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