This sponsored post features a product relevant to our readers while meeting our editorial guidelines for being objective and educational.
SSL is the pillar of security on the internet. It encrypts data as it travels through the internet, thereby protecting all information that is sent between a website and its visitors. Even if a site doesn’t handle sensitive information, using SSL to encrypt the data flowing in and out of it provides privacy, security, and integrity for both the website and its users' personal information.
While using SSL is just another part of doing business for many websites, a few issues have prevented its widespread adoption:
- Accessibility: SSL protection has always been costly, to the point of it being prohibitive for sites that didn’t handle sensitive information (such as credit cards or personal identification information). Other solutions, such as Let’s Encrypt, made progress in this space by offering free SSL certifications. However…
- Usability: Managing certificates can be complex and downright difficult.
- Effort: Acquiring and renewing certificates is a manual, multi-step process. And no one has time for that.
In today’s security-focused environment, every website needs SSL that's easy to manage and use. ZeroSSL’s mission is to do just that.
What Is ZeroSSL?
ZeroSSL is a trusted certificate authority, started in 2016, that provides not only free 90-day certificates, but also one-year multi-domain and wildcard certificates. They are trusted by over 500,000 customers worldwide, and they make it easy to request, verify, and renew the certificates you need to secure your websites.
ZeroSSL offers multiple subscription plans and can meet your website’s certificate needs.
I know the question on your mind: why use ZeroSSL instead of Let’s Encrypt, or any other certificate authority, for that matter?
Features: Why Use ZeroSSL?
ZeroSSL comes with significant advantages compared to other certificate authorities. A few are:
Wide Certificate Support
ZeroSSL can provide free 90-day certificates for all subscription plans. Other plans allow for one-year single- and multi-domain certificates, as well as 90-day and one-year wildcard certificates.
Automatic Certificate Signing Requests
Save time by automatically generating your CSRs for all of your certificates.
ZeroSSL provides an intuitive user interface to create new certificates, install them, and manage them with ease.
Fast and Easy Domain Validation
Validate your domain quickly and easily by using ZeroSSL’s one-step email validation, configuring CNAME DNS records, or uploading simple text files to your websites.
Ensure your certificate is properly installed with ZeroSSL’s installation verification. One button click or tap.
ZeroSSL provides several tools for monitoring the health and status of your certificates and connections.
Free ACME Certificates
ZeroSSL’s ACME certificates are free regardless of your subscription level, and ZeroSSL has the tools and integrations to completely automate the management of your 90-day ACME certificates.
apilayer excels at building RESTful APIs, and ZeroSSL is no exception. Take advantage of their fast, scalable API to create, validate, and renew your certificates.
How It Works
ZeroSSL is a certificate authority that provides access to free 90-day ACME certificates and one-year single, multiple, and wildcard certificates, as well as an intuitive, easy-to-use UI for managing those certificates.
Quick Tutorial on Creating a ZeroSSL Certificate
It’s easy to get started with ZeroSSL. Naturally, you first need to register an account. You can start with a free account (which does not require a credit card) for 90-day ACME certificates, or choose one of the other subscriptions if you need more features.
After creating your account, you will be greeted with the dashboard.
The dashboard displays pertinent information about your certificates and provides links to quickly identify and manage the certificates that are expiring soon, pending validation, expired, and more.
To create a certificate, click on the New Certificate button.
You’ll need to provide the domain you want to create a certificate for. Be aware that you must verify you own the domain; otherwise, ZeroSSL will not issue the certificate. If you want to specify multiple domains, or you need a wildcard certificate, you’ll need to upgrade to the Basic or higher subscription.
Click the Next Step button to choose the validity period.
90-day certificates are available for all subscriptions, but once again, you must upgrade to at least the Basic plan to pick the one-year validity option.
The certificate signing request is the next step. You can choose to let ZeroSSL autogenerate your CSR, or you can manually enter the necessary information. If you already have a CSR, paste it in.
Next, choose your subscription plan. The interface lets you know what subscription plan is suitable for your chosen options.
You’ll then need to verify the domain. As mentioned before, ZeroSSL will not issue your certificate unless they can verify that you own the domain. You can prove your ownership via email, by creating DNS CNAME records, or by uploading a special text file to your website.
Naturally, ZeroSSL lets you view and manage your certificates.
ZeroSSL has many subscription plans. The Free plan is great for testing and personal use. It limits you to only three 90-day ACME certificates.
Of course, you can unlock more features by choosing one of the following paid plans:
Basic: This plan includes unlimited 90-day ACME certificates, three 1-year certificates, and both single- and multiple-domain certificates. You also gain access to the RESTful API.
Premium: In addition to the Basic features, you get ten one-year certificates, unlimited 90-day wildcard certificates, and a one-year wildcard certificate.
Business: This plan grants more one-year single- and multiple-domain certificates, plus wildcard domains.
Enterprise Plus: Need more? Then this plan is what you need.
We live in a world where security and privacy are paramount. As web developers, we can do our part by using SSL for all of our sites—yes, even those sites that don't work with any sensitive data. There are many certificate authorities out there, but few provide the wide range of certificates, manageability, and features of ZeroSSL.
No matter what your certificate needs are—free 90-day ACME certificates, single-domain, multi-domain, or wildcard certificates—ZeroSSL can easily (and cost-effectively) meet them.