How to Use Lets Encrypt to Secure Your Website on Plesk

How to Use Let's Encrypt to Secure Your Website on Plesk
At this point, if you still haven’t switched your website from http to https, now is the time. In 2014, Google announced that secure websites with https encryption will receive a minor ranking advantage. Since then, Google has been pushing webmasters to convert their websites to https. It’s just a matter of time before https become a standard for all the websites. If you are a Chrome user, you’ll notice that Chrome will now mark http website as Not Secure. So, just try to imagine if a visitor visiting your http website seeing this warning on their Chrome browser. It will negatively impact their confidence level and therefore affecting your site bounce rate, branding and also the sales. Switching your website to https is definitely worth the effort. Apart from ranking boost, it will also make your website more secure. This in fact is the top priority reason why you should make the change.

These days, it’s no longer a challenge to install SSL certificate (certificate that convert your http site to https) on your server or website. Through the web hosting control panel like Plesk, installing a SSL certificate can be easily accomplished with just a few clicks. In the article below, we’ll walk you through the process of using Let’s Encrypt to secure your website on Plesk.

What is Let’s Encrypt?

Let's Encrypt is a new certificate authority provided by the Internet Security Research Group with the missions to make the web more secure and privacy-respecting. Let's Encrypt SSL is free for everyone and just as secure as other paid SSL certificates. On top of that, it automates the whole process of issuing and renewing the SSL certificate upon expiring.

How to Install Let’s Encrypt on Plesk

If you use Plesk for managing your website or server, you can install Let’s Encrypt as an Extension. One of the main benefits of using this extension is that it will auto renewing the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate 30 days in advanced before its expiration. Basically, it will handle everything for you after setting up Let's Encrypt on your website.

Before you proceed, please ensure that SSL/TLS support is already enabled for the website that you wish to use Let’s Encrypt. You can find this option in the Hosting Settings. Now, click on the Extensions link under the Server Management in Plesk.
Plesk Extensions

Type Let’s Encrypt in the search box and select Let’s Encrypt from the results that appear.
Search Let's Encrypt Plesk Extension

Click on the install button to install Let’s Encrypt. After the installation of Let’s Encrypt, click on the Open button to open it. Select the domain of the website that you wish to use Let’s Encrypt. Enter your email address and check include a "www" subdomain for the domain and each selected alias.
Use Let's Encrypt to Secure Your Website on Plesk

Click on Install button. You’ll then receive the success message saying that The Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate has been on your website. The final step involves settings up the 301 redirection so that the server will automatically redirect all the page traffic from http to https. While there are other redirection methods you can use, 301 permanent redirection is the safest redirection method as it won’t impact much to the page ranking on search engine results. Now go back to the Hosting Settings for this domain, and check the option Permanent SEO-safe 301 redirect from http to https and select Let’s Encrypt for the certificate.
Permanent SEO-safe 301 redirect from http to https Plesk

Click on Apply and OK button at the bottom to apply the changes. Now, browse your website with any browser and you shall see your website is now marked as https secure site.

The whole process of using Let's Encrypt to secure your website on Plesk will only take about 10 minutes of your time. Start switching your website from http to https now.