Small businesses have long realized that they should have at least a small informational websites, but today’s rules for being discovered by the Google search engine have changed (some time ago). Instead of using, you should use


At one time, adding the HTTPS option via a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) / TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate required these steps:

  • Purchasing the certificate.
  • Paying someone to install the certificate.


Today, that process is much simpler with the effective, but free, certificates from Let’s Encrypt.

  • Once the Let’s Encrypt certificate is configured, it auto-renews every 90 days provided that the domain DNS and the server are still active.
  • Almost every hosting company provides this with even a basic hosting package. If your hosting company does not do this, you should ask or maybe switch to a hosting company that does.


Personally, I am glad that I rarely have to worry with purchased certificates, and I am pretty sure my clients are glad they don’t need to pay someone for the certificate installations.


Caveat: Sometimes this requires updating your website to switch to the HTTPS version of page references and links. However, this is generally easy to do. And almost no one uses hard-coded HTTP / HTTPS links for references in newly-created content.

  • There are some free online tools that scan your website for non-secure content: JitBit and Missing Padlock and others.