If you’re like me, then every penny counts when it comes to life and especially my business. That’s why I’m always looking for ways to save money where I can.

With a recent website build I knew one of my top priorities was going to be making sure it was secure. When I started looking into how much that cost though, I got really annoyed. Purchasing an SSL certificate can be pretty pricey. GoDaddy currently has SSL Certificates listed for $74.99. For small businesses, freelances, or side-hustlers, this can be a huge dent in the monthly expenditure allowance.

how to secure your site for free

Why It’s Necessary to Secure Your Site

Google recently changed the way people see your site. If you don’t have a “secure” site, meaning you don’t have what’s called an SSL Certificate, anytime someone visits your website from Google Chrome it will be pinged with a “This website is not secure” error message. Even though there’s a 99.99% chance that your totally secure and safe, Google is just taking extra measures to make sure there’s less spam on the internet (which I actually think is pretty cool).

Cloudflare – the FREE Alternative

After some research and reading countless blogs, I discovered that there is a service out there that will secure your website for 100% free. It’s what I use on my website and I’ve heard of other websites using it too. Cloudflare is a tech company whose mission is to build a better internet. Which honestly sounds pretty cool. Their pricing for individuals is where it’s at! I currently use the Free Plan which allows me to make my site secure.

Step by Step to Using Cloudflare

If you’re ready to use Cloudflare, I’ll now walk you through what I did to secure my site.

Step 1: Sign up for Cloudflare

  1. Go to www.cloudflare.com and click the Sign up link at the top of the page.
  2. Create a Cloudflare account
  3. Type in your website domain (for example, mine is codyhays.com) and then click Add Site.
  4. Wait for Cloudflare to do its thing
  5. Select a plan that fits your needs (I selected the Free Plan)
  6. A list of your DNS records will populate. You’ll just want to make sure your website is selected and then click Continue.
  7. Lastly, you are given some Cloudflare nameservers. You’ll need to change these on the website in which you purchased your domain (the most popular site is GoDaddy).

Step 2: Change your DNS Settings

  1. Log into the website you purchased your website url (domain) from and locate the “DNS” or “DNS Manager”
  2. Replace your current nameserver records in your account with the Cloudflare nameservers you received in step 1.
  3. Then, go back to Cloudflare and hit refresh or “Recheck Now” (note this may take up to 72 hours but it only took about 10 minutes for me)’

Going to Try It?

And there you have it! Your website should now be secure for free.

If you try it, reach out to me and let me know!

codyhays

Cody Hays

Digital Strategist