Let’s Encrypt WordPress Multisite and Multi-Domain Hosting

Many websites these days run on WordPress, the world’s most popular publishing platform. Whether you’re building a corporate blog, food blog, or beauty blog, chances are you’ll use WordPress to power it. Thanks to the incredibly robust, open-source ecosystem that is WordPress, every aspect of setting up a new WordPress site is relatively easy and, more often than not, doesn’t require in-house expertise.

That said, as great as WordPress is, it’s not perfect. For those looking to host a WordPress site that is accessible to the general public, or to those who want to make sure their content is protected from being copied and shared across the internet, they can find a number of roadblocks along the way. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of WordPress is the frequent need to seek out external help in order to get the website up and running. Luckily, there is a solution. It’s called Let’s Encrypt and it’s the best alternative to expensive, dedicated hosting that you’ll want to consider.

Why Let’s Encrypt?

Let’s Encrypt is a free, open-source certificate authority that was founded in 2014 with the goal of providing easy, automated encryption for websites and digital products. With a Let’s Encrypt certificate, all of the communication between your site and the visitors’ browsers is encrypted, ensuring your visitors’ information is safe and private.

Let’s Encrypt’s public-key infrastructure (PKI) makes it possible for websites and content creators to generate, distribute, and manage cryptographic keys in a fully automated manner. This can bring a number of benefits, including the aforementioned privacy and security features along with the ability to quickly and effortlessly set up multiple domains and sub-domains for a single site. Thanks to the fact that Let’s Encrypt is free and open-source, it can be run directly within your own infrastructure, enabling you to securely host any number of WordPress sites, while saving you both time and money along the way. If you’re looking to host a WordPress site and want to ensure that it is as protected as possible, running Let’s Encrypt directly within your infrastructure is the way to go.

How Does Let’s Encrypt Work?

Like other public-key infrastructures (like OpenSSL and Mozilla’s Web Server Infrastructure), Let’s Encrypt’s PKI is based on the well-established PGP email encryption standard. However, unlike OpenSSL and Web Server Infrastructure, Let’s Encrypt’s infrastructure is fully automated and, as a result, requires much less maintenance. Also, unlike OpenSSL and Web Server Infrastructure, Let’s Encrypt doesn’t need to be updated as often to handle emerging threats. This makes it a more reliable option for websites and businesses that need to guarantee the safety and privacy of their online content.

Let’s Encrypt Is Trusted

Let’s Encrypt is committed to publishing comprehensive and unbiased information about its services and capabilities. As a result, over 70,000 websites and applications run on the platform, assuring potential customers of its reliability and security.

How Do I Setup A WordPress Site With Let’s Encrypt?

Here’s a quick and easy guide to configure your WordPress site to work with Let’s Encrypt. In the guide below, we will cover the essentials needed in order to set up a bare-bones WordPress site with just a header and footer, while also integrating Google Analytics and Security certificates. Along the way, we will also tackle several common questions that might arise.

STEP 1: Register For An Account

The first step is to register for an account on Let’s Encrypt. Simply visit letsencrypt.com and click the blue “Get Started” button to begin the process. In order to be able to use the platform’s tools to generate certificates and other keys, you will need to confirm your email address. Once you complete this step, you will be able to move on to the next.

STEP 2: Choose A Domain Name

The second step is to choose a domain name for your site. Ideally, you will want to choose a.com domain that is both memorable and easy to spell. Having the right prefix (in this case, “let”) before the whole domain name can also improve your website’s SEO. For instance, letsempty.com would be a perfect domain name if you are looking for a site that provides information about Let’s Encrypt.

STEP 3: Select A Password

The third step is to select a password. You will want to use something memorable and secure. In order to generate encryption keys for your domain, Let’s Encrypt will request that you input a password. Once again, you will be able to take advantage of the platform’s two factor authentication (2FA) feature if you use a reliable and trusted 2FA app like Google Authenticator or Authy. In addition to generating encryption keys, Let’s Encrypt also allows you to revoke previously generated keys if needed.

STEP 4: Configure Your Site’s Header

The fourth step is to configure your site’s header. If you are using WordPress, simply log in to your dashboard and head to Settings->Reading. From here, you can add a header to your site to separate the content from the rest of the page. You can use a number of WordPress’ built-in headers or can download and install a header from a third-party plugin. Once you’ve added a header to your site, click on it to view your options in context.

STEP 5: Configure Your Site’s Footer

The fifth step is to configure your site’s footer. WordPress’ default footer displays copyright information and links to social media platforms. You can add additional information like your email address or website URL in order to provide visitors with more immediate value. For example, you can include an unsubscribe link for your email list in your footer.

STEP 6: Install WordPress And Set Up Your Blog’s General Settings

The sixth step is to install WordPress and set up your blog’s general settings. Once WordPress is installed, you can click on the Settings icon at the top right of your screen to access various configuration options. Here, you can change the site’s name (which will be used for generating URLs and while setting up automated social media accounts), its theme (which is the overall look and feel of your site, including the color scheme, typography used, and layout), as well as a number of other options.

Setting Up Automated Social Media Accounts

One of the great things about Let’s Encrypt is the fact that it offers fully automated accounts for major social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Simply visit the platform’s social media configuration page (which can be found here) and follow the on-screen instructions to set up automated social media accounts for your site. Once you’ve done that, you can sit back and enjoy the benefits of having a fully functioning Twitter account (for example) that will generate and schedule tweets around the clock, without the need to manually check the account on an almost daily basis.

Security Certificate For Public-facing Sites

Let’s Encrypt also offers a free, automated, and fully open-source security certificate for those looking to take their WordPress site’s security a bit further. Unlike other services that provide security certificates, Let’s Encrypt is completely automated and, as a result, requires very little maintenance. The platform’s built-in security measures are robust enough to protect your content from being accessed by unauthorized users, while also offering strong encryption similar to that used by Google and other large companies. If you run a public-facing site (i.e. one that is accessible to the general public or a community of people without a need to login or be authenticated), the Let’s Encrypt certificate is a great option.

Bare-bones Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up A WordPress Site With Let’s Encrypt

In summary, setting up a WordPress site with Let’s Encrypt is extremely simple and straightforward, requiring just a few simple steps. The automated nature of the process makes it ideal for those looking to set up a blog or online store with just a few friends or colleagues. In the guide below, we will cover the essentials needed in order to set up a bare-bones WordPress site with just a header and footer, while also integrating Google Analytics and Security certificates. Along the way, we will also tackle several common questions that might arise.