Nowadays, SSL certificate is mandatory for any website to provide secured connection. If you are using Weebly for creating your site, then you are covered. Weebly offers a free one-click SSL installation for all users including free accounts. In this article, we will explain why SSL is important, how to install SSL certificate in Weebly and verify the secure HTTPS connection in browser.
SSL and TLS
Internet is nothing but a communication hub where web servers and client browsers interact with HTTP protocol. Secured Sockets Layer or SSL is a mechanism to encrypt this communication with a secured HTTPS protocol. Though still people refer it as SSL, it actually is a TLS (Transport Layer Security) that is currently used for secured communication. When the communication is initiated, browser verifies the digital certificate issued by the server and establish the connection. The certificate contains expiry date, issuing authority and server name. What you need is to install a valid certificate on your Weebly site to provide a secured communication.
Why SSL Certificate is Important?
Using SSL certificate is important in your Weebly site due to the following reasons:
- When the site does not connect securely, browsers like Google Chrome show a warning message in the address bar. It shows a “Not Secure” message making users to think your site is dangerous and close immediately. This will result in heavy traffic loss for your site.
- HTTPS is a ranking signal for Google Search hence your site ranking will be impacted when you do not install SSL certificate.
- It is mandatory for online stores to offer secured payment gateway with HTTPS. This helps to make sure customer’s payment transactions are safe and secure.
In summary, you should install SSL certificate to rank high in Google and offer online payment gateway to your customers.
How to Install SSL Certificate in Weebly?
Due to the above factors, Weebly offers a free SSL certificate for all users. However, Weebly does not install SSL automatically when you create an online store or a website. You need to manually enable the option from settings to secure your site with HTTPS connection. Make sure to do this step before you first publish your site online and submit your XML Sitemap to Google and other search engines.
- Login to your Weebly account and select the site that you want to install SSL certificate.
- Click on the “Edit site” button on the dashboard to go to Weebly site editor.
- Go to “Settings” section and then navigate to “General” tab.
- Scroll down a bit and check under “SSL” section.
- By default, SSL option will show you “Not Enabled” message.
- Click on the “Enable” button to install a free SSL certificate in your Weebly site.
- Weebly will enable SSL instantly when you click on “Enable” button. Now, you will see the message showing as “Enabled”.
- Click “Publish” button to make the changes effective in your live site.
At any time later, you can disable SSL again if you really want to disconnect the certificate.
Testing Weebly SSL Certificate in Browser
To test the setup, open your site in a new browser window. Now, you should see a padlock icon in front of your site address in the address bar. Click on the padlock icon to see it shows a “Connection is secure” message.
Again, click on the “Connection is secure” option to see it shows “Certificate is valid” message.
Click on “Certificate is valid” option to open the SSL certificate details in a pop-up window. Here you can find the certificate common name and the expiry date.
If you want to get more details about the SSL certificate, click on the “Details” section. Here you can find the certificate serial number, signature algorithm and all other details.
Now that you have a secured Weebly site with HTTP enabled, you can start building the content and promote the site to your customers/readers.
SSL for Free Site Vs Custom Domain
We noticed, for free users Weebly uses digital certificate from DigiCert Inc and the installation process is instant. The name shows as *.weeblysite.com from the organization as Square Inc. The certificate will be effective immediately on your site and the validity we understand is around 9 months from the date of enabling SSL on your site. Upon expiry, Weebly will automatically renew your SSL certificate without any manual intervention.
If you have a custom domain, we understand Weebly uses certificate from Let’s Encrypt with the domain name as certificate name. This is the same certificate issuer used by most of the premium hosting platforms like Bluehost and SiteGround offers free SSL certificate for WordPress sites. In this case, when you enable SSL, it will be added in the queue and take some time for finishing the installation. Generally, Let’s Encrypt issues auto renewing certificates valid for 6 months.
Fixing SSL Problems with Weebly
There are three major problems you may face when installing SSL in Weebly.
- Error message when enabling SSL
- Successfully enabled but browsers still show “Not Secure” and load HTTP site.
- Expired SSL did not renew automatically
When facing any of the above problem, first disable SSL and un-publish your site. After that, you can enable SSL and publish the site again to check if it works on the browser. Earlier SSL was a premium option in Weebly; hence you may see a wrong upgrade message when trying to enable SSL. Also, when the certificate is expired and not renewed automatically, browsers will show privacy error like “Your connection is not private“. In these cases, you can contact Weebly support and request them to fix your issue.
As mentioned above, it may take long time for the SSL certificate installation on custom domains. This is normal especially when you have connected domain from other registrars like GoDaddy or Namecheap. Make sure you have pointed the IP address to Weebly server in your DNS setup and wait up to 48 hours for the changes to propagate. After that check in the browser that you site is showing HTTPS connection.
Once HTTPS is enabled, make sure to submit HTTPS Sitemap in Google Search Console and use HTTP URLs anywhere you want to share your site.
Limitations of Using SSL with Weebly
Though it is easy to install SSL certificate in Weebly site, here are few limitations you need to understand.
- Weebly does not automatically install SSL when creating a new site even for an online store.
- Do not confuse with Square Online Editor and Weebly account. They are different and Square Online Editor will automatically install SSL when you first publish the site.
- You can’t add SSL from the dashboard which means you need to install SSL separately on each site by going to site editor.
- It is not possible to install a wildcard SSL or for all 10 sites in your account at once.
- Weebly does not allow installing SSL certificates purchased from other companies.
- Some hosting companies offer old Weebly editor which needs you to upgrade to business plan for installing SSL.