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Save Money on SSL Certificates with SSLmatic

Published by Chris Coyier

If any of you have built an eCommerce site for a client, you have probably dealt with buying and installing an SSL certificate for the site. While this isn't required, it's kind of stupid not to. I sure as heck wouldn't buy anything from a website needing my credit card without seeing that secure lock in my browser window.

Most hosting companies have some kind of deal worked out with some SSL certificate provider or another. Sometimes they set something up where you can just order it directly (or submit a support ticket) and they will install it for you. Chances are, if you go this route, you are throwing money away. Sure, it might be easier, and if that's worth it to you more power to you. But be aware that you can buy your own SSL certificates too!

This is where SSLmatic comes in. SSLmatic sells security certificates at discount rates. But these aren't some shady SSL certificates from some unknown weird provider. They come from the best providers in the business.

  • RapidSSL - $19.95/year (regularly $79.95)
  • GeoTrust - $99.99/year (regularly $299)
  • VeriSign - $349.99/year - (regularly $399.99)

If you already have a security certificate, and want to renew it for more time, you can also do that through SSLmatic. It's a good idea too, because renewing through them gives you extra "bonus months" to extend the life of your certificate. See their FAQ for more info.

I have a cheap SSL certificate that I got through SSLmatic right here on CSS-Tricks! Check it out. I have it set up so that it mimics the content of the normal site. You may notice the broken lock... it's not because the certificate isn't valid, it's just there is some hard links to non-secure stuff on my page. If I actually needed it, I would get all that stuff cleaned up and the lock would be whole.

They guys over at SSLmatic were very cool and helpful to me when I was getting mine set up, great customer service

Get a free SSL certificate!

They have offered up five free RapidSSL certificates for me to give away to CSS-Tricks readers. If you would like one, just leave a comment below with "free certificate" somewhere in the body of the comment.

If you would like to, share if you have ever installed an SSL certificate before, the website you would install it on, and why. Totally not required though, I just think it might make for a more interesting conversation.

This Friday I'll do the ol' random number generator thing and pick the five winners, who will be contacted directly from SSLmatic. Obviously, please use your real email address when commenting so I can pass it to them. It will never be published or otherwise shared.


  1. Free certificate please!

  2. Permalink to comment#

    I’d love a free certificate!
    I’ve never installed one but think I’ll need some time soon as I’m developing this webshop for a client

  3. I’d use the free certificate for the t-shirt site I’m building right now. Save me some overhead!

  4. Permalink to comment#

    I would also like a free SSL certificate. I hate to have users submit user/pass over an unencrypted connection.
    Thanks a lot :)

  5. Ah, I didn’t know they could be so cheap. =]

    ( If I’m one of the random numbers, skip me. I’ve no use for it. =] )

  6. Free certificate please! :- )

  7. Permalink to comment#

    Hi, I’d also like a free SSL Certificate. I hate to have users submit sensitive information through unencrypted connections… the usual price for a certificate is really high though.

  8. free certificate

    I would love one to play with!


  9. Steve Castro
    Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate would be mighty awesome!

  10. Free certificate please! :- ) I think it will help if i have a profile :p/

    Very cool site btw. Love the screencasts!

    Thank you if you can help :-)

  11. I would use it on to protect client uploads. I am moving hosts and don’t want to reuse the same cert or a self signed one. I could also use one for the new web a[[ we are finishing ygess and accessible survey tool. So a free certificate would come in very handy

  12. m@te
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate is cool ;)

  13. Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate would be great!

  14. trena
    Permalink to comment#

    Longtime lurker, first time commenter :),

    Great info for future clients!! I make soap as a side-hobby and have been thinking about opening a small online boutique for it (You can only bombard friends and family with so much free soap ;)). A free certificate would definitely be appreciated! If I win, I’ll even send you some soap!

  15. free certificate

    i want one of them

  16. Permalink to comment#

    Count me in, please.

  17. Uhm… free certificate please!

  18. free certificate – I just couldn’t refuse! Would be using it for a shopping cart on one of my sites.

  19. Ben
    Permalink to comment#

    I like your site and am a fairly new subscriber.

    A free certificate would be very useful at the charity I work for.

  20. syktek
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  21. Melissa
    Permalink to comment#

    Hope I win a free certificate for my server!

  22. free certificate would be great!

  23. I’ve used SSL a few times. Would like to setup a shop on a personal website but have always been hesitant due to pricing, this is a great resource and chance for a free certificate.

  24. could do with a free certificate!

  25. Joshua McNeal
    Permalink to comment#

    I would really enjoy a free SSL certificate.

  26. I would like a free certificate. Thanks!

  27. Nouman Saleem
    Permalink to comment#

    You rock :) A free certificate would be awesome.

  28. Permalink to comment#

    I’m sure I am going to win one free certificate :D

  29. Mike A
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m currently working on a project that will require a SSL certificate. A free certificate would be awesome!

  30. Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate, wrap one, please!

  31. Would love a free certificate, thanks Chris!

  32. Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate please! Would be great way to start this new year ;o

  33. I’ve got a photography website that wouldn’t mind a certificate for it’s shopping cart!
    Cheers, Nick


    Because I never had one or installed one before :-) Need Experience

  35. free certificate for me too please :)

  36. Permalink to comment#

    This would be awesome. I’ve never used ssl before, but a friend and myself will be selling videos on and this would be the perfect place to learn ssl!

  37. Permalink to comment#

    Nice promotion. I’d like a free certificate.

  38. Permalink to comment#

    I’m giving life on a business idea of mine and currently building an e-commerce site, based on Magento and a free certificate will be extremely handy for a low-budget startup biz. appreciated.

  39. Scott
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate please.

  40. Free certificate please!

  41. Permalink to comment#

    I would love to have a FREE CERTIFICATE!!!!!!

  42. free certificate

  43. Permalink to comment#

    I’d love to have a free certificate!

  44. We installed a SSL Certificate on the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open Website ( for their ticket purchasing. It was a pretty straight forward process. We’d like a free one because we have 2 upcoming projects that need a SSL Certificate, thanks!

  45. Permalink to comment#

    No idea why I’d need a free certificate, but it’s free, so what the hey!

  46. I would really like a free certificate. I could use it on one of my many projects.


  47. Joseph
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for the free certificate!

    I’ve installed them before, but keep getting errors with Firefox regarding self-signed or something. I need some detailed instructions to get the thing working correctly.

  48. Pepijn
    Permalink to comment#

    I’d love to receive a free ssl certificate!
    In Holland (where I live) these certificates are required by law if you sell stuff over the internet

  49. Permalink to comment#

    thank for info ..
    i just thought of buying one
    but free certificates are the secure ?

  50. Creative Paintballer
    Permalink to comment#

    I pick me and create a HERO!!! My company will be extremely happy hearing that I was able to get something at no cost to them instead of the repeated emails that I have been sending out … need more money for this or that… Thus by me winning a SSL cert … You have created a HERO out of me to my company!!!


  51. Permalink to comment#

    I would like to receive a free certificate. I never used one before. I will certainly use it for an e-commerce website.

  52. Ben
    Permalink to comment#

    How do I get a free one? I do have the need for one.

  53. Permalink to comment#

    I want a free SSL Please , this ll help me building my first online shop , Thanks in Advance

  54. free certificate please!

  55. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate, yay!

  56. Permalink to comment#

    A Free Certificate could be really handy. I know people who get certificates for very low prices, but lose out on some of the quality of the verisign’s and other major authorities.

  57. Free Certificate? Yes I’ll take one. Never installed or even used one. Would love to have one though, so clients would feel safer.

  58. Chris Gedrim
    Permalink to comment#

    I’d love a free certificate because my friend is just setting up business making Jewelery, and I’m scheduled to build her a website!

  59. Permalink to comment#

    I want a free certificate too!

  60. Permalink to comment#

    Another for me… thxs ;)

    • Permalink to comment#

      Might want to include the words “free certificate” in your post. That’s the only way you can win apparently. Just a friendly FYI :-)

  61. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  62. Permalink to comment#

    Free SSL Certificate, yes please!

  63. amanda veronica
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate
    I am building a website for my uncle who sells these awsome bird houses made out of a tree hollow. It’ll be my first e-commerce site and I’d like to do it right.

  64. A free certificate would be appreciated. Thank you for offering this.

  65. Phill
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate… sounds good to me!

  66. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve never had to actually install an SSL cert. myself, as my web host takes care of it for me. So I wonder how much of a pain it is. Nevertheless, I would love to win a free certificate!

  67. Jason
    Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate please. Thanks in advance.

  68. random at work
    Permalink to comment#

    The “lock icon” in the browser doesn’t necessarily mean secure. The SSL cert. could be used for a purpose it wasn’t intended to be used for. It could be a low number of bits (you need at least 256-bit encryption for the connection to be considered “secure”), every cert. in the certificate chain needs to be using at least SHA-1 (partially broken) for the fingerprint (preferably a minimum of SHA-256) – MD5 is completely broken.

    For those who don’t know what these terms are shouldn’t be buying SSL certs. let alone purchasing anything online.

  69. Neil
    Permalink to comment#

    Free Certificate would be awesome!

  70. styxie21
    Permalink to comment#

    yeah, i’m in …

  71. Snookerman
    Permalink to comment#

    I would love a “free certificate”, wouldn’t you?

  72. @random at work – nonetheless, it’s better than just plain ol’ http especially on sites where you need to submit credit card info and stuff. Plus, I only use the most trusted sites (paypal, etc.) to submit cc info when I need it. The reason I’m running for this contest is purely to test it out for both myself and my users and boast that I have one. :)

    Chris, thanks for running this contest – would love a free certificate of my own.

  73. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate … awesome :-)

  74. Permalink to comment#

    I have never built an e-commerce site, but would like to try it. a free SSL Certificate would come in handy, so would a free cart hehe, got any of those, or tutorials for those?

  75. Brian Klepper
    Permalink to comment#

    I currently building an e-commerce site and this “free certificate” would really help me out.
    Thanks for the article!

  76. Michael
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi, while I am not building a site requiring SSL I’m sure I will in the future so a free certificate would be nice – however as I’m not likely to win it, can you please post a tutorial or links to tutorials on how to create a secure site?


  77. I would like a certificate if possible.

  78. Thanks for the info on the SSL certificates. I’ll have to keep SSLmatic in mind in the future. I don’t need one at the moment, but a free certificate would be cool because you never know when you’ll need it.


  79. I can haz free certificate?

  80. Permalink to comment#

    Chris you rock! Thanks for mentioning this website!

    It just so happens that I am in the process of building up my own part-time business and I will be needing a SSL certificate.

    Please enter me for the free certificate draw.

  81. James
    Permalink to comment#

    I’d like to try creating a website and put free certificate to use!

  82. Alex
    Permalink to comment#

    I would love a free certificate please!

  83. Permalink to comment#

    Free Certificate! thanks great website! Read it from rss all the time.

  84. Permalink to comment#

    It would be wicked awesome to use this free certificate on my site. Thanks Chris

  85. Blue
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m going to be building a webstore for my home-based business soon, utilizing Magento. To me security is 100% a must, so a free SSL certificate would be amazing! Also, I wanted to point out that I think it’s quite exciting that the information here is broadening out into real-world scenarios. Thanks a ton!

  86. Permalink to comment#

    I have a new site going live in the next few months and we are going to need a certificate. Would love to play around with SSLmatic, so a free SSL certificate would be great!

  87. steve
    Permalink to comment#

    I’d enjoy a free certificate, thanks!

  88. Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate would be awesome.

  89. Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for the chance for a free certificate!


  90. Me and some friends of mine have this project outside of work. It’s a banner hosting site in Denmark, so a free certificate would help us a lot!

  91. I’d love a free certificate. I’m actually working on a WordPress e-commerce site for a client right now.

  92. Khaled
    Permalink to comment#

    awesome, I’d like to have one!

  93. Permalink to comment#

    Cool, i need a SSL certificate for my eShop so I’m in :)

  94. Permalink to comment#

    a free certificate would be nice! :)

  95. shani
    Permalink to comment#

    a free certificate please.

  96. a free certificate would be nice as Im building an online store for my girlfriend

  97. Permalink to comment#

    Hi, I’m in the bussiness of Clothes, I would like to have an SSL certficate and better for free! (free certificate) Thanks in advance!

  98. Jessica
    Permalink to comment#

    I would love a free certificate. We’ve been working with Magento on a project and the certificate would come in handy. I’ve never installed an SSL certificate before so it’s totally new territory for me.

  99. Eniak
    Permalink to comment#

    me mE ME free certificate ME Me me please

  100. Ryan
    Permalink to comment#

    I’ve installed a SSL certificate for a client once. I would love to have one to start an ecommerce site.

  101. FREE CERTIFICATE! I know the chances are slim since I’m so far down the line, but perhaps shouting will help.

  102. Permalink to comment#

    Wow, great post, I could use a free certificate

  103. Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate would be great! Send it on over.

  104. Joshua McNeal
    Permalink to comment#

    Nothing would be better than a free certificate. Awesome giveaway!

  105. KrazyCeltic
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris! Thanks for working with SSLmatic to make this promotion available to us. I would be interested in a free certificate for use when expanding my mom’s quilting supply shop’s web presence into an online store.

  106. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  107. Permalink to comment#

    I have a comodo cert installed on my website. We provide password and accounts storage service, so having a secured site is very crucial. I will be needing another one for an upcoming site which requires online transaction.

  108. Steven
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

    I am about to build my first ecommerce site and any help in making that possible would be great.

    p.s. thanks for bringing the free!

  109. bolo
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  110. Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate please!

  111. mihla
    Permalink to comment#

    I tried installing an SSL certificate from Comodo, but had problems even with help from Comodo and my hosting company. Would love to try SSLmatic.

  112. David Householter
    Permalink to comment#

    I am currently building an e-commerce site and would greatly appreciate one

  113. Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate

    I’ve installed quite a few in my days gone by whence I was a web developer, fortunately for me back then they were paid for by clients.

  114. Permalink to comment#

    Ahh! I’m WAY too late for a free SSL certificate! Great incentive Chris! I am actually building an e-commerce site in a weeks time and I will definitely go through SSLmatic for one.


  115. Please consider me, I need a “free certificate”, besides well all learn when it s free. By the way thanks for all the great tutorials so far please keep up the work I am learning a whole lot.

  116. vectran
    Permalink to comment#

    Wicked! I’d always thought of getting one but didn’t think it was worth it (PayPal handles all my payments).

  117. I want a free SSL certificate for some interesting CC projects coming up.

  118. Permalink to comment#

    Hey greetings from Germany.
    atm i’m building my own online store, trying to sell some designer firesides… and a “free certificate” would just fit perfect!


  119. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  120. Yes please! Free certificate please!

  121. Daniel
    Permalink to comment#


    free certificate, mmm!

    It would be nice to see a tutorial on how to install it as well as get it working. And also how to make sure it is working of course. :)

  122. I would love a free certificate. Please pick me, pick me, pick me :P

  123. Jan
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate for me too.

  124. Great Offer Chris,

    Sine my website is still off, i don’t need the free certificate. But, I would love to read an article about SSL Certificates (How does it work).

  125. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate please!

  126. Permalink to comment#

    Ohh another one site offer free certificate great! Great offer anyway!

  127. Hey Chris, I’d love a free SSL certificate and I’d go a step further. I’ll use the SSL cert. you send me and I’ll do a screencast on how to install it on a project I’m currently working on. I know it’s pretty simple for most but not everyone knows so I’m willing to show the steps.

    Shout me back an email if you wish to know more, thanks!

  128. Permalink to comment#

    Free certifacte………………………………………………………………………………> to me :-)

  129. Heather
    Permalink to comment#

    I could really, really use a free ssl certificate!

  130. free certificate please

  131. Silverthan
    Permalink to comment#

    I’m sure it’s mine…

  132. Eduardo
    Permalink to comment#

    i hope to still have a chance to get a free certificate after all those posts :)

  133. I would love to get the cewrtificate because I could then make clients feel much happier about paying for thier websites online. As of now my company cannot afford to buy an SSL certificate!

    I would love to combine this with some jQuery knowledge (hint hint) and come PHP in order to create a really nice interface that is secure for client to use!

  134. Kevin Urrutia
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate please :)

  135. Mike
    Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate please!

  136. Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate would be great. Thanks, Chris!

  137. Nic Brownlee
    Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate would be great for my latest project !

  138. Permalink to comment#

    free certificate would be sweeet! Thanks, Chris!

  139. Jarryd
    Permalink to comment#

    Free!? That’s all I need to know.

    • Jarryd
      Permalink to comment#

      He makes a good point, a free certificate would be handy dandy!

  140. Liam
    Permalink to comment#

    A free certificate yay!

  141. free certificate – I’ve never had the pleasure of installing one, but looking forward to it.

  142. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve had to install a few SSL certificates (and one for qmail to for secure IMAP) and it was somewhat of a horrific experience on an old Cobalt RaQ (yeah remember those…). Reason for installing it was to secure an e-commerce site.

    Won’t say now to a free certificate though!

  143. Permalink to comment#

    I would love to install a free certificate on a server running the CMS for my clients.

  144. Mike
    Permalink to comment#

    A “free certificate” would be awesome!

  145. Permalink to comment#

    Free certificate please!

  146. Gabriele
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate

  147. Permalink to comment#

    Dear Sir,
    My 15-year old son recently passed away from SIDS. That’s why I need an SSL certificate.

    (That’s a sad joke…)

  148. Permalink to comment#

    I’m working on my first eCommerce site so FREE CERTIFICATE would be awesome

  149. jing
    Permalink to comment#

    free certificate 4 me ?, sir

  150. Permalink to comment#

    I’d love a free certificate!

  151. I’m setting up a ZenCart eCommerce site and having loads of fun with it. It’s actually a bit intimidating. I know you seem to like magento (not magneto) but it seems it is resource heavy. I do not know much, ZenCart was a one click install so I have gone with that. Pretty happy with it so far.

    Anyway, there is an upcoming need for an ssl certificate and thus the magic words:

    “just leave a comment below with “free certificate” somewhere in the body of the comment.”

    Love your site, your video tutorials are free… I still scratch my head over that. Great stuff, Thanks a bunch!!!

  152. Permalink to comment#

    This is just great timing for a shop I’m about to setup. This fre certificate would be a great start!

  153. Permalink to comment#

    Free Certificate would be awesome!

  154. Permalink to comment#

    It would be great to get a free certificate.

  155. yes please i’d like one

  156. clawfire
    Permalink to comment#

    it could be great to have a free certificate :D

  157. Excellent site and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. It’s taken me literally 2 hours and 24 minutes of searching the web to find you (just kidding!) so I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

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