To set this up for your website, you used to (and still do on some hosts) need a dedicated IP address for the website, a fair amount of money, and jump through of hoops with the certificate authority (CA) issuing the certificate. There was, also, a lot of back and forth needing a certificate signing request (CSR) to send to the CA, then installing the real certificate when it was issued.
Let’s Encrypt aims to change that. The goal is a fully automated process where someone could type in a command on a server, wait a few seconds, and have a certificate issued and installed on their system.
It’s been in development for a while now and I’m proud to say that my employer, Automattic, is a Silver sponsor of the project. Yesterday, the opened for a public beta period. So, of course, I gave it a spin.
This site has had a certificate for some time, but I never pulled the trigger on enabling HTTPS on any of my other domains. I opted to try this on, perhaps, my greatest domain— kraft.beer.
Let’s jump in and get some HTTPS going.