TLS and SSL

TLS and SSL: Which Protocol Should You Use for WordPress?

Do you want to know if you should use the TLS or SSL security protocols in WordPress?
Installing a security certificate secures your website, allowing you to take payments in your online business while protecting your visitors. However, concepts like TLS and SSL might be confusing for newcomers.
In this post, we will discuss TLS and SSL certificates and explain which protocol you should use for your WordPress website.

What Are SSL/TLS Certificates? How Do They Work?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, whereas TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. They are both internet security mechanisms that may be installed on a website as a certificate.
SSL/TLS certificates serve as a security lock for your WordPress site. When a visitor accesses your website, the security certificate encrypts the data before transmitting it to their browser. Similarly, they enable the user’s browser to encrypt data before returning it to your WordPress site.
Every website on the internet needs a security certificate. It enables you to securely collect payments, protect passwords, and send personal information online.
Security certificates, such as TLS and SSL, are compatible with security keys. The data passed from your website to the user’s browser is encrypted. In order to read the data, the user’s browser will require the security key to unlock it.
Similarly, when users return data, they use the same security key to encrypt it. Your WordPress website will then decrypt the data using its private key.
What Are SSLTLS Certificates How Do They Work
When you install a security certificate on your website, the beginning of the address (URL) changes from http:// to https://. This indicates that you are now utilizing the HTTPS (Secure HTTP) protocol to safely send data across the internet.
You will need to update the URL in your WordPress settings and configure redirects so that visitors who use an old link are sent to the correct URL.

What Is the Difference Between TLS and SSL Certificates?

The initial technology underpinning website security certificates was SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL certificates were initially used in 1995.
Unfortunately, security weaknesses were discovered in the original SSL protocol, making it accessible to hackers. These flaws enabled hackers to intercept and manipulate data as it passed between the website and the user’s browser.
SSL has undergone various modifications throughout the years to increase its security. Here is a brief history of the adjustments when security vulnerabilities were discovered:
  • SSL 1.0 (unpublished) was never publicly released due to security issues.
  • SSL 2.0 (1995) was deprecated in 2011 due to security issues.
  • SSL 3.0 (1996) was deprecated in 2015 due to security issues.
  • TLS 1.0 (1999) was deprecated in 2021 due to security issues.
  • TLS 1.1 (2006) was deprecated in 2021 due to security issues.
  • TLS 1.2 (2008) is still in use.
  • TLS 1.3 (2018) is still in use.
Although the SSL protocol is no longer in use, the name SSL certificate has persisted and is now often used as a synonym for TLS certificates.
In short, TLS is an advanced version of SSL certificates. Most websites on the internet employ TLS certificates. However, they are still generally known as SSL certificates.

How to Get TLS and SSL Certificate for Your WordPress Website

There are several ways to obtain an SSL certificate for your WordPress website. The price typically ranges between $50 and $200 each year. However, you might be able to acquire one for free.
The best choice is to go with a WordPress hosting company that offers a free SSL certificate with your hosting package. This manner, you can quickly activate your security certificate from the hosting panel.
Here are some of our suggestions for the finest WordPress hosting services offering free SSL certificates:
  • Bluehost
  • SiteGround
  • Hostinger
  • DreamHost
  • HostGator
  • WP Engine
  • GreenGeeks
If you want to acquire an SSL certificate, we recommend Domain.com. They are one of the world’s major domain name registration providers, and they provide the greatest value for SSL certificates.
They provide basic SSL certificate options starting at $35.99 per year, which include a $10,000 security guarantee and the TrustLogo site seal. After purchasing the SSL certificate, ask your hosting provider to install it for you.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About TLS and SSL

WPBeginner’s readers frequently ask us about TLS and SSL certificates. The following are the answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning these security standards.

How are TLS and SSL different?

TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (safe Sockets Layer) are encryption-based technologies for safe internet communication. While they serve the same goal, TLS is a newer and more secure alternative to SSL. Most recent browsers no longer support SSL, so if you want to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone, use TLS.

What is the latest version of TLS?

The most recent version of TLS is 1.3. It was introduced in 2018 and is the most secure version of TLS ever. However, TLS 1.2 is still widely used. Most recent browsers and devices support TLS versions 1.2 and 1.3.
Previous versions should not be utilized due to known security flaws.

How can I discover which version of TLS and SSL my website is running?

The Qualys SSL Labs, SSL Server Test is an online application that makes it simple to determine which TLS and SSL protocol your website is using.
Simply enter the website’s domain name and click the ‘Submit’ button. The program will display which versions are supported and check for typical SSL faults.

What should I do if my website is still using SSL?

If your website is still using SSL, you should consider upgrading to TLS. You will also need to update if you are still using TLS versions 1.0 or 1.1, which are less secure.
Upgrading to TLS 1.2 and/or 1.3 will improve your website’s security and accessibility. In addition, your site hosting company can handle TLS and SSL rather straightforward operation.
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