Free Web Site Encryption that just works

Published on October 15th, 2018

Let's Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt, launched in April 2016, has been a game changer for any digital agency. Let’s Encrypt gives any web site the ability to secure the website traffic on any staging, development or live web site for zero cost within minutes.

However, implementing Let’s Encrypt SSLs is not as easy as using traditional SSLs from providers like GeoTrust, Thawte and Comodo. This is primarily down to Let’s Encrypt SSLs requiring to be renewed every 90 days while traditional SSLs are issued for a minimum of one year.

Although Let’s Encrypt SSLs can be renewed automatically without any manual involvement, there are still 4 more times each year that an SSL can fail to renew more than a traditional SSL.

Secondly, Let’s Encrypt SSLs, due to their zero cost, are seen as throw away SSLs. Therefore, their adoption on development, test or temporary web sites has been much greater. By their very nature these temporary sites see much more changes than traditional web sites.  For example, the primary domain or sub domain might be changed or redirected, the site may have password protection or additional temporary domain aliases may be added or removed during this 90-day period.

These types of changes can cause the authentication to break and therefore let the SSL expire giving web sites visitors an error message.

With STORM we’ve cracked it. During the first 90 days of implementing Let’s Encrypt functionality on STORM, we closely monitored which SSLs don’t renew and why. We’ve then updated STORM to handle these renewals by implementing rules, automatically adding/removing domains and adjusting site configuration so the SSLs renew automatically.

On top of this, we now start the renewal process 60 days from when the SSL was issued. This means we have 30 days to automatically fix any issues before it expires and gives visitors an unpleasant SSL warning.

This means that our Let’s Encrypt feature is just one click. Most importantly it saves both agencies’ time, money and unnecessary administration while offering their client’s peace of mind that their sites are secure.

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