Hostgator SSL Price is FREE! GoDaddy Still the Laggard

The Hostgator SSL price has dropped to $0 since late 2018. They have “Let’s Encrypt SSL” for all their shared hosting plans. Here’s a list of Hostgator coupons, so you can shop for the one that suits you best.

In the same year, Bluehost also started offering free SSL certificates. Both are owned by EIG, and this was likely a coordinated decision amongst all their branches. The motivation was clear – Google had just announced that SSL would be taken into consideration as a ranking factor. So naturally hosting companies couldn’t charge a fortune for basic encryption anymore!

Here’s a screenshot of the shared hosting plans with the Hostgator SSL pricing:

Hostgator SSL Price is Free for Shared Hosting
Hostgator SSL Price is Now Free

I must say I’m impressed. I didn’t think the EIG companies would be willing to give up such a strong source of revenue. GoDaddy for example still charges exorbitant prices for basic SSL products. But even after so long, GoDaddy still refuses to provide free SSL.

I must take a moment to praise companies like like NameHero who were way ahead of the curve. They’ve supported Let’s Encrypt SSL for years – long before any of the others.

Hostgator SSL Prices for Higher Certificates

If you want more than Let’s Encrypt, you can also purchase higher security SSL from Hostgator. Here are the prices:

  1. Positive SSL: $39.99/yr
  2. Sectigo SSL: $99.99/yr
  3. Positive Wildcard: $119.99/yr
  4. Multi-Domain SSL: $79.99/yr
  5. EV SSL: $269.99/yr

However, as mentioned above, I don’t think you need to purchase any of these. The free SSL from Hostgator is more than enough.

Is Let’s Encrypt SSL Good Enough?

Both Hostgator and Bluehost are providing Let’s Encrypt certificates. This means that:

  1. Your traffic to and from visitors is now encrypted
  2. All your subdomains are SSL enabled as well!

The latter point (2) wasn’t always the case. This is called wildcard SSL and it’s only recently that Let’s Encrypt announced support for it. InMotion for example, provides free AutoSSL which doesn’t extend to all subdomains. However, they create a separate AutoSSL certificate for each individual subdomain, so it’s the same thing.

How Do I Install Let’s Encrypt Certificates?

Once you’ve purchased your hosting plan, you can install Let’s Encrypt SSL via cPanel. It’s a simple process and takes just a few minutes. The procedure for InMotion’s AutoSSL is a bit different.

Technically however, you can install Let’s Encrypt certificates on any hosting plan – even those that don’t support it as part of their package. The procedure is a bit technical and complex, but it’s possible. However, you should AVOID this whenever possible.

The reason is that free Let’s Encrypt certificates automatically expire every 90 days. If you install them via the supported cPanel method, they will renew automatically. So no danger. But if you install them manually, you have to remember to do it over and over again. If you forget even once, you’re in deep trouble.

So get a web host who provides in-built support for SSL. Don’t do it yourself!

New Hostgator SSL Price: Implications for Paid SSL?

I would say that most of the time you’ll be perfectly fine using the free Let’s Encrypt or AutoSSL certificates. This must come as a bitter pill for web hosting companies who were raking in a ton of cash. Sometimes the cost of SSL can overshadow the cost of hosting itself!

However, here are a few situations where purchasing an SSL is a good idea:

  1. You want extra trust from your customers
  2. You want the warranty insurance in case of fraud

Some companies like PayPal and other financial institutions need that extra bit of reassurance that a green SSL bar provides. With an Extended Validation (EV) certificate, you’ll not only have the green padlock, but your website name will be displayed on the URL bar as well. Here’s what PayPal’s address bar looks like:

A Paid SSL from Hostgator Gives Additional Visuals
A Paid SSL from Hostgator Gives Additional Assurance

Customers can be assured that they haven’t accidentally typed in the wrong URL. Though recently scammers have cleverly bought their own misleading EV certificates. It’s not really a substitute for being careful!

Why Isn’t GoDaddy Following Suit?

They will. They HAVE to! Hostgator was just about the last major web host to capitulate and GoDaddy can’t hold out for much longer. But it’ll be really hard for them. While GoDaddy’s plans are really pretty cheap, their SSL prices are outrageous. They were poised to make a killing when Google announced that they’re enforcing SSL on everyone. But now? It’s just a matter of time.

Hostgator Subsidiaries Haven’t Switched Over Yet

The country specific operations like Hostgator India haven’t yet made the switch to Let’s Encrypt. They’re typically less responsive than their global counterparts. I expect them to make the change as well, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I’ve queried them over Twitter regarding this, and no response so far.

So we finally live in a world where basic SSL is practically free. That’s great news!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!


  1. Great article! Free SSL is a must with any webhosting plan. Enabling free SSL is a very simple step for hosting providers, yet they’re reluctant to do so. I guess they want to rip-off their “newbie” customers as much as possible!


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