Enforcing HTTPS only with the help of Lets's Encrypt CA

Posted on: Sat, 07/15/2017 - 21:19 By: oswald.constable
A secured website in browser address bar.
A secured website the browser address bar.

I am now enforcing transport layer security on Mayatonia.com and sub domains. Plain HTTP requests are now redirected to HTTPS. I am able to do this with minimal expense using Let's Encrypt's free domain validation 90 day certificate. Let's Encrypt is the most widely accepted free certificate authority by most web browsers (both PC and mobile).

The free certificates issued by Let's Encrypt are valid for up to 90 days... Yes, you might balk at this fact, however the concept of short lived certificate is rather brilliant when considering the renewal process can be completely automated. Using the ACME v1 auto-registration/renewal API, most websites running on a variety of servers and platforms may renew the Let's Encrypt domain validation certificates in real-time days or weeks before expiration. Furthermore, the Let's Encrypt API supports registration and renewal of DV certificates containing multiple sub domains, which may help alleviates quite a lot of certificate management overhead.

Although Let's Encrypt is free, its continued operation depends on donations from its user base. I've donated to support their cause because they've saved me money, and also their automated service has been invaluable to me. If you have any interest in securing your own website, please consider joining the HTTPS only movement.

There are limitations to Let's Encrypt, they do not validate enterprises or businesses, and do not provide wildcard certificates. The latter limitation, wildcard, is subject to go away early next year when their next major feature roll out will enable wildcard domain certificate registration and renewal. Please visit the Let's Encrypt website for more information.


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