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1&1 Ionos is a prominent web hosting company that was founded in Germany in 1988 and is currently owned by United Internet. They offer very affordable web hosting packages, domain registration, SSL certificates, email services, and website builder packages. They also provide cloud hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers. Setting up is Super Easy, most if not all of their packages come with a domain that is free for the first year and $15 the year after. Their packages, as I mentioned earlier, are very affordable. I am currently using their WordPress hosting, and it only cost me $12 for the first year. I love the company! Great.

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I manage several websites, and they were all from different packages, which made it challenging to have to sign-out and log into various contracts continually, so I decided to essentially combine my contracts by transferring my domains into one contract. The problem is that a contract only comes with one free SSL certificate leaving my other websites unsecured. Each additional SSL certificates cost about $20, and for me, that just wasn’t worth it because I know there are many open source SSL Certificates on the web.

An SSL certificate is a digital computer file or a small piece of code that authenticate and verify specific details about the identity of a person, business or website. Visitors of your website will be able to tell if your site is secured. Additionally, the SSL certificate enables encryption, which means that the sensitive information exchanged in your website cannot be intercepted and read by anyone other than whoever it is intended for. Just a gist on what it is and why an SSL certificate is essential. If you don’t have it installed, google will warn your visitors that your site isn’t secured, and you could lose potential consumers or readers if you own a blog.

The problem

1&1 Ionos do not allow you to add your free certificate. I tried to install a free certificate through SSL For Free, and nothing worked. I was so frustrated that I almost switched hosting companies, but as I was searching through the prices , bandwidth and other pakage deals of other hosts like Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, Hostinger etc. I just knew I couldn’t leave Ionos because it was the best option for me.

The Solution

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Cloudflare, Inc. is an American web-infrastructure and website-security company. They provide and sell content-delivery-network services, DDoS mitigation, Internet security, and distributed domain-name-server services. They have different packages for SSL certificates, and as you can guess, the first package is free.

Another problem with IONOS is that sometimes even if your SSL certificate is active, your site may still show up as insecure. There are many reasons why this may happen, but there is a simple fix. If you’re using the free SSL IONOS provides with the package, download Simple SSL plugin. This plugin will detect your settings and configures your website to run over https; your certificate will not work if it is HTTP. If you’re attempting to get a free SSL certificate from Cloudflare, your site may still be showing as insecure because it hasn’t yet been configured your website to run over https. Follow the steps below to secure your website.

  1. On your dashboard go to general settings and make sure your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) has “s” at the end of https. It may be HTTP, in which case you have to add an “s”, then save.
  2. Create an account on Cloudflare
  3. Download the Cloudflare plugin on WordPress. Then go back to and get your API code.
  4. Add your site. Cloudflare will then ask you to replace your nameservers (IONOS) with theirs, which is why it will work.
  5. Log into your Ionos–> go to your domains, then go to the nameserver and choose the custom option
  6. Copy and Paste the instructed contents from Cloudflare. Within a few minutes, your website should be verified
  7. Now back into your WordPress, download Really Simple SSL plugin and click ‘activate SSL certificate’). Your WordPress should automatically be secured after this.

Were you able to secure your website? If you’re having trouble, comment below or send me an email at


3 Replies to “How To Install A Free SSL Certificate On 1&1 IONOS WordPress Hosting”

  1. Hi, I am trying your method right now but when I change the nameserves to cloudflare I can no longer edit my website on wordpress

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