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Free Wildcard SSL Using Forge + Cloudflare

If you need a free SSL certificate Let’s Encrypt seems like the obvious way to go. But the installation and renewal process of Let’s Encrypt surely has it’s caveats. An alternative to Let’s Encrypt is to use a free certificate issued by Cloudflare. On his blog Taylor Otwell published a post explaining how to request and install such a certificate.

I personally prefer to use Cloudflare, another service that offers free SSL certificates, as well as a variety of other free and paid services that are useful for web developers. I prefer Cloudflare because:
– Cloudflare doesn’t require any renewal process to ever run on my server. LetsEncrypt renewals must run on my server at least every 3 months and that’s just one more thing that sometimes can (and does) go wrong.
– Cloudflare supports wildcard sub-domains.


Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band. He loves waffles and butterflies.