Moving to SSL: Let's Encrypt vs CloudFlare

Currently, this forum is not SSL encrypted, which is something that should be fixed sooner or later. I haven’t heard any complaints about the missing encryption, but I guess that having it would make the forum look more professional, attractive, and secure (and hopefully also be more professional, attractive, and secure).

In principle, I would be ready to pay for the added security, but I was informed that there are possibilities to get SSL certificates from serious SSL authorities for free. I’ve found two options which look quite interesting and very well worth considering:

  1. Let’s Encrypt
  2. CloudFlare

While Let’s Encrypt looks like a really good and simple solution for SSL, CloudFlare has the advantage of being a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which should come with the advantage of speeding up the forum a bit. I find it quite astonishing that CloudFlare offers a free CDN service and free SSL! Somehow it sounds too good to be true, so I expect that there may be some catch to it. What I’ve read so far points in the direction that the performance of the free Cloudflare CDN is bad compared to other CDNs, but that’s pretty much to be expected. But who knows, perhaps their freemium model is so good that it actually works out pretty nicely for them.

Anyway, at the current rate the Fractal Future Forum doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic, so there’s no definite need for a CDN. Do you have any preferences for the SSL certificate authority the F3 should use in the future? Are there any reasons not to use Let’s Encrypt or CloudFlare?

This issue is resolved now. I’ve used Let’s Encrypt to generate a SSL certificate. It seems to work really fine:

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=forum.fractalfuture.net

gave this site an “A+” grade.

I used the following how-to posts for doing that:

https://meta.discourse.org/t/support-for-lets-encrypt/22308/12

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