Question about how long certificates last


My hosting provider is hostgator. Their SSL certificates are $39.99 per year.

Or I can get one with Let’s Encrypt for free, but hostgator charges a one-time charge of $10 to install an SSL from outside of hostgator.

I have read that Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates last 90 days.

So, my question is, if the SSL certificate lasts 90 days, each time I renew, will I have to reinstall it to hostgator (thus getting charged $40 total per year–with 4 installs)? Or is the renewal less complicated than that w/ Let’s Encrypt?

I’m basically trying to figure out if it’s worth it for me to go with Let’s Encrypt, or if it’s basically going to be the same cost for me as if I just got my SLL from hostgator internally.

If at each renewal I will not need to have it reinstalled each time, then it will only cost me a one-time fee of $10. If I have to have it reinstalled on my hostgator each renewal, it will cost me basically the same as if I just got my SSL through hostgator…

Let me know if that makes sense, and please give me as much info as you can provide which will help me understand what my true yearly costs are going to be if I go with Let’s Encrypt and install it on hostgator.


Yes, it will probably end up more expensive to use Let’s Encrypt than the alternative under that pricing scheme. Although Let’s Encrypt certs last 90 days you usually would want to renew more often than that, with automated systems it’s common to set it every 60 days (so about 6 times per year). It probably makes sense to see this as effectively an extra cost of your chosen host when comparing alternatives.

The “renewed” cert is just a new cert with different dates on it. So yes, the host would charge again each time.


Thanks @tialaramex :smile:

You have answered my question completely!


You can find 1 year DV certs from vendors for around $10, which with the install fee would be half the total cost of using HG directly. Although Let’s Encrypt won’t work out cheaper because of the install costs, you can still save money by using an outside certificate.


thanks for that extra input @motoko. I will check around. Are there any in particular that you know of that you’d recommend me checking out?


Personally, I’ve used At least until Let’s Encrypt came along. We still use them at work for wildcard certificates.

You can also look at and, among others.


thanks for the extra suggestions and tips @motoko :slight_smile:


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