Free Cloudflare SSL Certificate? - clarification please

For domain names registered with Cloudflare, do I still need to use the Free SSL certificate I normally use that is provided by my webhost?

I’m just asking for clarification because I am considering moving a minor sandbox site to a budget host, and the package I’m looking at does not seem to include a free Let’s Encrypt SSL.

Then I remembered seeing comments that CF provide free SSL certificates, but I’m here just to clarify and make sure I don’t misunderstand.

Additionally, I’ve been using Cloudflare DNS for years, and I remember that a while ago CF helped solve an issue I had on a site with some content not being delivered over SSL.

So when I solved that issue, was that me unknowingly already using the Free Cloudflare SSL certificate?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Yes, you do need a certificate provided by your host - or any other valid certificate.

As mentioned at

Your site needs to works fine on HTTPS without Cloudflare. That is irrespective of whether the domain is registered through Cloudflare or not.

The “free certificate” you read about referred to Origin CA certificates · Cloudflare SSL/TLS docs. However this is not any “freer” or different from any Let’s Encrypt certificate.

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So if I understand correctly, if my webhost does not provide me with a SSL Certificate (Let’s Encrypt for example), then it’s impossible to use Cloudflare instead to secure the site over SSL for free.

Many thanks for clarifying that for me @sandro , enjoy the rest of your weekend!

That is correct. Cloudflare cannot and does not secure a site which is not secure per se. Your server needs to have a valid certificate first, hence why it needs to load fine on HTTPS without Cloudflare. That can be any certificate accepted by browsers or also mentioned Origin certificates.


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