Use Cloudfare for free SSL on any site


If you’re looking for a cheap way to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) on your site, have a look at Cloudfare. By registering your site with them, you get SSL out of the box, for free.

Additionally, if you want to take it a step further, Cloudfare offers many services you can enable, all of which can make your site faster or more secure. You can enable caching, minifying, custom DNS, page rules, image optimization and more.

Setting up SSL

To quickly get your site running with SSL, just follow these steps:

1) Make an account at Cloudfare if you don’t already have one. I chose the free plan which comes with SSL security.

2) Add your site to your account. For Cloudfare to work, it needs to manage your DNS records. On the dashboard, just add your site and Cloudfare will automatically scan it for existing DNS records. Most of the time the default scan results is all you’ll need. If they don’t work, make sure they match the ones on your domain registrars website.

3) Go to your domain registrars website and switch to the Domain Name Servers that Cloudfare provided you with.

That’s it! Give everything some time (usually under an hour but sometimes up to 24 hours) to propagate around and you’ll soon be running HTTPS.


On your Cloudfare dashboard, take a look at the Crypto page for some additional options. For example:

  • Always use HTTPS - redirects all HTTP requests to HTTPS.
  • Require Modern TLS - Only uses modern TLS versions, limited to newer browsers (if you haven’t updated your browser, well… I don’t know, why are you here?).

Wrap up

Of course, there are some other free alternatives too. Specifically, Let’s Encrypt which is a free certificate authority. In this scenario you either need to be hosting your site yourself, or your registrar needs to allow you to upload your own certificate.

In my case, my blog is hosted statically on GitHub Pages with a custom domain configured (GitHub doesn’t yet support enabling SSL for custom domains) and my domain is registered with Google Domains (which also doesn’t have any support for configuring SSL yet). This makes the Cloudfare service perfect for my scenario.


A better bookmark manager

The good ol’ days

There once was a day when bookmarks were more important to most of us. That’s because things weren’t so easy to find as they are now. With the advancement of search and auto-complete it’s become far easier to find what you’re looking for online. Need to visit your bank’s website? Type the first two letters into your address bar and the browser has already guessed where you want to go.


Over the years, I’ve grown so reliant on search engines like Google that I’ve almost given up on bookmarks. I didn’t need them, they were mostly convenience. Oh, and if there wasn’t room on the bookmarks bar, forget about it, it wasn’t worth the real estate.

But as of late, in the workplace I’ve noticed how reliant I am on bookmarks. Mostly because at work I need to remember long unwieldy URLs that I can’t find on Google. My gripe with this is that I hate Chrome’s default bookmark manager. I don’t want to open a whole new tab just to see all my bookmarks, the new tab should be my destination. If you squeeze them all into the bookmarks bar, it’s closer to manageable, but then you’re dealing with a bunch of ugly folders up there where I want only my most frequented sites. As a result, I’ve been looking for a better solution than Chrome’s default bookmark manager. Today, I think I’ve finally found one.

A big improvement

The Bookmark Sidebar Chrome extension by Philipp König has a beautiful and easy to access interface. It quickly swings out from the left or right with a simple swipe/hover/click on the side of the window. The clean experience makes it a delight to work with and so far has been bringing back the full utility of bookmarks to my life.

bookmark sidebar

Let me know if you have a favorite bookmark manager in the comments.


Hello World

Obligatory ‘the beginning of time’ joke.