It's not often you wake up and have an email make your day. I woke up to "Azure pricing and services updates" email, which usually brings news of prices going up, and as I scrolled down I saw this:
It has been a pet peeve of mine for the last year that Microsoft and other large companies are promoting a "Safe Web" and are pushing SSL but yet charge for using SSL on their cloud services. They used to charge $9 per SSL you wanted to use in their Hosting service. $9 might not sound like a lot but in my previous company where we were deliberating offering free SSL to 500+ clients, $9 per site is a lot of revenue to absorb.
You are now allowed to host as many SNI SSL certificates as you want provided you are running an Azure Standard or Premium App Service Plan. You are allowed to host one free SNI SSL certificate with the Basic plan. Considering you should not be running production sites on any thing less than standard this is perfectly acceptable .
SSL is a crucial component in ensuring we have a secure web experience and secures the transport layer of your request between your browser and the server.. It is not the be all and end all of security but it is a step in the right direction.The majority of the web is being served over HTTP.
Companies like Lets Encrypt and aiming to offer free SSL certificates the barrier to using SSL is being dismantled. The performance excuse for not using SSL has been debunked many times over. There really is no excuse for not using SSL when hosting a site. Google is taking a good few steps in the right direction with its browser, Chrome, and search engine to slowly show non-SSL sites the door. There are many other companies that are doing the same.
This step by Microsoft Azure to make the use of SSL in their App service package free, will hopefully have a knock on effect with regards to the other Cloud providers; who offer a similar service to make their service free.