In this post, you will learn how to install Let’s Encrypt free SSL certs on GoDaddy web hosting cPanel. I’m using Godaddy, but this should work on HostGator or any other hosting provider that has cPanel.
What is SSL (Secure Socket Layer)?
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a security protocol that uses encryption to ensure the secure transfer of data over the internet. An SSL certificate is a digital file or code that contains a public key and private key pair, along with a “subject,” which is the identity of the certificate owner. These keys work in a way that allows for the creation of a secure, encrypted connection between both parties.
You have probably used this protocol anytime you have submitted personal information to a website. In most browsers, you can see a padlock icon verifying that the connection is secure and verified.
Here is the screenshot:
How do I get an SSL for my website?
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you to avail their free SSL certificate for your website. So there should be no excuse for installing it on your website.
About Let’s Encrypt:
The key principles behind Let’s Encrypt are:
- Free: Anyone who owns a domain name can use Let’s Encrypt to obtain a trusted certificate at zero cost.
- Automatic: Software running on a web server can interact with Let’s Encrypt to painlessly obtain a certificate, securely configure it for use, and automatically take care of renewal.
- Secure: Let’s Encrypt will serve as a platform for advancing TLS security best practices, both on the CA side and by helping site operators properly secure their servers.
- Transparent: All certificates issued or revoked will be publicly recorded and available for anyone to inspect.
- Open: The automatic issuance and renewal protocol will be published as an open standard that others can adopt.
- Cooperative: Much like the underlying Internet protocols themselves, Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort to benefit the community, beyond the control of any one organization.
Check it out more detailed information about how the Let’s Encrypt CA works.
How to install Let’s Encrypt (Free SSL/TLS Certificates) manually in cPanel?
1. Open a browser and Go to https://zerossl.com/
2. Click on Certificates and tools
3. Click on start, under “FREE SSL Certificate Wizard”
4. On the right-hand side, under “Domains”, add your domains. Include domain.com and www.domain.com. (Don’t include HTTP:// or https://)
5. Accept the zerossl TOS & let’s encrypt SA by adding check marks.
6. Click the Next button
7. Zerossl will generate the CSR (Certificate Signing Request)
8. Once it’s done, click on the download button, to have a backup and click “Next”
9. Now It’s going to start generating Account Key
10. Once done, download the Account Key and click on “Next”.
11. Now you will be redirected to a new page. Here you will see your own domains
12. Download the two txt files
13. Now go to the cPanel and click on “File manager” and go to your root folder. (In my case I am using GoDaddy hosting services cPannel)
14. Go to the Web Root directory
15. On root, create new folder .well-known. ( Ex: domain.com/.well-known/acme-challenge)
16. Create an acme-challenge folder inside .well-known Folder.
17. Upload the two .txt files (point 12) inside to the acme-challenge folder
18. Ensure the txt files have been uploaded.
19. Now go back to the SSL certificate Wizard and Click on next.
20. Your certificate is ready.
21. Go to Cpanel and find SSL or TLS and click on it.
22. Click on Manage SSL on your site.
23. Select the domain you want to install the SSL certificate on.
24. Go back to the zerossl page and copy the CRT and paste it into CRT field in Cpanel.
Please note that CRT includes both CRT & Certificate Authority Bundle
25. Cut the Certificate Authority Bundle from CRT and paste it in the 3rd field.
26. Go to the zerossl page and copy private key
27. In Cpanel paste the private key in the 2nd field (Private Key)
28. You should have three green check marks next to fields, this means all set.
29. Click on “install certificate”
30. Your SSL Certificate is now installed. Test that it works by adding https:// to in front of your domain for example https://www.domain.com.
You should see the green padlock in front of your URL.
I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be Social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it.