Getting a free SSL certificate for your website

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).

They give people the digital certificates they need in order to enable HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for websites, for free, in the most user-friendly way they can. They do this because they want to create a more secure and privacy-respecting Web.

We applaud and support this project.  While you can manually acquire a certificate from them and manually install it on our servers, we have a better way. Installed in our web hosting control panel there is an easy to use interface for Let's Encrypt.

Here are the steps required to get SSL working for free on your website:

  1. Log into your hosting control panel (URL that ends in ":2222") and click the SSL Certificates link in the Account Manager section.
  2. Select the "Free & automatic certificate from Let's Encrypt" option.
  3. Choose the 4096 bit key option and the SHA256 certificate type.
  4. Click the "save" button and the server will soon report that the certificate and key have been saved. If it reports any errors, grab a screen shot or copy and paste the text into a trouble ticket and let us know about it.
  5. Unless your website needs to have separate content for secure pages vs. non-secure pages, create a symlink from your private_html to your public_html directory. (this is probably set up this way by default on your account)
    1. Click the "domain setup" link in the main page of the hosting control panel.
    2. Click on the domain name that you want to edit
    3. Click the "use a symbolic link..." option
    4. Click the "Save" button.

Once this is done, you can call your site via https instead of the normal http protocol.

As always, if you have any trouble please open a ticket and we will get you taken care of.

  • SSL, let's encrypt, encryption, https
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