How to obtain an SSL certificate

In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining an SSL certificate for the more commonly used certificate that we offer which is RapidSSL.

Some things to note…

  • The RapidSSL can only be used to secure one single domain, this does not include subdomains.
    • Scenarios of usage:
      • www.bigscoots.com, bigscoots.com Yes
      • community.bigscoots.com, www.bigscoots.com, bigscoots.com No
      • community.bigscoots.com Yes
      • community.bigscoots.com, blog.bigscoots.com No

 

To clarify, each subdomain is considered its own domain, so if you need to protect more than one subdomain or protect the root of your domain(www.bigscoots.com) AND a subdomain, then you need additional certificates OR use a wildcard SSL.

 

  • A wildcard SSL will allow you to purchase one single certificate and install it on as many subdomains as you want including the root of the domain.
    • Scenarios of usage:
      • www.bigscoots.com, community.bigscoots.com, blog.bigscoots.com Yes
      • community.bigscoots.com, community.bigscoots.net No

 

Now lets get down to business.  The first thing you will need to do is generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). The CSR is just a large block of encrypted text that contains information about your SSL, we will use this block to obtain the actual SSL certificate.

 

First things first… Generating your CSR

There are 2 ways to generate the CSR:

  • Shared hosting customers click here (Using cPanel)
  • Reseller, VPS and Dedicated hosting customers click here (Using WHM)

Generate a CSR using cPanel

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. Under Security, click “SSL/TLS Manager”.
  3. Click “Generate, view, upload, or delete your private keys.”
  4. Click “Generate”. No need to fill in anything.
  5. At the very bottom click “Return to SSL Manager”.
  6. Click “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests.”
  7. Fill in the following fields:
    1. Domains: Enter in the domain you want to secure.  If you are securing the root of your domain(domain.com) make sure to include www. Only enter in one domain, example www.yourdomain.com
    2. City
    3. State
    4. Country
    5. Company
    6. Company Division
    7. Email – Enter a valid email, you will receive a verification email to this address.
  8. Leave the passphrase blank and click “Generate”.
  9. Leave this screen up or copy the code in the “Encoded Certificate Signing Request” box.
  10. Proceed to purchasing your SSL certificate.

Generate a CSR using WHM

  1. Log into WHM
  2. Under SSL/TLS, click “Generate an SSL Certificate and Signing Request”.
  3. Fill in the following fields:
    1. Domains: Enter in the domain you want to secure.  If you are securing the root of your domain(domain.com) make sure to include www. Only enter in one domain, example www.yourdomain.com
    2. City
    3. State
    4. Country
    5. Company
    6. Company Division (Example Sales, Support, Marketing, etc)
    7. Email – Enter a valid email, you will receive a verification email to this address.
    8. Leave the passphrase blank and click “Create”.
  4. Leave this screen up or copy the code in the “Encoded Certificate Signing Request” box.
  5. Proceed to purchasing your SSL certificate.

 

Purchasing your SSL certificate

  1. Browse to https://www.bigscoots.com/portal/cart/ssl-certificates/
  2. Choose your SSL, the RapidSSL is selected by default.
  3. Select the amount of years.  Keep in mind, SSL’s are not like domains, they do not easily renew, you have to obtain a new SSL every time it expires so choosing a longer term is always easier in the end.
  4. Proceed to Step 2, at the bottom, check the box that says “Yes, I have my CSR ready.”
  5. On the left side under SELECT SERVER SOFTWARE select “cPanel“. On the right, copy and paste your CSR into the box.
  6. If you click in the “Common Name” box at the bottom, it will autofill with your common name, make sure it is correct before you proceed.  Continue to Step 3
  7. Fill in all information on the next page.  One thing to note is the Approval Email, make sure this email either exists or you have a mail forward setup.  You will be limited to which email you can choose, this is normal.
  8. Step 4, confirm your billing term and click Continue to Step 5.
  9. Almost done 🙂 Enter in your billing related info to complete the order.
  10. Within minutes, you should receive a few emails, the one to look out for which will go to your approval email is the one labeled “RapidSSL Certificate Request Confirmation“. Inside this email there will be a which you need to click, on the site just confirm your information looks good and hit approve.
  11. You will then receive your final email labeled “www.domain.com RapidSSL Order: 123456789 Complete“.  You can now proceed to installing the certificate or open a ticket and we will gladly do it for you.
    1. Installing your SSL certificate in cPanel
    2. Installing your SSL Certificate in WHM

Installing your SSL certificate in cPanel

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. Under Security, click “SSL/TLS Manager”.
  3. Click “Manage SSL sites.”
  4. The first box will say “Certificate: (CRT)” this is where you will copy / paste your certificate into.
    • Note: You may see a red dialog box popup saying your domain doesn’t match the selected domain.  Ignore this.
  5. A new button will appear that says “Autofill by Certificate”. Click it.
  6. You will now notice all 3 boxes get auto filled for you, so now just simply click “Install Certificate”.

 

You have now successfully installed your SSL certificate!

Installing your SSL certificate in WHM

  1. Log into WHM
  2. Under SSL/TLS, click “Install an SSL Certificate on a Domain”.
  3. In the “Certificate:” box this is where you will copy / paste your certificate into.
  4. A new button will appear that says “Autofill by Certificate”. Click it.
  5. You will now notice all 3 boxes get auto filled for you, so now just simply click “Install Certificate”.

 

You have now successfully installed your SSL certificate!

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