How to Install SSL Certificate for a Website?

July 10, 2015 | By Editor 

Easy step-by-step instructions on how to activate SSL Certificate for your website

The virtues of SSL Certificate have now been long established among online entrepreneurs. It builds your website’s trust, encrypts the website data and, above all, fosters safe transactions between the website owner and the clients. But for those of us who are new to SSL, it’s intriguing to understand how to have your website SSL certified.

In the following steps, we have tried to simplify the installation process and help you understand how it is actually done. Before we begin, it is important to mention that the installation process varies according to servers (e.g., Apache, Windows IIS, etc.). Once you have a broad understanding of an installation process, you will be able to intuitively understand the slight modifications that exists between different servers.

1. Have a Hosting Plan

This is more of a pre-requisite than a process for installing SSL Certificate. When you get a SSL Certificate for a website, the Certificate Authority (CA) will also verify the platform you are hosting your website in.

In general, it’s a good thing to understand how SSL Certificate is installed, i.e., if you want to do it by yourself or want to know the nitty gritties involved.

2. Get a SSL Certificate Plan

The actual step towards getting an SSL Certificate for your website starts when you make a decision towards getting it. You can either go for free SSL Certificate plans for a limited time, or you can purchase one of the many paid plans that last for a year or more. Visit a CA website of your choice and place an order to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for your website. The CA will acknowledge your request and send you an email with a CSR link. The CSR file can be opened with any document reader, such as notepad.

You should provide an authentic email ID to the CA so that they can email you the CSR link and a private encryption key.

3. Send the CSR to your CA

Validation is quick and simple, and most CA vendors will respond you instantly. In the email, the CA will ask for your CSR which you can copy-paste from the previous mail you received from them.

Next up, you will be prompted to create a password to ensure your exclusive access to the CSR. You will require this password for certificate renewal, revocation or any other changes in the future. The CA will then email you the signed certificate via email, which you will have to save in your computer.

4. Install the SSL Certificate

Your CA will most likely send you an email with step-by-step instructions on how to install the certificate. To initiate the installation, click on the link provided in the email. Once the download is complete, make sure you drag the installed file into your domain server space so that the certificate is activated.

Restart your domain server; log out and log in after some time again. The certificate should start reflecting on your website.

If you are installing Wildcard SSL for your multi-domain website, just be sure to follow the aformentioned steps for each domain.

Now that you have installed the certificate properly, it is recommended that you check if it has been implemented in your website. Open a browser and type your website URL preceded by “https://” instead of just “http://” to test if the website loads well. Also, you should be able to see a green-colored padlock at the beginning of your website’s URL address which communicates that your website is now SSL certified.


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