Easily Create a CSR and Install SSL

Promoting your business online today is more than just having a website. Your website needs to be secure. An SSL is an integral part of having a website because it is the first line of security for your customers’ information. Most hosting companies have an auto installer for SSLs on their shared hosting platforms for the primary domain. But, what if you have a VPS, dedicated server, or an add on domain in cPanel? We show you how easy it is to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and install a SSL for your website.

video transcript

Today on UV Design Tips and Tricks, we’re going to show you how to generate a CSR and install an SSL certificate on your Apache Linux server.

All right, so there’s several different reasons why you would want to get an SSL certificate. Protect your site, encrypt data that’s being transmitted across, and then, also, Google now has given great warnings to people that go to unsecure sites. See right up here in Chrome, anytime you enter in data somewhere and you don’t have an SSL you get this “Not Secure.” So, obviously, you don’t want your visitors to see that and feel unsafe when they go to your website.

Generate CSR and Install SSL

So now you purchased an SSL certificate from your hosting company. And let’s say you have your own VPS server or you have, maybe, an addon domain on cPanel. And you need to add the SSL manually because their auto install tool will not install it automatically on an addon domain or a VPS, so you need to do it yourself. So let’s follow along. It’s pretty simple and I’ll show you both ways. So this is WHM. This is the interface for your VPS or dedicated servers for Linux servers. So here in the little search field we’ll just type in CSR. Generate an SSL certificate and sign your request.

You don’t really have to fill in this information because they would email you the CSR, but we’re going to get it right away. Key size we’re going to go ahead and do the recommended. Domain name, here you’re just going to type in the domain name. And you would fill in the required information. And we’ll just call it “Fix it in post.” And down here you don’t have to fill in this information. This is a big organization. If you have different SSLs for different parts of your domains you’d fill that in. But that’s not necessary. We’re not going to do a passphrase and you’re going to hit Create. And it’s going to generate a bunch of different private keys, certificates, and signing request. This is the one that we’re after.

Easily Generate CSR and Install SSL

So that’s how you generate a CSR in WHM. If you’re inside cPanel– Now, getting your cPanel might look different than the one I’m in, but they are all the same. They just have a different interface. Or, not interface, it’s a skin. I can’t remember if this is called Lantern or X3. I think this is Lantern. There it is, Paper Lantern right there. So anyways, I just type in SSL, go inside here, click SSL. So here you’re going to have kind of the same options as in WHM. And what we’re looking for here is the certificate signing request. We want to generate. And then kind of the same process.

You’re going to put in the domain name. Fill in the same information, it’s the exact same thing. And then and it Generate and it’s going to generate that same CSR. Now this cPanel is on the same server as my WHM. So we’re actually just going to go ahead and install it and go through the WHM. But, again, a lot of people don’t have servers so this is how you would do it for an addon domain on your cPanel account.

So you want to make sure that you copy all the hyphens in the certificate, all the way up to the hyphens here for beginning certificate. You’re going to go into your SSL Manager. After you have it set up it’s going to ask you to provide a CSR, or a Certificate Signing Request. You’re going to paste that into here. And as long as you filled in the information from the generate portion of it, you should see your domain name listed right here.

Install SSL Cpanel Linux Server

Now, one thing that a standard SSL will do is this will protect the www version and the non-www version of your website. So no matter which way you have it resolving, it will resolve and protect both of them. Now, if you got something which is called a UCC certificate, we’ll cover that later in a different video. But basically, you would have to add the www and the non-www in SSL. But, again, we’ll cover that in a later video.

Sorry about that. Phone, someone’s calling me. I’m important. All right, so go ahead and paste that in there. Verify the domain name’s correct. We accept all this great stuff. Agree and hit Request Certificate. And then now you’re usually going to get an interface that says 50%, 25%, or something. Now, my domain name is in my account so it’s going to automatically verify the domain for us. Now, if your domain was with a different registrar than the company you bought your SSL certificate, eventually it’s going to show you that you need to validate the domain. Because how an SSL works is you’re actually protecting the domain and they want to make sure that you are the owner of that domain.

So what ever it would say, put this unique ID number as a text record. So it would give you this long, random generated, text record. And you would need to go update that in the DNS of your domain, wherever the domain is registered at or whoever controls the DNS. After you update that, wait about a half hour to an hour. Come back here and it should validate the domain for you at that particular time. Now we just kind of sit here and wait. The system will kind of do everything for itself. So we’ll come back.

All right, the SSL certificate has been verified and ready for us to install. This process can take, I’ve seen it take as little as 10 minutes, I’ve scene taking up to 24 hours. Really just depends. So when you see the screen, you can go ahead and click Download. It will be asking you what type of server you are going to install the certificate on. We are using an Apache server. So go ahead and download the zip file. And here we have the two certificates right here. Really only interested in one, this will be the top one.

How to generate a CSR on a VPS WHM

So you click on it, right click, and then we need to open that bad boy up. Push it off to the side. So go back here inside WHM and you’re going to go here, to where is says, Install SSL Certificate on a Domain. And then you’re going to skip down here. You can browse for the certificate, but it’s just as fast as to go ahead and fill in these steps. Or fill in the domain, I should say. And then click Autofill by Domain.

It will autofill everything in here, except for you’re getting an, “Issuer is a self-signing certificate.” And that’s a warning because they’re assuming we don’t want that. And that’s not what we want. So that’s why we opened up the certificate in the editor. And we’re going to select everything, copy it, and then we’re going to replace everything that’s in here. And there you go. Now we have a green check mark. Domains that this is going to cover, fixitinpostfilms.com, and www.fixitinpost.com. And then you’re just going to click Install.

How to install a SSL on Cpanel linux VPS WHM

The same thing for cPanel. So you’re going to come back to your cPanel. Look for SSL again, click on here. Manage SSL Certificates. Browse for your domain. Autofill, and the same thing. You’re just going to click here, replace it. Once it’s sign in, install certificate. And then come down here. Everything is going to go. And click Install Certificate. Now it just re-verifies what it protects.

And then now you go back to your website. And nothing’s changed. It’s still exactly the same way. The reason for that is because WordPress is basically going through the non-SSL door on the server. And you have to tell it that, hey, there’s an SSL on the server and I need you to go through there. You can verify that by going to https:// and boom. Your site loads under HTTPS.

Next week we’ll show you how to actually force WordPress to actually go to the HTTPS so you don’t have to manually type that in. So it automatically redirects you no matter what you type in. Fixitinpostfilms.com, www, or whatever, it will automatically always redirect you and make sure all your images and links will always show up as HTTPS. But that will be next week.

All right, that will do it for UV Design Tips and Tricks. If you liked the video, go ahead and hit the Like button below and make sure to subscribe to our channel to learn more about website hosting, servers, and other great tutorials to make your life easier. Well, take it easy and see you next time.

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