CodeClouds Color Logo

BLOG | 27 July 2016

Free SSL | SSL Installation Guide on Ubuntu 14.04 with WHM

Want the benefits of SSL but can’t afford it? Or don’t know how to do it? This step-by-step guide will have you set up with a free SSL certificate in less than two minutes.

SSL can bring many of advantages to your business, including increased trust from your visitors to higher search rankings with search engines. An issue for many small businesses or individuals who would love to take advantage of this extra security is the cost. SSL can be a very costly installation, with companies like Symantec offering certificates for thousands of dollars. For small bloggers or small businesses who would like the ‘green-lock’, this is definitely not viable.

free ssl installation guide

Today we’re going to go over the steps that I took to install HTTPS/SSL on my WHM/CPanel server for free.

A few days ago when setting up my own personal server, I was looking everywhere for a cheap, certified SSL certificate. I looked everywhere and tried everything. The closest I got was a self-signed cert, that showed a dangerous looking popup when my visitors opened my site, that wasn’t ideal…

I was about to give up when I found Letsencrypt, they stated they would provide certified signed SSL certificates for free, this made me skeptical, but after seeing sponsorships from Google, Facebook, and CISCO I became hopeful.

Installation:

Located under the certificates page, they recommend people should start off with the CertBot client. The client is easy to use, a well-documented system that works on most operating systems. After heading to the CertBot page, we’re asked to provide our operating system and origin server so they’re able to provide us with server-specific documentation.

After I selected ‘Apache on Ubuntu 14.04’, I was provided with some command lines to run. I then headed over to my terminal and connected to my server via SSH. After running just six commands I was now the proud owner of a certified, auto-renewing SSL certificate.

Below you’ll find a copy of the SSL installation guide I followed for Apache on Ubuntu 14.04:

Install
wget https://dl.eff.org/certbot-auto
chmod a+x certbot-auto

Get Started
CertBot has a fairly solid beta-quality Apache plugin, which is supported on many platforms, and automates both obtaining and installing certs:
$ ./path/to/certbot-auto --apache

If you’re feeling more conservative and would like to make the changes to your Apache configuration by hand, you can use the certonly subcommand:
$ ./path/to/certbot-auto --apache certonly

Automating renewal
Let’s Encrypt certificates last for 90 days, so it’s highly advisable to renew them automatically! You can test automatic renewal for your certificates by running this command:
./path/to/certbot-auto renew --dry-run

If that appears to be working correctly, you can arrange for automatic renewal by adding a cron or systemd job which runs the following:
./path/to/certbot-auto renew --quiet --no-self-upgrade

After Installation, I was given a file location for my newly created certs. For me this was at /etc/letsencrypt/live/reade.co.nz/. There I was able to access:
cert.pem, chain.pem, fullchain.pem, and privkey.pem

After checking the contents of the cert.pem file, I headed over to my WHM GUI and search for the ‘Install an SSL Certificate on a Domain’ page, there I added the contents of cert.pem and privkey.pem files.

After I hit ‘save’, I then headed over to my browser and was successfully able to access my site via https.

Originally written July 27, 2016. Last updated October 16th, 2019

 Views

Written by CodeClouds

CodeClouds provides effective and quality solutions for various web technologies. We have responsive and swift communication 18/5 and deliver quality development services around the globe.

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • pinterest
  • whatsup

Related Articles

A Plain English Guide to HTTP Status Codes

PHP, BLOG | 13 July 2020

A Plain English Guide to HTTP Status Codes

If you stop somebody on the street and ask them what a 404 is, they might not give you a precise answer, but most of them could probably give you a decent summary: it means the website is broken. It’s far from the only code though, and today we’re giving you the 411. No, the other 411.

Shared Servers, Virtual Private Servers, and Serverless Computing Explained

BLOG | 22 June 2020

Shared Servers, Virtual Private Servers, and Serverless Computing Explained

Today we’re going over three types of servers- Shared Servers, Virtual Private Servers, and Serverless Computing.