cPanel Lesson Series - How to Install Free SSL Certificate to a Domain Using Let's Encrypt SSL Service in Your cPanel

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#16 (ツ) kdktec
Last edited: 14.06.2021 by kdktec, read: 52 times

What is this SSL certificate and why we need it for our websites?

How it's more important to our website search engine optimization more than ever?

These are the theoretical things that you going to learn in this article.

But learning to install a free valid SSL certificate for your website domain is the main practical real-life working knowledge you can gain from this article.

So no more time to waste let's jump into the first topic.

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL Certificated applied domain name

SSL certificates are what enable websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. An SSL certificate is a data file hosted in a website's origin server.

SSL certificates make SSL/TLS encryption possible, and they contain the website's public key and the website's identity, along with related information.

Devices attempting to communicate with the origin server will reference this file to obtain the public key and verify the server's identity. The private key is kept secret and secure. SSL, more commonly called TLS, is a protocol for encrypting Internet traffic and verifying server identity. Any website with an HTTPS web address uses SSL/TLS.

Why do websites need an SSL certificate?

A website needs an SSL certificate to keep user data secure, verify ownership of the website, prevent attackers from creating a fake version of the site, and gain user trust.

Encryption: SSL/TLS encryption is possible because of the public-private key pairing that SSL certificates facilitate. Clients (such as web browsers) get the public key necessary to open a TLS connection from a server's SSL certificate.

Authentication: SSL certificates verify that a client is talking to the correct server that owns the domain. This helps prevent domain spoofing and other kinds of attacks.

HTTPS: Most crucially for businesses, an SSL certificate is necessary for an HTTPS web address. HTTPS is the secure form of HTTP, and HTTPS websites are websites that have their traffic encrypted by SSL/TLS.

In addition to securing user data in transit, HTTPS makes sites more trustworthy from a user's perspective.

Many users won't notice the difference between an http:// and an https:// web address, but most browsers have started tagging HTTP sites as "not secure" in more noticeable ways, attempting to provide an incentive for switching to HTTPS and increasing security.

Web browsers notifications on non-secure websites

Is an SSL certificate really important for SEO?

How SSL certificates affect on your website SEO

In Google’s ever-changing algorithm for SEO rankings, one of the newest is the addition of websites using SSL certificates as an element of their ‘trustworthiness’.

This indicates that, for the initial time, HTTPS pages will gain an SEO boost and be the default outcome for searchers. For webmasters, the key will be to make certain they’ve implemented SSL certificates accurately to ensure the best possible visitor experience and skirt a temporary decline in rankings.

What is this “Let's Encrypt™ SSL” Service

Logo of Let’s Encrypt

Let's Encrypt™ is an effort to provide free domain-validated certificates in an automated fashion. 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).

It gives people the digital certificates they need 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.

If you want to learn more about this service you can read about their most recent year in review by downloading their annual report.

The key principles behind Let’s Encrypt are: • Free: Anyone who owns a domain name can use Let’s Encrypt to obtain a trusted certificate at zero cost. • Automatic: Software running on a web server can interact with Let’s Encrypt to painlessly obtain a certificate, securely configure it for use, and automatically take care of renewal. • Secure: Let’s Encrypt will serve as a platform for advancing TLS security best practices, both on the CA side and by helping site operators properly secure their servers. • Transparent: All certificates issued or revoked will be publicly recorded and available for anyone to inspect. • Open: The automatic issuance and renewal protocol is published as an open standard that others can adopt. • Cooperative: Much like the underlying Internet protocols themselves, Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort to benefit the community, beyond the control of anyone organization.

Want to learn more detailed information about how the Let’s Encrypt CA works, visit the site at https://letsencrypt.org

How to use this Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate service in your cPanel AKA Webhosting Control Panel.

Step 01: Log in to your cPanel (Use the http://yourdomain.com/cpanel link)

Login window of cPanel

Dashboard of cPanel

Step 02: Now find the “Let's Encrypt SSL” module under the “Security” section.

Security section of cPanel dashboard

Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate service options inside cPanel

Step 03: Now find the domain or sub-domain which you want to issue an SSL certificate under the “Issue a new certificate” section and click on the “Issue” command relevant to that domain or sub-domain.

Lets Encrypt SSL certificate issuing option

Step 04: Now on the next page, read all the instructions and select the SSL certificate validation method you like. You will usually want to use the HTTP validation method. If your domain's nameservers point to cPanel, then you have the option of using the DNS validation method instead. If you wish to issue wildcards, you MUST use the DNS validation method. Finally please click on the “Issue” command to permanently install your new SSL certificate. But if want to make test an SSL certificate without really installing it for testing purposes, you can choose the “Issue (Dry Run)” command

Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate validation methods

If you have completed all of the above steps you can see the below-mentioned page with the following success message;

The SSL certificate is now installed onto the domain “domains.kdktec.net” using the IP address “XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX”. The existing virtual host was updated with the new certificate. Apache is restarting in the background.

Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate installation success message

Conclusion

So my dear friends, nowadays, you do not need to pay an extra annual fee to install a valid SSL certificate for your website domain to have an https:// protocol into your website web address. Now you can use your cPanel Webhosting control panel to install a valid and secure SSL certificate to your domain with the help Let’s Encrypt SSL service.

And With these SSL certificates, you can pass another step forward in your website search engine optimization process.

Finally, please remember to Logout from your cPanel using the command in the right upper corner.

Please do not hesitate to take a moment to leave your valuable comment and suggestions. Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to read this article.

Warmly. K. Dinesh Kumara Founder, Director, and CEO KDKTEC and PC World Online Magazine

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