In the following article, we will share some valuable information about how to keep your website secure for your users and potential clients, through the usage of SSL certificates. You will learn how to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) in cPanel, how to use it to obtain an SSL certificate and how to add it to our domain.
So, what are SSL certificates and why are they so important in today’s cyber environment?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it is basically a mathematical algorithm used to encrypt important data before it travels across the web. This has lots of advantages and uses in the heavy digitalized world we live in, especially in areas such as online payments, personal log-in credentials, data transfer and most aspects of web surfing.
You have most likely already encountered such websites, using SSL certificates. Whether you purchased flight tickets, shopped online or checked your Email, the website URL most probably began with https://. This URL header is sometimes even coloured in green, signalling that the traffic on that website has an extra layer of security.
CSR stands for Certificate Signing Request. This is actually a preliminary step that any website owner must complete in order to obtain an SSL Certificate for his domain. The CSR form contains identification data about the company owning that domain. This data is also encrypted and introduced when applying for SSL.
Now, we know what SSL and CSR stand for, let’s find out how to actually generate a CSR Request within cPanel and how to use that certificate in order to activate the SSL.
Step 1 : Log-in to your cPanel account >> go to the Security section >> click on SSL/TLS >> Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
Step 2 : Complete the online form with the data required in each field.
- Key: you can either generate a new 2048 bit key or choose an existing one if you have already created a Public/Private Key for your account. For more information on how to create a public/private key, make sure to check out this article.
- Domains: the name of your domain. You can also include the * wildcard if you want to request SSL for all subdomains/pages associated with your domain. Note that this type of SSL will probably cost more.
- City, State, and Country are pretty much self-explanatory. You must state where your company is located and registered.
- Company Division: most likely IT or any other one will be just fine.
- Email: you must provide a valid Email address where your account ownership may be verified.
Step 3 : Click on the Generate button to create your CSR. Now you can provide the CSR to the Certificate Authority, which will, in turn, send you the SSL certificate and CA bundle for browser compatibility.
Step 4 : Install your newly obtained SSL Certificate and secure your domain. Simply go to Step 1 and instead of Certificate Signing Request (CSR), go to Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS).
Simply select your domain name from the drop-down menu and paste the SSL Certificate in the Certificate: (CRT) box and the CA bundle in the Certificate Authority Bundle: (CA BUNDLE) box.
If you click on Autofill by Domain, the private key will be filled in automatically.
Check that all the information is complete and click on Install Certificate.
That’s it! You’ve now installed your first SSL Certificate for your domain. Your website’s credibility to customers will increase, which can result in more sales.