Internet security has evolved as a very important aspect. Everyday, thousands of people get scammed by scammers and their money stolen. SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate is a certificate given by authorities to websites that are “secure to use”. Secured Socket layers are today a symbol of internet security. It is a known fact that the connections made with websites using SSL will be highly encrypted and can be trusted. One must only do monetary transactions with websites having the green paddle lock sign of SSL certificate.
Why to use SSL Certificate?
If you are a webmaster, you must be knowing how important it is to have SSL installed on your website. It is a huge sign of trust and Google is also known to show SSL enabled websites higher in the search results. Everyone thinks installing SSL certificate is a costly and time-consuming task. That is not the case. SSL providers “Let’s Encrypt” provides free SSL certificates for 90 days. Anyone can get it for free and install them easily.
In this post, we will be covering how to acquire and install free SSL certificate on a VPS of one of the biggest hosting providers, Digital Ocean. We will be using the website SSLforfree.com, a website that provides SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt, cross signed by Iden Trust.
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Steps to Install Free SSL Certificate in a Digital Ocean Virtual Private Server
Follow these easy steps but with caution. You will need to start over if you make a mistake.
- Head over to SSL For Free
- In the text box, enter your domain name with or without the www. SSLforfree will create SSL certificate for both versions. You can also type in your subdomain names if you have any.
- Click on ”Create SSL Certificate”.
- Next step is to verify that you are the owner of this domain name.There are three ways to do this verification.i) Automatic FTP verification: In this method, you will be entering your FTP credentials and SSLforfree will automatically verify it for you. This is the easiest and quickest step if you are running on Digital Ocean. Enter the following details to do the automatic verification:
a) Type: Choose whether the connection is FTP or SFTP
b) Host: Enter your hostname here. Enter the droplet IP of Digital Ocean here.
c) Port: Enter the port number. 22 for SFTP or 21 for FTP
d) User: Enter the FTP username here.
e) Password: Enter the password of the FTP username here. Digital Ocean users will get both of these in the email upon creation of a droplet.
f) Directory: Enter the directory location of the website installation here. This will depend on how you configured your server.
ii) Manual Verification (File): In this method, you will be uploading two text files to a specific folder in your hosting directory.
a) Download both the files to your PC.
b) login to your server using the FTP credentials you got from the mail with the help of any FTP software like FileZilla.
c) Upload both the files to the location “http://domain.com/.well-known/acme-challenge/file”
d) Now click on “Retry Manual Verification”
iii) Manual Verification (DNS): In this method, you will be adding two txt records to the DNS server of your domain.
- Once you have chosen any of the three methods and successfully verified your domain, click on Download SSL certificate.
- On the next page, you will get the three required certificates.
- On this page, you can login/register to any sslforfree account. SSLforfree certificates expire after 90 days. SSLforfree will notify you a week before the expiration of this certificate on the mail address of this account.
- Copy these certificates and install them on your Digital Ocean server, either manually or using services such as ServerAvatar, ServerPilot.
- If you are a ServerAvatar user, simply go to add SSL option and paste the three certificates there. Now click install.
- Voila! You can now see the green paddle lock icon when you visit your website.
As you have just seen, installing an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate in a Virtual Private Server is not such a difficult task, anyone can do it. Do comment below if you face any difficulties in carrying out the installation.