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SSL Certificates


You should use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) if your website does any of the following:

  • accepts credit card payment (not necessary if you use a third-party payment gateway such as PayPal or Worldpay)
  • uses password login
  • exchanges private data

In addition some browsers and search engines are pressurising for all web sites to use SSL, although not essentially necessary. Some search engines will now give higher ratings to those that do.

SSL encrypts all data sent beween the user and the server and vice versa. You must have an SSL Certificate vouching for the safe standards of your site to use SSL without the end user getting dire warning of insecurity.

We can provide free basic SSL certificates on our Cloud accounts, but these come with the usual provisos of free offerings - they could be withdrawn at any time without notice. Renewal takes place automatically every three months. It does not provide features such as warranty to the end user. If you need a more dependable solutuion it can be expensive, please enquire for a quote.

Installing the free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate

You can install the Let's Encrypt SSL Ceritifcate through your Cloud Control Panel, or we can do this for you for a nominal fee.

  1. In your Cloud Control Panel, make sure the Web Site Preview option is disabled.
  2. Click on the Let's Encrypt icon for the web site concerned.
  3. Click on "Check My Domains" and you will see a list of all domains related to that web site, which will be certified with the certificate.
  4. If all domains show "OK" click "Request Certificate"
  5. Your certificate is now installed. Wait 24 hours to allow the DNS to propogate before testing the web site address(es) using the https:// prefix. A green padlock symbol should show the SSL is working without issue. Different colour padlocks or triangles indicate an issue.
  6. You can identify any issues on specific pages by visiting
    The most common issue is graphical images linked using http:// but the above site will tell you where problems lie.
  7. Once you are satisfied SSL is working as it should, you need to force all site visitors to use it. Simply add some code to the .htaccess file in your public_html directory as follows, which will automatically switch anybody that uses http:// to https:// silently and seamlessly. In time, search engines will recognise your https:// URL. The code you need to add is as follows, add it at the top of the file:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]
    Replace with your web site's domain name
  8. That's it!

Renewing the free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate

The certificates have to be manually renewed every three months, this is how to do it:

  1. In your control panel, rename the directory from public_html to public_htmlx
  2. Create a new directory named public_html
  3. Follow the above process to install a Let's Encrypt certificate
  4. Delete the public_html directory that you created
  5. Rename the public_htmlx directory back to public_html

This process will temporarily take your website off-line during the process, so you may like to choose the time you do this. It shouldn't take more than two minutes to complete.

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Article details
Article ID: 28
Category: Web site design
Date added: 2017-02-21 12:03:04
Views: 127
Rating (Votes): Article rated 4.6/5.0 (9)

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