If you have a Domain which doesn’t have SSL certification. You can set up SSL certification for free.

In short what we will be doing is

  • Using zerossl site we will generate SSL cert files.
  • Using cPanel Dashboard we will activate SSL.
  • Finally we will add redirect logic to move from http to https.

Note:  I have tried this on GoDaddy web hosting using cPanel.

Step 1:
  • Goto this site : https://zerossl.com/
  • Click on Online Tools button  => FREE SSL Certificate Wizard => Start Button.
  • Something like this

Step 2:
  • In Detail Tab entry your Domain in Box saying “Domains (ONLY if you have no CSR)
  • eg:  mysite.com, www.mysite.com
  • Also tick Accept ZeroSSL TOS and Accept Let’s Encrypt SA (pdf) given at bottom.
  • Refer below image.
  • Click Next

Step 3:
  • Your Domain CRT is generated in right Text Box. Just click Download Button to keep a copy of it.
  • Click Next
Step 4:
  • Your Account key will be Generated on Left box
  • Again Download it
  • Click next
Step 5:
  •  Now you will see Verification Tab. It contain 2 files related to your domain.
  • Download both files.

  • In order to verify that you are owner of site for which you are generating SSL key. You need to place both files in “webroot/.well-known/acme-challenge/” 
  • In my case public_html/.well-known/acme-challenge/
Step 6:
  • Now we need to access domain folder and upload above files using cPanel.
  • Go to your Domain cPanel Dashboard.
  • Click File Manager
  • Note that in Dialog “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles).” is checked else you will not see hidden files.
  • Click Go

Step 7:
  • Move inside public_html
  • Create folder with name “.well-known
  • Move in .well-known
  • Create another folder with name “acme-challenge
  • Move in acme-challenge
  • Now upload the files which you have downloaded from Verification Tab.
Step 8:
    • After uploading both files
    • Goto zerossl tab and click the file link. It will open another tab with the file content which you just uploaded. Refer below image.
    • If you can see the text. You have uploaded files correctly.
    • Hit Next in zerossl tab.
    • You will see “Your Certificate is ready
    • Scroll Down you will have your CRT and PRIVATE KEY. Download it for a Backup.

Step 9:
  • Now since we have got our SSL cert files. Next step is configure SSL.
  • Goto cpanel Dashboard
  • Scroll Down to Security => Click SSL/TLS. Refer below image.

Step 10:
  • In this window you will see various options to configure SSL. Click last option “Manage SSL sites.
  • In next screen select the Domain for which you are adding SSL
  • In Certificate: (CRT)
  • Copy text from Wizard first text box.
  • Paste it in SSL CRT textbox.
  • It might say invalid as there are 2 keys into it.
  • Something like this
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----
  • Cut the last Certificate text and paste it in Certificate Authority Bundle: (CABUNDLE) textbox.
  • Now copy the Private Key from zerossl tab and paste it in Private Key (KEY) textbox.
  • Hit Install Certificate
  • If every thing went well you will see success Msg.
Step 11:
  • Verify that SSL is installed.
  • Try https://mysite.com in new tab and it should work.
  • Now try http://mysite.com also in new tab.
  • It works but its not secure or https
  • So we need to configure redirect from http to https
Step 12:
  • Goto cPanel File Manager.
  • Move to public_html folder.
  • Inside public_html look for .htaccess if it exist, edit it
  • Else create new file with “.htaccess”
  • Inside .htaccess add in last these lines
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
  • Save file.
  • Now try http://mysite.com it should redirect to https://mysite.com

Bingo. You have just installed SSL Cert for Free…

Note: In case, installation doesn’t work for you or you didn’t understand steps you can refer a sample installation video


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