Strong security is a priority for most website owners, and SSL certificates play a crucial role in achieving it. By installing an SSL certificate on your site, you’ll ensure that all data sent to and from it is encrypted. Your website users will also avoid the dreaded “site not secure” message web browsers display on sites without SSL. Because of this, having an SSL certificate on your site has become all but mandatory.
Everyone with a website is probably somewhat aware of the importance of SSLs — it’s been a frequent topic on this blog, after all! But that doesn’t change the fact that SSL certificates are kind of intimidating. The SSL installation process can often seem complicated to those who don’t know what they’re doing (and sometimes even for those who do!).
That’s why we want to demystify SSL activation and installation and explain it in the most basic terms.
1. Activating your SSL
After you purchase your SSL, you may notice that you don’t receive the actual certificate right away. That’s because although you bought your SSL from Steadhost (we’ll be presuming you got one from Steadhost for the purpose of this article), Steadhost doesn’t actually issue SSL certificates. That’s done by our partner Certificate Authority (CA) Sectigo (formerly Comodo). CAs are central to SSL certificate management and distribution across the web. They’re in charge of verifying the identities of anyone seeking an SSL certificate, as well as issuing and revoking them.
So, before you get your SSL certificate, you’ll need to activate it so that the CA can verify your identity. To do this, head to the SSL section of your Steadfhost account and click the “Activate” button next to the SSL you want to activate.
Activation is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll need to generate two codes: a CSR code and a private key. Generating a CSR will vary based on your website server or hosting panel type. EasyWP users should use this handy CSR generator tool.
Follow the CSR instructions relevant to your server. Once you’re done, make sure you save your private key (which will be generated at the same time as your CSR code) and be sure not to share it with anybody. You’ll need this when you install your SSL certificate. If you lose it, you’ll have to activate your SSL again and go through this whole process once more.
The second crucial part of SSL activation is domain control validation.
2. Domain control validation
Tuesday, August 10, 2021