How to connect SSL to your website using cPanel

When you buy a virtual server to host a website, getting an SSL certificate is one of the necessary steps. Today we want to have a brief look at how to connect an SSL certificate to your website. But first, let’s remember what SSL is and why it is needed.

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that is responsible for the authentication of the website’s identity and the encryption of everything that takes place between the website and its visitors. Due to the SSL certificate, we can be sure that the information which is transmitted from the user’s browser to the website’s server and vice versa will always remain hidden from the prying eye of potential data thieves, etc. An SSL certificated performs a number of critical functions and here are a few of them:

  • Data encryption: As mentioned, an SSL certificate is responsible for encrypting any information that is transmitted between the client and the host. This is especially critical when we deal with sensitive information – credit card numbers, personal confidential information, login credential, etc. Encryption works in the way that the data is encrypted and the only way to decrypt it is to get the corresponding keys. This way, even if a potential cyber criminal intercepts the data, they won’t be able to do anything with it.
  • Authentication: An SSL certificate is a sign that verifies the identity of a website, showing that it’s a website one can trust. 
  • Trust and credibility: A website that is protected with an SSL certificate always shows a padlock icon near the address line. A website that doesn’t have the certificate will look suspicious and won’t inspire much confidence in most users – considering the fact that a browser will often notify users about the absence of the certificate.
  • Compliance with regulations: SSL certificates are an essential part of various regulations and standards of website security, including the notorious General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In some cases, an absence of an SSL certificate on certain websites can result in legal issues.
  • Secure online transactions and logging in: SSL is especially necessary on websites that deal with sensitive information. A website that uses financial transactions and any website with an option of creating an account are common examples of this. For this reason, an SSL is a must for any e-commerce website.
  • Search engine optimization: SSL certificate is taken into consideration by search engines, so a website without one won’t get high SEO rankings.

Connecting SSL certificate to your website

Now that we know exactly, why an SSL certificate is such an important thing, let’s see ho to connect it to your website:

1. Purchase or obtain an SSL certificate: You need to acquire an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA). You can either purchase an SSL certificate from a reputable provider or use a free SSL certificate. Also, some hosting providers offer free SSL certificates within their plans.

2. Log in to cPanel: Access your cPanel account provided by your hosting provider. In most cases, you can reach it by visiting https://yourdomain.com/cpanel and entering the login credentials that you’ve received via email.

3. Navigate to the “Security” section: In cPanel, look for the “Security” or “SSL/TLS” section. The name might vary slightly depending on your cPanel version.

4. Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR): In the SSL/TLS section, locate the “Generate an SSL Certificate Signing Request” option. Fill in the required details, including the domain name for which you want to install the SSL certificate. Once done, generate the CSR.

5. Obtain the SSL certificate: After generating the CSR, you’ll receive a certificate file from the certificate authority (CA) you used to purchase or obtain the SSL certificate. Save this certificate file on your local machine.

6. Install the SSL certificate: Return to the SSL/TLS section in cPanel and locate the “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)” option. Click on it to proceed.

7. Choose the domain: Select the domain for which you want to install the SSL certificate from the available list.

8. Paste the certificate: In the next step, you’ll be prompted to provide the SSL certificate. Open the certificate file you received from the CA, copy its contents, and paste them into the corresponding field in cPanel.

9. Install the SSL certificate: After pasting the certificate, click on the “Install Certificate” button. cPanel will then install the SSL certificate for your website.

10. Verify SSL installation: Once the installation is complete, you should see a confirmation message. You can also check the SSL status by visiting your website with “https://” at the beginning of the URL. If the SSL certificate is correctly installed, you’ll see a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.

That’s it! Your website is now connected to SSL using cPanel. It’s recommended to periodically check and renew your SSL certificate to ensure uninterrupted security for your website visitors.

Conclusion

SSL certificate is a basic security measure for a website, responsible for data encryption and signifying the credibility of a website. In most cases, creating a website suggests that you add an SSL certificate to it, so we hope that this guide was helpful.

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