Recently, in a web design Facegroup group I belong to, someone made a comment about the cost of GoDaddy SSL certificates as well as their lack of support for Let’s Encrypt.

Since I use several free SSL certificates for various personal and client sites, I thought I would do a quick run through of how I handle it and install the certificates manually.

First off, I use a website called SSLforfree.com, which in turn uses LetsEncrypt’s “ACME server by using domain validation”. This allows them to serve certificates using validation that is temporarily stored temporarily in your browser, then deleted.

To see my process, watch the video below.

If you prefer following step by step instructions, they are posted after the video.

Please Note: This only shows how to add SSL certificates if you have GoDaddy Deluxe hosting and cPanel. I have not tested this process with other configurations and so do not guarantee results.

Step-by-step instructions for those who prefer to read over watching the video

  • Log in to GoDaddy and go to your Products
  • Scroll down to Hosting (click to expand if closed)
  • Select Deluxe Hosting and click the Manage button
    • You will be redirected to the Hosting Management page
  • Click the cPanel Admin button at the Top Right
    • You will be redirected to the cPanel home page
  • From the cPanel home page, Scroll To or search for File Manager
    • Click on File Manager
    • You will be redirected to the File Manager
  • Using the Folder Tree on the left or Files window on the right, navigate to the root directory of the website you wish to add an SSL certificate to
  • Create a folder named .well-known
  • Create another folder within .well-known named acme-challenge
  • Now, open a new tab and navigate to SSLforFree.com
  • Enter your site URL in the text box and click
    • Alternatively, if you already have an account and would like to renew a current certificate, click Login and navigate to Certificates and choose Renew from the proper domain.
  • Click the button Create Free SSL Certificate
  • You will be redirected to the Validation page
  • Click Manual Verification
  • Click Manually Verify Domain
  • Now follow the steps in this section very closely:
    • Download the 2 files given
    • Now, remember the folders we created earlier in File Manager in our other tab? Upload the 2 files you just downloaded to the folder named acme-challenge
    • You can verify successful uploads using the convenient links they provide
  • Once the uploads are verified, you can click Download SSL Certificate
  • This will open the Certificate Successfully Generated section
  • Now we will add the certificate to our website
    • On the SSLforfree tab, Select and Copy the text from the first field, Certificate
      • Navigate to the cPanel Home in your cPanel tab
      • Search for or Navigate to and click on SSL/TLS
      • Scroll down and click Manage SSL Sites under Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)
      • On the Manage SSL Hosts page, scroll to Install an SSL Certificate and select your domain from the drop down
      • Paste the Certificate text from the SSLforfree tab into the first text box
    • On the SSLforfree tab, Select and Copy the text from the first field, Private Key (KEY)
      • Paste the Private Key text into the second text box in your cPanel tab
    • On the SSLforfree tab, Select and Copy the text from the third field, CA Bundle (Certificate Authority)
      • Paste the Private Key text into the third text box in your cPanel tab
  • Finally, click Install Certificate button
    • This should generate a popup that says ‘SSL Certificate Successfully Updated’ with further details about the certificate installation. Click OK to close.

At this point, on your SSLforfree.com tab, you can choose to download your SSL files, go to your Certificates page to verify or close your tab.

ALL DONE!!!

Ruben Young

Ruben Young is a Brand Consultant, Web Designer and Illustrator with 20 years of experience.

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