How to get SSL running for your website.

So, you have a website running and realize you need to secure the information that transmits over the internet. What is required is an SSL or Secure Sockets Layer protocol. Every site that uses this protocol has a lock symbol next to their URL (Uniform Resource Locator or website address) on the website users browser indicating that the information they may input is safe.

The following instructions will feature how you will install an SSL in cPanel. We will also show how you will route your users to the secured version of your site and what to keep an eye out for once your certificate is installed that would keep you from getting the locked symbol.

Step 1.  Buy an SSL Certificate
Although all SSL certificates use similar methods to protect and validate your data, the level of trust and assertion they provide varies. Standard SSL (Domain Validated) Certificates are the easiest and most common type of SSL certificate. OV and EV Certificates also authenticate the identity of the company or organization that holds the certificate providing more trust to end users.
EV Certificates offer the highest level of validation and trust. The certificates will show the name of the company or organization in green in the address bar. This is an immediate, visual way that viewers can know that extra steps were taken to confirm the site they’re visiting – which is why most large companies and organizations choose EV certificates.
Comodo UCC DV & OV offers quick protection for 3 domains (Add more domains at any time). Additional Domain purchases for UCC DV & OV must have a current UCC DV or OV SSL certificate

Step 2. Activate the Certificate
Note: If you purchase SSL’s through Cherry Host** and are using their cPanel shared hosting, the following steps are not necessary since the system will auto apply the SSL to your account.
In the event you are activating the SSL Certificate yourself the next thing you will need to do is generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request). In your cPanel account you will go to the Security section and selection SSL/TLS. Then select (Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests). Here you will fill in everything that has a * next to the label. Finally, you will push the button labeled Generate.

The first block of text is your Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Using this information, you will use this to prove to the SSL company you own the website. You will paste this into the box provided in the SSL setup along with an email address that also proves you own the domain. Something like is the usual email used. If you don’t have an email account created for this function you will need to make one.
Once you send off everything you will get the certification file back as a .crt file. Though typically it will just be text that you will need to copy and paste from the email you will receive.

Step 3. Installing the SSL Certificate
Note: If you purchase SSL’s through Cherry Host** and are using their cPanel shared hosting, the following steps are not necessary since the system will auto apply the SSL to your account.
Now that you have the certificate in hand, all you need to do is paste it into your web host control panel. Click the “Install an SSL Certificate” from under the SSL/TLS menu. Paste the information from the .crt file in the first box and hit submit.

Step 4. Update site to use HTTPS

Going directly to your site using https instead of http will now show your secure site. Now the question of the day is how to get your users to only see the secure version of your site. Easily enough you just have to update the .htaccess file. If you use cPanel’s file manager, keep in mind this file is made invisible by default with the user having to change the settings thus allowing you to see the file. Then either using the supplied editor or downloading the file you must add the following to the .htaccess.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(cart/|checkout/) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

Once added the site’s users will automatically be redirected to the https version of the site.

One last thing to keep in mind. Depending on how you implemented your site, if you find that the symbol is not green on the URL bar you have something on the page still being parsed through HTTP and not HTTPS. This is caused mostly by images or other media files. In the event the site is utilizing WordPress the culprit could be a plugin. Going through and adjusting the listed items will get you that coveted green lock symbol. If after looking everything over and the symbol is still showing gray, submit a ticket to Cherry Host and we can take a look for you.

Please keep in mind that even though there is an SSL for the site, it doesn’t mean the site is secure. Only the transfer of data to and from the site is secure.

** This excludes all Comodo SSL Certificates currently (12/18/2018). Comodo SSL certificates will have to be installed manually and are unable to be configured automatically.

Please feel free to submit a ticket to the Cherry Host staff if you have any questions.

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