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  4. Getting Started: Adding Let’s Encrypt SSL to Your GreenGeeks Account

Getting Started: Adding Let’s Encrypt SSL to Your GreenGeeks Account

The SSL certificate is a vital part of building a successful website. This is because it not only offers protection to visitors, but search engines like Google also put more emphasis on sites beginning with “https://”.

Adding an SSL certificate is easy with GreenGeeks. Log into GreenGeeks.

From the GreenGeeks screen, click the “Security” section on the left of your screen.

Dashboard Security

Click “SSL Certificates” from the drop-down list.

SSL Certificates

Click the “Add SSL Certificate” button on the top of the page. You can also refresh the list of SSL certificates to see if you already have it installed.

Add SSL Certificate

Click into the “Select a service” field and select your account. It should be the primary domain you set up with GreenGeeks.

Once you’ve chosen your account, click the “Continue” button.

Select GreenGeeks Account

Enter the domain you want to protect and click “Continue.” If you only have one domain on your account, it will be the only one in the list.

Select Domain

In this next screen, you have two options available. You can choose to install the AlphaSSL Wildcard certificate or Let’s Encrypt SSL. There are a few differences between the two that may interest you.

While Let’s Encrypt SSL is free, AlphaSSL has a yearly cost. For this tutorial, we’re installing Let’s Encrypt.

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click, “Select Let’s Encrypt.”

Lets Encrypt SSL

Verify that you selected the correct domain for the certificate as well as making sure Let’s Encrypt is the SSL Provider.

Click, “Confirm and Create” to finish the installation.

Confirm Create SSL

On the next page, click the “Install SSL Certificate” button for the GreenGeeks auto-installer to launch.

Install SSL Certificate

NOTE: At Step 5, you may receive a message stating:
“Error 37: Error Validating DNS Challenge. Please try again in 30 minutes. If this error still persists after two hours please contact Support. [23685]”

Lets Encrypt Error 37

This is a normal error that occurs when you first enable Let’s Encrypt on your domain. This is because Let’s Encrypt uses DNS-based authentication. It needs time to propagate, which can take 30-minutes or so.

While you wait for the DNS challenge to complete, you can start the install process for SSL certificates for any other domains.

Once the system recognizes your domain name, you’ll no longer have to wait for any subsequent changes to your account. So if you remove the SSL and decide to add it again at a later date, you may not see this error message.

When Let’s Encrypt validates the domain, you can proceed by clicking “Install SSL Certificate” to complete the installation.

After a few moments, the auto-installer will finish adding Let’s Encrypt SSL to your GreenGeeks account.

SSL Installation Complete

From here, you can go back to the GreenGeeks screen or download the SSL files to your computer if you so choose.

If Installation Fails

If you manage your own DNS, check out this article about DNS updates that may be necessary to use Let’s Encrypt.

For WordPress Websites

If you’re planning on using WordPress, you can install and activate Really Simple SSL to quickly add the Let’s Encrypt certificate you just installed.

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Comments

  1. What happens when the Let’s Encrypt certificate expires? Does GreenGeeks auto-renew it, and if so, how soon before the expiration date will that happen? (Mine expires in two days and LE recommends renewing it 30 days before expiration.)

  2. Hello guys,

    Thank you for the information.
    One question: If I installed Let’s Encrypt certificate with you, I need to do it every 90 days? Each time the certificate is expiring? I mean there is no automated renewal?

    Thanks!

  3. Hello guys,

    If I already installed Let’s Encrypt SSL to my WordPress site, do I need the Really Simple SSL plugin?
    If I do, do I need to connect them in any way?

    Thank you for this post!

  4. Helpful, but the current interface for this process is a little different than what’s currently there.

    Also I’d appreciate more clarity (or a separate article entirely) on adding SSL to a WHM client account vs. to your primary account.

  5. I wish all instructions were this easy to follow! Thanks for the great step-by-step explanation!

  6. The cPanel has changed. I cannot follow this guide. Is there an updated version?

  7. This is not cpanel, this is greengeeks whmcms interface, where you login @ greengeeks

  8. There are 3 good questions at the end of this article that are not answered.
    1. What happens when the Let’s Encrypt certificate expires? Does GreenGeeks auto-renew it, and if so, how soon before the expiration date will that happen?
    2. If I already installed Let’s Encrypt SSL to my WordPress site, do I need the Really Simple SSL plugin?
    If I do, do I need to connect them in any way?
    3. If I installed Let’s Encrypt certificate with you, I need to do it every 90 days? Each time the certificate is expiring? I mean there is no automated renewal?

    1. Amanda,

      Let’s Encrypt certs renew automatically. How far in advance I’m not sure, but I can find out. The recommendation someone mentioned earlier for renewing a 90-day cert (like Let’s Encrypt) 30 days before expiration is unnecessary. There’s no technical benefit to doing that.

      Installing an SSL cert on your account doesn’t change anything as far as your website files are concerned, so you still want to use an SSL plugin for WordPress. You can make the necessary changes without a plugin, but there are a lot of boxes to check and a plugin makes it much easier.

  9. Do I need to keep renewing the SSL certificate or does it renew automatically

    1. Michael,

      Let’s Encrypt certs renew automatically.

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