Wildcard SSL Certificate with GoDaddy for Free

I will show you how to install SSL Certificate for free using LetsEncrypt and Cpanel with GoDaddy instead of paying crazy amount of $$$.

In order to install this SSL certificate, we will use a free service called freessl.org. You don’t need to know any coding or anything about Web Development at all. All you have to do is follow the steps I will write in this tutorial.

If you want to do it while using Multisite WordPress installation, please refer to my preview blog post. Since WordPress version 3.0, Multisite is part of WPMU (WordPress Multiuser projects). It was discontinued and all its features were incorporated into WordPress core.

Since I already purchased an SSL Certificate through GoDaddy which cost me $99, I decided to find a solution more economic for my subdomain installation. That’s why I chose to go with LetsEncrypt and add it manually through Cpanel.

What Do I Need To Create A Free SSL Certificate ?

Not much to be honest with you, creating a free SSL Certificate is more than easy! All you need is described below:

  • Domain or subdomain name
  • Email Address
  • Hosting Access
  • DNS settings
  • Access to CPANEL
  • KeyManager Account

Here is the process, step by step

The first step is to go to freessl.or and type your domain’s URL. As I previously said, my need was to create a free SSL Certificate for my subdomain.

Then, click on ‘Create a free SSL Certificate’ to jump to the next step and start. Once you initiate the creation, you will have to select a bunch of option. Personally, I chose LetsEncrypt because I needed to create a wildcard SSL Certificate so I will have to do this process every 3 months. If you are looking for a Single Domain certificate, you can go with buypass.

We want an RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) cert type instead of ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography). To make it simple, RSA was first described in the seventies, it is well understood and used for secure data transmission.

I also choose DNS as verify type instead of adding files on my hosting’s root repertory. Finally, I tried their One-Click CSR creation and I have to admit that’s super fast!

The service uses KeyManager to take care of your brand new certificate. Download it has requested and launch the software. This step is mandatory since it will allow you to generate the certificate and export all the files you need.

You’re almost done! Don’t give up. This is time to connect your GoDaddy account before KeyManager can issue your certificate. It will ask you to add a TXT record on your DNS settings with “_acme-challenge” Name and a specific value provided by the issuer!

Then, you will be able to generate your certificate and KeyManager will take care of everything! The only one thing you will have to do is export all the files to import it through GoDaddy.

To do so, you will click on “More” under “Operation” at the ride side of KeyManager’s interface. Then, click on “Export”. You only need one format called “Apache” web server software used by GoDaddy to run on a Linux distribution for HTTP services instance.

Finally, a download will start with all the needed files to upload them on GoDaddy. But what are you suppose to see while unzipping the file?

Install an SSL Website

  • Certificate (CRT)
  • Private Key (Key)
  • Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE)

If you have no clue what am I talking about, I will upload a quick screenshot of the 3 files you need to see on your desktop before going any further.

So now? You have access to the final step! Yes, yes, finally and you deserve it. To complete this process, you will have to install your certificate on GoDaddy.

How To Install a SSL Certificate on GoDaddy?

GoDaddy allows you to install manually any certificate through your Cpanel dashboard. Once you’re connected to your Web Hosting plan, you click on “Manage” and then “CPANEL ADMIN” to access it. Then, go down until you see the security section where SSL/TLS is managed.

You should see details about Manage SSL Hosts at the top but don’t worry about it. Go down the page until you see your domain and select the appropriate one! Open each required file with an editor like Bracket or Sublime, then copy paste the content on the desired box. You should see something like below:

This is the time you were waiting for years! Click on “Install Certificate” and your dream will come true! Don’t forget that your certificate will expire in 3 months if you chose LetsEncrypt so put a reminder something to renew it.

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