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How To Install An SSL Certificate on Your Website?


Looking to move your WordPress website from HTTP to HTTPS? Do you intend to boost your WP website security? Do you wish to improve your visibility in search engines and boost users’ confidence in your website? Do you intend to join the secure hub of HTTPS encryption enjoyed by over 80% of websites? In that case, you will have to install an SSL certificate. We have already covered many fundamental details about SSL certificates in our previous posts. We have explained what an SSL certificate is, how the certificate works to ensure website security, the benefits, and the types of SSL certificates. This article gives a detailed explanation of a step-by-step approach to installing an SSL certificate.

Step By Step Guide on How To Install An SSL Certificate

Step 1: Buy SSL Certificate or Get One For Free

The first step is a bit obvious. You have to acquire the SSL certificate. You can buy the certificate or get it free for a trial period.

There are so many SSL certificate resellers selling SSL certificates from hundreds of certificate authorities. Some of the best certificate authorities to get an SSL certificate include RapidSSL, Comodo SSL, and DigiCert. One thing to note before buying an SSL certificate is to understand your certificate needs. The reason is that several types of SSL certificates, such as OV, DV, and EV SSL certificates, serve different purposes. A site owner can choose any validation type based on requirement.

But even though there is nothing wrong with getting an SSL certificate from a third-party reseller or issuer, the most convenient way to acquire the certificate is through reseller. However, installing the SSL certificate on your website will take a few clicks in the WP panel, and you will be good to go.

Step 2: Generate the Certificate Signing Request

Assuming you are not working with a hosting provider or you want to install an SSL certificate by yourself, then the first thing to do upon acquiring the SSL certificate is to generate the certificate signing request.

Commonly abbreviated as CSR, A certificate signing request is an encrypted text that holds the details of your company as well as private and public cryptographic keys. The CSR generation procedure often varies depending on the management platform your website server is running on. Here is the procedure for generating a certificate signing request on the cPanel.

  • On the cPanel, navigate to the security menu and find the SSL/TLS tab


  • Find the section indicated as Certificate Signing Requests. Click on generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests.
  • Fill in the correct details in the fields marked as Domains, Email, State, and Country. These fields should be filled in alphanumeric characters.


  • Click on the Generate tab, and it will be done.

The whole process of generating a certificate signing request is intended to create public and private encryption keys. Upon generating the CSR, the CSR code is sent to the CA. This will initiate the validation procedure. The validation procedure will vary depending on the level of SSL certificate validation you have chosen to work with.

The vetting process is cumbersome and long with EV validation. On the other hand, it tends to be easy and speedy with a domain validation SSL certificate. Once the certificate authority vets your business and domains, it will send a confirmation email and the other files you require to install your SSL certificate.

Step 3: Install the Certificate on the Server

After a few hours or days of waiting for your brand-new SSL certificate, it is now time to install the certificate on your servers. There are two aspects involved. First, you will have to upload the SSL certificate on your server. Secondly, you will have to install the certificate.

Procedure for Uploading the certificate on your server

  • On the cPanel, navigate to the security menu and find the SSL/TLS tab.
  • Head to the tab marked as certificates (CRT) and Click on generate, view, or delete SSL Certificates tab.

  • Find the tab marked as Upload a New Certificate and locate the tab indicated as Paste the certificate into the following text box.


  • On the file sent to you by the certificate authority, find and copy the code from yourdomain.crt and paste it in the blank space. Remember to incorporate the  —BEGIN CERTIFICATE— and —END CERTIFICATE— lines.
  • Click on the Upload button, and your certificate will be uploaded to your servers.

Procedure for Uploading the certificate on your server

Upon uploading the certificate on the servers, it is now time to upload it. Here is how.

  • On the cPanel, navigate to the security menu and find the SSL/TLS tab
  • Navigate to the tab marked as Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)
  • Select the manage SSL Sites tab.
  • A drop-down menu appears. Select the domain name for which the SSL certificate has been issued. Upon doing so, the system will automatically fill in the fields; the Private Key (KEY)and the Certificate (CRT).
  • Check the email sent to you by the certificate authority and locate the CA bundle file. Copy the file contents and paste them into the box marked as  Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE).
  • Finally, click on the Install Certificate tab, and- hooray! Your WordPress website has an SSL certificate.


Step 4: Enable the SSL Certificate in WordPress

Up to this point, we have been paying attention to the server side of the SSL installation process. It is now time to ensure that indeed your WordPress site is running on the HTTPS protocol. You can do this manually or by using a plugin. You can either use the WP Force SSL or the Really Simple SSL plugins to automatically configure your WordPress website and have it up and running on HTTPS.

Fixing the “Mixed Content Warning” Issue

One of the most common issues you will likely face during the HTTP-HTTPS migration process is the “mixed content” warning. It implies that some of your website contents have failed to load over HTTPS. To fix this issue, you can manually correct all the HTTP links. However, this approach might seem a bit cumbersome, especially if you have many links running on HTTP. It would be a great idea to use the Better Search Replace Plugin to automatically correct the links.

Our Final Words

Ensuring that your WordPress website runs on HTTPS is a very great idea. It assures your prospects and customers that you care about their security. It also boosts your visibility in search engines and protects you against hackers. All you have to do to achieve this is to buy and install an SSL certificate. This article has given you a step-by-step guide on how to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website.


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