Procedure to use a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt! on an Shared Server

Here are the steps I used to secure and using a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt! on an shared server account (CPanel).

  1. Login to your domain’s CPanel
  2. Select SSL/TLS Manager tool
  3. Select Private Keys (KEY)
  4. Generate a 2,048 bit private key
    1. Key size: 2,048 bits
    2. Description: LetsEncrypt Private Key
    3. Select Generate button
    4. Select Return to SSL Manager button
  5. Select Certificate Signing Requests (CSR)
  6. Generate CSR
    1. Select LetsEncrypt Private Key from the Key Dropdown
    2. In the Domains box, enter each domain you want this certificate to secure (one per line).
    3. Fill in the rest of the form
    4. Description: LetsEncrypt CSR
    5. Select Generate button
    6. Copy the Encoded Certificate Signing Request will need it later. You can always get this from the  SSL/TLS Manager tool.
    7. Select Return to SSL Manager button
  7. Use Let’s Encrypt! to generate the certificate
    1. Open Let’s Encrypt! using URL
    2. Fill in form
      1. Step 1: Create and validate your account email. Then Validate.
      2. Step 2: Paste CSR into Certificate Signing Request box. Then Validate.
      3. Step 3: Sign API requests and Validate
      4. Step 4: For each domain:
        1. Use Option 2
        2. Create the request files and content of the files on your web site(s) – I used SSH, but you can also use the CPanel File Manager
        3. Validate
  8. Copy newly issued certificate from to your CPanel SSL/TLS Manager tool
    1. In your CPanel, Select SSL/TLS Manager tool
    2. Select Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)
      1. Select Domain from drop down.
      2. Paste the text from form Signed Certificate into the CPanel Certificate: (CRT) box.
      3. Paste the saved Private Key into the CPanel Private Key (KEY) box.
      4. Paste the text from form Intermediate Certificate into the CPanel Certificate Authority Bundle: (CABUNDLE) box.
      5. Select Install Certificate button.