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Cloudways Platform provides you complete freedom to install an SSL certificate bought from any Certificate Authority (CA) or certificate vendor. This article will demonstrate the entire procedure of deploying a custom SSL certificate on your website hosted on Cloudways. We also have an article that explains what SSL is and why you need one.
If you have integrated Cloudflare Enterprise on your application, there is no such requirement to install an additional SSL certificate. If you still wish to install one, you can install a custom SSL certificate on your Cloudways origin server to achieve an extra layer of security; however, it is not mandatory.
How to Install Custom SSL Certificate
Deploying a custom SSL certificate is straightforward with the following steps. If you already have an SSL certificate configured on your website, installing another one will overwrite the existing one, as one application can only have one certificate.
Alternatively to a custom SSL certificate, you can install a Free Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate on your website using the Cloudways Platform.
Your website should be live. It means that domains are mapped correctly, and DNS records are correctly pointed.
See if your web application is compatible.
You have purchased SSL certificate from any Certificate Authority (CA) or vendor such as DigiCert, Namecheap, Comodo, etc.
Step #1 — Navigate to SSL Management
Log in to the Cloudways Platform using your email address and password.
From the top menu bar, click Servers.
Then, choose your target server where your desired application is deployed.
Next, click www.
Select your application.
Under Application Management, click the SSL Certificate.
Step# 2 — Deploying SSL Certificate
Now, you need to deploy your Custom SSL certificate on your application that you have purchased before. If you haven't purchased an SSL certificate yet. In that case, you need to buy an SSL Certificate from any Certificate Authority (CA) or vendor such as DigiCert, Namecheap, Comodo, etc.
Select Upload Custom SSL and Key file(s) from the dropdown.
Next, click Install SSL.
You will be prompted to enter the CRT content and Key content.
CRT content — Refers to your application SSL certificate file content. Most of the SSL vendors usually provide this in .crt or .cer file format (e.g., domain.crt/domain.cer).
You also need to concatenate your CA Chain, which Refers to the certificate chain (intermediate certificate). It is usually provided in .ca or .ca-bundle file format (e.g., mdomain.ca/domain.ca-bundle). You can use any text editor such as Notepad for Windows and TextEdit for Mac for concatenation.
KEY content — All SSL certificates require a private key to work. The private key is a separate file with an extension .KEY that's used in the encryption/decryption of data sent between your server and the connecting users. A private key is created by the certificate owner when you request your certificate with a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
Please note that these file formats and standards can vary, considering many SSL certificate providers have many different formats and standards. Still, if you need any help, you can always contact us via chat or create a support ticket.
Finally, click Submit to deploy the certificate.
To view and copy your certificate file content (.crt/.cer file), you can use any text editor such as Notepad for Windows and TextEdit for Mac. Please copy and paste the whole certificate, including —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE —– & —– END CERTIFICATE —– lines.
Your application will have an SSL Certificate deployed in a few minutes. Please be advised that Custom SSL certificates installed using this option are renewed and revoked at your concerned Certificate Authority's end but can be removed from your application at the Cloudways Platform by clicking Remove SSL.
You may also be prompted to force HTTPS redirection.
Forcing HTTPS Redirection
It's time to force HTTPS redirection to ensure that your site always runs on a secured protocol. Once prompted, click Enable HTTPS. Please note that you can also force HTTPS redirection later as well.
It is not mandatory to force HTTPS redirection using the Cloudways Platform if you have previously set it up using any firewall such as Cloudflare, Sucuri, application plugin, etc. However, if you want to force HTTPS redirection from the Cloudways Platform, you need to disable any redirection mechanism working elsewhere first.
Here comes the next step of verifying your SSL certificate to ensure that your certificate is configured correctly.
How to Verify Your SSL Certificate
We highly recommend verifying your SSL certificate, and we have created a self-explanatory guide for it. Verification is done to ensure that the SSL certificate is configured correctly.