Manually using Let’s Encrypt and cPanel

Security is a big buzz word everywhere. Using HTTPS to host websites is one part of the puzzle.

Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL┬ácertificates for 90 days. However, old versions of cPanel used by shared hosting providers don’t have an easy to use plugin installed by default. They sell SSL certificates for quite a few $$$.

So I had to do things the hard way. This post is more of a memory for me than a guide for somebody as it is extremely succinct.

Go to https://certbot.eff.org/ and install a friendly client for Let’s Encrypt on your Linux machine.

Then I used the following command to generate a certificate for this website.

./certbot-auto certonly -d zubairlk.com -d www.zubairlk.com –manual

As we are using a manual mode, it will now ask us to verify that we are actually the owner of zubairlk.com and www.zubairlk.com.

Which basically means it asks us to put a long file on the web server containing a special sequence of characters.

Make sure your web server displays the following content at
http://zubairlk.com/.well-known/acme-challenge/asdkfljasdfkljdasqweruioqewyuiqewryuqiwryqrewqebefore continuing:

abasdcjkadsnfkfjnkdjsafkldasdfkljdasflportiewqtruewwt

So I go to the ftp manager for the shared host. Make a file with this name and containing the long string.

Then hit enter. This will generate a certificate.

I then go to my cPanel SSL manager, select my domain and upload the contents of the cert.pem and privkey.pem.

And done!