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Securing your domain with an SSL certificate from Lets Encrypt  Print this Article

Securing your domain with an SSL certificate is not necessary, but it is recommended.  Its becoming increasingly common for browsers to present the user with a warning before loading a site that is not secured with an SSL certificate.  You can still navigate to the site, but its not a strong first impression for the end-user or potential customer that has come across your site. The importance of online security is no longer the afterthought it has been in the past. Users of all skill levels are more concerned, and rightfully so, that their online presence is protected. You, as a site owning citizen of the internet, have more tools than ever to secure your domain/sites. This will help give peace of mind and confidence to you, and the people and customers using your site.

Our shared hosting servers have a service called Lets Encrypt, which will allow you to secure your site and email. It is easy to install and free! There's no reason not to use it!

Start by logging into your Plesk control panel. Locate, and click on the Lets Encrypt menu item:

Ideally you should have an administrative email for the domain e.g. admin@yourdomain.com which can be used for purposes like this. If you dont, use any email you see fit. You will get notifications about renewing your SSL certificate, etc, sent to this email. Select the first two options, and leave the third deselected. The first option will secure your site, and the "www" CNAME record. This means that both yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com (which generally will load the same page) will be secured. The second option will secure your email service. This will aid in email delivery i.e. not going to SPAM, or being rejected by receiving servers.

The last step is to go back to the Plesk control panel and go to "Hosting Settings".  In there you will need to select "Permanent SEO-safe 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS". Ensure that the lets encrypt certificate for your domain is selected from the drop down. The preferred domain should be either yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com, but the bottom option "none" is a safe bet if you are unsure.

You will need to clear your browser cache, or try opening your site in an incognito window to test that the site is now redirecting to HTTPS and is secure. It can take up to a minute for the service to restart on the server, so be patient. Now that your email is secured, follow these steps to reconfigure your email client. If you cannot get the SSL certificate to work, and your site is broken, just revert by deselecting "Permanent SEO-safe 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS" in "Hosting Settings", and give us a call!

 

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