Knowledge Base

How to install a RapidSSL or Symantec SSL certificate

This article describes how to obtain and install a RapidSSL or Symantec Secure Site SSL certificate directly from A2 Hosting.

Most A2 Hosting servers support Server Name Indication (SNI), which means SSL certificates do not require a dedicated IP address to work correctly. However, to ensure complete compatibility, you should consider purchasing a dedicated IP address. For more information about SNI support at A2 Hosting, please see this article.

Installing a RapidSSL or Symantec SSL certificate

To install a RapidSSL or Symantec Secure Site SSL certificate, you first generate a private key and Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using cPanel. After you submit the CSR to the signing authority, you receive an SSL certificate by e-mail that you can install using cPanel.

Generate a private key and CSR

To generate a private key and CSR, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to cPanel.
    If you do not know how to log in to your cPanel account, please see this article.
  2. In the Security section of the cPanel home screen, click SSL/TLS Manager.
  3. Under Private Keys (KEY), click Generate, view, upload, or delete your private keys. The Private Keys page appears.
  4. Under Generate a New Private Key, confirm that the Key Size is set to 2,048 bits.
  5. In the Description text box, type a descriptive name for the key, such as RapidSSL cert key.
  6. Click Generate. cPanel generates and displays the private key. You are now ready to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
  7. Click Return to SSL Manager.
  8. Under Certificate Signing Requests (CSR), click Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests. The SSL Certificate Signing Request page appears.
  9. Under Generate a New Certificate Signing Request (CSR), in the Key list box, select the description for the private key you generated in step 6.
  10. In the Domains text box, type the domain that you want to secure with the certificate.
    Make sure that you specify the correct domain name that you want to secure. A2 Hosting recommends that you use the www.example.com domain form, because then the certificate works with both https://www.example.com and https://example.com. (Do not add https:// to the domain name in the Domains text box.)
  11. Complete the remaining fields for the CSR.
  12. To create the CSR, click Generate. cPanel generates and displays the CSR.
  13. Copy the CSR text located between the BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST and END CERTIFICATE REQUEST headers, and then save it locally on your computer. You will need this information later during the SSL configuration process.
Submit the CSR

After you generate a private key and CSR, you must submit the CSR to the signing authority to obtain the SSL certificate. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. When you order an SSL certificate from A2 Hosting, you receive an e-mail message with the subject line SSL Certificate Configuration Required. Click the link inside the message to open it in your web browser.
  2. From the SSL certificate configuration page, choose the web server type in the Web Server Type list box. For cPanel accounts, select Apache + ModSSL.
  3. In the CSR text box, paste the CSR text you generated in the previous procedure.
    Make sure you do not accidentally paste the private key text instead of the CSR text!
  4. Fill in the administrative contact information, and then click Click to Continue.
  5. Select the e-mail address where you want to receive the approval message and SSL certificate, and then click Finish.
    If the domain you are associating with this SSL certificate has WHOIS Protection (also called ID Protection or Privacy Protection) enabled, the default e-mail address may not be appropriate. You must use a valid e-mail address that is functioning and accessible. If none of the listed e-mail addresses have an associated account on your domain, you must create one. For information about how to create an e-mail account, please see this article.
  6. To confirm the request, click the link in the approval message. After you confirm the request, the signing authority sends the SSL certificate by e-mail to the address that you specified.
Install the certificate and activate SSL

At this point, you should have a private key installed. You should also have submitted the CSR and received a certificate by e-mail. If so, you are ready to install the certificate and activate SSL for your web site. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. From the SSL/TLS Manager page, under Certificates (CRT), click Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates. The Certificates page appears.
  2. Under Upload a New Certificate, in the Paste your certificate below text box, paste the certificate text from the e-mail into the text box.
  3. In the Description text box, type a descriptive name for the certificate, such as RapidSSL cert for example.com.
  4. Click Save Certificate.
  5. Click Go Back, and then click Return to SSL Manager.
  6. Under Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS), click Manage SSL sites.
  7. Under Install an SSL Website, click Browse Certificates, select the certificate you want to use, and then click Use Certificate. cPanel fills in the Certificate (CRT), Private Key (KEY), and Certificate Authority Bundle (CABUNDLE) fields automatically.
  8. In the Domain list box, select the domain you want to secure with the certificate.
  9. Click Install Certificate. cPanel installs the certificate on the server and enables SSL. When the process is complete, you receive an SSL Host Successfully Installed message.
  10. Click OK. You can now securely access the specified domain by using the https:// prefix in a web browser. If you need further assistance, please open a support ticket with our Guru Crew on the Customer Portal at https://my.a2hosting.com.