Creating SSL Certificates

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Creating SSL Certificates

Last updated September 13th, 2010

SSL certificates encrypt data as it is transferred between your visitors browser and your website. This level of security is expected for online payment forms. In fact it is best practice to use encryption for all forms that collect private data or handle the sign up or login processes on a website.

Our terms and conditions for SSl certificates and also Wildcards are available here: SSL Certificate Terms and Pricing

Setting up a SSL certificate on your website involves a number of steps:

  1. Generating a CSR using the Control Panel
  2. Purchasing your SSL Certificate from an approved supplier
  3. Installing your Certificate in the Control Panel

These steps are outlined below.

Note: If you have already purchased a SSL Certificate and just want to install it in the Control Panel then please see the article Importing an Existing SSL Certificate.

Generating a CSR

A CSR is your Certificate Signing Request that must be generated before you can order your certificate. A CSR is effectively a body of text that is sent to the certificate supplier as part of the certificate purchase. Your CSR will contain encoded information specific to your company and domain name.

To generate your CSR follow these steps:

  1. Click "All SSL Certificates".

  2. Click "Generate CSR".

  3. Fill out the required details. See Figure 1. Please note:

    • State and Locality are full names, i.e. 'Auckland', 'Hawkes Bay'.
    • The Organization Name is your Full Legal Company or Personal Name, as legally registered in your locality.
    • The Organizational Unit is whichever branch of your company is ordering the certificate such as accounting, marketing, etc.
    • The Common Name is the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for which you are requesting the SSL Certificate. So if you intend to secure the URL https://www.example.co.nz, then your CSR's common name must be "www.example.co.nz" - not "example.co.nz", or "shop.example.co.nz". Even though these are using the same base domain they are considered different Common Name's.
    • If you are generating a CSR for a Wildcard Certificate your Common Name must start with *. (for example: *.example.co.nz).
  4. Click "Generate CSR". See Figure 1.

The CSR will then be displayed. You can now copy it and send it to a certificate authority to purchase an SSL certificate. The CSR has been stored so you can leave this screen and come back later. To return to the CSR at a later time, click "All SSL Certificates" then click on the certificate name.

Purchasing your SSL Certificate

Now that you have generated your CSR, you can proceed with the purchase of your SSL Certificate from an approved supplier. Here is a list of potential suppliers:

You should choose your supplier based on balancing price vs the level of trust each supplier engenders in your clients and other requirements you might have. You can research this topic yourself, or read more about this on www.whichssl.com.

As part of the purchase process you will need to give the supplier the CSR you generated in the SiteHost Control Panel.

Installing your SSL Certificate

At the end of the purchase process the supplier should provide you with one or more files. You should save these in a secure location. You will then need to:

  1. Open the CRT file

  2. Copy the contents of the CRT file into the CRT field. See Figure 2.

  3. If the supplier provided you with a Chain CRT file then open and copy the contents into the Chain CRT field. Otherwise ignore this step.

  4. Click "Update Certificate". See Figure 2.

Figure 1

Generate CSR

Figure 2

Generate CSR


Next: Importing Existing SSL Certificates →

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