Testing a site in a secure mode (https://) is sometimes necessary before purchasing an SSL certificate. For these times, a self-signed SSL certificate can be used. A self-signed certificate is signed (or verified) by yourself instead of a Certificate Authority (CAs), such as GeoTrust. Web browsers will recognize official third party CAs which is how the HTTPS is utilized. If the CA is unrecognized as in the case of a self-signed SSL cert., an error message will warn the visitor not to enter sensitive data. You will still be able to test the secure site, but will receive this error message.
(PLEASE NOTE: To use any SSL certificate (self-signed or otherwise), a static IP address must first be obtained and allocated to your account. If you don’t already have one, please start a support ticket and request one. The current fee for a static IP address is $5.00USD per month.)
Generate a New Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
- In your cPanel main page, locate the “SSL/TLS Manager” icon in the Security area. Find and click the link “Generate, view, or delete SSL certificate signing requests”.
- Select the key size from the menu. We recommend that you choose
- In the Domains text box, enter the domain name of the website that the certificate will secure.
- In the City text box, enter the complete name of the city in which your servers are located.
- In the State text box, enter the complete name of the state in which your servers are located.
- In the Country text box, select the country of origin for the certificate.
- In the Company Name text box, enter the complete name of your business. (Please note – not all special characters are acceptable. If you receive an error, simply remove any extraneous special characters and/or punctuation.)
- In the Company Division section, enter the name of the department or group within the company. This is optional.
- In the Email text box, enter a secure email address where you can be contacted to verify domain ownership.
Install a New Self-Signed SSL Certificate
- In the SSL/TLS Manager, find and click the link “Install and Manage SSL For Your Site (HTTPS)”.
- Under “Install an SSL Website”, use the drop-down menu to select the domain you are installing this for.
- Enter the SSL certificate information in the appropriate text box.
- To have the system populate the certificate information for you, click Autofill by Certificate. Otherwise, you may manually copy/paste the private key into the appropriate text box.
- Click Install.
Note: Self-signed certificates are generally reserved for intranet uses. To use a certificate on the Internet, you should use a third-party service.