(cPanel) Obtain Certificate with Let’s Encrypt

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018 at 02:24 am

This tutorial is made by a request on Let’s Encrypt Community Support Forum

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment area or open a post in Let’s Encrypt Community and @stevenzhu. I’ll be happy to help

Here are the steps to obtain a Let’s Encrypt Certificate from web based services with cPanel hosting.

Warning: Before looking through this tutorial, check if you have those steps done:

  1. you have a control panel with options “SSL/TLS” or allow you to install the certificate by yourself.
  2. Your domain is correctly set up
  3. You have a file manager that could create folders and upload files.

Video Tutorials:

  • Obtain certificate without CSR on zerossl.com (w/ cPanel)
  • Obtain certificate with CSR on zerossl.com (w/ cPanel)

Step By Step Instructions:

  1. Login to cPanel (from your hosting provider)
cPanel login page (should be similiar)

(Enter your Username  & Password)

2. Main Stage

The cPanel interface

3. Open file manager on another page (open in new tab)

open file manager in a new tab

4. Scroll down, find SSL/TLS (open in new tab)

Openl in a new page

(If your Host doesn’t have this or a similar icon/name, contact your host immediately)

Preparation complete.

  1. Go to https://zerossl.com
Zerossl Main interface

   2. Click on Certificate and tools

   3. Then Click on Start (right below FREE SSL Certificate Wizard)

   4. The screen will change to something similar to below screenshot:

Enter your email address in the field saying “email”, enter your domains/hostnames on the field saying “domains”

For cPanel users, it’s better to use http-01 validation since file manager is available

Click on Next, there may be a prompt asking if you are going to include www version. (Make your choice)

It’s going to generate a CSR (download it), then click on next

Now it’s generating an Account key (Download it & save it, you could reuse this), click on next when you are done

It’s now moved to Step 2, verification.

6. You need to complete 2 steps, first, click on the download icon (arrow 2). It’s going to download a file (verification file)

7. Now there’s a file downloaded to your folder. Find that file, go to the cPanel file manager you opened in another tab.


8. Go to (public_html) if you haven’t done so, then check if there’s a folder named “.well-known”. If not, click on +folder (yellow arrow pointed)

On the field pointed, enter “.well-known”, then click on “Create New Folder” (Button)

Then you’ll see a new folder created on the manager.

(If you do now see the folder after creating it, you’ll need to enable “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)”, check on this post)

Click (double-click) on that folder, (enter it) you’ll create a folder called “acme-challenge”

(If you have that folder, skip this step)

Double click on acme-challenge, then upload the verification file you downloaded from zerossl.com. (Make sure to remove the extension before proceed)

Then, go back to zerossl webpage (the other tab)(YOU CAN CLOSE THE FILE MANAGER TAB)

Click on the link ( in NEW TAB) to verify the file is on your server.

If the link looks like the above screenshot,  go back to zerossl (The previous tab) and click on next.

If you followed the steps, you’ll see a screen like below screenshot

Scroll down, you’ll see two fields (one with certificate & other one with private key), download both

Next, go to SSL/TLS manager you opened few minutes ago, click on ” Manage SSL Sites”

Then, choose your domain name (arrow with 1), Paste your certificate to the first field (arrow 2), paste your key to the second field (arrow 3)

Warning: When you paste certificate to first field, remove the second certificate (there are two certificates), or it might cause an error

Then click on “Install Certificate”

Click on OK on the pop-up window

You are done! Check your site in https mode and it should have a valid certificate.

If you have any questions, reply to this post or visit community.letsencrypt.org

If you want a expert to request and install a certificate for you, click here

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