An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer certificate, is a digital certificate that encrypts the connection between your website and your visitors' browsers. This helps to protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal data, from being intercepted by hackers.

If you don't have an SSL certificate, your website will be flagged as insecure by web browsers and search engines. This could lead to a loss of visitors and sales. In some cases, it could even make your website unavailable to visitors altogether. The good news is that it's easy to install an SSL certificate on your website. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Choose an SSL certificate provider

There are many different SSL certificate providers to choose from.

Some popular options include:

Consider the following factors when choosing an SSL certificate
  • Price
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Ease of use

Once you've chosen a provider, you'll need to create an account and purchase an SSL certificate.

Types of SSL Certificates

SSL Certificate Work

Not all SSL certificates are created equal. For some visitors, the presence of an SSL certificate alone might be enough to establish trust. But savvy users recognize the additional level of authenticity and trust conveyed by certificates with a more rigorous validation process, such as Extended Validation (EV) and Organization Validation (OV) certificates. Let's explore the three main types of SSL certificates and the information they provide to visitors:

Domain Validated (DV) Certificates: These are the most basic SSL certificates. A DV certificate simply verifies that the domain name you're using matches the entity requesting the certificate. While a DV certificate will trigger the padlock icon in most browsers, it won't display any specific information about your business in the address bar.

Organization Validation (OV) Certificates: OV certificates take things a step further. In addition to domain ownership verification, an OV certificate requires the certificate authority to confirm the legitimacy of the organization requesting the certificate. This typically involves verifying business registration details. When a visitor with an up-to-date browser clicks on the secure lock icon in the address bar for a website with an OV certificate, they'll see the validated business name displayed.

Extended Validation (EV) Certificates EV certificates offer the highest level of validation. The certificate authority performs a thorough vetting process, including verifying the organization's legal existence, operational address, and business practices. In the past, EV certificates displayed a prominent green address bar with the company name. However, recent browser updates have made this visual cue less common. Despite this change, EV certificates remain the most trusted form of SSL certificate due to their stringent validation process.

Commercial vs. Free SSL Certificates

Free SSL certificates

These are being spearheaded by the Let’s Encrypt initiative – an open collaboration between a number of global organizations focused on making SSL certificates accessible to all website owners.

SSL in the Cloud

You can also get the benefits of SSL certificates through cloud providers, such as content delivery networks (CDNs) and website application firewalls (WAFs) solutions like the one from Sucuri, who offer it at no additional charge.

These services are a proxy between the visitor and your website. By changing your domain records to point to their servers, they can cache your content to make your website faster and filter out malicious traffic. This also means that the browser recognizes which server IPs are connected to your domain, allowing for the use of DV certificates.

These providers can also work with your own SSL certificate. If you are a Sucuri customer, you can contact our technical support team for information and assistance.

Generate a Free Certificate

The following guide works best if you have a dedicated IP for your site (through a VPS or dedicated server). If you’re on a shared platform, talk to your host about deploying Let’s Encrypt; a number of hosts have automated the process of deploying a free SSL for shared hosting accounts. It is possible to use server name indication (SNI) with one server IP address and generate certificates for all sites on the server.

The rest of this tutorial will guide you through installing Free SSL Certificate in DirectAdmin via Let’s Encrypt.

Step 1: Point the domain to be installed and configure SSL to the system's IP using DirectAdmin control (including www record).

Please note: This step is very important and will determine the success of the process of installing and configuring free SSL for the domain.


Step 2: In the user interface (User Level) on the DirectAdmin control, select SSL Certificates

How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin


Step 3: Fill in the information as shown below and select Save

Common Name: Enter the domain that needs to install and configure SSL

E-Mail: Enter email address to manage SSL

Key Size (bits): Choose 2048 or 4096

Certificate Type: Select SHA256

How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin

After clicking Save, a message as shown below will appear, meaning that the process of installing and configuring SSL for the domain has been successful.


How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin


Step 5: Click here

How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin

Step 6: In the private_html setup for domain section. com - (SSL must be enabled above) select: Use a symbolic link from private_html to public_html - allows for same data in http and https then select Save.

How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin

Step 7: Check SSL for domain

How to Install an SSL Certificate in Direct Admin


Generate a Paid Certificate

You’ll need to login to your DirectAdmin user through the DirectAdmin Panel – or if you’re the Administrator, you can drop in through the admin user.

Once at the user level, go to “Account Manager” and click “SSL Certificates”:




Once inside the SSL Certificate area, you’ll see many different choices:

  • Let’s Encrypt
  • Paste pre-generated
  • Certificate Request
  • Self Signed

You’ll want to ensure that you have the “Paste pre-generated’ box checked as outlined in the following screenshot:



You’ll see two boxes in this window, the “Key” box and the “Certificate” Box.

The “key” box is for the Private RSA Key

The “certificate” box is for the actual certificate or .crt file

Please see this example:


Once your certificate is entered, click “Save” for it to take effect.




Setting DirectAdmin CA Root Certificate

To set the CA Root Certificate, you’ll want to click “CA Root Certificate” within the SSL Certificate area:




This will take you to the “CA Root Certificate” window to apply for the certificate.

You paste it and click “Save” – simple as that!


Your SSL certificate at this point should be installed properly.



Installing an SSL certificate is an important step in securing your website. By following the steps in this guide, you can easily install an SSL certificate and protect your website's visitors.

Published: 21 May 2024 04:47