Step-by-Step Guide: Generating a Free SSL Certificate

This guide outlines the steps to generate a free SSL certificate (HTTPS) for your website. It includes choosing a certificate authority, verifying domain ownership.

To generate a free SSL certificate (HTTPS), you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose a certificate authority (CA) that offers free SSL certificates. Some popular options include Let's Encrypt, SSL For Free, and ZeroSSL.

  2. Create an account with the chosen CA and verify your domain ownership by completing the required steps, such as adding a DNS record or uploading a verification file to your website.

  3. Generate a certificate signing request (CSR) for your domain. This can typically be done through your hosting provider or with the use of a tool like OpenSSL.

  4. Submit the CSR to the CA and follow the prompts to generate your SSL certificate.

  5. Download your SSL certificate and install it on your website. The installation process will vary depending on your hosting provider and website platform, so be sure to follow their specific instructions.

Once your SSL certificate is installed, your website will be encrypted with HTTPS and will display a padlock icon in the address bar of web browsers. This will provide a secure and trusted connection for your visitors.

To enable SSL on Apache2, you can follow these steps:

Configure Apache to use the SSL certificate: Use the following command to create a new Apache configuration file for SSL:

 sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf

Add the following lines to the file, replacing the server name and SSL certificate paths with your own:

 <IfModule mod_ssl.c>
        <VirtualHost _default_:443>
                ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
                DocumentRoot /var/www/html

                ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
                CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

                SSLEngine on
                SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/apache-selfsigned.crt
                SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/apache-selfsigned.key

                <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
                <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

Enable the default SSL virtual host: Use the following command to enable the default SSL virtual host:

 sudo a2ensite default-ssl.conf

Restart Apache: Use the following command to restart Apache:

 sudo systemctl restart apache2

Once you have completed these steps, SSL will be enabled on your Apache2 server and your website will be accessible via HTTPS.