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How to setup SSL using Letsencrypt and cPanel / WHM


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Since Letsencrypt was announced I was interested in converting my site to HTTPS / SSL and today I have managed to do so for my test site. Here are the steps to install SSL on your server / VPS having cPanel / WHM ;

  • For cPanel & WHM running version 58.0.17 or above, you need to install Letsencrypt provider using the following instructions.
  • Once you install the provider and see Letsencrypt on WHM/cPanel -> Manage AutoSSL -> Providers list, you need to Enable it for the specific user you want to switch to SSL choosing "Enable AutoSSL" option. Interestingly, it was as simple as this and at this point I was able to access the site using https.
  • Now site was accessable using https, I needed to enforce and redirect all the visitors / users to use https. I have tried a few .htaccess options told on other threads on this site but all of them ended with endless loops and errors. Finally I found out that only changing the URL in conf_global.php was enough as;
$INFO['board_url']			=	'https://www.yoursite.com';
  • Now the site had certificate, all traffics were redirected to https, I needed to get rid of the non-secure errors. That seemed to be cause there were links on pages referring to http adresses of the site.
    • I found out that background images on my theme was causing this. I re-uploaded them.
    • The creation links on top-right were not updated and all were directing to http. I have run ACP -> Support -> Something isn't working correctly option to clear cache
    • For the remote images, I have enabled  ACP -> System -> Posting -> Remote Images -> Serve images from local server? option
    • There were group icons ( Per Group Setting ) causing the error and I re-uploaded them

After all these the test site was error free.

Since I am not an expert on certificates or server administration, I may not be able answer questions related to other configurations. But for those having VPS and WHM/cPanel it seems pretty easy now ( as cPanel released this provider ) and hope this thread will be helpful.

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