SSL getting started

SSL (secure socket layers) simply encrypts information as it is transferred across the internet.


You typically purchase an SSL certificate for 1 year. You cannot refund an SSL purchase. If you do not want to renew your SSL certificate, simply allow it to expire.

When it is time to renew SSL, you must purchase (includes a reissue) and reinstall a new certificate. If you buy SSL from HostGator, then you will not need to worry about reinstalling becuase we do that for free. If you buy SSL from another company, then we must reinstall the updated information each time for a $10 fee.

If you already have SSL and change to a new server/host, then you may continue using your existing SSL. This does require your host to reinstall the SSL to the new server.

Your SSL provider may allow you to purchase a certificate for more than 1 year. This will reduce the number of times you must reinstall the SSL.

If you want to make changes to your SSL before it expires, then you must request the certificate to be reissued. A reissue allows you to update the domain name or whois information listed on the certificate, and then requires a reinstall. If you bought your SSL from HostGator, then the reissue is $25 for Instant SSL (the $150 per year certificate) or free for Posiitve SSL (the $50 per year certificate) and the reinstall is free. If you bought your SSL from another company, then they handle the reissue and HostGator must reinstall the SSL for $10.

Do I need a CSR?
If you are renewing your certificate or if your certificate is expired, then you will need a new CSR.

When the SSL certificate is issued, you'll receive the final CERTIFICATE, the RSA KEY, and possibly a CA BUNDLE. These will be 3 different groups of alphanumeric data sent from the certificate provider.

Let HostGator take care of all of this for you: Sign Up for SSL

Pre SSL checklist

  1. Make sure your Whois information is current and valid.
  2. If you have Domain/Whois Privacy, then you must either prepare a screenshot of the actual Whois information (from your backend) or you must remove the privacy setting, temporarily (not recommended, as your registrar may attempt to charge you to reactivate this).
  3. Fill out the correct form:
  4. Order your SSL a few days before you actually go live, just in case there are unforeseen problems.
  5. If we need the Whois screenshot, we will inform you via email.

Types of SSL

Shared SSL will use a HostGator domain and will cause certificate warning messages to pop up on your site.

Private SSL (256 bit) will use your domain name and will not cause any warning messages. Private SSL is preferred for protecting credit card information.

Wild Card SSL can be used on Dedicated only.

More Basics:

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