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I need to add SSL to my domain which is on a shared web host with a shared IP address. Every tutorial online says that I need to use WHM, but I only have access to cPanel. What can I do?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 26 '11 at 9:24

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1 Answer 1

Short Answer:

No, you cannot add an SSL certificate in your scenario. You need root/WHM access to your web server, among other variables.

Stop reading now.


Impractical Answer:

It's technically possible to issue a single-site SSL certificate to a website running on a shared IP address. However, only one specific website can use a single-site certificate per IP address; none of the others. So going to https://yoursite.com will bring back your content, but so will https://anothersite.com as well as https://yetanothersite.com. Furthermore, the liklihood of a shared host allowing this is very slim.

In addition, using cPanel, you will not be able to perform this fully from within the GUI. You will also have to have root access to the machine, shuffle around your SSL certificate file as well as modify httpd.conf. Once again, it's highly unlikely that a shared web host would do this for you. The fact that you do not have WHM access indicates that you do not have root access, so you're stuck unless your host will work with you.

The other option is to have a wildcard certificate for the entire server and then convince your shared host to install it. You have effectively paid for every other website on the server to have SSL as well. You're so generous! If you can afford that for your project, you might as well get a dedicated IP or five on a physical server. That brings me to the solution:

Two Solutions

Buy a dedicate IP address for your account, which can still be had on a multi-tenant server. Then get your SSL certificate and ask for the host to install it for you if you need. Single dedicated IP addresses are often just a few dollars/pounds and you will likely not need to move to a new server.

The other option is to simply get an inexpensive VPS and do it all yourself. It's not terribly hard. A strong coffee, some quality Google time and you'll get it done in one morning.

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