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I have a single VM instance on compute engine and Apache2 installed, and multiple custom domains are resolving to their /domain1.com/html and domain2.com/html folders.

Before I create more custom domains and move over the websites, I'm trying to enable SSL so these sites are labeled secure with https://

Some of the websites will be Wordpress sites, others will be static with only a few pages.

In the past I had shared hosting and https:// was given free as standard. Now I'm not sure if I need to buy/install a certificate, and if so do I need to do it for each website on the instance?

I've come across articles which talk about load balancing as a solution but I'm lost. I thought LB was for managing situations of high traffic with multiple instances: https://cloud.google.com/load-balancing/docs/https/ https://geekflare.com/google-load-balancer-enable-ssl/

Can anyone point to beginner resources on the topic of hosting websites using https on compute engine?

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You can use a Load Balancer in front of your instance without a problem and Google now offers automatic SSL as explained at [1] that you can use.

If you are not using a GCE LB and instead your instances are serving traffic directly, you must configure the certificate on the server. I.e. for NGINX you can follow these instructions [2].

[1]https://cloud.google.com/load-balancing/docs/ssl-certificates#managed-certs [2]http://nginx.org/en/docs/http/configuring_https_servers.html

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