How do I set up SSL for my website? (Plesk 5)

These instructions are valid for installing a SSL certificate on a Plesk 5 website. Our MDH and Upipe hosting accounts use the Plesk 5 control panel.

1. You will first need have a unique IP address for each site that will use SSL. If you need more websites than your account currently allows, you will need to upgrade the number of domains on your account as well.

2. Once your IPs have been added to your account, you will need to create your domain in your Plesk Control panel. When configuring hosting for this domain choose the Virtual Host Type "IP-Based". Choose one of your dedicated IP addresses that is not being used for any other site from the drop-down menu. Complete the rest of the hosting options, making sure to check "SSL Support". Click on the Update button.

3. Click on the Certificate button. Fill out the information regarding this domain. At this point you have two options:

a) Generate a Self-Signed Certificate
Choose this option if you want to send data securely and do not care if there is a warning message that "the security certificate was issued by a company you have not chosen to trust". This will create a certificate immediately and your site will be SSL ready.

b) Generate a Certificate request.
This option will generate a certificate request that you will later give to a Certificate Signing Authority. The security authority will be "trusted" by most browsers and will not give the warning message that option a) would give.

Clicking on this option will send an email to the email address that will contain the certificate request.

4. Purchase a certificate from a Certificate Signing Authority. You can purchase a SSL certificate from Advantagecom Networks, Inc. at a competitive price. Send an email to sales@advantagecom.net for more information on purchasing a SSL certificate.

5. When you receive your certificate, paste the certificate information into the "Enter certificate text" text box.

Note: unless you purchase a wildcard certificate, the certificate will only match one hostname. Any other site sharing that IP address will not match, which will cause browsers to display a warning message when someone visits that site. A wildcard certificate is in the form of *.domainname1.com. This allows all hostnames associated with that name to use the certificate without a warning message. This would allow domainname1.com, www.domainname1.com, ftp.domainname1.com, etc. to all share the same certificate. This would not allow dominname2.com to share the certificate without a warning. Wildcard certificates are also fairly expensive compared to a standard certificate.

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