How to setup SSL with Hostgator

Although its old news, you may have recently heard that secure SSL certificates will actually receive some benefits in their rankings according to google.

Setting up SSL can be difficult if you are not very technical and haven’t really done it before. So I thought I would give you a quick crash course in how to set it up.

This guide is a step by step guide on setting it up. You are probably wondering why i have created an article about hostgator yet I have negatively publicised them in a previous post – this is purely for the benefit of my readers as I know many of you are with hostgator.

Step 1 – Generate a CSR

You don’t need to know too much about what this is exactly – the most important thing you need to know is how to generate it. Click on this link to generate it (don’t close this tab – keep it open!).

Fill in the details appropriately as illustrated below. Once you have completed your details click ‘GENERATE CSR’

hostgator generate csr page
Step 2 – Buy an SSL certificate

There are lots of places selling them and you can either get them really cheap or be totally ripped off for exactly the same certificate! Hostgator charges $50 for their one so it’s probably not a good idea to use their one. The one I most often use is RapidSSL. It costs around $11.99 and it does the job well. You should always make sure your SSL certificate has at least 2048 bit encryption. Don’t bother with anything less. Go ahead and buy this now by clicking here.

Add the SSL certificate to your cart and check out. I don’t think there is any point in showing you that part.

Once you have done that and your payment is approved you will be able to manage your ssl certificates. You can click on manage SSL certificates in your dashboard menu at name cheap:

manage ssl at namecheap
Once you have done that you will see your ssl certificate come up in the menu. At this point you need to click ACTIVATE

activate ssl certificate


You will then be presented with the following screen. Just go ahead and choose cPanel as the web server. You will notice below there is a notepad field for your CSR. As you generated this earlier from hostgator you should go and copy and paste the code in here.

Once you have done that go ahead and click next:

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 2.36.46 pm


After clicking next you will see a screen that asks you to select one of your email addresses from the screen. It’s best to select the one that looks like [email protected] If you don’t have this set up then you should log into your cPanel and create an email forwarder. You will need this so you can continue. It’s easy enough.

Once you have selected an email address from the list (preferably [email protected]) go ahead and click next.

You may see a silly error like this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 2.41.48 pm


Just click on ‘i confirm this message does not apply to me’.

You will then be asked to fill in some address details, etc, etc. Just go ahead and do those and then finally ‘submit order’.

If you have done everything correctly you should see something that looks like this on your screen:

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 2.44.42 pm


Step 3 – Check your email

You will receive an email from RapidSSL. You will be asked to click on a link. This basically proves to rapid ssl that you are the domain owner.

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 2.45.43 pm

Once you click on the authorisation link look at the bottom and click on ‘I approve’.

If everything has gone well you will receive one more email from RapidSSL with your SSL certificate. In fact the email will contain an SSL Certificate and a CA. You will need both of these for the next step:


Step 4 – Provide all the details to Hostgator

Go ahead and open this up in a new tab.

The information to fill out is fairly self explanatory.

Just remember the following:

Paste the following from the email RapidSSL sent you:


Paste the SSL certificate in the SSL certificate field on the hostgator form
Paste the Intemediate CA in the SSL CA Certificate (Trusted Authority / “CA Bundle”) field on the hostgator form

Paste the following from the CSR generation your did earlier with Hostgator:

Paste the 2048 Bit RSA Key in the RSA PRIVATE KEY field on the hostgator form.

That’s it.

It’s not a perfect article. But it’s as detailed as I can get it to help you save a bit of money.

Hope it helps.