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SSL: Digital Certificates

bullet Introduction
SSL is usually used in conjunction with a Digital Certificate, which is a means for ensuring that you really are who you claim to be. Digital Certificates are generated for a specific domain name, and are signed by a Signing Authority By having a signed digital certificate, your customers can be confident that you are a genuine, reliable business.

There are a number of different kinds of certificates available, designed to meet the different needs of various businesses on the internet. When you order SSL for your Virtual Private Server, you are set up with our default * digital certificate. You can also obtain your own custom certificate for your own domain name.


bullet The Default Digital Certificate
When you order SSL for your Virtual Private Server, you are set up with our * certificate, along with a CNAME. This allows you to provide secure access to your Virtual Private Server using the the domain name without creating any errors or warnings.

The * certificate is a wildcard certificate, issued by GeoTrust. A wildcard certificate is required in order to use CNAME domains with your certificate without generating a Domain Mismatch Warning in a browser.

When SSL is configured on your Virtual Private Server, a default CNAME is automatically generated for you based on your Virtual Private Server account name. In order to access your Virtual Private Server using SSL and your CNAME, you would type the following into the location bar of your favorite browser.

Your account is set up with a single CNAME. Depending on availability, you may be able to change or add additional CNAMEs to the domain. Contact our Support Department if you want to add additional CNAMEs for your Virtual Private Server.

When using SSL and a certificate to access your Virtual Private Server, it is important to always use the HTTPS protocol and the exact domain name on your Digital Certificate.


bullet Custom Digital Certificates
The Default Certificate is a generic way to provide secure access to your Virtual Private Server. If you want to use your own domain name to provide secure access to your server, however, you need to get a custom digital certificate. This not only provides secure access to your Virtual Server, but provides an additional level of customer confidence by using your own domain name in the secure area of your site.

NOTE: Only one digital certificate can be used on a Virtual Private Server. This means that a custom digital certificate will disable your ability to use the certificate. This also means that any other domain on the Virtual Private Server will not be able to have a digital certificate.

The following instructions will guide you through the process of obtaining and installing a custom.

  1. Create A Signing Request and Private Key
  2. Obtain the Signed Certificate from a Signing Authority
  3. Install the Signed Certificate on your Virtual Private Server
  4. Move or copy your Certificate to another Server
  5. Renewing your Digital Certificate
  6. Troubleshooting Digital Certificate Problems

As always, should you encounter problems or require assistance obtaining or installing your Custom Digital Certificate, feel free to Contact our Support Staff.


bullet Signing Authorities
A Signing Authority is a company, such as GeoTrust or Verisign. These companies take responsibility for ensuring that organizations who apply for a signed Digital Certificate are valid businesses or not-for-profit organizations. By having a signed certificate, customers who go to your web site can feel safe providing you with personal or financial information (such as credit card numbers), because you have been certified by one of the Signing Authorities as being a valid business or not-for-profit organization.

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