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I’ve been having a really hard time trying to install a simple SSL certificate on my DigitalOcean virtual server running Ubuntu 18 & Apache2. The certificate was purchased for $10 through 101domain.com and I think most of the frustration is coming from the fact that they issued me a .pem file instead of the .crt and .key files like which are used in essentially all of the tutorials on the subject (I’m sure that the .pem file would work, I just can’t figure out how to do it exactly). This has all been quite the headache here over the past two days. However, I think I may have found a solution!
It seems that there’s actually an organization called Let’s Encrypt that issues free SSL certificates. And the Electronic Frontier Foundation has apparently released a simple tool called Certbot that then automates the installation of these free SSL certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt. Pretty awesome right? So, I think I’m just going to forget about my $10 SSL certificate from 101domain.com, and just try setting everything up using Let’s Encrypt & Certbot instead.
NOTE: Remember to remove your CNAME record from your DNS records for your old 101domain.com SSL certificate, so you can re-do everything using the free SSL cert from Let’s Encrypt.
TUTORIAL: How To Secure Apache with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 18.04
UPDATE: While I spent hours trying to figure out how to do this manually, I was able to fix everything and get up and running with HTTPS & SSL in 5 minutes using Certbot! If you happen to stumble upon this post, please reference the above tutorial on securing Apache with Let’s Encrypt. Also, if you happen to be using certbot to add HTTPS & SSL to your WordPress site, and you end up losing all of your styling (CSS), log in to your wp-admin page, then go to settings, and change your site’s domain name from http://yourdomain.com to https://yourdomain.com. Hope this post ends up helping some other poor soul desperately fumbling around with .pem files and Apache2 configuration… God bless Certbot and long live the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Let’s Encrypt!