Getting Started With Cloud Sites: Configuring SSL on Your Website(s)
Note: This article is written for our Cloud Sites Control Panel. You can get to it from the Cloud Control Panel by clicking your name in the upper-right corner and selecting Cloud Sites Control Panel.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an encryption technology that protects your visitors' private information while it's in transit via the Internet.
Think of it like this. You're asking your site's visitors to divulge personal and business information. They need to trust you. They have to know that their data is secure from eavesdropping, tampering and even phishing attacks. And the more they trust you, the more likely they are to complete forms, purchase items and share valuable information online. SSL certificates let them know that they can confidently share their data with you.
How does SSL work? Some applications that are configured to run SSL include web browsers like Internet Explorer and FireFox, email programs like Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail.app, and SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) programs, etc. These programs are automatically able to receive SSL connections.
Adding SSL to a website on Cloud Sites is a quick and simple process.
In this article we will discuss the following:
- What types of SSL certificates can be installed
- How to install a new SSL certificate
- How SSL certificates are updated
- SSL Tips and Tricks
What types of SSL Certificates can I use on Cloud Sites?
SSL certificates installed on Cloud Sites have certain requirements in order to be installed correctly.
The primary certificates supported are:
- Root Level certs
- Apache + OpenSSL
Cloud Sites allows installation of most chained certificates, including EV, multi-domain and wild card certificates.
NOTE: Cloud Sites no longer supports ANY self-signed certificates.
How do I install a SSL Certificate on my website?
NOTE: You can begin this process before you purchase your SSL certificate.
- Log into the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel
- Navigate to Hosting->Cloud Sites
- Click on the domain you want to add SSL to and then click on the Security tab
- Click on the Install SSL Certificate in the "Permissions for Viewing Your Website" section
- Agree to the SSL billing charges. If you have questions about the charges, please contact support.
- On the Install SSL Certificate page, click on the Start New Certificate button
- Complete for the form information and click on the Next Step button when finished.
This will generate your CSR (certificate signing request). With the CSR ready for use, you can proceed to purchasing a certificate!
Purchasing a Certificate
Next, you will need to purchase your SSL certificate. SSL certificates are available from a number of third party sources. Some recommended sellers are RapidSSL, Geotrust, and Verisign. Click here for a more complete list of supported certificates.
Follow the vendor's SSL certificate request process; in particular you may require the following details:
- Server type: Apache
- SSL type: OpenSSL or modSSL
- CSR: You generated this using the above steps
Once you have completed your certificate purchase, you're ready to install the certificate!
Installing the Certificate
- Log into your control panel at https://manage.rackspacecloud.com.
- Navigate to Hosting->Cloud Sites
- Click on the domain you generated the CSR for above, then click on the Security tab
- In the Permissions for Viewing Your Website section at the top, click on the Enter Certificate File button
- Copy and paste the certificate information into the Certificate field
- If you have any SSL intermediate certificates, copy and paste them into the Intermediate Certificate field
- Click on Next Step
NOTE: Some vendors will provide your certificate in text format in an email or on their website, which makes copy and pasting the certificate easy.
NOTE: Some vendors may provide your certificate as a .crt file. You can open this file in your favorite plain text editor--such as notepad--and retrieve the text for the certificate there.
- Confirm the certificate details are correct and click on the Finish button when done
NOTE: If you have any problems during the installation, please contact Support for assistance.
DNS for your site will be automatically updated if we are managing your DNS. It can take up to 2 hours for the new IP addresses for your site to complete propagation. If you are managing your own DNS, click on the Domain tab to get your new IP addresses.
What To Watch For
Currently The Rackspace Cloud does not support wildcard certificates--such as *.domain.com or *.example.com. These may or may not complete installation in the control panel and may or may not function as necessary. This feature is currently under consideration.
Removing an SSL certificate from a site will change the site's IP address the same way adding a new certificate will. DNS will need to be updated in that case as well.
SSL Tips and Tricksup
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