Provisioning an SSL for a domain using Webroot Domain Verification

4 min read

This article will explain how to add an SSL Certificate from the free Let’s Encrypt Certificate Provider with GridPane using webroot domain verification. This will allow your site to be served by the encrypted HTTPS protocol, and your visitors will also benefit from the speed increased enabled by HTTP2 which only works via HTTPS. 

Webroot domain verification is the simplest method, but it requires that your GridPane site domain has DNS records pointed to the GridPane managed server IP.

GridPane does not enable/disable SSL for the site, but rather it manages SSL on a per domain basis for each domain attached to a site. This means SSL management is done through the domains tab.

domains_ssl_toggles.png

In this Knowldege Base article we will use a site’s primary domain to demonstrate, however the same functionality and process is true for any added Alias and Redirect domains.

Note: Within this article we’re going to use  an-example.site  to illustrate things. When following along with this knowledge base article please make sure you substitute this string for your real domain name.

Step 0. Ensure DNS records resolve to the server

We recommend having records for both the root domain and for the www host domain, for example:

an-example.site
www.an-example.site

For the  root  domain, you will need an  A  record set to the IP of the server.
For the  www   host domain  you can either use an  A  record or a  CNAME  record

For the webroot method GridPane currently checks for domain resolution directly to the server, this is both to avoid hitting any LE limits and to verify which domains resolve for grabbing the correct cert. GridPane will grab certs for whatever domains are possible, so if you forget your www record then the system will provision an SSL certificate without it.

You can check your domains dns resolution using any one of many online websites, or one of several command line tools.

Step 1. Go to the Sites Section of the GridPane Control Panel

Click on the sites link in the GridPane main menu to go to the Sites management page.

sites.png

Step 2. Open the Site Customization Panel for your Active site

In the Active Sites panel, click on the domain in the URL column to open the Site Customization pop up box for the site you wish to update.

click_site.png

Step 3. Enable Lets Encrypt SSL for your domain

Open the Domains tab in the site customizer:

domains_tab.png

Locate the SSL toggle for the domain that you wish to provision an SSL for:

ssl_off.png

Toggle it on:

ssl_on.png

GridPane will begin provisioning SSL for your site’s domain. You will see Notifications pop up in the top right corner of your browser as the SSL attempts progress.

webroot_notify.png

Enabling an SSL can take some time.

You can keep track of the notifications as they inform you about the progress of the SSL attempt. Alternatively, you can check the SSL provision log, available from the logs tab of the site customizer. The SSL provision attempt outputs every step of the process to the log.

ssl_log.png

ssl_log_output.png

SSL Support


SSL Certificates Failures
For assistance with SSL certificate related issues, please ensure you attach the info from your SSL provisioning logs when contacting support so that we can quickly assess what's going on and assist you as fast and efficiently as possible.
How to Create a Support Ticket

DNS Checks / Console Output / Screenshots
Please provide as much relevant information as possible - check if your DNS is live, check console output on your site (right click > inspect element > console), and attach any relevant screenshots of errors.

Too Many Redirects Error
If you're using Cloudflare with GridPane, please ensure you have the correct SSL settings to prevent redirect errors:
How to use Cloudflare SSL with GridPane

SSL Locks and Rate Limiting
If multiple SSL attempts fail, GridPane will place an SSL lock to prevent you from getting rate limited by Let's Encrypt. It's important to assess why your SSL's are failing and correct the issue. Learn more about rate-limiting and how to remove locks here:
GridPane SSL Locks and Let’s Encrypt Rate Limiting

SSL Troubleshooting Guide
This article will help new users prevent common SSL issues, and learn how to diagnose the more complex ones.
Diagnosing and Fixing SSL Certificate Issues

Mixed Content / No Padlock
If you've provisioned an SSL but don't see a padlock, please check for images and/or other content being served over HTTP instead of HTTPS. It's likely you need to update your database to serve links over HTTPS:
Why Am I Not Seeing a Padlock on my Site?