How to Install Free SSL Manually – LetsEncrypt Certbot Installation

What is a SSL and how does it help secure websites?

SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer. It is a technology that encrypts information sent from client (mobile app, browser) and the browser. You can usually tell if your connection is secure by the green padlock in the URL bar, or a branded bar.

SSL prevents hackers from stealing your information. Hackers can in certain situations scan the information coming to your computer. If it’s not encrypted, then they can read it in “plain text”. If you have SSL, then it can’t be read. It looks like gibberish to them.

An SSL connection is denoted by the use of “https://” as the protocol. e.g.

What is LetsEncrypt and certBot and how is it used?

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open Certificate Authority.

It was created and is maintained by the by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG)

“The objective of Let’s Encrypt and the ACME protocol is to make it possible to set up an HTTPS server and have it automatically obtain a browser-trusted certificate, without any human intervention. This is accomplished by running a certificate management agent on the web server.”

Let’s Encrypt provides two types of certificates.

  • A single domain SSL certificate
  • A wildcard SSL certificate that encompasses all subdomains e.g,, e.t.c

To use Let’s Encrypt, there is a 2 step process:

  • Show you control a domain i.e. own it or server-admin
  • Request, renew or revoke certificates for that domain


Usually when you are not on the default port

non ssl port

ssl port

A certbot certificate lasts for 90 days before it has to be renewed

Steps to Install a certbot certificate is going to represent your site in this tutorial

sudo certbot -d --manual --preferred-challenges dns certonly

sudo certbot -d --manual --preferred-challenges dns certonly

Select the option that renews or install a new certificate

cerbot logs ip

Accept by pressing y

DNS text to be entered in record

Copy the challenge text and save it to your dns record

save challenge text record

mx toolbox dns txt tool

Make sure the record is live on the internet. You can check the record  here ➡️

certbot installation confirmationYou will get a confirmation if installation is complete.

Congratulations, you have manually installed a letsencrypt certificate using certbot.

It’s time for you to restart your server for all changes to take place.

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