How Do I Certify a Web Server?


Angela Bailey

Are you looking to certify a web server? In this article, we will walk you through the process, step by step. Let’s get started!

What is Web Server Certification?

A web server certification is a process of validating and securing the connection between a client (typically a web browser) and a web server. It ensures that the communication between the two parties is encrypted and secure, protecting sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc.

Step 1: Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

To certify your web server, you need to start by generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This request contains information about your organization and is used to create a digital certificate. The certificate will be issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA).

To generate a CSR, you can use various tools depending on your web server software. For example, if you are using Apache HTTP Server, you can use OpenSSL command-line tool or an online CSR generator.

Here’s an example of generating CSR using OpenSSL:

  1. Step 1: Open your command prompt or terminal.
  2. Step 2: Navigate to the directory where OpenSSL is installed.
  3. Step 3: Run the following command:
    $ openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout myserver.key -out myserver.csr
  4. Step 4: Follow the prompts to enter the required information such as Common Name (your domain name), organization details, etc.

Step 2: Submitting CSR for Certification

Once you have generated the CSR, you need to submit it to a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) for certification. There are many CAs available, both paid and free. Some popular CAs include Let’s Encrypt, DigiCert, and Comodo.

Visit the website of your chosen CA and follow their instructions for submitting the CSR. You will likely need to create an account and provide additional information about your organization.

Step 3: Verify Domain Ownership

Before issuing the certificate, the CA needs to verify that you own the domain for which you are requesting certification. There are several methods for domain ownership verification, including:

  • Email Verification: The CA sends an email containing a verification link to an email address associated with the domain.
  • DNS Record: You add a specific DNS record provided by the CA to your domain’s DNS configuration.
  • File Upload: You upload a specific file provided by the CA to a specific location on your web server.

Follow the instructions provided by your chosen CA to complete the domain ownership verification process.

Step 4: Install and Configure the Certificate

Once your certificate is issued by the CA, you need to install it on your web server. The installation process varies depending on your server software.

If you are using Apache HTTP Server, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Locate or create an SSL/TLS configuration file for your website (usually named something like ‘ssl.conf’ or ‘default-ssl.conf’).
  2. Step 2: Open the configuration file in a text editor.
  3. Step 3: Find the section where SSL/TLS certificates are configured.
  4. Step 4: Add the following lines to specify the path to your certificate and private key files:
    SSLCertificateFile /path/to/your_domain.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/your_private.key
  5. Step 5: Save the configuration file and exit the text editor.
  6. Step 6: Restart your web server to apply the changes.

Congratulations! Your web server is now certified with a valid SSL/TLS certificate!


If you encounter any issues during the certification process, check the documentation provided by your web server software and CA. They often have detailed troubleshooting guides to help you resolve common problems.

In summary, certifying a web server involves generating a CSR, submitting it for certification, verifying domain ownership, and finally installing and configuring the issued certificate on your web server. Following these steps will ensure that your website’s communication is secure and encrypted.

We hope this tutorial has helped you understand how to certify a web server. Happy securing!

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