How Do I Enable HTTPS on Apache Web Server?


Scott Campbell

Are you looking to secure your website by enabling HTTPS on your Apache web server? HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is the secure version of HTTP that encrypts data sent between a web browser and a web server. Enabling HTTPS on your Apache web server ensures that sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, are securely transmitted.

Step 1: Obtain an SSL Certificate

The first step in enabling HTTPS is to obtain an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital file that binds a cryptographic key to your organization’s details. It is issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA) and verifies the authenticity of your website.

There are several ways to obtain an SSL certificate. You can purchase one from a trusted CA or use Let’s Encrypt, which provides free SSL certificates. Once you have obtained the SSL certificate, you will receive the necessary files.

Step 2: Install OpenSSL

Before proceeding with installing the SSL certificate, make sure OpenSSL is installed on your server. OpenSSL is a widely used cryptographic library that enables secure communication over computer networks.

To install OpenSSL on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, open the terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt-get install openssl

For CentOS or Fedora-based systems, use the following command:

sudo yum install openssl

Step 3: Configure Apache for HTTPS

To enable HTTPS on Apache, you need to modify its configuration file. The configuration file for Apache may vary depending on your operating system and version. In most cases, it can be found at /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf.

Open the configuration file in a text editor using the following command:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf

Within this file, locate the <VirtualHost> section that corresponds to your website. Add the following lines within the <VirtualHost> tags:

Redirect permanent /

DocumentRoot /var/www/html

SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/your_certificate.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/your_private_key.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/your_certificate_chain.crt

# .. Additional configuration for HTTPS .

Replace with your actual domain name and provide the correct paths to your SSL certificate files.

Save the changes and exit the text editor.

Step 4: Restart Apache

After making changes to the Apache configuration file, you need to restart Apache for them to take effect. Use the following command to restart Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

Step 5: Test HTTPS

Once Apache has restarted, you can test if HTTPS is enabled on your website. Open a web browser and enter If everything is configured correctly, you should see a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar, indicating that your website is using a secure connection.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled HTTPS on your Apache web server. Your website is now secure, and data transmitted between users and your server is encrypted.

  • Tips:
  • If you encounter any errors or issues during the process, check Apache’s error logs for more information. The error logs are usually located at /var/log/apache2/error.log.
  • Make sure to renew your SSL certificate before it expires. Let’s Encrypt certificates, for example, have a validity period of 90 days.


In this tutorial, we learned how to enable HTTPS on an Apache web server. By obtaining an SSL certificate and configuring Apache to use HTTPS, you can ensure secure communication between your website and its users. Remember to always keep your certificate up to date and monitor your server for any security vulnerabilities.

Now that you have successfully enabled HTTPS, you can provide a safe browsing experience for your users and build trust in your website’s security.

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