How to Install SSL/TLS Certificate on Nginx Web Server?


Angela Bailey

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of installing an SSL/TLS certificate on an Nginx web server. Securing your website with an SSL/TLS certificate is essential to protect sensitive data and build trust with your users. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Obtain SSL/TLS Certificate

Before we begin, you need to obtain an SSL/TLS certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) such as Let’s Encrypt, Comodo, or DigiCert. There are different types of certificates available, including domain validation (DV), organization validation (OV), and extended validation (EV). Choose the one that suits your needs.

Step 2: Prepare Nginx Configuration

Once you have obtained the certificate, log in to your server and locate the Nginx configuration file. Usually, it is located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. Make sure to create a backup of this file before making any changes.

Open the configuration file using a text editor and add the following lines:

http {
    server {
        # Existing configuration..
        listen 443 ssl;
        ssl_certificate /path/to/your_certificate.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key /path/to/your_private_key.key;
        # Additional configuration.

The above lines enable SSL/TLS support on port 443, specify the path to your certificate file (.crt) and private key file (.key). Remember to replace “/path/to/your_certificate.crt” and “/path/to/your_private_key.key” with the actual paths of your certificate and key files.

Step 3: Verify Nginx Configuration

Before restarting Nginx, it is crucial to verify the configuration for any syntax errors. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo nginx -t

If there are no errors reported, you can proceed to the next step. Otherwise, review your configuration file for any typos or mistakes.

Step 4: Restart Nginx Web Server

Now that the configuration is verified, restart Nginx to apply the changes. Use the following command:

sudo service nginx restart

Nginx will now use your SSL/TLS certificate and private key to secure incoming connections on port 443.

Step 5: Test SSL/TLS Installation

To ensure that your SSL/TLS installation is successful, open a web browser and enter your website’s URL with https:// prefix (e.g., Your browser should display a padlock icon indicating a secure connection.


You have successfully installed an SSL/TLS certificate on your Nginx web server. Your website is now secured with encryption, providing a safe browsing experience for your visitors.

Note: It’s recommended to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS by adding an additional server block in your Nginx configuration file. This ensures that all requests are automatically redirected to the secure version of your website.

  • Tip:
    • If you encounter any issues during the installation process, check your server logs for detailed error messages. They can provide valuable insights to troubleshoot problems.
    • Remember to renew your SSL/TLS certificate before it expires to maintain uninterrupted security for your website. Many CAs offer automated renewal tools or scripts for this purpose.

That’s it! You now have the knowledge to secure your Nginx web server with an SSL/TLS certificate. Enjoy the benefits of a secure and trustworthy website!

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