Types of SSL certificates
There are three types of SSL certificates you can add to your domain within the DreamHost panel:
Please note that Wildcard certificates are currently not supported.
If you have previously purchased your own certificate, you can install it manually in the panel:
Adding an SSL certificate
Navigate to the Secure Hosting page. The top section titled 'Active SSL certificates' lists any active SSL certificates for your domains.
The next section titled 'Add a new SSL certificate' lists three options to add an SSL to your domain:
Option #1 — Comodo verified SSL ($15/year)
The first option allows you to add a paid Comodo SSL certificate, which costs $15/year.
The advantages of a Comodo SSL certificate over the other options are:
- it's professionally signed by Comodo and displays a certificate seal of trust.
- it's recommended for ecommerce sites, customer login areas, and any other critical public content.
- gives your visitors the best indication that your website is secure and the connection is safe.
- provides a certificate warranty if it fails to properly validate the information contained in a digital certificate.
View the following article for full instructions on how to add this certificate:
Signed SSL Certificate Seal
For the signed SSL certificates purchased in the DreamHost panel (through Comodo), you can use this seal graphic on your site:
Option #2 — Self-signed SSL (FREE)
The second option allows you to add a FREE Self-signed certificate. This is not recommended since web browsers display a warning when visiting the site. Self-signed certificates are also vulnerable to 'Man-in-the-middle' attacks. For these reasons, this option is only recommended for a company intranet, internal login areas, and other private content where the site administrator can ensure security. It's not recommended for public facing websites. View the following article for instructions on how to add this certificate.
Option #3 — Let's Encrypt SSL (FREE)
The third option is to add a FREE 'Let's Encrypt' certificate. This is just as secure as a paid certificate. The only difference is that it does not have the same seal of trust which some users prefer to display to their visitors.
This option is recommended for simple websites such as a WordPress blog and other non-critical public content.
If you have chosen not to purchase a signed SSL certificate from DreamHost, below is a list of SSL Certificate Authorities from which you may also purchase.
Please note that the specifications for all SSL certificates are NOT the same. You have to compare features as well as prices to see what's the best value.
You can copy the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) in your panel and use it to purchase your signed SSL certificate from another Certificate Authority, if you have not chosen to purchase one from DreamHost.
For more details on this option, please visit the What do I need from DreamHost before purchasing a third-party SSL certificate? article.
How long after adding the certificate will HTTPS function?
After adding an SSL certificate, it could take a few minutes to a few hours for HTTPS to work on your domain. This depends on the certificate type you added:
- Self-signed — Functions immediately
- Let's Encrypt — Can take 10-30 minutes to set up
- Professionally-signed — These could potentially take several hours to set up
- Secure Hosting overview
- How do I add a free Let's Encrypt certificate?
- CSR overview
- What do I need from DreamHost before purchasing a third-party SSL certificate?
- How do I purchase a professionally-signed SSL certificate?
- How do I install a third-party SSL certificate?
- How do I add a free self-signed SSL certificate?
- How much does an SSL certificate cost?
- Renewing your Comodo SSL certificate
- Letting your Comodo SSL certificate expire
- Force your site to load securely with an .htaccess file
- Force your Nginx website to load securely
- How do I use an SSL certificate with WordPress?