Adding an SSL certificate overview


This article describes the different SSL certificate options you can add to your domain at DreamHost.

Adding a certificate is only the first step in the process of making your site secure. In order to see a secure padlock in your browser’s address bar, you must also complete each of the following steps:

  1. Add a valid SSL certificate to the site (described in the following sections).
  2. Load your site via a secure HTTPS URL.
  3. Fix any insecure resources or links on your site.

Types of SSL certificates

There are three types of SSL certificates you can add to your domain within the DreamHost panel:

Wildcard certificates

Please note that wildcard certificates are currently not supported.

Adding an SSL certificate

  1. Navigate to the Secure Certificates page. A list of your domains display.
  2. Click the Add button to the right of the domain you wish to add the SSL cert.
  3. On the next page, select a free Let's Encrypt or paid Sectigo certificate.

How long after adding the certificate will HTTPS function?

  • Let's Encrypt — Can take 10-30 minutes to set up
  • Professionally-signed — These could potentially take several hours to set up

Option #1 — Let's Encrypt SSL (FREE)

Let's Encrypt certificates are recommended for simple websites such as a WordPress blog and other non-critical public content.

They are just as secure as paid certificates. The only difference is that they do not have the same seal of trust that some users prefer to display to their visitors.

Option #2 — Sectigo verified SSL ($15/year)

Sectigo certificates are recommended for eCommerce sites, customer login areas, and any other critical public content.

The advantages of a Sectigo SSL certificate are:

  • it's professionally signed by Sectigo and displays a certificate seal of trust.
  • 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 Sectigo), you can use this seal graphic on your site:

Option #3 — Third-party SSL

Below is a list of Certificate Authorities from which you may also purchase a third-party SSL certificate.

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.


Make sure to copy the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) in your panel and use it when purchasing your third-party 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.

CAA records

CAA records can be created by a website owner to specify which Certificate Authorities (CAs) are permitted to issue SSL certificates for a domain. View the following article if you'd like to add CAA records to your domain before purchasing an SSL certificate.

See also

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