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How do I install a third-party SSL certificate with Flywheel?

Updated on July 15th, 2021

While Flywheel offers free certificates via Simple SSL, these don’t include wildcard certificates or OV/EV (Organization Validated/Extended Validation) certificates.

If your site requires one of these special types of SSL certificate, you’ll want to purchase one from a third party and have us install it for you. Follow the steps below to get started.


Table of Contents:

1. Navigate to the site’s dashboard
2. Find the appropriate domain and Enable SSL
3. Select the third party certificate option and generate a CSR
4. Download the CSR and generate your SSL certificate
5. Provide your SSL certificate to Flywheel
6. What is a CSR?


Navigate to the site’s dashboard

  1. From the main menu, click Sites.
  2. From your site list, click on the site you’d like to install a third-party certificate on.

Find the appropriate domain and Enable SSL

  1. On the Domains card, click the Enable SSL button, most likely for your site’s primary domain.
  2. If your SSL certificate will cover more than one domain, choose your site’s primary domain to be the certificate domain, and you can add the others as alternative domains at your SSL provider when you purchase the certificate.

Select the third party certificate option and generate a CSR

  1. Click the radio button next to I’ll bring my own certificate instead.
  2. Confirm the primary domain you’d like to secure.
  3. Enter the details to create your CSR. (Not sure what a CSR is? Click here.)
  4. Click the Complete SSL Setup button and the CSR will be automatically emailed to you.

Download the emailed CSR and generate your SSL certificate


At this point, you will need to follow the instructions from your SSL provider (Godaddy, InstantSSL, etc) to upload our CSR file to generate the SSL certificate from their service.

Note

When generating your certificate, the provider may ask for a server type. Flywheel runs NGINX servers, so choose that option if it’s available. If not, Apache + OpenSSL works as well.

Provide your SSL certificate to Flywheel

Once your SSL provider has issued you a certificate, you should then be instructed on how you can download your certificate files. There might be few different files like Root.crt, Intermediate.crt, mydomain.crt, etc. Just download all of them, and our support team can determine the proper ones that need to be installed to secure your site.

You can send the certificate to Flywheel support via our ticket form. Once we have the certificate, we will install it and let you know when it’s all set up!


What is a CSR?

CSR stands for Certificate Signing Request, a block of encoded text that contains the information your SSL provider will need to create a Flywheel compatible SSL certificate.

This information verifies you or your company are the owners of the site, and allows the SSL certificate to work with keys stored on our servers to secure traffic.

Here is some information on the fields we collect to generate your CSR:

Domain Name The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that clients will use to reach your server. To secure https://www.example.com, your domain name must be www.example.com or *.example.com if you’re using a wildcard certificate.
Organization Name The exact legal name of your organization. Example: “Acme, Inc.” Less commonly, if you do not have a legal registered organization name, you should enter your own full name here.
Department Name (optional) Many people leave this field blank. This is the department within your organization which you want to appear in the certificate. Common examples: Web Administration, Marketing, or N/A.
City The city where your organization is legally located.
State/Province The state or province where your organization is legally located.
Country The country where your organization is legally located.
Email Your email address.

Still need help?

Confused? No worries! Contact Flywheel support, and we’d be happy to walk you through everything.

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