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

Updated on May 7th, 2020

At Flywheel, there are two options for securing your site with SSL. You can use our free Simple SSL, or you can provide your own third-party SSL certificate.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps for getting an SSL certificate from a third-party provider installed on a site. Keep in mind, we also offer our Simple SSL certificates for free, and they can be installed with a click of a button! Sounds simple right?

Adding a third-party SSL certificate

Installing a third-party SSL certificate with Flywheel is quick and painless – we take care of all of the heavy lifting for you!

For all new Flywheel plans, adding a third-party SSL certificate is free. If you’re on a ‘Legacy plan’ (purchased before May 1, 2019), you may need to buy an SSL add-on. If that is the case, you will be prompted to purchase the add-on when you enable SSL.


Enable SSL from the domains list

Log in to your Flywheel account, and select the site you want to add SSL on to. In the Overview tab of the site’s dashboard under Domains, click “Enable SSL”:


Select the domain you would like to secure.

If your site has more than one domain, you probably want to choose the site’s primary domain.


If your SSL certificate will cover more than one domain, choose one to be the certificate domain, and you can add the others as alternative domains at your SSL provider.


If you have a Multisite, and need help picking the right kind of certificate, check out this guide!

Select the bring my own option

Choose the “No, I’ll bring my own certificate instead” option below Secure with Simple SSL.


Enter the details to create your CSR

A CSR is a Certificate Signing Request, and it is a block of encoded text that contains the information your SSL provider will need to create an SSL certificate for you.

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 to your site.

Enter your details to generate a CSR for your site. When you’re finished, click the “Complete SSL Setup” button, and the CSR will be automatically emailed to you.


If you’re curious about the fields we collect to generate your CSR, we have more information about that at the bottom of this guide.

Download the CSR from your email, and give it to your SSL provider

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.



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.

Download the newly issued certificate and send it to us.

Once they have issued you a certificate, you should then be instructed on how you can download your certificate files. They might provide you with a 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!

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

Next steps

Even though you have an SSL certificate installed, the site might not be displaying securely.  Check out these guides if you need help with that:

Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Fields

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

Domain NameThe fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that clients will use to reach your server. To secure, your domain name must be or * if you’re using a wildcard certificate.
Organization NameThe 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.
CityThe city where your organization is legally located.
State/ProvinceThe state or province where your organization is legally located.
CountryThe country where your organization is legally located.
EmailYour email address.

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