Setting up SSL certificate from Godaddy

Todd Kueny Jr
This post is meant to act as a guide on how to set up SSL on your website using a Godaddy SSL certificate. This guide assumes you have some basic knowledge of SSL certificate, what they are, and how to use them. Additionally, you need to have permission to access your Godaddy account, and specifically, you need to have access to manage an SSL certificate for the target domain. The guide that Godaddy provides for this process leaves certain important information out which caused me many headaches. I hope this guide can help save you some time.

Creating a certificate request

The first step when setting up an SSL certificate via Godaddy is to create a Certificate Request. Most people get this step wrong the first time around (I know I did). The key is to make sure to create the CSR from the server you are planning on using to install the certificate.

NOTE: You should do this on the target server where you plan on installing the certificate initially.

You will be prompted through various screens for setting this up. Ultimately, you need to end up with a text file that contains a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) key.

Step 1

Enter basic information about the certificate. This includes company information, address, etc. All fields should be filled out.

Step 2

Make sure to select Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider, and 2048 Bit Length.

Step 3

Select a file path for where to create  the CSR text file.

Step 4

Once completed, you can open the new text file and access your CSR key. Save this key for later.

Submit a certificate change request

Once you have your CSR key, you need to sign in to Godaddy and submit a certificate change request using the rekey SSL tool.

Step 1

Select target domain/SSL → Manage. From this page click the Rekey & manage option.

Step 2

Enter in your new CSR key that you saved previously (just copy and paste from the text file), and enter into the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) input and make sure to save all changes.

At this point, Godaddy will need to approve your new change, which usually takes about 5-10 min, but it could take up to 24 hours.

Step 3

Go back to main SSL certificate page, once it has been approved you will now have the option to download your certificate. Click the download button and you will get a .zip file containing certificate files to install on the server.

From here, you can use the following guides by Godaddy to complete the rest of the installation. This guide is for IIS 10 via Windows Server.

For other web hosting systems, refer here to see how to setup

Exporting the certificate as PFX

A trick for using this cert on other servers (i.e: DEV, UAT, etc), you can export the certificate as PFX for easy import on these servers. This is a pretty simple process, here are the steps.

Step 1

Once you have successfully installed the certificate onto IIS (other similar service), you can easily export the certificate into a .PFX file (Personal Information Exchange Format). From IIS, click on the server → Server Certificates. Select the certificate and choose Export.

NOTE: If you click View instead of Export, you will notice when viewing that this certificate has a Private Key. This is important, because this means when exporting you can use this to easily install on a different server and everything is contained with the export.

Step 2

Specify a path to save the .pfx file, and create a password.

That's it! Now you can copy and import on a different server and use within IIS. Because the private key is now available, the certificate is so much easier to work with. If you have any trouble, or get stuck, feel free to reach out to me at Hope this helps!

Todd Kueny Jr
Todd is the founder of Bluprints and an enthusiast of all things technology.

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