Beginner, non IT, on shared server needing advice

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My domain is:

I ran this command: N/A

It produced this output: N/A

My web server is (include version):

The operating system my web server runs on is (include version):
unknown, I think .NET

My hosting provider, if applicable, is:

I can login to a root shell on my machine (yes or no, or I don't know):
No, I'm on a shared server

I'm using a control panel to manage my site (no, or provide the name and version of the control panel):
Plesk, unknown version

The version of my client is (e.g. output of certbot --version or certbot-auto --version if you're using Certbot): unknown

I'm a volunteer running a community website. I have no IT experience but manage to keep us afloat by finding forums like this one. I'm on a shared server with Arvixe (EIG company) which is currently switching to Plesk. I'm on a .NET platform. From reading the documentation it looks like I'm going to need to install a certbot. Browsing through the previous discussions I did see someone successfully installed an SSL cert on a Linux based website on an Arvixe shared server. I ran to see if I could answer the questions regarding OS and version, I didn't see anything like that but I didn't understand most of what was reported except one of my ns is based in China, that's not good.

The report mentioned I needed to make changes such as choosing either for Is this something I can do on a shared server? Also, I need iPv6, do I have control over this?

The big reason I started looking into SSL is our site is being rejected because of our certificate isn't trusted. When I mention this to Arvixe they say I need to use, but I don't see how I'm going to get to my website. I'm thinking a SSL certificate will solve this problem so my users won't get error messages when submitting a form. Am I right? If so, will I be able to install a SSL certificate on a shared server with a company that charges for them? I've been researching hosting companies since Arvixe has had our server down for three weeks and can't find another hosting company that offers everything I need. I've been able to cobble together services so our email isn't affected by spam or blocked due to being black listed. If I can resolve this certificate issue I'll be happy. TIA

If you are on a shared hosting platform like cPanel or Plesk, then you don't want to use Certbot. It probably won't work.

Plesk supports Let's Encrypt certificates as part of its built-in functionality: Let’s Encrypt Integration With Plesk. The first thing I would do is ask your web host whether they have this functionality enabled.

If they do, use it. That should be the end of the story and you should have automatically renewing certificates without having to do anything.

If they don't have this functionality enabled, I think you have these choices:

  1. Pony up $25/year for a paid certificate from Arvixe. Although this isn't a free option, it's going to be a lot less hassle, especially for a non-IT person.
  2. Change web hosts to a provider that does provide free automatic SSL. This is the norm.
  3. Manually create a certificate using something like Certbot and manually upload it and install it to Plesk. You will have to repeat this process every 60-90 days, because Let's Encrypt certificates only have a validity of 90 days. I would advise avoiding this option.

@_az Thank you, I haven't been able to access Plesk yet but I doubt the certificate would be enabled due to Arvixe charging for them. As mentioned above, I haven't found another hosting company that offers me what I'm looking for at a reasonable rate. (I gave up after researching about 20 companies and I can't tell which ones EIG owns.) I had planned to mark my calendar every 60 days to renew my certificate, hoping it's a straightforward process.


Not sure this is helpful but LE have a list of suggestions. See the link in the Without Shell Access topic


You will not find anything easier than CertSage to use.


I'd take this opportunity to move your website to a new host and a new content management system (the website editor system), your one looks pretty old and I sense that there's a number of factors here you're not happy with.

Assuming you control the domain you can point it at anything, so you'd just need to find a host/system that you like and is easy to use - here's some suggestions: Best Website Builder for 2022 - CNET - most of these will in turn handle all of the ssl/https stuff for you. Your website does have some custom forms, so that's probably the hardest part but you could consider just designing those in Google Forms and linking to them. You would then capture your existing site (screenshots, copy & paste content, download docs etc) and re-create it. You could for instance delegate archiving the content (PDFs etc) to someone else then take the job of rebuilding a new site yourself.

I understand that just fixing what's currently broken is a good short term strategy but it's not really sustainable. You could alternatively hire a freelancer to migrate it all to a system of your choice, then re-point the domain when it's ready.


@MikeMcQ thank you, this is where I started.


@griffin before I got very far into the article I noticed I don't have IPv6 (based on, my PHP is out of date, and I'm using Plesk not cPanel. I updated my PHP to 7.4.6. Does it matter if it's cPanel or Plesk?

Nope. :slightly_smiling_face: CertSage is optimally configured for use with cPanel, but CertSage should be able to acquire (but not install) a certificate on any type of hosting so long as the PHP version is adequate.


@griffin Why can't CertSage "install" on Plesk? Is that something I do manually? I noticed I can upload certs, keys, etc.

The certificate installation button in CertSage makes cPanel API calls, which obviously won't work in Plesk. You will need install your cert and its private key manually.


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