Certbot, what to do next?


I just got access to SSH and Let’s Encrypt recommended me to go to Certbot. I am using Apache and a Web Hosting Service (Host Gator). I read all of the details, but I’m not sure what to do next. It doesn’t really tell me what I should do when I get to the Certbot website and I am confused. Checking the Docs, saying I can install it if I go to the main page, but I don’t see it. Can anyone help me out with the HTTPS installation process with Certbot? I have WinSCP installed and logged in with SFTP. OS is Windows 10.



If you are using HostGator, are you using a cPanel service ? (Or you are on VPS / Dedicated Hosting with sudo access)

If you have a shared hosting (including reseller hosting) (with cPanel), you might want to use an web based tool since you can’t install your certificate in command line.

Try zerossl.com or sslforfree.com

If you are using other plans, follow the steps… And you should be able to obtain a certificate for your website.

Thank you


Hi @SimpleYetNot,

@stevenzhu’s tips might help you out if you have a control panel like cPanel… it will be helpful to know more about your particular hosting plan, and then we can try to give you the best advice. As @stevenzhu suggested, that might turn out not to be using Certbot if you don’t have a VPS plan.

Also, knowing more about your experience with our documentation could be very helpful to us! I have a colleague who’s about to start a project looking at new users’ experiences with Certbot and what parts they find confusing. So the confusion that you encountered could be helpful to us in trying to make things clearer and more useful to new users, if you’d be willing to either describe more about what you looked at on our web site and what you found confusing.

For example, were you looking at this page here?


Ok, Thank you! I using zerossl and I’m on the verification part. Do I need to create .well-known/acme-challenge directory? Because it says it is not found in my webroot.


Yes, I chose Apache and Web Hosting Service (Shared). The details basically just said to do the thing I just did. Which was to choose the software and operating system I am on the dropdown menu above.


When you chose that, did you see this?

If you have administrative shell access to your webserver and you’re comfortable running commands on the command line, please select your server software and the operating system it is running from the dropdown menu above. If you don’t have these privileges on your webserver or you’re not familiar with command line server administration, Certbot probably isn’t the best option to enable HTTPS on your site. Instead, you should check if your hosting provider has built-in Let’s Encrypt support by contacting them or checking this list of supporting providers.

I have lots of questions about how you interpreted this and what you did then, but I also want to make sure that we help you get your certificate. :slight_smile:

Yes, if you use ZeroSSL you have to do this yourself on your web server—you have to create the challenge file at the exact location specified, which includes creating the directories that it’s placed in.


No problem, I’m ok with helping out Certbot with some issues. Yes, I saw that exact description. Also, I just got my cert and I was wondering does it work right away? Or do I have to wait?


You have to install it on your web server, either by editing web server configuration files or by uploading it to a control panel interface. It doesn’t “take effect” without being installed on the server.


Thanks, that would be super-helpful!

When you saw it, did you think about whether “you have administrative shell access to your webserver”? What did you understand this as referring to, and did you do anything to check?

Did you think about whether “you’re comfortable running commands on the command line”?

Did you try to “select your server software and the operating system it is running from the dropdown menu above”? If so, which server software and operating system did you select in the menu?

  1. I knew because it told me I had to. I had a feeling this was referring to the softwares like puttyor WinSCP.

  2. I didn’t understand why I needed to use the command prompt because I didn’t see them in the software I was using (WinSCP)

  3. Yes, Apache and Web Hosting Service. And doing that showed me the description.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.