Thank you very much for your helpful questions which prodded me along the lines of productive conjecture. Many people do not realize that a good question can be equally as helpful as a good answer! It is also helpful knowing there is somebody there to help me, encouraging me to continue working on the problem after I had practically given up.
It appears that things are now in order (throwing no warnings) and that there is nothing further I can do until the certs are old enough to be eligible for renewal. If there is any problem with that I will start a new topic.
Before I finish I have a few final comments:
1.) I’m setting up a new server (just a couple weeks from a fresh, non-configured image) and have followed not only my own notes on how to set up Debian 8 Jessie etc. and nginx, but have had a few problems setting up other services that I have put aside for the time. What I mean is that I’ve been doing massive setup and any of these steps may have caused the problem I’ve experienced. — As a result I wish to state that I do not blame the “Install Let’s Encrypt” tutorial for this problem, and as far as I know it is a good tutorial. I do not hold the author responsible for creating this problem. In all likelihood one of the many failed package installs I’ve been trying may have caused my problem.
2.) One thing I’m critical regarding the article is that the author suggests setting up a cron job to automate renewal and gave the example to run the update script once a day. I am keenly aware that Let’s Encrypt is running on a small budget and in my opinion asking for renewal daily creates a needlessly wasteful use of the Let’s Encrypt certificate renewal system and server.
Instead I set my cron job to run every Sunday.
30 2 * * 0 /usr/bin/certbot renew --noninteractive --renew-hook “/bin/systemctl reload nginx” >> /var/log/le-renew.log
The interpretation of “30 2 * * 0” means run this job every Sunday at 0230.
Digital Ocean is a fairly popular website and if 10,000 readers set their cron to run daily that’s 300,000 queries per month. If they set their cron as I did then that would be 43,000 queries per month, saving Let’s Encrypt 257,000 renewal queries per month!
Let’s Encrypt is presenting an amazing service, and towards a worthy goal, “Let’s encrypt the whole Internet!” I suggest requesting cert renewals no more frequently than weekly would be helpful to the Let’s Encrypt project by using services lightly!
Thank you again for the great help! If I have no more problems perhaps I can participate by helping those with less experience than I.
With that note I consider that this topic is solved and closed. Thank you!