I'm totally lost

I’m a small business owner that created my own website, and it is hosted by ipowerweb. I received my beta invite today from let’s encrypt and saw the instructions–I don’t have any clue whatsoever how to install my let’s encrypt certificate.

I’m assuming that there are many small business owners like myself that, when let’s encrypt is widely available, will be in this same situation.

Can anyone point me to step by step directions? I’m used to signing into my web hosting account and putting my website files in the public html folder. Other than that, I don’t even know where to start.

Thank you in advance for being patient with me.

Hi @imaref, in your case you probably don’t have enough control over your web site and hosting environment to use our services directly. All of our current technology is aimed at system administrators, who run and control the computers that are hosting various web sites and services, and who are able to – for example – install and run additional software on those servers, and reconfigure their web server software. As a subscriber to a web hosting service, you likely don’t have low-level enough access to the server computers that are hosting your site to do the things that would be required.

We do want our services to be useful to people in your situation, but we think the way this will happen is by having hosting providers (like ipowerweb, in your case) adopt our technology and obtain and install the certificates on behalf of their subscribers. We hope that they will and that they will be able to use our certificates to make HTTPS easy and automatic for every subscriber.

If you have the ability to upload private keys and certificates for HTTPS via the existing ipowerweb interface (I don’t know whether that’s the case or not), there is a procedure you could follow involving running our software on a separate computer, but you might find it quite technically complex. If it’s very urgent for you to have HTTPS working on your site, we can talk to you about what you would need to do and you could see if it makes sense for you.

The most practical course of action is probably to talk to ipowerweb about whether they can and will adopt Let’s Encrypt’s technology to obtain the certs on behalf of their subscribers. Let’s Encrypt is currently in beta test and your situation isn’t exactly one that our beta test is aimed at, again because we expect the hosting providers to eventually obtain the certs on behalf of subscribers.


Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I knew when I got the beta instructions that I was way out of my league.

I will contact ipowerweb with the suggestion in hope that they will offer Let’s Encrypt. I have my doubts, though, as they do sell certificates from other vendors (and I’m sure they get a cut) so my trying to get a free security certificate may be in vain.

Well good news–my host (ipower) is now using Let’s Encrypt. They sent out an email with simple directions, and my website is now secure.


Thank you for the update!

Just to clarify, are hosting providers allowed to sell Let’s Encrypt certificates? Is there any term or policy?

Disclaimer: I don’t run a webhosting company, just curious.

Yes, and they can charge whatever the market will bear, depending on how gullible their customers are.