New User with Hostgator Hosting


I am new to Let’s Encrypt. I have my website hosted on Hostgator. I found that they do not have Let’s Encrypt installed on CPanel. I checked with Hostgator helpdesk regarding getting Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate feature on my website. They told me that they can generate private key or Certificate Signing Request if required by Let’s Encrypt. After issuance of SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt they will create an option on CPanel to upload the certificate.

As I am new to SSL thing, can you please help me understand the procedure for getting Let’s Encrypt SSL feature / certificate if I am Hostgator user.

Your help will be appreciated.



You can pop your CSR into and follow the instructions.

At the end you can download your certificate which you can install back into cPanel.

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Note that you’ll have to repeat this process frequently; Let’s Encrypt certificates expire every 90 days. (If you had access to the cPanel feature, it would handle the renewal automatically.)

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I’m also new and I have a question: to what directory should I upload the certificate in Hostgator? And after that, should I do any specific command or something like that for the certificate to start working? Thanks!


I just wanted to check whether CSR will be issued by my hosting provider Hostgator or if I am providing the domain there is no need for CSR.

Secondly is Zerossl authorised by Let’s Encrypt to allot SSL certificates.

Your help will be appreciated.


If Hostgator gives you a CSR, that means they already created a private key for you, so use that CSR.

If not, not a big deal, it just means you'll be providing the private key to them.

Once you have the certificate (and optionally the private key), you have the options of either:

  • Going to the Hostgator cPanel interface -> SSL/TLS and installing the certificate using the provided interface, or
  • Emailing Hostgator with the certificate and they'll install it for you

Mostly anybody can be a subscriber to Let's Encrypt.

With ZeroSSL, you're interacting with Let's Encrypt directly. The "app" that runs inside your web browser talks directly with the Let's Encrypt servers, you're not really going through ZeroSSL in any way that matters.

However, you have to trust the ZeroSSL site to give you an authentic version of the ZeroSSL app each time you use it.

Thanks for your help. I am trying to get certificate through Zerossl for my website. After generating CSR and key, I am getting the following message before I click on Next button: “To verify domain ownership using HTTP verification, you will need to create appropriate files with specific text strings under your “webroot/.well-known/acme-challenge/” directory, where “webroot” is the main directory with your website pages. Please make sure that the files you have created are actually accessible (by clicking the links below in the File column) and have proper content before clicking “Next”.”

Can you please help me understand how I can carry on this request. Do I need to check webroot directly in my Hostgator Cpanel. Please help.




In addition, if I select DNS, getting message: “To verify domain ownership using DNS verification, you will need to create DNS records of TXT type as shown below. Please remember that it takes some time for new DNS records to become “visible”, so you may need to wait for 15-20 minutes before clicking “Next”. You can check whether your records became visible with the following command: “nslookup -q=TXT XXX”, where XXX is one of the records as shown below.”

Can you please help which is the best and easy option for verification, i.e. either through HTTP or DNS. Also, please it will appreciated if you can guide me how I can I do that.



Can anybody please help. I am not so technical. Thanks.

Hi @Bishwjit,

In order to complete this HTTP verification challenge, you need to serve a file from your web site at a specified location. Can you do that?

Is there a “set up SSL on Hostgator for Dummies” yet? I stumbled across the Let’s Encrypt Plugin instructions and am literally stuck at #1. “Log in to the command line via SSH as the root user.”. I really want to be able to do this as I refuse to pay a lot of $ to Hostgator just because they want to make it difficult. I believe I’m logged in to my cPanel but I have NO clue what to do. Nothing about these host sites or cPanels is user friendly or intuitive…it’s a completely foreign language. Everything I’ve read above and elsewhere is not clear to me. I’d greatly appreciate some help. Thank you!

That is very kind of you! Please make it dumb, really dumb…web stuff makes me seriously question my intelligence.

Hi @Rachel,

While we always welcome all users to use Certbot, and I hope that @stevenzhu gives you some helpful advice, users who have only administered their sites through control panels (or don't know how to access a command line at all) are really not the target audience for Certbot. Certbot is primarily aimed at system administrators who are already at least slightly familiar with using the command line.

For users who normally use control panels like cPanel, the best solution is to get Let's Encrypt integration inside the control panel. And in fact, cPanel has already provided this and most cPanel users worldwide now have access to Let's Encrypt support from directly inside of cPanel. It seems to be a specific decision on HostGator's part to continue not to allow customers to access this functionality, thereby requiring customers to use alternatives that aren't ideal for their hosting environments.

At a high level, since so many HostGator customers have had problems similar to yours, I would suggest that unless cost is your highest priority, you consider either paying extra for HostGator's preferred HTTPS implementation (which I think involves a different, paid certificate authority) or switch to a different hosting provider that provides Let's Encrypt certificates for you more easily—for example, by permitting you to use cPanel's built-in support.

Our community has identified a large number of hosts that are in this situation:

I realize that this list isn't particularly helpful for making a decision among hosting providers because it doesn't provide any other information about the hosting environment or plans, but hopefully it demonstrates that, when its customers want to use Let's Encrypt certificates on their sites, HostGator is leaving them in a more difficult situation than many other hosts do.

I mentioned this important problem above:

To me, this suggests that it may simply not be worth it to "fight" HostGator about this this way. However, an alternative that we mentioned above that isn't a command-line client is

If you can create files with specific names and contents on your web site, ZeroSSL can walk you through the process to get a certificate inside your web browser, and you could then provide that certificate to HostGator to install. But if you take this route, you'll still have to repeat this process at least every 90 days because the certificate will expire and need to be replaced with a new one.

Video done.

UPDATE: Step by step instructions added.


Hostgator doesn’t support Let’s Encrypt Plugin (probably) due to profit.

However, they provide automatic installation of the certificate with a price ($10 per domain/hostname)

(I believe most hosting provider who don’t provide free certificate is to maximize their profits.

GoDaddy did the best in this… (Wordpress hosting must purchase certificate from them))

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