Testing staging certificates

My domain is: www.tomsgoodfiles.com

The CertSage ACME client shows these 2 steps within it's full list of steps:

  • To ensure that your CertSage installation is working, you can acquire a staging (fake) certificate.
  • Once you are confident that your CertSage installation is working, you can acquire a production (real) certificate.

I got "Your staging certificate was acquired. It was not saved to prevent accidental installation. Your likely next step is to go back to the beginning to acquire your production certificate."

How the heck do I TEST to see that the CertSage (fake) installation is working?? (So I can gain the "confidence" that the system is telling me to gain.)

Or if "testing" is not the right word, what steps do I go through to become confident that the CertSage installation is working? BTW, I created the staging certificate twice in a row, not being sure what to do. Am I to do or view something in my Cpanel to gain confidence that the fake installation is working?


You don't actually test the certificate itself, but you're testing issuance, i.e.: validating your hostname and getting a cert for it. The certificate itself is kinda useless.

Also notice that you're now mixing the name of the ACME client (CertSage) with a "fake certificate" (i.e.: staging certificate). By acquiring a staging certificate you've proven the ACME client CertSage is actually working properly.

Maybe @griffin (author of CertSage) can add a word or two to clarify.


@Osiris has the right idea here. If you were able to successfully acquire a staging ("fake") certificate from Let's Encrypt then the likelihood of successfully acquiring a production ("real") certificate from Let's Encrypt is virtually guaranteed. You don't want to install a staging certificate info cPanel since it won't be trusted, which is why I designed CertSage not to even save the acquired staging certificate to disk since only successful reception of that certificate matters (i.e the staging certificate itself would be worthless to you). Just acquire your production certificate, click the button to install it into cPanel, and you should be good to go. Don't forget to acquire and install another production certificate 60 days later (no need to test again with staging). :slightly_smiling_face:


You can read more about the Staging Environment - Let's Encrypt


Mr. Griffin, I trust you shall or have seen the small gift I donated. Though it took me probably a couple hours of carefully writing down exactly all I did, it worked correctly first time! I did erase all files in \certsage on my server except password.txt and fully start over from scratch. I did earlier quickly browse through your code and I was greatly humbled. On MY site I converted many pages to PHP so I could do server side processing (create users with passwords and restrict parts of some pages or whole pages to those with adequate clearance). I remember being so proud of myself, "Hey, I'm a PHP programmer now! SO cool to have server-side functionality!" I even hand coded an ajax call at one point, also being thrilled. But I see now that a real php programmer writes many pages of complex code like you did. YOU'RE the php MAN! As I said in the earlier thread, I'd like to offer help in expanding the instructions for newbies like me who know nothing like you all do (and who don't want to either). Let me know if you have a serious interest in considering what I have written. Will be a lot for me to type and I don't want to type it unless you have serious interest in considering it. (I'm saying you have to commit to using it, only to consider it.)


A page on the Kapersky site says, "...[Install] the certificate they provide once the process is complete. Once obtained, you need to configure the certificate on your web host or on your own servers if you host the website yourself."

CertSage has installed it, but according to Kapersky, I need to "configure it on my web host". And as my site is on a GoDaddy shared server managed a bit by me via cPanel, what configuration is needed or even possible? Did YOU do something to configure it in advance?

I'm always open to suggestions. :slightly_smiling_face: I find other perspectives can help round out experience.