Four years ago, I wrote a blog post about how to install a free Let’s Encrypt SSL on a GoDaddy cPanel hosting account. It was by far the most popular post I’ve ever written. The first step of that process was to use ZeroSSL, a web based tool for obtaining a Let’s Encrypt certificate.
Since then, ZeroSSL has become even easier to use. You now begin by creating a free account to use the service. Once you’ve done that, it walks you through the steps for obtaining the certificate and key.
Authentication is also easier. Instead of having to copy and paste two different content strings and filenames and creating files yourself to upload via ftp, you now have a couple of different choices. One is to authenticate through email. Frankly, I have not had much luck with this approach and have not received the requested email. The alternate method is to download one file to upload to the directory /public_html/.well-known/pki-validation/ . The file is ready made and doesn’t require a text editor to create it.
An advantage of having a ZeroSSL account is that your certificate is saved on your dashboard and is available for download after the fact, in case you make a mistake. Also, you now receive an email notice when your certificate is about to expire and you need to renew it. The process is so smooth now, it is easier than ever to avoid paying GoDaddy $64 per year, and instead do it yourself.