Shared IP addresses for SSL certificates accessible through the Control Panel

March 12, 2014
As previously indicated a couple of weeks back, your web hosting clients have the ability to enable an SSL certificate for their websites without the necessity of purchasing a dedicated IP address upfront.

This process can be facilitated using a shared IP address that is designated to the HTTP host.

The feature labeled as 'Shared IPs for SSL' has now been seamlessly incorporated into the SSL Certificates segment within the Control Panel.

What is the reason for using a shared IP address with an SSL certificate?

The availability of using a shared IP address in conjunction with an SSL certificate has been introduced due to the integration of the SNI protocol support into modern web browsers. A complete list of contemporary browsers supporting the SNI protocol can be found here:

This approach allows users who might not have the resources to activate a dedicated IP address for their website to still ensure security for their site visitors. A website utilizing an SSL certificate along with a shared IP address will still exhibit 'https' at the beginning and will present a secure appearance comparable to a standard site employing a dedicated IP.

Drawbacks: While a shared IP address contributes to website security, it doesn't contribute the same level of distinctiveness that a dedicated IP would offer. This distinction arises from the fact that the user's site is associated with an IP address shared among a few other websites. Consequently, attempting to access the website via its IP address might inadvertently lead to another site linked to the same IP.

However, for small e-commerce stores aiming to establish a secure perception among potential customers, the shared IP address provides a valuable no-cost alternative.

When the time is right to invest in a dedicated IP address, your customers can seamlessly transition from a shared IP to a dedicated IP for their SSL certificate.

What is the procedure for utilizing the "Shared IPs for SSL" choice?

In the SSL Certificates section, locate and select the "Add an SSL Certificate" button positioned at the upper right corner.

In the ensuing pop-up window, the default setting has been established to enable the automatic configuration of the SSL certificate for your clients:

This approach entails our technicians taking charge of the installation and setup process for the SSL certificate on behalf of your clients.

Upon entering the requisite certificate details, your clients will be presented with two distinct choices:

1. Acquire a completely new dedicated IP address for their SSL purposes;

2. Utilize an existing dedicated IP address they possess, or opt for a shared IP address.

In the event of choosing the first option, your clients can proceed to request a dedicated IP address exclusively earmarked for the new SSL certificate. This grants them full autonomy and concurrently bolsters the security of their online presence.

However, for clients who are not yet inclined to invest in a fresh dedicated IP address, an alternate second option is available:

Within this option, they can associate the SSL certificate with a dedicated IP address they already possess. This IP address must be unallocated, meaning it is not associated with any other SSL certificate.

Alternatively, the option of using a shared IP address for their SSL certificate is also on offer:

This shared IP will be shared among several websites, so typing the IP address into a browser could potentially lead to any of the other websites on a random basis. Nonetheless, selecting the shared IP alternative offers a prudent way for your clients to economize while maintaining online security.

Once the selection is made, the user should click the "Generate SSL" button and patiently await the installation and configuration of the SSL certificate.

Verification of the SSL request by the registry typically takes around an hour, followed by the installation of the certificate on our system, a process that lasts a few seconds.

In an upcoming communication, we will delve into a more comprehensive elucidation of the protocol for verifying and installing an SSL certificate—specifically, the steps subsequent to a client's initiation of an SSL certificate order with automatic configuration.