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How do I set up an SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is the standard technology used for providing a secure encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Many websites use SSL for protecting the online transactions of their customers.

In order to use an SSL you will first need a dedicated IP address. What is a dedicated IP address you may ask? Most hosted sites are what as known as "shared hosting". Basically many websites share the same IP address. A dedicated IP address means you have an IP address exclusively for your own site. Your web host will likely have to set this up for you.

Your site then has to have SSL enabled. By default websites are unlikely to have SSL enabled unless it is first turned on. You may be able to do this through your website's control panel.

Once this is done, you need to generate a certificate request. This will usually be done through the control panel for your website. The certificate request is sent to the Certificate Signing Authority (a company that sells SSLs, such as Thawte) when an SSL is purchased.

It is important to make sure that the WHOIS information on the domain matches what is supplied to the Certificate Signing Authority when purchasing an SSL.

When the SSL is purchased and approved, a certificate will be supplied that is then copied onto the hosted site, again usually through the control panel in the field for the SSL. Depending on the hosted environment, you may have to specify your domain to use the SSL, but once that is done, you should then have a fully functional SSL on your domain.

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