Should I wait to associate my droplet with a domain name before issuing a LetsEncrypt SSL certificate?

I am relatively new to SSL certs, but I am assuming that would be a bad idea since all my droplet would have is an IP address. If I issue the cert now, before setting up the domain name, I assume it will break the SSL cert once I associate the domain name with it and the browser will say that the cert is invalid or something?

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You’re right insofar as any certificate you created now wouldn’t be usable once your users are accessing your site via your domain name, but in some cases, with non-external servers, it is best practice to use SSL even if the server does not have a domain associated it. These servers might be your database, or other backend servers that your front-end server communicates with, but no users directly interact with.