SSL from has expired and dev is afk. Help!

Posted January 7, 2017 3.8k views

My dev is afk this weekend and the SSL expired yesterday. Site is now giving users a privacy error:

I need to either:
1) renew the SSL
2) make it so the site doesnt require https

I am not a dev but have root access (dangerous right!?). Timing is important as we have a lot of users heading to the site in 1 hour. Any help is appreciated.

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2 answers


If you’re not familiar with the CLI, I would recommend trying to get in touch with your developer before tinkering around in areas you’ve not worked with. That being said, what you’re wanting to do can be done relatively easy and, so long as you’re careful, you shouldn’t run in to any issues.

To start, login to your Droplet an run the following command (this simply lists all files and directories)

ls -al /etc/letsencrypt

Do you see your domains’ SSL certificate in there? If so, we should be able to use certbot to renew the SSL certificate for your domain and simply restart Apache/NGINX for the changes to take effect.

If it’s not, then the process gets a little more hands on as you’ll need to create a new SSL certificate, modify Apache/NGINX configuration, save, and restart before the changes will take effect.

What’s your OS (Operating System)?

  • Thanks so much for the advice. By following this and getting a little more related help from the internet, I was able to renew. Love this community! Thank you!

    • @landonswan

      No problem! Always happy to help out. I didn’t want to overload you with information, hence when I asked for the OS first, but I’m glad you were able to get it figured out from just the above!

by Erika Heidi
This tutorial will show you how to set up a free TLS/SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt on a Ubuntu 14.04 server running Apache as web server. SSL certificates are used within web servers to encrypt the traffic between server and client, providing extra security for users accessing your application.