Website inaccessible after installing Let's encrypt certificate

Hello, I set up a droplet and configured nginx to serve a small static website. Everything was working fine until I installed a certificate using the Certbot script.

This is the nginx configuration file for the website:

server {

    root /var/www/;
    index index.php index.html index.htm;


    location / {
        try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

    listen 443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem; # managed by Certbot

server {
    if ($host = {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    } # managed by Certbot

    if ($host = {
        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
    } # managed by Certbot

    listen 80;
    return 404; # managed by Certbot

Following their instructions, I tested the certificate here but I get an error:

What might be the issue?

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Accepted Answer

Hello @qarlo,

The syntax of your configuration file looks fine. What I could suggest here is:

  • First check if nginx is running:
systemctl status nginx
  • If Nginx is not running you could try starting it:
systemctl start nginx
  • If this is not the case, check if Nginx is actually listening on port 443:
netstat -plant | grep 443
  • If you don’t see any output, run a config test:
nginx -t
  • And if you get Syntax OK restart Nginx:
systemctl restart nginx
  • Lastly if all that does not help, make sure to check your Nginx error logs:
tail -100 /var/log/nginx/error.log

Hope that this helps! Regards, Bobby

For the benefit of future readers, I had the same issue after installing the Lets encrypt certificate using certbot.

Attempts to reload/restart nginx failed with errors already documented in this thread. systemctl status nginx showed that the nginx service had failed starting.

Because DO Firewall was in place, ufw was inactive.

Checking the ports showed that nginx processes were (still/already) listening to the port 443.

Rebooting the ubuntu server resolved the issue.

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