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How to install a Self-Signed SSL certificate in Plesk?

In the world of web hosting and server management, securing your website with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates is a critical step towards ensuring data privacy and building trust with your visitors. Plesk, a widely-used web hosting control panel, simplifies the process of SSL certificate installation. This blog will provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on installing a self-signed SSL certificate in Plesk, allowing you to enhance the security of your website without the need for a third-party certificate authority.

This blog is a part of our Plesk server management services where we make sure your Plesk server works efficiently with any issues.

Understanding Self-Signed SSL Certificates

Before delving into the installation process, it’s essential to understand what a self-signed SSL certificate is. Unlike certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs), self-signed certificates are generated and signed by the server itself. While they provide encryption, they may trigger security warnings in web browsers as they lack the third-party verification that comes with a commercially-signed certificate.

Steps to Install a Self-Signed SSL Certificate in Plesk

  1. Accessing the Plesk Control Panel:
  • Log in to your Plesk control panel using your credentials.
  • Navigate to the domain for which you want to install the SSL certificate.
  1. SSL/TLS Certificates Section:
  • In the left-hand menu, find and click on the “SSL/TLS Certificates” option.
  • Select the “Add SSL/TLS Certificate” button.
  1. Filling in Certificate Details:
  • Enter a name for your certificate to easily identify it later.
  • In the “Bits” field, choose the desired encryption strength (e.g., 2048 bits).
  • Fill in the “Country,” “State or Province,” and other required fields with appropriate information.
  • Click the “Request” button to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
  1. Generating CSR:
  • Save the CSR information as a text file on your local machine.
  • Use this CSR to create your self-signed certificate.
  1. Uploading the Self-Signed Certificate:
  • Paste the self-signed certificate into the “Certificate” field.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Upload Certificate” button.
  1. Assigning the Certificate:
  • After uploading the certificate, go back to the “SSL/TLS Certificates” section.
  • Find your newly uploaded certificate and click on it.
  • In the certificate details page, locate the “Hosting Settings” section.
  • Choose the domain to secure from the drop-down menu and click “OK.”
  1. Configuring Website for SSL:
  • Go to the “Hosting Settings” of your domain.
  • Find the “Security” section and check the “SSL/TLS support” box.
  • Select the SSL certificate you just uploaded from the drop-down menu.
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.
  1. Verifying SSL Installation:
  • Visit your website using “https://” to ensure that the SSL certificate is working correctly.
  • Check for the padlock icon in the browser’s address bar, indicating a secure connection.

Additional Tips and Considerations:

  1. Regular Certificate Renewal:

Self-signed certificates typically have shorter lifespans. Consider renewing them periodically to avoid disruptions.

  1. Browser Warnings:

Be aware that visitors might see security warnings in their browsers when accessing a site with a self-signed certificate.

  1. Commercial SSL Certificates:

For e-commerce or sites handling sensitive data, consider investing in a commercial SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority.

  1. Stay Informed:

Keep yourself updated on SSL best practices and security standards to ensure the ongoing protection of your website.


Installing a self-signed SSL certificate in Plesk is a manageable process that significantly enhances the security of your website. While self-signed certificates are suitable for certain use cases, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, considering factors like browser warnings and certificate lifespans. Following this step-by-step guide ensures that your website benefits from encrypted communication, providing a safer browsing experience for your visitors.


How do I install a self-signed SSL certificate?

To install a self-signed SSL certificate, generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) in your server environment, create a self-signed certificate using the CSR, and then install it on your server. The exact steps depend on your server software.

How do I install an SSL certificate on Plesk?

In Plesk, navigate to “SSL/TLS Certificates,” click “Add SSL/TLS Certificate,” fill in the required details, generate a CSR, upload the certificate, and assign it to the domain in “Hosting Settings.” Enable SSL/TLS support for the domain to complete the installation.

How do I create a self-signed certificate in Plesk?

In Plesk, go to “SSL/TLS Certificates,” click “Add SSL/TLS Certificate,” enter the certificate details, and click “Request.” Then, upload the generated self-signed certificate, and assign it to the desired domain in “Hosting Settings.”

How to install a custom SSL certificate?

To install a custom SSL certificate in Plesk, go to “SSL/TLS Certificates,” click “Add SSL/TLS Certificate,” fill in the required details, and upload your custom certificate. After uploading, assign the certificate to the domain in “Hosting Settings” to complete the installation.