How to Install Free SSL on Namecheap (Let’s Encrypt)

A step-by-step approach to install free SSL Let’s Encrypt. on your Namecheap hosted site using ACME.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to install a new ssl on your site without having to buy one. It’s free.

Namecheap is giving your site a free ssl for the first whole year when you start with them.

But after that, you’ll need to spend some money to renew it.

Nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a free alternative, you might want to use Let’s Encrypt – a free, automated and open certificate authority (CA) that just as secure as any paid CA.

Most of the cases, installing a free Let’s Encrypt certificate should be easy.

But since Namecheap has a contract with another certificate authority, they can’t provide a convenient way to use it.

But it still can be done – manually.

In this guide, we will guide you on how to install a free ssl from Let’s Encrypt on Namecheap with the help of

Step-by-step how to install Free SSL on Namcheap

We try to include as much detail as possible. If something is not right on your side, leave some comment and we’ll try to address it.

1 Login into your Namecheap account & into your cPanel

cPanel can be accessed in different way, but the most convenient one is through your Namecheap account.

Login into your Namecheap account and click on the ‘Hosting list‘ menu.

namecheap hosting list menu to access cPanel
Namecheap Hosting List menu.

A list of your hosted site will appear.

Find the one you want to install the free ssl to. At the end of that particular site, you should see a ‘GO TO CPANEL‘ button. Click on that to access your cPanel.

button to access cpanel on namecheap
Button to access cpanel on namecheap.

If your ‘GO TO CPANEL‘ not appear, try clicking on the dropdown icon to reveal it.

A new tab will open and redirect you to your site cPanel.

2 Enable SSH Access

By default, the SSH Access is not enabled. We need to enable it in order to access the terminal and allow us to run a very simple command to allow us to install free SSL on Namecheap.

Find the ‘Exclusive for Namecheap Customer’ section inside the cPanel.

It supposed to be located at the very top of the cPanel display.

Inside that section, find and click on the ‘Manage Shell’.

manage shell inside the exculsive for namecheap customer section
‘Manage Shell’ inside the ‘Exclusive for Namecheap Customer Section’.

To enable the SSH Access, we just need to toggle the toggle switch, which is located at the top right, from disabled to enable.

toggle switch to enable ssh access
Toggle switch to enable ssh access.

The toggle switch will change color from grey to green.

After a few second, an access detail will appear under it.

Thats it to enable the SSH Access. No more action needed.

Go back to cPanel dashboard by clicking the home icon or the cPanel logo located at the very top left of your current cPanel display.

3 Remove any Existing SSL

Any existing or expired SSL should be removed so that we can get the fresh install of our new free SSL.

To do that, scroll down and find the ‘SECURITY’ section.

Under the ‘SECURITY’ section, click on the ‘SSL/TLS’

the ssl tls under security section
The SSL/TLS under Security section.

In the ‘SSL/TLS’ display, click on the ‘Manage SSL sites’ option.

remove any existing ssl install free ssl on namecheap
Manage SSL sites

Inside the ‘Manage SSL sites’ display, scroll down a bit until you found the ‘Manage Installed SSL Websites‘ section.

An example of ‘Manage Installed SSL Websites’ will look like this:

managed installed ssl websites
Example of ‘Manage installed ssl websites’ section.

To uninstall the existing SSL, just click on the ‘Uninstall’.

uninstall existing ssl
Option to uninstall the existing SSL.

If you use more than one domain in the same server, it will all appear here and will be grouped in a different row.

So make sure you choose the right one.

When you click on the Uninstall, a notification will appear, click on the ‘Proceed’ to confirm.

The uninstall process will take a few seconds. When done, the SSL list will disappear.

Now that the process is done, we can proceed to install free ssl on Namcheap from Let’s Encrypt.

4 Install the ACME Script

We need the help from ACME script to install the free Let’s Encrypt certificate.

For that, we need to get it installed first.

Go back to the main display / dashboard / home screen of cPanel by clicking on the dashboard icon or the cPanel logo.

Once on the cPanel dashboard, scroll down to the ‘ADVANCED’ section, right-click on the ‘TERMINAL’ and open in a new tab.

Let the existing tab stay on the cpanel dashboard so that we can use it in the next step. More convenient.

On the ‘Terminal’, you will get a warning notification. Just click on the ‘I understand and want to proceed’.

It will open up a terminal that look like this:

server terminal
Server Terminal.

Once its ready, copy or type in following command inside the terminal:

curl | sh -s

Note: We cant use the short-cut key (Cntrl + V) on the terminal. To paste it, we have to do right-click and select ‘paste’

Replace the with your own email (the one that being used when you bought the domain and also the hosting).

Press enter to run the command.

Let it run for a while until you see the ‘Install success’ on the terminal.

acme script installation complete
acme script installation complete.

(Just ignore the red warning)

Before proceed to the next step, we need to restart the terminal for the acme to work properly.

Just close the terminal window and open it again to restart it.

Next use the following command to change the default CA from zerossl to letsencrypt. --set-default-ca --server letsencrypt

By default, acme is using zerossl to create a certificate. We want to change it back to letsencrypt.

changing default acme ca to lets encrypt
Changing default acme CA to lets encrypt.

5 Create the SSL for our Website

On the terminal type in below command and enter:


This command will give you the current working directory that will be used in the next command.

For example inside below picture, the pwd command will tell me that the current working directory is ‘home/unikkzzxw’.

current working directory
The ‘pwd’ command tell that the current working directory is ‘/home/unikzzxw’

Use next command to create the ssl certificate: --force --issue -d -d -w /home/username/public_html

Above command need to be modify a bit according to your website detail.

Change ‘’ to your domain name.

Change ‘username’ to your cpanel username that being displayed when you use the ‘pwd’ earlier.

For example, like this: --force --issue -d -d -w /home/unikzzxw/public_html

After done with modification, run it by pressing enter.

It will take a few second for it to complete.

free ssl is being created
Free ssl has been created.

Next, we need to make sure the certificate being created just now exist in our server.

To do that, go back to your cpanel dashboard, find the ‘FILES’ section and click on the ‘File Manager‘ under that section.

Inside the File Manager, try to find the folder.

By default, if you never touch any setting here, any dot folder will not be seen.

If you cant find the folder, change the preferences to show the hidden dot file.

You can do that by clicking the setting icon located at the top right of the File manager display.

Setting menu in File Manager
Setting menu in File Manager.

Tick on the ‘Show Hidden Files (dotfile)’ to show any hidden dotfiles.

Option to show the hidden dotfiles
Option to show the hidden dotfiles.

The folder should show up at the very top list of the file manager view. folder folder

Click on the folder, then a folder named after your domain name. The certificate being created just now can be found here.

Make sure this 2 files exist:

  • (certificate)
  • (key)
cer and key files
Cer and key files.

Leave this open. This 2 file will be used in the next step.

6 Installing the Free SSL

Go to cPanel dashboard find the ‘SSL/TLS’ under the security section and click on it.

Proceed to click on the ‘Manage SSL sites’

Scroll down a bit to the ‘Install an SSL Website’.

To install our free ssl, there only 3 thing we need to fill up here:

  1. Domain
  2. Certificate: (CRT)
  3. Private Key (KEY)

For the domain, from the select domain dropdown option, select your domain.

select domain to install the free ssl
Select your domain to install the free ssl.

If you have more than one domain installed in the same server, more than one domain will appear here. Select the one you need to install the free ssl for.

For the Certificate (CRT), go back to the file manager we open up earlier, right click on the file and select ‘view’.

Copy everything start from the ‘Begin certificate’ to the ‘End certificate’.

(Everything means everything, including the words begin certificate and end certificate).

The paste it inside the Certificate: (CRT) section.

certificate of the free ssl
Paste every content of the CER file under the certificate (CRT) section.

Do the same for the Private Key (KEY) using the content from file.

key of the free ssl
Paste every content of the KEY file under the Private Key (KEY)

Ignore the ‘Certificate Authority Bundle: (CABUNDLE)’ section. Just leave it empty.

When you’re finish, click on the ‘Install certificate’ button.

The installation process will take a while. When finished, a notification window as below will appear.

Installation of the free ssl from lets encrypt is completed
Installation of the free ssl from lets encrypt is completed.

And with this, the free ssl from Lets Encrypt is fully installed on your Namecheap hosted site.

It might take a while for the ssl to be fully functional on your site.

You can confirm it by visiting your site. If the risk warning not appear on you browser, thats mean your ssl is working perfectly.

Hopefully by the end of this guide you manage to succeed to install free ssl on Namecheap.

Your free ssl certificate from Let’s Encrypt supposed to be automatically renewed whenever expired. If not, just visit this post again.

If this guide help, help us by sharing it.


I have used this guide successfully to install lets encrypt certificates on my Namecheap hosted sites.
Great step-by-step guide, awesome work: you have my thanks!

Just did this, thanks to your instructions (hard to find info on free or alternative SSL-with-Namecheap on the web!)
Do you know of any way to automate re-issue ever 60-90 days? One thing I have always been frustrated with, is that many hosts won’t assist with re-issues or help us automate them in any way. My domain names and hosting all auto-renew, it’s always bothered my that SSL has to be a manual renewal involving copy/paste codes for multiple domains.
Is there a way we can run something every 60 days on terminal in Namecheap automatically to keep these 90-day certs fresh?

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