- 40.0 - SSL Overview
- 40.1 - Website Go-Live Process for Agencies
40.0 - SSL Overview
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. If you do not have the SSL certificate, a secure connection cannot be established. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages that require end-users to submit sensitive information over the Internet like credit card details or passwords. Example pages include payment pages, online forms and login pages. However, in 2017 Google and other search engines began flagging all websites as “Not Secure” if they do not have an SSL Certificate. Having this flag may cause leery visitors to your website to stay away out of fear that your site is not safe.
Therefore, DigiPro Media will be creating an account for your agency with Cloudflare so that every website created will be secure. All DigiPro Media websites must be secured with an SSL and will need to be placed within this account.
40.1 - Website Go-Live Process for Agencies
The below instructions will walk you through pushing a website live and applying an SSL.
Step 1: Verify if Your Domain has a Current Working Website
Step 1 - Video Tutorial:
Step 1 - Walkthrough:
1. Search your domain in an incognito mode on your web browser to determine if there is a pre-existing website.
Note: Incognito mode will prevent the browser from caching pre-existing settings.
Step 2: Log into Your Domains Registrar Account
Important Note: This portion of the tutorial was implemented in GoDaddy. Each registrar will require different steps, but the overall concept is generally the same.
Step 2 - Video Tutorial:
Step 2 - Walkthrough:
2. Next, log into the domain’s registrar account (ie GoDaddy, Network Solutions, 1and1, etc.)
Note: For this tutorial, GoDaddy is the registrar. The client will need to provide login credentials.
3. After logging in to your domain’s registrar account, select your login name in the top right-hand side of your screen to prompt a drop-down menu.
4. In the drop-down menu, select the “My Products” option below the “Account” section.
Note: If you are unable to find the domain you wish to take live listed, select the “Manage All” button located in the top right-hand section of the domains block to make all domains visible.
5. Locate the domain you are about to take live and select it.
Note: Depending upon what registrar you are working with, this may be as simple as selecting the URL itself within the domains list.
6. Next, navigate to the DNS records.
7. Once you have navigated to your DNS records, it will be in your best interest to take a screenshot of that record for reference for later use. This will allow you to restore the original DNS records if needed.
8. Modify the Apex A record to where name equals “@” (not the domain name) and host equals the IP address 126.96.36.199.
Note: In this example using GoDaddy, this can be edited by selecting the pencil icon associated with the row of the record in question. The methods of editing may very dependent upon your domain registrar provider.
9. Ensure there is a "CNAME" record for www and it points to the "@" symbol. If one does not exist, create a new one. Do not use an A Record for www. Delete all A Records associated with www.
10. Be sure to save your changes before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Log into Cloudflare Account
Step 3 - Video Tutorial:
Step 3 - Walkthrough:
11. In a new tab, log into your "Cloudflare" account provided to you by the DigiPro Media MIS Team.
12. Next, select “Add a Site”.
13. Then insert your websites URL and select the “Add Site” button.
14. Select your “Plan” and be sure to select the “Confirm Plan” button after doing so.
Note: Once you get to the plan selection stage, all agencies will select the free plan option as per agreement with Digipro Media unless noted otherwise.
15. Cloudflare will then initiate a brief scan of your DNS records while importing all data into your Cloudflare configuration.
16. After the scan is complete you will be presented with your websites DNS record information for review. Compare these records to the ones found in the registrar. If any are missing, add them at this point. Once all records match, proceed to the next step.
Note: The orange cloud depicted next to any record indicates Cloudflare protection. Only the Apex A Record and the www.CNAME record should have the orange cloud. Deactivate all other orange clouds by clicking on them.
17. If everything appears correct, select the “Continue” button located towards the bottom of your screen.
Step 4: Return to Registrar Account
Step 4 - Video Tutorial:
Step 4 - Walkthrough:
18. Return to the registrar account and change the "Name Servers" as part of the Cloudflare directions. This option is located towards the bottom of the screen when using GoDaddy.
Note: Your Cloudflare account will provide 2 unique nameservers (i.e., Vern.ns.cloudflare.com) and can be copied by selecting the “Click to Copy” option displayed below the nameserver.
19. Once your nameservers are updated, be sure to “Save” your changes.
Note: To ensure your nameservers have been updated on Cloudflare, we recommend selecting the “Re-check Now” button displayed in the video tutorial. This process may take several hours to be re-checked and will issue a notification of a successful update via email once the site becomes active.
Step 5: Access the DG Console and Manage Your Domain
Step 5 - Video Tutorial:
Step 5 - Walkthrough:
20. Next, log into the "DG Console" and do an organization search for the organization (or Org ID) associated with the domain.
Tip: How to Perform an Organization Search on the DG Console
20.1. To do an organization search you will first need to locate and select the “Organization” module located in the left-hand side of your screen’s sidebar.
20.2. Then select the “Search” option in the drop-down menu. Your “Organization Management” window will then appear.
20.3. Find the “Search” field which is located towards the right-hand side of your screen, and infill with the associated domain name.
20.4. After our system processes your search, you will be prompted with options to manage your domain.
21. Select “Options” on the right-hand side of your screen next to the correct org and then select “Map Domains” from the drop-down menu.
22. Enter the Apex version of the correct domain in the domain field, then select the “Add Domain” button below.
Note: The www version will be added automatically.
23. You will then be prompted with a “Success” message if done correctly.
Step 6: Test Your Website
Step 6 - Video Tutorial:
Step 6 - Walkthrough:
24. Test the site in a browser (we recommend first doing so in incognito mode). Be sure to test both the Apex and the www versions.
25. Once the nameservers propagate, you will receive an email from Cloudflare stating that the domain has been added to Cloudflare.
26. At that point you should also test the HTTPS versions of both. The HTTPS version may take some time to propagate before working. Once the HTTPS versions are working, the site is working fully.
27. If this is a new site for the client skip this step. If the client had a previous website with another host, do a Google search for the company. Look at the search results to determine which version of their domain is currently indexed with google. (i.e. www or non-www) This will be used as the default domain in step 30.
28. Return to the DG Console and back to the correct Org (See steps 21.1 – 21.3).
29. Now search for your domain either by name or Org ID, the once displayed on your screen, select the “Index” button associated with that domain to add a checkmark.
30. Then in the associated row of the domain name, select “Options” and navigate back to “Map Domains” to set a default domain. Set the Apex as the default unless step 27 revealed that the www version should be set instead. Also check “Force SSL” to force the CloudFlare SSL.
31. Test all versions of the domain in a browser once again to make sure that they all default to the HTTPS version of the default domain.
32. Return to the DG Console and back to the correct Org. Click Options > Business Profile. Here you will want to enter the “Go Live” date.
33. If there are any secondary or sub domains that will be redirecting to the primary website, change the A record and CNAME in those registrar accounts to match the records in step 1. Also add all subdomains to the “Map Domains” of the DG Console. You do not need to add these domains in Cloudflare as they will redirect to the secure, default domain.