How to Enable Free AutoSSL with InMotion Hosting

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When you purchase hosting from InMotion, you can enable free AutoSSL. This allows you to access HTTPS on your domains. This is included with ALL their hosting plans. Here’s a complete list of their coupons and discounts.

Don’t purchase hosting without a free SSL certificate!

The inclusion of free SSL is important, because a lot of companies try and gouge you on the price of SSL while offering cheap hosting. It’s one of the two traps that hosting companies use to get you to overpay.

No Wildcards With InMotion’s AutoSSL – But That’s Ok!

Unlike SiteGround, InMotion’s AutoSSL doesn’t support wildcards. So if your website was “example.com”, the following subdomains will be covered by each AutoSSL namely:

  • autodiscover.example.com
  • example.com
  • cpanel.example.com
  • mail.example.com
  • webdisk.example.com
  • webmail.example.com
  • www.example.com

However, this doesn’t matter since InMotion creates a separate AutoSSL certificate for each subdomain as per this tweet:

I’ve been saying for a long time that in this day and age, you don’t NEED to pay for SSL. Hosts should be giving them out free at this point, and InMotion’s AutoSSL delivers the goods with individual certificates for each subdomain. Cool!

So let’s see how to Enable free AutoSSL with InMotion.

Step 1: Find the Option in InMotion’s AMP

When you log into your InMotion account, the first thing you see is the “Account Management Panel” or AMP. Unlike DreamHost, InMotion uses a standard cPanel interface, so AMP isn’t a replacement. In AMP, locate the icon titled “Manage Free Basic SSL” like this:

Manage Basic SSL

Step 2: Enable Free SSL and Wait for Confirmation

This will bring you to a page with a toggle button labeled “Enable Free SSL”. Click it so the slider turns green as shown here:

Enable Free SSL

This will generate the SSL certificate.

Certificate Generation Process

However, it doesn’t happen immediately. If you try and visit your website as soon as you enable AuotSSL, you’ll get a certificate warning like this:

SSL Doesn't Work Immediately

Creating an SSL certificate is a bit of a time-consuming process requiring the creation of sufficient randomness or “entropy” for the key in order to provide solid encryption. For this reason, InMotion generates these certificates at night when the load on the servers is low.

However by manually enabling AutoSSL like we did above, we can force the process along. InMotion recommends that we wait for a maximum of 20 mins for them to generate the certificate, but the process usually takes around half that time. When your certificate is generated, you’ll get an e-mail from cPanel informing you about it:

InMotion SSL Certificate E-Mail

This will also list the subdomains which AutoSSL protects.

AutoSSL Expiration Dates

At the bottom, you can also see the expiration dates. However, you don’t need to worry about it renewing it manually, since InMotion does this for you automatically. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t usually recommend installing a certificate manually – even though it’s possible. With an automated SSL procedure like this, you’re never in danger of your certificates expiring.

Step 3: Testing the Free AutoSSL Functionality

After you receive the e-mail from cPanel which notifies you that your SSL certificate has been installed, try and visit your site with “https” instead of “http”. You should now get a nice green “lock” signal in your browser bar like this:

Enable Free AuotSSL with InMotion - Complete

 

And you’re done!

InMotion Should Switch to Let’s Encrypt Certificates

In short, AutoSSL from InMotion is almost as good as the Let’s Encrypt certificates issued by hosts like SiteGround. The only drawback is that it doesn’t secure wildcard domains. And that’s actually a pretty big drawback!

Considering that even slow-moving lumbering EIG companies like Bluehost are now using Let’s Encrypt, it’s time that InMotion switched over as well. Or they can fix the wildcard loophole in their AutoSSL offerings. Until then, customers will at least be able to secure their base domains with free SSL without having to purchase one.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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