Here at Mythic Beasts, we’ve been busily undermining sales of our SSL certificates by rolling out support for free certificates from Let’s Encrypt, partly because we think that the internet should be secure by default, but mostly because we’re lazy and Let’s Encrypt makes it easy to fully automate certificate issue and deployment.
Domain validated certificates
The majority of SSL certificates in use today are “Domain Validated” certificates. These are issued automatically by a certificate authority once you have completed some action that proves that you are in control of the domain for which the certificate is being requested. This can include responding to an email send to an address at your domain, or posting a file to a specific location on your website.
Let’s Encrypt DNS challenge
One of the options for validation offered by Let’s Encrypt is a DNS challenge (known as “dns-01”), whereby you prove ownership of your domain by adding a specific entry to its DNS zone. This option is quite interesting, as it allows you to avoid meddling in any way with your web server configuration and, if your DNS is hosted with Mythic Beasts, you can automate the addition of the necessary records using our DNS API.
Automating via our DNS API
We’ve also written a step-by-step guide to configuring dns-01 validation using our DNS API.
Please note, if you’re a hosting account customer, you don’t need to worry about any of this. You can get an SSL certificate for your website simply by hitting a button in the control panel.
Thanks go to David Earl for testing this and providing the initial implementation of the hook script..