In this quick-start tutorial you will learn how to configure free, auto-renewing SSL certificates for WordPress websites that are hosted on Google Cloud compute engine using the Click-to-Deploy version of WordPress on Google Cloud.

Before getting started with this tutorial, you should have already:

  1. Installed WordPress on Google Cloud
  2. Set up a Domain Name for your WordPress website

So let’s get started…

There are 7 steps in this tutorial:

  • 1. Connect to WordPress via SSH
  • 2. Generate Certificate Instructions
  • 3. Generate SSL Certificates
  • 4. Install Certbot
  • 5. Check Operating System
  • 6. Update WordPress URLs
  • 7. Restart Apache Server

1. Connect to WordPress via SSH

Go to your Google Compute homepage and click the hamburger menu in the upper left-hand corner.

Go to your Compute Engine, then to VM instances to access your WordPress installation.

Click the SSH button to connect to your VM instance.

2. Check Operating System

Now that you’ve connected to your VM instance, paste the command below in your terminal in order to check your operating system. After running the command, take note of the operating system, which is Debian 9.7 (stretch) in this example.

3. Generate Certificate Instructions

Return to your web browser and navigate to and select Apache from the Software dropdown, then select the correct operating system based on the output from Step 2 – which was Debian 9.7 (stretch) in this example.

4. Install Certbot

After selecting your system specifications from the dropdowns, scroll down the page and copy the the command to install Certbot.

Next, go back to your SSH terminal and paste the command that you copied, then press Enter to execute the command.

5. Generate SSL Certificates

Now that you’ve installed Certbot, the next step is to generate the SSL certificates. Return to the website and copy the second command.

Return to your SSH terminal and paste the command that you copied in order to generate the SSL certificates, then press Enter.

Now that you’ve pasted the certificate issuing command, you will be prompted with a series of questions. Answer the questions according to the the numbers in the image above, making sure to replace with your own email address, and with your own domain name.

6. Restart Apache Server

In order for your certificate changes to take effect, you need to update/restart you Apache server by executing the following command:

7. Update WordPress URLs

In your browser, enter the URL to your WordPress dashboard (with https://).

Log in to your WordPress account, then navigate to Settings > General, and replace your current domain name with the https:// version – with or without www. infront. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button.



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