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Obtaining Digital Certificates

There are several companies, known as Certificate Authorities (CA), that issue Digital Certificates. The two largest and most widely supported issuing authorities are Thawte and VeriSign. You can compare the prices of these certificates.
While the VeriSign certificate is supported by a larger number of very old browsers (versions 2.x and earlier), only the Thawte certificate supports "wildcard" domains, which means that "" and "" can share the same certificate. VeriSign does not support wildcard domains and requires each unique domain have its own certificate.

Thawte Digital Certificates
We have provided a simplified process for ordering and installing a Thawte certificate.

VeriSign Digital Certificates
If you are interested in Obtaining a VeriSign Digital Certificate, do the following:
  1. First, a "Certificate Signing Request" or CSR must be submitted to VeriSign on behalf of your company (or organization).

    1. Fill out the Certificate Request Form and email it to us.

    2. Blue Reef will then formulate a "Certificate Signing Request" from the information you provide and return this Request to you. Included in the Request is a block of information delimited by the phrase "NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST". An example of such a block is included here for your reference:


  2. Once you have obtained your CSR, begin the process of ordering your signed Digital Certificate.

    You will be guided through the steps to order a Digital Certificate. You will be asked for a number of things during this process.

    • When prompted to select your Web Server Software, you should select Apache-SSL).

    • In the section where you are asked to enter your CSR, be sure to copy the CSR exactly as you recieved it, including the entire BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST and END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST lines.




    • At some point, you will be required to enter information about your company, including the official company name and address. You will also be required to mail a copy of a number of documents to prove you really are who you claim to be.

    • At a specific point in the enrollment process, VeriSign will require a "challenge phrase" or "password". The "challenge phrase" or "password" will be required on future actions you may wish to take in relation to your Digital Certificate. Do not use your mother's maiden name, or any other phrase that could be easily guessed. VeriSign does not have access to your Challenge Phrase or Password, so you must remember it.

  3. Once your Digital Certificate Order is complete, be sure to send the requested authenticating documentation to the signing agency. Once the Certificate Authority recieves the authentication documents, you will usually get your signed certificate within 3 to 5 days.

    Please note that Blue Reef cannot act in behalf of you in this matter. Furthermore, Blue Reef cannot do anything to expedite the certificate generation process. This is strictly dependent upon VeriSign.

  4. Once the Certificate Authority has returned a Signed Digital Certificate to you, it must be installed on your server. To do this, follow the instructions on our page Installing a Digital Certificate or, if you are not comfortable with doing it yourself, you may choose to request to Contact our Digital Certificate Staff and have us install the certificate for you. Be sure to include the signed certificate in the message you send to us. We can then install the certificate on your Virtual Private Server in 1-3 business days.

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Recommended Ecommerce Books


Complete Idiot's Guide to E-Commerce Complete Idiot's Guide to E-Commerce

Web Secuirty & Commerce
Web Security & Commerce

Dead Ahead: The Web Dilemma and the New Rules of Business
Dead Ahead:
The Web Dilemma and the New Rules of Business

Small Business Solutions for E-Commerce Small Business Solutions for E-Commerce logo
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