I'm looking to move our current site from the current hosting platform to a new provider. The part I'm struggling with is setting up the SSL certificate on the new platform. I can't see how to do this as the certificate is tied to the domain, which is currently live and running on the current server. How do I setup the new server to prepare for switch over?

  • You are not giving enough details and specifically where you have a problem and what you attempted. Issuing a certificate would not be a problem, you just need to configure the current webserver to reply to the HTTP challenge or use a DNS challenge, or an email one. In short moving your website and handling X509 certificates are mostly completely independent. For simplicity, do not do both together, change your website (hence copy current certificate) and then issue a new one. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 14:33
  • The part I'm struggling with is, the current certificate and domain are live. So for me the DNS record for the domain is pointing to the current server. How do I generate a new certificate on the new server while the DNS record for the domain is pointing to the current server. Is it possible to use the current certificate on the new server? Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:19
  • Why do you want specifically a new certificate? On your current host, you have the certificate, the associated private key and maybe some CA certificate. You just copy all of them over your new host and use them. Your certificate will work there exactly in the same way you do not need a new certificate just because you are moving your website. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 16:23
  • Thanks Patrick, between your answer and Stephen's I was able to get the result I needed. I'd wrongly assumed that the key needed to be regenerated on the new server. Appreciate the help. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 9:53

1 Answer 1


You don't need to generate a new certificate. You just copy the old certificate, key file, certificate chain, and SSL configuration to the new server just like all your other files. SSL certificates are tied to a domain, not a particular server or IP address. You can copy them and use them on any and all servers that are hosting the domain.

There is a chance that your web host generated the certificate for you using LetsEncrypt but doesn't give you access to the files to move it. In that case you should generate a new certificate using LetsEncrypt on your own. You have the option of using their DNS verification method that doesn't require a live web server. It requires you to publish DNS records. You can do that manually following the instructions on ServerFault: How to use Let's Encrypt DNS challenge validation?

  • Thanks Stephen, this was the problem I needed to resolve. The current provider didn't allow access to the certificates and I was trying to setup on AWS. Lets Encrypt challenge validation was the solution for me. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 9:55

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