Installing a SSLMate SSL Certificate on WebFaction

To me SSL certificates have always been relegated to the realm of ecommerce sites and big tech companies. I wanted to know a site was HTTPS before logging in, but I never really cared how it worked. Recently I read @bcrypt’s post tls everything, in which I learned that HTTPS is not expensive nor is it hard to set up.

This note is to document my process of getting a SSL certificate from SSLMate set up on WebFaction.

  1. Since we will make SSLMate from source, we will need cpan to install dependencies. Follow the instructions in the WebFaction documentation to setup cpan for your user account.
  2. Follow the instructions for SSLMate installation. Choose Other as your operating system to get the make instructions.
  3. Install SSLMate dependencies with cpan: cpan URI Term::ReadKey JSON::PP
  4. Grab the latest package and uncompress: wget; tar xzvf sslmate-latest.tar.gz
  5. cd into the uncompressed sslmate directory.
  6. Specify a path to your home directory when running make: make install PREFIX=$HOME/sslmate
  7. Add an alias to the installation in your .bash_profile, .bashrc, or .aliases: alias sslmate="$HOME/sslmate/bin/sslmate”
  8. Now proceed to purchase a certificate for your domain.
  9. After purchasing the certificate, follow the instructions for setting up a https site on WebFaction.


  • $HOME/.sslmate is the file SSLMate uses to store its config (for example, when you run sslmate link).
  • It took about 30 minutes for the WebFaction staff to enable the certificate after opening the support ticket.