To get your SSL certificate issued using the file-based method, your order’s unique verification file (downloadable at the bottom of your order details page on your account) must be publicly visible at a specified URL. The file path for your order should follow the folder hierarchy shown below:

Your-requested-domain.com/.well-known/pki-validation/[a unique file name].txt

Steps to Create Your File Path

  1. In your server/host’s public or home directory (where your public website files live), create a new folder/directory titled “.well-known”If you cannot create a folder with a “.” in the title, placing an additional “.” at the end of the folder name should allow the folder name to proceed as needed. Please try titling your folder “.well-known.”If your folder disappears after being titled with a “.” you will need to go into your settings and select the option to show “hidden folders” to make it visible in your file manager to proceed.
  2. Inside of the “.well-known” folder, create a second folder titled “pki-validation”.
  3. Inside of the “pki-validation” folder, place the unique text file that you downloaded from your account’s order details page. Please do NOT modify the title or the contents in any way.

Please Note: If this method isn’t working for you and you would like to try a different verification method (DNS or Email Based), scroll down to the bottom of your order details page on your account and select “Change Approver Method” to select another option. The instructions for the option that you choose will then appear in your account.

How to Check if Your File is Ready!

If you are successful in the creation of the verification file path outlined above, you should be able to view your unique file contents by accessing your verification file path in any web browser.

Just take the above example URL and change it out with your domain name and the name of your unique text file, then paste it into a browser. If you can see the contents of your verification file on your web page in plain text, then you’re good to go and the vendor should be able to validate your domain ownership.

If you’re having trouble viewing your file contents, please see our File Based Troubleshooting article here.

Next Steps

If you’ve purchased a DV certificate, once you’ve gotten your domain ownership approved you’ll be receiving your certificate shortly and then you’ll be able to install your SSL on your server. For help installing your SSL Certificate, click here.

If you’ve purchased an OV or EV certificate, then you’ll need to proceed to your organization validation steps to receive your certificate files. For help with getting this done, please see our support article for OV Certificates here and our support article for EV Certificates here.

If it has been more than 15 minutes since you were able to see the file in your browser and your certificate has not been issued yet, go to the bottom of your order details page in your account and select “Change Approval Settings” and then select “Save” (without making any changes to the approval settings). This will prompt the vendor’s system to retry your file authentication.

Please allow another 15 minutes to go by before contacting support for assistance with your order.

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