[Common Issue] SSL / TLS Certificate Provisioning, custom domains

Dealing with SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/ Transport Layer Security) can be a tricky subject, but at Netlify, we try and make it as easy as possible to get an SSL certificate set up. That said, there are times when this process doesn’t work as smoothly as we’d like, and there are a couple of reasons why that could be.

Generally, the reason we are unable to provide a complete SSL certificate for your custom domain is that the DNS (Domain Name System) cache timeout or TTL(Time To Live) for a record had not had time to expire (from your old settings) before you tried to use it with Netlify. Our SSL provider is unable to create certificates for names that have old cached values still in effect.

When you add a custom domain to your site we’ll attempt to get you a certificate immediately. If that fails, we will retry every 10 minutes for that first day, then once every hour during the following two days. This means that the vast majority of the time we will get you a certificate if you wait a short while. If you don’t get a certificate that first day then the problem is usually that your DNS for the domain is not setup properly, and if that’s the case we recommend reading through our docs on custom domains and DNS. You should also see some tips on setting up your DNS right on the domains page of your site on app.netlify.com.

If that process generates a partial certificate, we can still help you - post a post in #admin and we’ll dm you to get things fixed up if you are having issues. Let’s Encrypt’s rate limits can be finicky to work with, but sometimes a little extra time can allow things to work right when we request or renew the certificate.

Let us know if you have trouble with DNS or SSL, we’re happy to help!

Can we issue more than one cert per site? I’ve seen lets encrypt has a 100 domain per cert limit so if I have more than 100 alternate domain names can I issue a second cert?

We offer whitelabel domains for our agency users so we have 133 subdomains at the moment but thats increasing

Nope! Max one certificate per site on our service. The reason you might have less than one per site is if you follow my advice below.

You can of course create multiple sites with the same codebase! Then you can put a bunch of names on the same codebase. The best workflow for “many subdomains” is of course to use a wildcard certificate to cover them all. If you don’t do this all certificate operations (e.g. adding a name) will be QUITE slow since lets encrypt essentially processes them one at a time and each one takes a few seconds, so you might consider less hostnames per site (<=20 is a good benchmark, since that is also a lets encrypt rate limit and since we ask for name1, then name1+name2, then name1+name2+name3+… as you add the names in our UI. LE has a limit of 20 requests per week for any name, so you can see that we’ll hit that weekly limit at 20 names.