Important Notes on Generating a CSR

The Certificate Signing Request is a text file containing your organization’s information and server’s public key. The CSR is used to generate the certificate that will encrypt your information.

Here are some important points to bear in mind when generating your Certificate Signing Request:

CSR and Web Server Software

Instructions for generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) are dependent on the web server software you are using.

SSL Server Certificates are compatible with all secure web server software. If the web server software you are using is not listed here, please contact support@ssl.com with complete details of your web server software (please be sure to include the vendor name, software title and version of the software).

Understanding the CSR Fields

Before you can enroll for a SSL Server Certificate, you must generate a CSR using your web server software. During the creation of the CSR, the following fields must be entered:

Common Name – The hostname that will use the certificate (usually a fully-qualified domain name like www.mydomain.com, or store.mydomain.com.)
Organization – The legal name of your company or organization.
Organization Unit – The departmental or division name for your group.
City/Locality – The city where your company is located.
State/Province – The state where your company is located.
Country/Region – Please use the two-character abbreviation for your country.

Understanding the Common Name

The Common Name field is often misunderstood and needs to be filled out correctly to make sure your certificate functions as required. The Common Name must be the same as the web address you wish to secure, and will look like www.yoursite.com, store.domain.com, or yoursite.com. SSL certificates are issued specifically to the Common Name requested. By default all Basic, Wildcard and Enterprise EV certificates ordered from SSL.com will automatically add www. to any domain name registered. You can thus secure www.domain.com when filling out the Common Name field automatically – just enter your own domain.com and your certificate will automatically cover domain.com AND www.domain.com.