How to setup SSL for github custom domain

Today I noticed that https wasn’t working for this website.

ssl fail browser

This was due to the certificate provided by github.com only validating domains for github.io. People that use custom domains were left out.

Fortunatelly there is an easy and free way to fix this. We can use cloudfare to host a cache of our website and then point our webservers to that site. Cloudfare certificate will validate our custom domain (technically it won’t validate, but it good enough for our purpose).

So signup with cloudfare, indicate the website that you want to add, check if you have all the DNS entries listed:

cloudfare dns

And add the presented DNS servers to your DNS provider (choose the option Custom DNS).

cloudfare dns servers

cloudfare custom dns

Now let’s allow cloudfare to fetch the webpage from github via SSL even though of the previous mentioned SSL problem.

In cloudfare just open the crypto section:

cloudfare crypto

And select the full ssl option:

cloudfare crypto full option

cloudfare crypto full option explanation

Then in the page rules section:

cloudfare page rule section

Create a new page rule, and enable ssh with the wildcard option:

cloudfare create new page rule

cloudfare page rule detail

And all should be working. You might need to wait some minutes for DNS changes to propagate and cloudfare to fetch the page content from github.

ssl fail browser

Bonus hint, you can force all pages to be served by https. In the crypto section just enable “Always use HTTPS”:

cloudfare always use https


If you liked this post, you can share it with your followers or follow me on Twitter!