Adding SSL to a new or existing Rails application isn’t really that difficult. If the website exists for a while and you want to move to https, then you must properly redirect (301) visitors to the new url. If it’s a new website, then it’s probably a good idea to use SSL from the start. (it’s must if you collect any kind of sensitive data from the users)
Assumptions : It’s a Rails 4 app, running with nginx, passenger and Ubuntu 14.04 Server. (preferably on VPS, or somehow you should be able to update nginx configs and so). For SSL certificate, I would recommend Comodo PositiveSSL Certificate from NameCheap @ $9 a year, unless you’ve a good reason to spend more on that.
First, generate a key and then CSR for buying a SSL certificate. Enter the required info as required. Watch out for Common Name / FQDN field, it must match with the domain (in this case : example.com).
openssl genrsa -out example.com.key 2048 openssl req -new -key example.com.key -out example.com.csr
Then copy the content of above csr file to your clipboard (use
xclip, a command line utility) and paste that into SSL order form.
xclip -sel clip < path_to_your_csr_directory/example.com.csr
Next, you’ll receive a confirmation email. After confirming that, they will email you the certificate. (usually within few hours)
Once you receive the ssl certificate (usually in *.zip format), extract the zip file (containing certificates) and concatenate them in right order to get a single certificate file.
cat www_example_com.crt COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt > ssl-bundle.crt
Now, you need to upload these two files – ssl-bundle.crt and example.com.key (the private key, generated earlier) to the server. (use scp. e.g
scp target_file user@server_ip:file_name)
Preparing Rails for SSL
Enable SSL in production mode, by updating the
config.force_ssl = true
And you also need to make sure all the external resources (e.g fonts, images, css, js etc) are loaded securely over https only.
Login to VPS/Server and create/update your nginx config for ssl.
sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com
A sample nginx config for Rails Application.
Now, enable that nginx config and reload the server.
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/example.com sudo service nginx reload