I run a website which I serve over https and https only (add_header Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=63072000; includeSubDomains; preload";)

The ssl certificate I bought came from namecheap.com, but it's supplied by Comodo. It's a "Essential SSL Wildcard" certificate.

Can I just move the certificate files from their location in /etc/nginx/ssl/ on my old server and expect them to work flawlessly on the new server?

Or do I have to do something clever, if so, what? Is it just the same procedure I went through to install it onto the old server when I first got the certificate? Is it ok to have it running on both servers simultaneously during the switchover?

I really hope I won't have to buy a new certificate as I paid for 3 years up-front only a few months ago...

Thank you!

  • SSL cert is not IP bound, but bounds to the domain name. Even using HSTS shouldn't be an issue.
    – mootmoot
    Aug 28, 2018 at 15:29
  • I think I knew that, but I was getting confused about private/public keys and thinking I'd need to regenerate something on the new server or something. Not enough sleep. Thank you!
    – Codemonkey
    Aug 28, 2018 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


It does not mean anything. The certificate is not bound to the server, so you can move them around as needed.

When you copy the certificates from the old to the new server, and change the DNS records to point to the new one, any client browser will connect to your domain, get the certificate, validate it and accept it. You don't need to issue new certificates.

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