Setting UP SSL on WordPress

With Google’s new changes coming for non-SSL sites in July many people are making the conversion. I have seen a lot of people in various forums over the last few days really struggling with these conversions. So I decided to do a post on step by step instructions on changing your WordPress site to SSL.

Step 1: Install an SSL certificate.

Depending on your hosting setup there may be different ways to accomplish this. I work with many sites that are on dedicated servers that I have shell access to so I have primarily been using Let’s Encrypt. If you have shell accesss Let’s Encrypt is an easy free solution. If you are on a shared environment it’s almost always easier to just purchase an SSL certificate from your host and most will install it for free.

Step 2: Change your Worpdress Links to HTTPS

Once your certificate is installed go into your WP-Admin area. You want to go to Settings–>General. You will see two different URL’s for your site, change both of these from http to https and save. This is going to force your home page as well as all WP controlled links such as menu’s etc.

Step 3: Add some code to your .htaccess to force all urls to use https

This step isn’t always necessary but it’s good practice to make sure everything is https. The code is below it should be placed at the very top of your .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^.*$ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R,L]

Step 4: Fix any hard links in your theme file.

If you have a custom theme you will need to go through your main theme files such as header, footer, index and page to make sure there are no hardcoded links. If you find any change the http to https.

Step 5: Deal with links, images and attachments on internal pages.

For this I use a plugin called Velvet Blue Update URLS it makes it really easy and if you have a lot of pages it will save you a ton of time. Simply open the interace and set the old url to http://domain.com and the new url to https://domain.com. Check all the boxes for excerpts, attachments etc. and click save.

At this point your site should be completely converted and all content secured. If for some reason you are still not seeing the padlock in the left hand corner of the browser bar use this tool to see exactly what content still needs to be secured. Why No Padlock? It will show you specifically what content you still need to deal with.

If you are using 3rd party content on your site such as google fonts or jotforms, pretty much all these services support SSL so just simply change the links in your scripts from http to https and they should work.

If you don’t want to do the DIY approach feel free to contact us Postsalot.com and we can help you get the conversion done.

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