How to install SSL Certificate on a WordPress Website

As the world becomes increasingly digital, there is an equally increasing risk against personal privacy. Whenever we log in to a website, we provide private information, which should be encrypted to prevent easy access and viewing.

In order to make sure that the connection is secure and data transfer is encrypted, the website should use secure HTTPS and secure sockets layer (SSL). In this article, we will be discussing key points of SSL certificates and how to successfully add it to your WordPress website.

Before We Begin

Malicious entities may try to cheat their way into your website traffic to gain access to files and passwords, by pretending that they’re using a secure connection. By using the principles of HTTPS and SSL, you will be able to protect your site traffic from hackers and others with malicious intent.

Here’s what you need to know about SSL, in order to help you understand before installing and adding it on your WordPress-powered site.

What is SSL?

SSL is the Standard Security Technology used to establish an encrypted and secure link between server and browser. This type of link makes sure that all data being transferred from the web server to the browser remains safe and protected.

SSL allows sensitive and vital information like social security, credit card information, username and password to be transmitted safely and securely. SSL is an industry-standard in security certificates, and there are millions of people who use this to keep their websites from becoming victims of hackers and phishing.

Moreover, SSL is a security protocol that determines the variables of encryption for both the link and data being transmitted. It is also a transparent protocol of a website wherein users are only alerted when a browser displays a padlock icon, making it an extremely simple security feature for end users.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is a secure version of HTTP, the security protocol through which data is sent between the browser and the website you are trying to connect to. The use of SSL or Transport Layer Security (TLS) acts as a sub-layer under regular HTTP application layering.

HTTPS encrypts and decrypts requests done on a website or user page returned by the Web server. Using HTTPS protects against unauthorized attacks and phishing of information, and was originally developed by tech giant Netscape.

The main goal of HTTPS is to work as a form of authentication of visited websites, as well as protection of the privacy and integrity of exchanged data.

What is the importance of SSL?

The reason behind the significance of SSL is mainly to keep sensitive information sent across the Internet encrypted and unreadable to ensure that it can only be interpreted by the intended recipient. An SSL certificate is important because information sent online is passed from computer to computer to successfully and securely send it to the intended server.

Aside from encryption, SSL also provides proper authentication. Authentication serves as a protection in sending out sensitive information to the right server. The main importance of SSL certificate and the use of HTTPS is that it can make sure that everything being sent over to the internet is safe and secure. To achieve this, the use of proper PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is received from a trusted SSL provider.

Before adding SSL and HTTPS in WordPress

Before adding SSL and HTTPS on your website, there are certain steps that you need to accomplish in order to successfully add it to your WordPress.

1. Buy an SSL certificate

To start off, you need to purchase an SSL certificate. Some WordPress hosting services offer free SSL with their subscriptions. You may also purchase third-party SSL certificates from hosting providers around the range of $50 and $200.

2. Install certificate on server

Once you have purchased SSL Certificate, ask your web hosting provider to install it on your server. You may opt to install a WordPress plugin to install your SSL certificate for you.

3. Prepare WordPress site for SSL

Here are the steps on how to setup WordPress so that you can use SSL and HTTPS:

a) If your website is new or if you’re starting a new site, update your site URL.

b) To update your URL, go to Settings, and click on General. Update your WordPress by updating the site URL address fields.

c) If you’re adding SSL to an existing website, setup WordPress SSL by redirecting it from HTTP to HTTPS.

d) Add the following code to your .htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yoursite.com/$1 [R,L]
</IfModule>
(Please take note to replace yoursite.com with your own site URL.)

Congratulations! You have successfully set up your SSL and HTTPS on your WordPress website.

Meanwhile, here are the steps on how to setup your SSL and HTTPS on specific pages of your site (say, all pages:

a) Download, install and activate WordPress HTTPS (SSL) plugin.

b) Once activated, click on HTTPS in your WordPress admin interface to visit the plugin’s setting page.

c) Enter the SSL host on the Settings page. In most cases, this is merely your domain name. If, however, your site is connected to a subdomain, then use the root domain for this step.

d) Tick the “Force SSL Exclusively” checkbox. Check the box only on certain pages where you want to have the SSL option.

e) Check on user account pages, and click on the “Save Changes” button to save the plugin settings.

f) To make sure that HTTPS is running in selected pages, edit the pages in question by checking the boxes beside Force SSL.

Once you have done all of the sites, you should have successfully added HTTPS on your WordPress website.

Conclusion

In just a few steps, you can already strengthen the security of your WordPress site. Using plugins for SSL and HTTPS can make the process a lot more convenient and less technical than how you may have imagined it to be. By securing your site, your clients will feel much safer in transacting with your website and lead them to become trusting partners in the long run.

Design WordPress themes in minutes using TemplateToaster