SSL Certificate has become an important part of every WordPress site since major web browsers like Google Chrome started showing a non-secure warning in the address bar. WordPress already announced that as of 2017 they are going to implement features in the core that will require your website to have HTTPS available. From SEO point of view, HTTPs is also important since Google now consider it as a ranking factor. So if you haven’t switched to HTTPs yet now is the time to do it. In this article, I will show you how you can add a free SSL certificate to your WordPress site and get it up and running in HTTPs.
How to Add a Free SSL Certificate to WordPress
Sign up for the Bluehost Special WordPress Hosting or SiteGround WordPress Hosting plan.
Contact your web host to have the Free SSL certificate installed for you. Alternatively, you might also be able to directly install it from your account panel.
Once you have the Free SSL certificate installed you should be able to load your website in HTTPs (HTTP will also be available).
Install and activate the Easy HTTPs Redirection plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/https-redirection/.
Go to the Easy HTTPs Redirection plugin settings and apply these settings:
1. Enable automatic redirection to the “HTTPS” – This option does an automatic 301 redirection to the HTTPS version if the non-secure HTTP version tries to load. With 301 redirection, you don’t lose any ranking since all the page ranks from current pages (non-secure version) get transferred to the secure version of those pages.
2. Apply HTTPS redirection on “The whole domain”
3. Force resources to use HTTPS URL – This makes sure that all of your existing resources such as images, docs embedded in posts and pages load from the HTTPS version. If you try to embed an image from an HTTP source in an HTTPs page, it will lead to mixed content warning error.
Finally, go to the general settings and let WordPress know that you wish to use HTTPS as the default protocol for your site (If It hasn’t changed from HTTP to HTTPS already).
Once this is done your WordPress site should be fully migrated to HTTPS. When you create a new post/page now and embed a resource in it such as image, it will be embedded with its HTTPS source URL.
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