How to Add SSL and HTTPS in WordPress (Step by Step)

add ssl and https in wordpress

Do you want to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress site? Installing an SSL certificate tells your visitors that they’re on a secure connection. With it, you can foster trust in your website among your visitors.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add SSL and HTTPs on your site.

What Is SSL and HTTPS?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an industry standard security measure that creates an encrypted link between your visitors’ browsers and your website. Using SSL and HTTPS ensures that all data transmitted between your visitor and you remains encrypted. In simple terms, SSL enables a secure connection between you and your visitor to ensure that only authorized people can access the information submitted on your website.

ssl certificate

When you install an SSL certificate on your site, your website URL will be prefixed with https, instead of http. In addition, a small green padlock icon is also shown, signalling to your visitors that they’re on a secure connection.

Why Do You Need SSL and HTTPS?

Many website owners incorrectly assume that SSL is only for websites that accept online payments. The reality is: EVERY website needs an SSL certificate.

Below are a few benefits of using SSL and HTTPS on your site:

1. Website Performance

It’s been reported that websites delivered over HTTP/2 perform 50-70 percent better than sites over HTTP/1.1.

In order to boost performance and take advantage of HTTP/2, your website needs to run over HTTPS because of browser support.

2. SEO Ranking

Google uses SSL as a ranking signal in their search results. That means, by installing SSL on your site, and ensuring SEO best practices chances are better for you to hold a higher position in search results than your competitors who didn’t install SSL.

3. Trust and Security

The visual cues shown on your visitor’s browser as a part of your SSL certificate may seem small. However, many of your visitors are looking for these trust-earning signals before they share private information with you on your website.

In fact, studies show that 77% of your website visitors are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused online. And 90% of your visitors are more likely to trust a website if it displays security indicators.

Adding SSL is the best way to foster trust in your website and encourage your customers to share sensitive information with you without having to worry about a security breach. You can read more about how you can keep your website secure from our ultimate guide to WordPress security.

Using SSL on Your WordPress Site

In order to install SSL on your site, you need to purchase an SSL certificate.

An SSL certificate typically costs around $49.99, but, if you use Bluehost as the hosting provider, then you’ll get a free SSL certificate, plus a free domain name, along with your web hosting purchase. Altogether, the purchase will cost only $2.75 per month.

Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer »

Alternatively, you can purchase SSL from providers such as Godaddy.

After purchasing an SSL certificate, you can request your hosting provider to install it for you.

How to Set Up WordPress to Use SSL and HTTPS

If you’re using a new site, then you’ll need to update http with https in your site URL. To do this, go to Settings » General and update your WordPress Address and Site Address fields.

If you’re adding SSL to your existing website, then you need to redirect all HTTP request to HTTPS. All you have to do is add the following code into your .htaccess file, which you can find in your root directory.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yoursite.com/$1 [R,L]

Make sure to replace example.com with your website URL.

If you’re on an Nginx server, you’ll need to add the following code instead:

server {
listen 80;
server_name yoursite.com www.yoursite.com;
return 301 https://yoursite.com$request_uri;

If you also want to implement SSL and HTTPS on your WordPress admin area or login pages, then you need to configure SSL in the wp-config.php file. Simply add the following code above the “That’s all, stop editing!” line in your wp-config.php file:

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

How to Set Up SSL and HTTPS on Specific Pages

If, for some reason, you only want to use SSL on specific pages of your site, then you’ll need to install the plugin WordPress HTTPS (SSL).

After installing the plugin, you can find the HTTPS menu in your WordPress admin dashboard.

ssl plugin

In the SSL host field, you’ll need to specify your domain name.

However, if you’re using a shared SSL certificate, then you’ll need to enter the host information instead of your domain name.

If you’re using a non-traditional SSL host with a different port, then you can specify the port info in the Port field.

If the Force SSL Administration box is checked, then the plugin forces WordPress to use HTTPS on all admin area pages.

The next option is Force SSL Exclusively. Checking this box will only use SSL on pages where you have checked the Force SSL option. All other traffic will go to the normal HTTP url.

This is a great choice if you want to use SSL on specific pages like shopping cart, checkout, account pages, etc. Once this option is enabled in your plugin settings, you can go to specific pages where you want to use HTTPS.

select specific https

Then, select the checkbox next to the Secure post option.

That’s it!

We hope this article helped you add SSL and HTTPS onto your WordPress website. If you liked this article, then you might also enjoy our article on must have plugins for business websites.

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