What is an SSL certificate?
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a security protocol that is deployed on the network that enables machines to communicate securely over a network. If deployed on a web server, it makes the internet traffic communicate over HTTPS protocol. If you see a padlock while visiting a website in your browser window, it means that the website’s web server is using a SSL certificate and the connection between server and your browser is secure. Any information you enter will be encrypted.
However, securing is by choice. Some websites may or may not be using SSL certificate on each of their web pages. That is why the padlock icon is a reassuring factor.
Due to high demand of ecommerce clients, Cloudways introduced SSL Management on its Cloud Console a few months back. Through this feature, you can easily install an SSL certification on your entire website.
Who needs to move to HTTPS?
Since the Google’s announcement and their promise of giving boost in SERPs, I say that every website should move over to HTTPS protocol, that includes blogs, ecommerce websites, business websites, forums, video sites, news, and social media websites. For a proper SERP boost, we should deploy HTTPS on each and every page of our website. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can do that on WordPress websites.
How can you get an SSL certificate?
First thing you will need is to purchase a SSL certificate. There are many reputable providers available on the web selling SSL certificates. A simple Google search can show you the names of SSL certificate provides.
Make sure you buy a certificate that conforms to the Google guidelines on setting up your HTTPS on website. Therefore, you read the guidelines here before buying an SSL certificate.
Setting up SSL
Due to high demand of
SSL certificates, Cloudways has built an easy-to-use SSL Certificate to facilitate our clients. It is a simple 7 step process. https://support.cloudways.com/entries/46215763-SSL-Certificate-Addon
Before you buy a new SSL certificate from a SSL provider, first you need to create a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) using Cloudways SSL Certificate Addon. After the CSR is created you will need to submit that to your chosen SSL Certificate provider. Upon submission, the provider will issue a unique SSL certificate for you to install.
When you will click the ‘Create CSR’ button, you’ll see a form where you need provide essential details.
Once successfully submit the information, the CSR is generated. Now, you need to download the CSR and submit it to SSL certificate providers to generate an SSL certificate based on your requirements.
The SSL Certificate providers will give you two files: yourdomain.crt (Certificate Code) and yourdomain.ca (Chain File). Press “Install Certificate” and you will see a popup asking for Certificate Code and CA Chain. Submit these pieces of information.
Once you have provided this crucial information, press “Submit” and you’re good to go. The SSL should now work for your website.
Redirecting HTTP to HTTPS using .htaccess
Now that your server is HTTPS ready, you need to point your domain to HTTPS version of your website. You can easily do this by adding 301 rewrite rules in your WordPress .htaccess file. 301 redirect is a permanent redirect and according to Google SEO guidelines, using this type of redirection will retain your SERPs.
You can find .htaccess file of your WordPress in the root folder by accessing it through SFTP.
Add the following line of code in .htaccess file:
One Final Note
If you want the quickest WordPress SSL hosting experience, consider Cloudways.