WordPress is arguably the world's favorite content management system that runs everything from websites to blogs to e-commerce stores on the Internet. We also know that enabling https for a website acts as a positive ranking signal for Google search results and also gives other benefits to website owners. It, therefore, follows that WordPress blogs and business websites need to switch to https too.
Before beginning the switch you need to ensure you have the following tasks taken care of:
- Find out if your web hosting provides a way to get and setup free/paid SSL certificates from the control panel. If not, get a free/paid SSL Certificate depending on your type of website.
- Make a list of all external resources such as plugin scripts, image and videos currently being loaded via http.
- Download and install a WordPress plugin called Really Simple SSL, but do NOT activate it after installation. The Really Simple SSL plugin automatically detects your WordPress website settings and configures it to run over https.
- Read the rest of the steps and make sure you are able to perform the required tasks in them.
Setup HTTPS For WordPress Domain Name
Always remember, a SSL certificate is always issued for a host name (domain or sub-domain). Hence, the setup of the certificate will need to be done at the web server where the website folder for the (WordPress) host name is defined.
Setting up the SSL certificate for your WordPress domain name depends on your web hosting platform.
If your web hosting service offers an easy way to get and setup the SSL certificate, that may be an easier way to get it done. Check with your web hosting service's tech support to know if its available.
If not, you can do setup a third-party SSL certificate either using a control panel, or if you have direct access, by signing-in and administering the web server. A simple web search will throw up dozens of how-to links for setting up a SSL certificate on your specific platform.
Setup WordPress to use HTTPS
Once the SSL certificate is setup, you are ready to get your WordPress system to start using https to serve website pages. Activate the Really Simple SSL plugin now to switch WordPress to https.
Load your website using https and check if all the external resources in the list you made earlier are loading properly without breaking pages visually or functionally. This is very important especially to retain your website's SEO ranking.
Troubleshoot WordPress HTTPS issues
Every WordPress installation is different with a different set of plugins and external resources. So when you switch WordPress to https, not every switch goes as planned.
However, what is certain is that these issues are caused by one or more of the following:
- SSL certificate is not issued correctly.
- SSL certificate is not setup correctly.
- Mixed content being loaded by your WordPress website.
Not to worry. There are things you can do to troubleshoot and rectify these issues.