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Security & Privacy, WordPress

How to Set Up a WordPress SSL Certificate

Installing SSL on your WordPress website is relatively simple. In a short time, your visitors will be browsing secure pages; you’ll get an SEO ranking boost, and avoid the weight of the penalties for not encrypting. 

Without further ado, let’s get rid of that non-secure message on your WordPress hosted website. There are two different methods to add SSL to your WordPress it, manually, and with a plugin. We’ll cover both. Before you can set up SSL on your site, you need to purchase an SSL certificate.

woman placing giant green checkmark

Choose a Suitable Certificate

Before you can install a WordPress SSL Certificate for your website or blog, you need to register a certificate. Certificates vary in price and the level of encryption on offer. Your web host likely supplies SSL certificates as an add-on. Many WordPress hosting companies like EasyWP offer free SSL certificates for all their users. You can opt for a third-party certificate. just make sure you can install third-party SSL certificates to your web hosting panel.

Once you have purchased an SSL certificate, you will need to ask your hosting provider to install it for you on your domain name. It’s also a good idea to take not of the expiration date of your SSL certificate. To allow SSL encryption to advance, all SSL certs expire every two years or so for reasons two-fold; the certificate authority can ensure it has accurate information identifying the current domain, and that the most recent, and secure technology is applied.

Set Up Your WordPress SSL Certificate

With your SSL certificate enabled with your hosting provider, you’ll still need to set up WordPress so that it uses HTTPS instead of HTTP with all of your URLs. There are two methods to do that. The most beginner-friendly method uses a plugin. You can also do it manually for more control over the process. Choose the method that best fits your needs.

woman adding green check to website

Add an SSL Certificate to WordPress Using a Plugin

For this example, you need to install the Really Simple SSL WordPress plugin. It’s one of the best WordPress plugins for the job. As the name suggests, it’s really simple to use and you’ll avoid any possible errors associated with the manual method.

To ensure your site is fully secure you need to be certain your site URLs are loading using HTTPS. Really Simple SSL does this for you automatically by fixing the URLs when the pages load.

Once you’ve activated the plugin it will automatically detect your WordPress SSL Certificate, and turn on the HTTP to HTTPS redirect which changes your site settings to use SSL/HTTPS. In doing so, the Really Simple plugin has transformed your site into an encrypted and safe zone for your visitors. 

It’s as simple as that. 

Set up an SSL Certificate in WordPress Manually

As mentioned, SSL certificate installation is typically performed by the hosting company that provides services for the domain. However, you may also choose to install an SSL certificate yourself. You’ll receive details from the registration on the location of where the SSL certificate can be obtained to install it. 

This method will see you troubleshooting issues manually and editing WordPress files to manually change for redirects. To manually set up your WordPress certificate, follow our comprehensive guide here.

While this is generally a more performance-optimized solution, it’s no walk in the park. Unless you’re a web pro, you may run into difficulties this way and may prefer to hire a WordPress developer or use a plugin as described in the first method.

woman searching for check mark

Submit Your HTTPS Site to Google Search Console

Now you’ve added HTTPS to your website, you need to let Google know. Why’s that? Google considers https and HTTP as two different websites. To avoid any SEO issues, you need to let Google know that your website has moved. 

Start by opening Google Search Console. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll be prompted to verify that you’re the true domain owner before we can get started. Just as in the screenshot below, you must follow the instructions and copy a snippet of code (a TXT record) into the DNS configuration for your domain. If you have an account with Namecheap, contact our live chat for real-time assistance with that. 

Then hit ‘VERIFY’. 

Once Google has detected you’re the rightful owner, you can enter your Google Console account. From here, click the ‘Add a Property’ button to add your new https site as the new property.

This will launch a popup where you can add your website’s new https URL.

Once you’re done, Google will once again ask you to verify that you’re the domain owner. There are several ways to do this, just select a method and follow the instructions to verify your website.

Now your site is verified, Google will display your search console reports for your https site here.

Easy SSL

As we’ve shown, setting up an SSL certificate in WordPress is light work. In a short time, your visitors can feel confident that your web pages are safe to browse while you gain some SEO points. 

As we alluded to earlier, EasyWP customers have fewer steps to take to encrypt their data We offer free SSL with certain plans, and we’ll even take care of adding SSL to your site for you. You aren’t required to perform any of the steps above to get your site setup with SSL. 

If you’re interested in the fastest WordPress hosting on the market, and a managed solution where things like adding SSL are taken care of, look no further than EasyWP

If you have a WordPress site with another hosting provider but want to make the switch to EasyWP, we’ve got you. With our free hosting migration, you can enjoy 3x faster speeds, 99.9% uptime, and many more premium features our competitors offer, without the premium cost.

Our team of migration experts is ready and waiting to take your site to the next level, with EasyWP. We’re ready to support any registered domain name from any domain name registrar. 

Our plans are easy, accessible, and affordable. What more could you want?

What kind of security measures do you have on your WordPress site? Let us know in the comments below.

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Isobel Weston

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