Making Your WordPress Site Run Over HTTPS
Google have announced that running your site over https will improve your search rankings, see this post for more details. In this post I will take you through making your WordPress site run over HTTPS.
I’ve decided to make ibraininc.com run over https in its entirety, this post will show you how to do this.
What Is HTTPS
HTTPS is the secure form of https or hyper text transfer protocol, the way web pages are served from your webserver to your browser.
When you move to https everything is encrypted between your web server and your browser so no one can intercept and read what is happening on your web session.
Get An SSL Certificate
The first step in your quest to encrypt is to get an ssl certificate. An SSL certificate is added to your webserver and
This is what the interwebs has to say about SSL certificates:
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.
Your hosting provider will add a certificate to your site, there will be a small cost involved, speak to your host about getting and installing
Once your certificate is installed it’s time to make your site run over https, the easiest way (as always) is to install a plugin to do this for you, my preferred one is:
Once that plugin is installed that’s it, there are no configuration options.
The beauty of this plugin is it forces all connections over HTTPS and tells the search engines that all links have changes and the index needs to be updated, for the techies that’s a 301 redirect.
Testing It Has Worked
To test the SSL is working as expected, you need to access the from end of your site, if the browser redirects you to the https version things are working as expected.
If you are seeing red errors on your link there are issues.
Fixing Mixed Content Issues
You have probably added a lot of links into your site over HTTP over the years, it’s a good idea to fix those links to stop your posts and pages serving up mixed content over http and https.
The best way to do this is with a search and replace on your database. I wrote a post on the plugin Better Search and Replace. I used this to search for and change links in my posts.
Other areas to investigate are custom menu links, my home link was pointing to http://ibraininc.com/ and any widgets. Here is a video to show you how to spot mixed content.
Encryption Impacts Performance (a little)
Encrypting you pages add a little bit of performance overhead, but not a huge amount, I think it is worth taking this hit to improve security.
Things went relatively smoothly for me, I’ve done this for clients and sometimes plugins are hard coded with URLs and I have had to do some coding for their site.
Adding a little more security will keep Google happy and help secure the interwebs.