The Google search engine announced that HTTPS would be ranked as a ranking factor in 2014. As a result of that one little decision, HTTPS changed from something that only eCommerce stores needed to worry about to something that all WordPress users should implement if they want to maximize their search rankings. WordPress HTTPS is also surprisingly easy to set up, as important as it is. Here’s how to do it.
You’ll learn everything from implementing HTTPS on your WordPress site to updTo do this, go to Admin > Property Settings.ating Google Analytics and the Google Search Console in this post.
Moving #WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS
How to move your WordPress site to HTTPS in 7 easy steps
First Step Install your SSL certificate to enable WordPress HTTPS
You might want to take a quick detour there if you’re not sure where to start with cheap WordPress SSL certificates since we’ve already discussed some sources. In this article, the terms SSL certificates and HTTPS connection will be used interchangeably, because SSL certificates provide HTTPS access to your WordPress site.
As Sufyan discussed, Let’s Encrypt certificates have the advantage of being free and widely supported by hosting providers if you use shared hosting.
Unless you’re running your WordPress site on a dedicated server, you’ll need your host’s support to install an SSL certificate.
It’s best to contact your host’s support or consult their knowledge base to get your Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate installed. Unfortunately, I can’t give you exact instructions since your host’s process may vary.
As an example, with SiteGround, I only need to click one button in my cPanel, but your host might require something different:
HTTPS for WordPress: How to add it
Verify that your SSL certificate is active by visiting https://yourdomain.com.
Despite the SSL certificate is active, the connection is still not 100% private due to some issues we’ll fix in the next step.
If your WordPress HTTPS isn’t properly installed, you’ll see something like the below and need to contact your host:
The second step is to install and configure the Really Simple SSL plugin
The Really Simple SSL plugin is the easiest way to make your SSL certificate work properly.
The “connection is private BUT” warning appears on your WordPress site because images or other media are still being inserted using the regular http:// URL instead of the new https:// URL. Every single image link needs to be updated to https:// in order to fix the issue.
With the Really Simple SSL plugin, you won’t need to do that manually. The plugin will make two other important changes:
In the WordPress settings, it changes the URL to HTTPS.
A 301 redirect ensures that all human and search engine traffic is directed to the HTTPS versions of your pages in order to avoid a duplicate content penalty in Google.
Install and activate Really Simple SSL to handle all of this.
SSL Made Simple SSL Made Simple
If you activate SSL, you’ll likely get logged out of your dashboard after clicking the button. Don’t worry, this is a natural consequence of switching your WordPress URL from HTTP to HTTPS. Just sign in with your regular username and password.
The following URLs now have HTTPS in your General Settings:
Make sure all the other SSL settings were correctly updated by going to Settings → SSL. You should see green checkmarks next to all the settings:
Verify WordPress HTTPS success on the front end in step 3
Go to the public areas of your site and verify two things:
Ensure that if you enter your URL as http://yourdomain.com, it automatically redirects to https://yourdomain.com.
Ensure that your site’s pages have the “green padlock” on them. If you’re using Google Chrome, it should look like this:
If you use Google Analytics, a CDN, and/or Google Search Console, you still need to take care of a couple of housekeeping issues.
The fourth step is to update your site’s URL in Google Analytics
To keep your stat tracking accurate, you need to change your Google Analytics URL from HTTP to HTTPS. To complete .Using Google Chrome? it should look like this:this, go to Admin > Property Settings. Under the Default URL setting, change the dropdown from http:// to https://:
The tracking code you added to your WordPress site will remain exactly the same, so you do not need to update anything else.
The fifth step is to create a new property in Google Search Console
You can’t simply change the URL for your site if you’re using Google Search Console. To update your property for HTTPS, go to the Google Search Console site and click Add Property.
The reason I have two versions of my portfolio site is that I recently switched it to HTTPS.
You should also add a sitemap for your HTTPS version. Here are the steps:
You will be able to access everything about Search Console once you’ve added HTTPS to your site.
Update CDN URL to HTTPS in step 6
Because the exact process will vary depending on the CDN you’re using, I can’t give you specific instructions. If you’re using a CDN (content delivery network), you’ll probably need to update your URL there as well.
In order to determine if/how you can update your URL to HTTPS, you should contact your CDN or review your CDN’s support documents.
You can totally skip this step if you don’t know what a CDN is!
You must update any links you control to HTTPS in step 7
The links to your WordPress site on social media or other external sites need to be updated to point to the HTTPS version of your site. You can also contact any friendly webmasters who link to your site and ask them to update the link.
However, it is a best practice that eliminates the need for redirects since the Really Simple SSL plugin automatically redirects HTTP traffic to HTTPS.
WordPress admin areas can be forced to use SSL and HTTPS by adding the following line to wp-config.php:
Is there a chance that switching to WordPress HTTPS will cause a temporary drop in rankings?
SSL is a positive ranking factor, but some people are concerned that switching to WordPress HTTPS might temporarily drop rankings.
I just recently decided to add WordPress HTTPS for my site, so I can’t say whether it’ll affect organic rankings from firsthand experience (Google hasn’t re-crawled my site yet). As far as URL changes go, this one is very minor, and one that Google can easily understand. Despite reading quite a bit about the subject, general consensus appears to be that there is no significant temporary drop in rankings.