Best Ways to Add Free SSL Certificate on WordPress Site

The visitor establishes a virtual connection with the site's server each time they access the webpage, and data transfers back and forth.

However, the security of the established connection depends on the website.  

To take the security at the upmost concern, browsers like Firefox and Chrome are now pointing out non-HTTPS-secured websites. It has increased the necessity of an SSL certificate for WordPress sites. This development is being used by 70% of websites because free and low-cost certificates are readily available.

Online shopping and payments for goods and services necessitate security in today's digital world.

Additionally, enabling SSL certificates gives websites the ability to secure connections between visitors' browsers and the servers. Hence, the getting the SSL certificate for WordPress site has grown in importance. Also, SSL is no longer just important for e-commerce sites but for all virtual ones as well.

Hence, if you are also running or want to build a WordPress website, you must implement this security protocol. Let's now explore how Security Socket Layer (SSL) helps WordPress-powered websites and why your business needs it.

Need of SSL Certificate For WordPress Website

Today, SSL is no more a choice but has become a necessity. We've got the reasons why, too.

  • Secure Information: The most critical reason is security. Websites frequently supervise the transfer of sensitive data, such as login credentials, payment information, and so on. The results could be far worse if any such information gets leaked. This means SSL configuration costs less when compared to the harm caused by hackers and cyber attackers to the business. 
  • Build Website Exposure: The second reason is that SSL impacts the website's online visibility. Websites will be less likely to appear in the search results if you don't have any security protocol. Ultimately, SSL is critical for SEO regardless of whether you accept online payments or not.
  • User-Experience: Lastly, a company's website's ranking depends on the quality of its users' experiences. Even if inadequate security isn't the cause of a website's problems, it can still hinder the company's operations. It is therefore critical to assure customers that your website is encrypted and secure before they proceed.

How to Add Free SSL Certificate on WordPress Site?

Once you've decided on a free SSL certificate for WordPress website, the next step is to set up the HTTP and SSL protocols.

There are two distinct ways to accomplish this. Let's explore!

Method 1: Add Free SSL Certificate on WordPress Site By Plugin

This is the best approach for those who are just getting started with WordPress websites.

WordPress's Really Simple SSL plugin must first be installed and activated. To achieve this,

Step 1: Sign in to your WordPress dashboard.

Step 2: Next, select the Plugins option from the sidebar's left navigation pane. To better understand, the following image has been provided.

Step 3: Press the Add New option next to Plugins to add the plugin on your WordPress site. 

Step 4: Now, use the search box on the right side of the page to search for the plugin you want to install. Here, type Really Simple SSL in the search bar.

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Step 5: A list of plugins will appear on the screen below the search box. Choose the icon with the appearance shared below. 

Step 6: Now, click on the Install Now button next to each plugin listed on the screen. 

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Step 7: The installation will begin. Once the process is over, the activate option will appear. Click on it to start using the plugin.

Once the installation is complete, navigate to the Settings - SSL menu item in the admin panel's left sidebar. Simply select the option to gain access to the SSL settings and make necessary changes to your website's visual appearance.

This is how your dashboard must look like.

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The Really SSL plugin will help your website to take care of the below things:

  • Set up HTTP to HTTPS redirects
  • Enable WordPress to use HTTPS in URLs
  • Check SSL certificate
  • Rectify the mixed content inconsistencies

Method 2: Manually Set up Free SSL Certificate For the WordPress Site

This method needs manual troubleshooting and modifying of WordPress files. However, this is the most long-lasting and performance-optimized solution of the two.

To perform the manual addition of an SSL certificate on the WordPress site, follow the below procedure:

  • Firstly, visit settings & go to General page. Here, update the sites and WordPress URL address fields. This will be done by replacing HTTP with HTTPS
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  • Now, save changes to your store settings. Further, you will be asked to re-login to your WordPress account
  • The next step comes to setting up WordPress redirects to HTTPS. To do so, add the below code to the .htaccess file
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WordPress can fully load the site using HTTPS, so following these steps will help you fix the issues of HTTPS not functioning.

How to Fix Mixed Content Error in WordPress Database

Many incorrect URLs will contain data such as files, images, embeds, and more. Fixing all of this will require tracking down all of the previously mentioned URLs. You should switch them from HTTP:// to HTTPS:// instead.

The Better Search Replace plug-in must then be installed and activated.

Once enabled, open the Better Search Replace page by selecting Tools from the menu bar. Add the website's URL with HTTP to the search engine's search field now. Then, in the Replace section, enter the HTTPS URL you just created.

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WordPress database tables will appear after that. Select all of them and do a full audit now.

Finally, uncheck the last box and click on the Run Search/Replace button. Finally, the plugin will search your WordPress database for HTTP URLs and replace them all with HTTPS.

Fixing Mixed Content Errors in WordPress Site Theme

WordPress themes are another common cause of mixed content problems. However, this problem will not occur if you use a WordPress theme that complies with industry standards.

To find out why and what resources are being loaded, use the Inspect tool in your browser.

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The next step is to find and replace the HTTP resources in your WordPress theme with HTTPS.

Fixing Errors Caused by Plugins

WordPress plugins are responsible for loading some mixed content resources.

Remember, no WordPress plugin that adheres to the coding standards will cause issues with mixed content. Instead of fixing the plugin files, contact the plugin's creator and get the problem resolved.

The Bottom Line

Installing SSL on a website boosts its security, prevents data breaches, and improves its dependability. Installing an SSL certificate on a WordPress site also helps it rank higher in Google's search engine results.

Hope you now understand how to add a free SSL certificate on the WordPress site. However, if you have any issues with the setup, you can contact a WordPress development firm or a hosting service provider. WordSuccor will be more than happy to assist you.