Protecting Your WordPress Site From Hacking and Cyber Security Breaches with HTTPS
It’s quite perplexing to know that as the popularity of WordPress rapidly grows, so does the threat of hacking and cyber security breaches. This raises the question: how can you protect your WordPress site and its visitors? The answer lies in securing it with HTTPS.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, and its purpose is to ensure that communication between the user’s browser and the web server is encrypted and secure.
Steps to Securing Your WordPress site with HTTPS
Get an SSL Certificate
The first step towards securing your WordPress site with HTTPS is acquiring an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. SSL certificates encrypt the data sent and received by the website, making it harder for hackers to intercept sensitive information. There are several options to choose from when it comes to SSL certificates such as Domain Validation Certificates, Organization Validation Certificates, and Extended Validation Certificates. Companies that provide SSL certificates include Comodo, Let’s Encrypt, Symantec, and GoDaddy.
Install the SSL Certificate
After you have received the SSL certificate, you need to install it on the server that hosts your WordPress website. You can either do this yourself, or allow your hosting provider to install it for you. Alternatively, you can switch to a hosting provider that supports SSL installation.
Update the WordPress URLS and References
Once you have installed the SSL certificate, it’s necessary to update the WordPress URLs that reference HTTP to HTTPS. This ensures that all links, images, and other resources are loaded securely. You can do this by logging in to your WordPress site, navigating to Settings ->General, and replacing HTTP:// with HTTPS:// in the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) fields.
Configure WordPress for HTTPS
It’s essential to configure the WordPress site to work seamlessly with HTTPS. You can do this by modifying the .htaccess file or by using a plugin. Modifying the .htaccess file involves adding a few rules to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS. Alternatively, you can use a plugin such as SSL Insecure Content Fixer, Really Simple SSL, or WP Force SSL.
Update External URLs
It’s crucial to update all external URLs on your WordPress site to HTTPS. This includes resources such as images, links, and videos.
Test the HTTPS Configuration
Testing the HTTPS configuration ensures that everything is working correctly. The SSL Server Test tool provided by Qualys SSL Labs is an excellent resource for checking the HTTPS configuration of your WordPress site.
Check What Your Visitors See
Visitors to your site may see a warning message if your SSL certificate is outdated or not correctly installed. To avoid these warning messages and to ensure that your visitors see the padlock in their browser, check your website with a few different browsers.
Implementing HTTPS secures your WordPress site from hacking and cyber security breaches. It’s essential to keep your site software up-to-date, avoid untrustworthy plugins and themes, and regularly backup your site. This will ensure that your website remains secure and safe for your visitors.