Perplexing and Bursted: The Importance of Making Your WordPress Site HTTPS Compliant
Have you ever pondered the significance of online security and privacy? As more internet users become conscious of their online presence, websites must make an effort to ensure their visitors are secure. Especially those that involve interacting with sensitive information like user data or credit card details.
What is HTTPS?
HTTP or “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” is a protocol that enables the exchange of data between a user and a web server, while HTTPS (“Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”) is an extension of HTTP that adds an extra layer of security through data encryption.
The ‘S’ in HTTPS represents security and you can recognize it by a padlock symbol next to the website address in your URL bar. HTTPS provides a confidential connection by verifying the authenticity of the website and encrypting data transfers, which prevents attackers from compromising sensitive information.
How to make your WordPress Site HTTPS-Compliant
If you’re using WordPress, it’s critical to prioritize your website’s protection, and that means making it HTTPS compliant. Here are some steps you can take:
1. Purchase and Install an SSL Certificate
You cannot make your website HTTPS compliant without equipping your server with an SSL certificate, which encrypts the connection between the server and the user’s browser. Today, there are various SSL service providers such as Comodo, Symantec, or Let’s Encrypt, which offer different levels of security and validation. Let’s Encrypt provides free certificates for different platforms, including WordPress.
2. Update WordPress URL
Next, you need to update your website URL to HTTPS to ensure all website links automatically redirect to the HTTPS version. To do this:
- Login to your WordPress dashboard
- Click on ‘Settings’
- Click on ‘General’
- Update the WordPress Address and Site Address fields to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
You might also need to update your internal links manually or use a plugin like Really Simple SSL.
3. Redirect HTTP to HTTPS
When a user enters your website via HTTP or clicks on an HTTP link, they must be redirected to the HTTPS version of your site.
One way to achieve this is by adding a few lines of code to the .htaccess file, which is a configuration file for Apache servers that controls a site’s settings.
4. Update Third-Party Services and Plugins
Third-party services and plugins, such as social media plugins or analytics tools, may send data to or from your website; hence they need to be updated to use HTTPS. Check in with your plugin or service provider to confirm how to upgrade to HTTPS, as some plugins may require additional configuration.
6. Verify HTTPS
Once the setup is complete, check if everything is working well; tools like SSL Checker, SSL Server Test, and Why No Padlock can provide valuable insights into the SSL encryption configuration of your website and identify any mixed content issues that could limit the SSL padlock from displaying.
Switching to HTTPS might pose a challenge at first, but utilizing the right strategy and tools can help you easily achieve it!