Search engines like Google are always insisting that sites should use SSL and be more secure in order to land in a good position on the search results. This mean having https:// in front a URL instead of http:// does have its perks.
Here’s how you can make your WordPress site more secure.
Step One: Installing a Secure Certificate
Many hosting companies include a secure certificate with their standard plan. If you are hosting your site with one of these companies then you have nothing to worry about.
But if by chance your company doesn’t offer the secure certificate installation with the standard package, you can get in contact with them and learn what the options are.
Once you have the secure certificate installed, it’s time for you to proceed to the next step.
Step Two: Using a Secure URL
After you are ensured that a secure certificate is installed, it’s time for you to login to WordPress Dashboard and go through the procedure.
Go to Settings and then click on General. Now change both the WordPress URL and your site URL. Use https:// at the very beginning and then save it from the option at the bottom of the page.
Don’t freak out if you are automatically logged out from WordPress.
Step Three: Ensure all the Web Pages are Rendering Securely & Address Mixed Content Issues
There are some free plugins available that you can use to perform the task. I used “Really Simple SSL” to do this myself.
Once you install and activate it, you’ll see a notice suggesting you to enable SSL on your site. Enable it and then go to the plugin settings.
Make sure the option “Auto Replace Mixed Content” is checked. You’ll see three ways to force any request for an http:// to an https:// version of the page.
For most of you, enabling 301 .htaccess redirect will work. To make sure the trick worked for you, look for the green padlock on the left side of your site address. You can check it in any address bar of any browser.
If you don’t see the green padlock, check what’s causing the problem. It can be caused by a customization option for a theme or any technical setting on your site. Take professional help if you can’t figure out what’s wrong.
Step Four: Fixing internal linking
Next step will be fixing the internal links you used in your posts, comments, etc.
You can manually do this yourself or take help from plugins or settings. Just make sure the links are now starting with https:// instead of http://.
Step Five: Adjust Google Search Console and Google Analytics Setting
Add the secure version of your site’s URL to GSC but don’t delete the old one.
Then go to Google Analytics and click on the website from your dashboard. Click on the Admin option and choose Property Settings.
Click on the drop-down menu under the Default URL. Then choose https:// and hit Save. On that page, you’ll find an option named Adjust Search Console. Now connect your Google Analytics account for your website to the new https:// version. Hit Done and that’s it. You are done.
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