How to secure your WordPress with SSL
With the growth of technology, rapid advancements are being made in every field. Unfortunately, the space of cyber-crime is also getting more and more menacing with improved technology.
The problem is very serious, and it has prompted Google to start displaying a sign that says ‘Not Secure’ in all the websites that don’t use data encryption after you do a Google search. The focus is moving networks and websites away from ‘HTTP’ towards ‘HTTPS’, which is far more secure, has an SSL certificate and allows data encryption.
This move by Google has affected nearly 66% of websites, none of which had the SSL certificate.
Not having an SSL certificate and using ‘HTTP’ makes websites and networks vulnerable to malware attacks. You need to get an SSL for your WordPress immediately if you haven’t already.
If you are just getting started on creating your blog, this is a very important step.
What are the steps to secure WordPress
Being a content management system, WordPress will always need SSL certificates. Any compromise on data security can lead to insurmountable problems in business, be it B2C or B2B.
SSL certificates can provide the perfect way to secure your networks and websites against malicious attacks. You can mull over below steps about how to secure a WordPress site:
Buy the SSL certificate
There are hundreds of businesses that can provide you with an SSL certificate. Some of the best are Comodo, DigiCert, RapidSSL and Thawte. If you don’t want to spend high price right now, you can buy SSL certificate from SSL resellers: CheapSSLShop.com who offer same SSL certificates at the lowest price.
There are also different types of SSL certificates to choose from like wildcard SSL certificate, SAN SSL certificate, Organization Validation (OV), Extended Validation (EV), UCC or SAN SSL (Secure Multiple Domains), SGC certificate, Code signing certificate and single domains SSL as demonstrated here. They all have different features and pricing, and you could get one according to your requirements. Before Buying SSL You Should Read Know Types of SSL Certificates and Which SSL Is Best for You?
After the issuance of a certificate, you’ll get files, like:
- Intermediate certificates
- Root certificates
- CA bundle files
Before that, you need to create CSR and private key from the server and use CSR only in SSL configure process. Once the domain approval is complete, the certificate authority will issue a certificate. You’ll also get a private key that you need to keep secret. With all these, you can complete the installation of the SSL certificate. The CAs are third-party vendors that authorize your websites to meet all requirements for an SSL certificate.
You can choose to do things from scratch yourself, like linking the SSL certificate to your domain. Or, you could let a plug-in take care of it for you.
Most of the plug-ins are highly automated that can address and carry out nearly all the changes that are needed for the SSL certificate to be linked. They are also called ‘themes’ in WordPress. Here are some examples:
Really Simple SSL is one of the best examples:
There are other ones like Cloudflare Flexible SSL as well. The highlight of this plug-in is that it makes all necessary changes on WordPress and doesn’t spend time displaying ‘redirect’ loops while trying to load the sites.
Then there is the WP Force SSL. Apart from being completely free to use, it also offers delightful features:
You can do all of this from the homepage itself, as demonstrated here:
After activation, all traffic is redirected from HTTP to HTTPS.
Whether you want to use plug-ins or not is entirely up to you. Irrespective of that, you’ll need to modify the ‘settings’ section on WordPress.
Once you’ve clicked on the ‘settings’ icon on the dashboard, you will find a box for the ‘site address’. Now, you can either edit the ‘.htaccess’ page either manually or otherwise. There are many ways to edit it.
No matter which path you choose, you should ensure that the page is using ‘HTTPS’ and not ‘HTTP’. It’s a simple way to redirect your content to the secure location HTTPS and ensure data integrity via data encryption.
When it comes to modifying the page, the coding is very elemental, and you don’t require prior expertise for the same.
It’s very simply explained here. All you must do in the first step is to enter the name of your own domain in the 6th line of the code above.
Should you choose to make the changes by manually typing, it is also a simple process. The piece of code for it is demonstrated here below:
Here, you simply need to copy and paste this code on an editor and replace the part of code specified as ‘ggexample.com’ by the name of your own domain.
What are some of the benefits of an SSL Certificate?
Getting an SSL certificate will help prevent your WordPress account from becoming the victim of unscrupulous cyber-criminals.
Benefits of an SSL Certificate
Not only that, getting an SSL certificate has the following benefits:
- Websites that have SSL certificate are likely to show up in Google searches at the top that helps in SEO improvement.
- Reinforces the trust of customers on your website. The message WordPress site ‘Not Secure’ being flashed across your URL when someone opens your website can lead to loss of trust. With the certificate, your website will be heralded as secure, attracting more customers.
- Data encryption from end-to-end. With sophisticated security protocols in place, cyber-criminals will find it excessively difficult to break in and steal information like personal details, bank account numbers and transaction history
Getting an SSL certificate is a one-time investment with a lot of benefits.
The procedure to secure your WordPress with SSL is very straight forward. Even if it is difficult for you, always remember – ‘Today’s pain is tomorrow’s gain’.
Apart from a lot of other benefits, it is a sure-shot way to market your website and move up in the SEO rankings. Especially if your website involves a payment gateway, you will need the certificate for it to work for regulatory purposes as well.
If you haven’t got it yet, it’s time to get it now.