Two Practical Ways to Redirect HTTP to HTTPS in WordPress

In Web Hosting Skills, Webmaster Skills
Redirect HTTP to HTTPS in WordPress

Many bloggers still having trouble in redirecting HTTP to HTTPS of their WordPress blogs. You would probably face a technical issue in forcing HTTPS manually. So, this tutorial would discuss how to redirect HTTP to HTTPS on WordPress sites. There are two ways you can do it, either manually or using a plugin.

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is the secure version of the HTTP protocol. The information that is sent over HTTPS will be encrypted. So, it’s quite difficult for attackers to steal your sensitive data in the information transfer process. This makes the HTTPS protocol suitable for e-commerce websites and other types of websites that require users to send credentials and other private information.

Why Using HTTPS?

There are some benefits of using HTTPS for your website or blog, include;

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  • Sites using HTTPS hame more chance of getting search engine ranking than sites with HTTP. A few years ago, Google announced that HTTPS is one of a website search engine ranking factors.
  • Visitors will see a green padlock on the URL bar of their browser, which makes them trust and confidence when doing activities on websites using HTTPS.

So, it’s a good decision if you want to redirect your HTTP to HTTPS on your WordPress site. But take into account that you must have installed the SSL or TLS certificate on your web hosting to enable SSL protocol. You can check whether or not the SSL has been activated by accessing https://yourwebsite.com. Some web hosting providers provide free SSL for life.

Preparation

Before you start one of the two ways to redirect HTTP to HTTPS, make sure you pass the following points:

  • You can access your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • You can access your the control panel of your hosting.
  • You have installed the SSL/TSL certificate.

If you are sure that you pass those three points, you can choose one of the two ways below. Or if somehow one of them doesn’t work, you can choose the other method alternatively.

Option 1: Redirect HTTP to HTTPS Using a WordPress Plugin

If your WordPress blog has lots of posts, pages, and files, it is really recommended to use HTTPS redirection plugin. This will be much easier than doing some manual .htacess file editing. There are many similar plugins to redirect HTTPS to HTTP in WordPress. But here I would like to recommend using Really Simple SSL that works smoothly. This is the right way if you want to force HTTPS without having to make some settings on your File Manager.

Redirect HTTP to HTTPS Using Plugin

Follow the steps how to install and use Really Simple SSL to redirect HTTP to HTTPS.

  1. Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and install Really Simple SSL plugin. Don’t forget to activate it after the installation has been successfully completed.
  2. Then, scroll your cursor to the Settings menu on the left side of your dashboard and select SSL.
  3. At the top of the page, you will see a message if the forcing HTTPS is inactive. To fix it, click the blue “Go ahead, activate SSL!” button.
  4. Next, refresh your browser. If the SSL activation is successful, you will see a success message which means the SSL on your WordPress blog is already active.
  5. Once the SSL works, make sure you can access every post and page of your website using HTTPS URLs.

Until this stage, you have successfully forcing HTTPS on your WordPress blog. If it works well, you’ll see a green pad next to your domain name. But in many cases WordPress blog still having non-SSL elements on its SSL post or page after forcing HTTPS. To fix non-SSL elements on SSL page, you can jump to the last tutorial of this article to do one of the two possible options.

Option 2: Force HTTPS in WordPress Manually

This method is recommended for a newly installed WordPress blog, as it may change the link structure of the blog. Make sure you know how to access files through File Manager on your CPanel or through FTP to edit the .htaccess file of your blog.

Confirm that you can access the HTTPS URLs of your homepage, posts, and pages. If there’s no problem with that, do the following steps;

  1. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Settings >> General.
  2. At both WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) boxes, there you need to change http://yoursitename.com to https://yoursitename.com. Be sure write your domain name correctly.
  3. Then, don’t forget to click Save Changes button to make changes.
  4. Until the step 3, you have successfully forced HTTPS. However, you need to make some manual changes on your .htacess file, because the HTTP version of your URLs won’t redirect to HTTPS. This tutorial will show you how to use File Manager on CPanel to edit the .htaccess file. Instead, you may also use FTP client to edit it. Login to your the control panel of your web hosting and click File Manager.
  5. Now, go to your the files directory where you installed the WordPress blog. If you install it on the primary domain of your hosting, you can access the directory listings through the public_html folder. There you will see where the .htacess file is. Right-click on it, and then select the Edit option.
  6. You may see that already there’s a line of code in your .htaccess file. It works to make your WordPress blog can be accessed properly. Then, paste the following code at bottom line after ” # END WordPress” and then click Save Changes.
RewriteCond% {SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^ (. *) $ Https://www.domainanda.com/$1 [R, L]

Note: Make sure you type your domain URL with HTTPS on that code correctly.

Use this Code to Force HTTPS on .htacess FileUntil this stage, you have succeeded to redirect HTTP to HTTPS on WordPress. If those steps work to fore HTTPS on your WordPress blog, your website should be accessible using HTTPS version and the HTTP version should redirect to HTTPS version. In case there’s an error after forcing HTTPS manually, just remove that code to fix it. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to contact your hosting support for assistance.

Fix Non-SSL Elements on SSL Page

How to Redirect HTTP to HTTPSIf there are non-elements on the SSL pages of your WordPress blog, you’ll see a message from the browser such as “This connection is untrusted”. Or you may see that the padlock of the browser is already green, but when you click on the information button (“i”) and clicking to the right arrow, you see a message says “Part of this page is not secure”.

So, you need to make sure that all elements of every page on your WordPress blog has been using SSL certification. There are two options to fix non-SSL Elements on SSL page which will be described below.

Option 1: Track All Non-SSL Elements on Your WordPress

You can do this method to get rid of non-SSL elements is to find out and change non-HTTPS links and elements such as hyperlinks, image links, etc. But this method may take a long time if you have lots of pages, posts, and files. But yet, still, the most recommended one, as not causing your server to slow down even a second.

Option 2: Clean up WordPress Website HTTPS Insecure Content Using a Plugin

Fix Non-SSL Elements in WordPressThis is the easiest way, that requires some simple clicks on your WordPress admin dashboard. Thanks to the SSL Insecure Content Fixer plugin that helps you fixing insecure content without hassle. While using this plugin is super practical, it may cause your web server to slow down a bit. Because this plugin works to ensure that all elements used by your WordPress blog are served by way of HTTPS.

Summary

HTTPS protocol is more secure than HTTP. So, websites that use HTTPS rank better on Google search engine as recently Google algorithm prioritizes websites with SSL. As a result, your website will look credible in the eyes of your visitors and also get more traffic from search engines. May these two ways help you to redirect HTTP to HTTPS in WordPress.

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