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Setting up WordPress to use SSL

Configuring WordPress to use encrypted connections takes about 10-30 minutes in most circumstances: complexity arises not in the process itself, but when something goes awry or needs further adjustment. Fused offers free certificates to all clients so that you can do this with ease!

By completing these steps, your WordPress administrative section & site should now be visible encrypted, and you'll see a slight improvement in your google search rankings.

For larger sites, we recommend reaching out to Fused or your developer(s) for paid assistance & pre-planning a window to swap to SSL.

Digest of steps

  1. Ensuring your certificate is functional before getting underway
  2. Backing up your website
  3. Adjusting your WordPress site url
  4. Performing a database search to update url references
  5. Testing the site for functionality

Before we get started, you'll need access to your WordPress administrative panel.

Ensuring your certificate is functional

Before commencing, let's ensure your site has an SSL certificate available to use.

  1. Open a browser, and navigate to your domain name — for ex., if your domain is example.com, your domain with ssl would be https://example.com

  2. You should see a green lock symbol next to your url in the address bar. If you do, proceed to the next steps below. If you don't, contact us!

Adjusting your WordPress site url

  1. Login to your WordPress administrative panel. Often, that's your site's address appended with /wp-admin/ — for ex., http://example.com/wp-admin/
  2. Navigate to 'Settings > General'
  3. Adjust the WordPress Address & Site Address (URL) so that they reference https:// instead of http:// — for ex., if your site url listed is http://www.example.com, you'll change it to https://www.example.com
  4. Your site should now be wielding ssl, but you'll want to perform the steps below to catch make sure all of your internal links still work.

Performing a search/replace on your database

We're now going to swap out all of those old url references to the new url within your database.

Installing Better Search Replace

  1. Login to your WordPress administrative panel (if you're already there, skip this step).
  2. Navigate to Plugins > Add new
  3. Search for better search replace. You're looking for the one by Delicious Brains. Select Install now, and then activate it once the install link changes to activate.

Now, follow the steps below:

Using Better Search Replace

  1. Backup your site before performing this step
  2. Within your WordPress administrative section, navigate to Tools > Better Search Replace.
  3. Within the Search for field, enter your old site's url. For ex., if your blog's non-ssl url is http://example.com/blog, you'll enter that into the field.
  4. In the Replace with field, you'll enter what the new ssl url will be. For ex., if your non-ssl url is http://example.com/blog, you'll enter https://example.com/blog
  5. In the select tables field, select all of the available fields.
  6. Run the search/replace. You should see towards the top that 12 or more tables were searched, with a number of cells that were found to be replaced.
  7. Now, uncheck Run as dry run and perform the search/replace again.
  8. Your site should now be fully using ssl.

Testing your website

After performing the steps above, you'll want to test your site for functionality.

  1. Navigate to your site in a browser.
  2. Parse through the site like a regular user, ensuring a green/secure reference is in the address bar.
  3. Test any contact forms, shopping carts, or key functions of your site.

Celebrate! :) :thumbsup: