Do you know websites that are more secure are ranked higher on search engines especially Google?
So much so that Google announced HTTPS (Secure protocol) as an official ranking factor in 2014. Effectively making it essential for every website owners to have if they are aiming for higher search engine ranking.
In order to move your WordPress website from HTTP to HTTPS, you need an SSL certificate.
This post will help you understand
- what an SSL certificate is?
- How SSL works?
- How to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website?
- And finally, how much an SSL certificate costs?
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL Stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a secure protocol that HTTPS uses for the transfer of data on the internet.
Now a standard security technology to form an encrypted communication between visitors and the website they are visiting.
Which basically means that an integrated, private and safe connection is formed on pages where users will share their sensitive information such as card details and passwords, etc.
Although now an SSL/HTTPS is a must have for every website. It is an absolute requirement for you if you are running an e-commerce or membership website
The SSL certificate secures your data, as well as your domain name.
It is a must have If you are selling or collecting payments from your website because it encrypts your information ( that is being transmitted ) in such a manner that makes eavesdropping and phishing difficult for hackers.
SSL certificate offers your visitors extra an layer of protection against Man-In-The-Middle or phishing attack.
Benefits of Having an SSL certificate on WordPress?
- Secure website both for you and your visitors
- Ensures privacy and integrity
- SEO benefits
- User Trust
How to Install SSL on Your WordPress Website?
To get an SSl certificate you need to do the following three things.
- Buy an SSL certificate
- Activate SSL on your domain
- Install SSL on your WordPress.+
For Step one, if you are using shared WordPress hosting you need contact your hosting provider and let them know that you are looking to move your WordPress website to SSL.
Even if you are using dedicated WordPress hosting you will need your providers support to activate SSL on your domain.
The best WordPress hosting companies will have Let’s encrypt, and will happily provide you a free SSL certificate.
Which at beginner level should serve you fine.
Step 2- Activating SSL on your domain name.
If you’re a WordPress beginner, doing it yourself might be a bit tricky as it involves a little knowledge about coding. Ask your hosting provider and they will activate SSL on your website’s domain from your hosting Control Panel or cPanel.
And now remains the third and in fact the easiest step!
Installing the SSL Plugin on Your WordPress
After an SSL certificate has been activated on your domain, you need to activate SSL on your WordPress website.
All you have to do is install and activate a plugin and you’re good to go.
For this, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard.
Go to Plugins >> Add New >> Search Real Simple SSL >> Click on install now
Once the Plugin has been installed, you need click on the pop-up option that says Go ahead, activate SSL!
After clicking on this, you will most probably get logged out of your dashboard. When you log in again you will have logged with HTPPS protocol of your WordPress URL.
This Plugin takes care of everything else and has a perfect 5-star rating.
- Activates SSL on your website in just one click.
- Automatic SSL Detection
- Automatic mixed content fixed
And there you go.
Reload your website and you will notice your WordPress website has moved from HTTP to HTTPS (secure Connection).
How Much SSL Certificate for WordPress Costs?
You can get a basic DV SSL certificate for free, which is not difficult to install. If you need help to install the SSL certificate, your hosting provider should be able to help.
Other than the basic certificate there are six other types of SSL certificates.
You can choose the one that suits your needs. The three mostly used SSL certificates are.
|Certificate Type||Types of Sites||Features|
|Extended Validation (EV)||eCommerce |
Sites collecting personal info
Sites where user trust is paramount
Green Bar to provide top-of-the-line trustworthiness
The type used by web giants like Twitter, banks, etc.
Issued in 3-5 days
|Organization Validation (OV)||eCommerce |
Sites collecting personal info
|Verified that the site is a registered government entity|
128-, 256-, or 2048-bit encryption
Issued in about 24 hours
|Domain Validation (DV)||Testing Sites|
|Very affordable |
Issued almost immediately.
How much it costs you mostly depends on what your SSL needs are, meaning it may cost you as little as a few dollars up to 700 dollars per year.
Website security is among the top 10 ranking factors used by Google since they are a strong advocate of creating a secure web.
If you have the budget for it you should get an SSL certificate and moving your website from HTTP to HTTPS now.
But doing so doesn’t come with risks. Make sure you did it by the book or get your developers to do it for you.