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How to Get an SSL Certificate and Install It on Your WordPress Site

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Getting an SSL certificate can seem like a difficult job which on the contrary, isn’t. It is a simple process having certain steps that will help you in getting an SSL certificate and also installing it on your WordPress website. It is also critical to get it correctly because an incorrect certificate or an improperly installed one can be harmful to the website.

WordPress SSL Certificate

It is quite important to understand which SSL certificate is best for your website and once you have figured it out you can follow the following steps to get it and install it in your WordPress website.

How to add SSL Certificate to WordPress Website:

Step 1: Choosing the Certificate Authority

The first step is regarding choosing the certificate authority (CA) which is best suited for your enterprise. BCA will be responsible to provide credentials regarding the level of encryption required by your website. There are many hosting companies that offer SSL certificate service and it certainly becomes easy to get a certificate from there. 

following are a few popular certificate authorities which you may consider to get your SSL certificate:

Comodo 

Comodo is one of the most popular places for offering SSL certificates. Comodo is capable of issuing certificates that are capable of covering 100 domains.

comodo secure

Other than that there are many other features offered by this CA which are as follows:

  • 90 days of free trial for those interested in DV certificates.
  • It offers Comodo SSL certificates also known as OV certificates. This certificate also equips the TrustLogo seal for the WordPress websites along with scanning facilities for all vulnerabilities.
  • The next one offered by them is a wildcard certificate that covers the domain as well as all the subdomains of the website.
  • The next certificate offered is an EV certificate which is the highest level of certificate including proper validation of the website as well as domain having TrustLogo seal, PCI scanning, and green address bar.

Let’s Encrypt:

If you are looking for free SSL certificates then Let’s Encrypt can be a good choice. The certificate authority was founded by the Linux Foundation and the project was funded by various internet giants like Cisco, Facebook, Mozilla, etc. However, the only issue with the certificate authority is that it provides free certificates that are valid only for the duration of 3 months.

let's encrypt SSL

GlobalSign:

Another good option to get an SSL certificate is GlobalSign. It is a globally trusted place for SSL certificates and is in the industry for more than two decades. 

GLobal Sign SSL Certificate

Another advantage here is that for every certificate you purchase they will provide you free PCI compliance management tools management of general SSL certificate. GlobalSign also provides numerous certificates mentioned below:

  • Wildcard SSL certificate for subdomains
  • DV SSL certificate
  • EV SSL certificate
  • OV SSL certificate
  • DV and CV (Multi-website) SSL certificate

GeoTrust:

Another trustworthy certificate authority you can reach to GeoTrust. It offers a 30 days free trial for SSL certificates. Along with that, it offers many features like ease of installation, issuing certificates as quickly as possible, automatic validation of the domain name, assured compatibility with various browsers and compatibility with mobile browsers as well as different devices.

GeoTrust SSL Certificate

GoDaddy

If you have not heard about GoDaddy then you are probably living under a rock. It is known for providing high-quality web hosting services and domain names. It also provides various SSL certificates like DV, OV, wildcard, multi-domain, and EV certificates at affordable prices. All the SSL certificates offered by GoDaddy include 2048 bit encryption and SHA-2 which is extremely important in the current context. Moreover, it also allows you to have a 30-day money-back guarantee and it provides 24/7 customer services.

GoDaddy SSL Certificate

HubSpot

Another popular SSL certificate issued is HubSpot. In case, your content is hosted through the content management system of HubSpot, then it can provide you with a suitable SSL certificate which will ensure the security of your data. It also increases the visibility of your website in the search results.

HubSpot SSL Certificate

SSL.com

As the name suggests it is another company offering SSL certificates for websites. It is a popular leader when it comes to the SSL certificate market and has a giant list of happy clients like Microsoft, NASA, Cisco, and Ford. This company is famous for providing certificates that are of the highest level validation and are designed for separate entities in a customized manner. 

SSL.com certificate

Step 2: Verify the SSL Certificate if you plan to purchase one

Once you are done with selecting the perfect certificate authority to get the SSL certificate, the next step is to purchase it. This process also involves a verification process whose duration can widely vary. In some cases like, in DV certificates it just takes a few minutes to complete the verification process however when it comes to multi-domain certificates and EV certificates, the verification process could take up to days.

Instead of sitting ideally during this process, one can continue to review the documents provided by the certificate authority. Once you have received verification as well as approval from the certificate authority you can go ahead and download your SSL certificate file.

Step 3: Installing your SSL Certificate

The next step is to install the SSL certificate that you have just received from the certificate authority. This step can vary from company to company. More where this step is defined when the SSL certificate is gathered from your own web hosting provider as they will streamline the installation process of SSL Certificate after the approval is taken. 

Step 4: Validating working of SSL Certificate

Once you are done with installing the SSL certificate properly, it is time to check if it is working properly or not. For this, you have to logout of your WordPress and visit your size. Reach for the address bar where you will be able to find your SSL certificate if it is installed properly. Now you need to check the presence of all the trust seals for which you paid such as:

  • Padlock
  • Https address
  • The green address bar in case of the EV certificate
  • Business name in case of the EV certificate
  • The security trust seal is offered by the certificate authority.

Once all of these things are present, the next step is to explore your certificate in a detailed manner checking all the things like date of issue, the certificate authority, business name, etc. You can also go for an SSL checker tool which will check all the verified credentials and will confirm you regarding the encrypted sessions. However, if there is any problem throughout this procedure you should remove the certificate from your website and try installing it once again.

Step 5: Updating links of your website

The next step is to update the link to your website. Fortunately, after getting an SSL certificate it is quite easy to change your website to https from HTTP. 

The next step is to check out all the places which have the link to your website. Some of these places might be, a biography on social media pages, profiles on various forums, numerous blogs where the website content occurs, profiles which have been set up for marketing and sales purposes, and many more similar areas.

This change in https from HTTP is important to be done in various areas to avoid people visiting old websites instead of the new one which has the SSL certificate.

Step 6: Setting Up Redirects

The next step is to set up redirects. The job of redirect is to inform the visitor regarding the new link when they have stumbled upon the old one. The benefit of this redirect is that it has your visitor to reach directly to the new website even with the only link typed. 

This step will also help you to preserve the search engine optimization efforts which might have been used on the previous link as a redirect feature will help your visitors to access your website from old as well as a new link. 

To set up a redirect facility you need to open .htaccess file and type: 

Redirect 301 / https://yourdomainname.com/

This simple step will set up a redirect feature and consequently, both the links of your website will be valid now.

Step 7: Submitting new Sitemap to search

The final step is to inform Google about the change in address that you just made. This can be done with the help of Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. 

In the case of Google Analytics following protocol is to be followed:

Admin > Property > Property Settings and then check out the default URL of your website and change your URL from HTTP to https.

In the case of webmaster tools following protocol is to be followed:

  • Click to open the Search Console.
  • Visit the gear icon at the top right corner.
  • Select an option that says ‘Change of Address’.

After this you will be asked by Google to follow the next steps:

  1. Select your new website.
  2. Confirm that the 301 redirect you have set works properly.
  3. Verify the details of the old as well as the new website.
  4. Submit the changes and a new site map will be issued.
  5. Click on submit.

That’s it! With all the seven steps above followed properly, you will get a proper SSL certificate and also be able to install it properly on your WordPress website. Clearly, the process above is not technical and is also less time-consuming. 

The most important factor here is to identify different types of SSL certificates and then narrowing down to the one which is perfect for your business as well as one which falls within your budget.

Make sure you follow WP Uber for the latest informative articles on WordPress plugins, optimization and security.

Author avatar
Tim Michaels
I am into WordPress and web development for the last 10 years. I use my experience to help people just starting with WordPress. Follow my blog at WP Uber for everything related to WordPress.
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