If you’re running a website on WordPress, it’s essential to ensure that it’s secure and protected from any potential cyber threats. One essential aspect of website security is installing an SSL certificate, which encrypts all data transferred between your site and its visitors.
However, the process of installing an SSL certificate can be intimidating, especially for beginners. That’s where Really Simple SSL comes in. This plugin simplifies the process of installing an SSL certificate, making it easy for anyone to secure their WordPress site in minutes.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through the steps required to install Really Simple SSL and secure your website.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that your website is protected from prying eyes and cyber-attacks. So, let’s dive in and learn how to secure your WordPress site in minutes!
Why SSL is important for WordPress sites
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that encrypts all data transmitted between a website’s server and its visitors.
This encryption ensures that any sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, cannot be intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors.
This is particularly important for websites that handle sensitive information, such as e-commerce sites or sites that collect personal data from their users.
In addition to the security benefits, SSL is also essential for SEO. In 2014, Google announced that it would give a ranking boost to sites that used SSL, as it was seen as an indicator of a trustworthy and secure website.
Since then, Google has continued to prioritize SSL-encrypted sites in its search results, so installing an SSL certificate is a crucial step in improving your website’s visibility and credibility.
Finally, SSL is becoming the industry standard for website security.
As more and more sites adopt SSL, visitors are becoming accustomed to seeing the padlock icon and “https” prefix in their browser’s address bar. Not having SSL can make your site appear outdated and untrustworthy, potentially driving away visitors and customers.
What is Really Simple SSL?
Really Simple SSL is a WordPress plugin that simplifies the process of installing an SSL certificate.
Once installed, the plugin automatically detects your SSL certificate and ensures that all traffic to your site is redirected to the HTTPS version of your site.
The plugin also handles any issues that may arise during the installation process, such as mixed content warnings or insecure resources, to ensure that your site is fully secured.
One of the biggest advantages of Really Simple SSL is its ease of use. The plugin is designed for non-technical users and requires no coding or configuration. Simply install and activate the plugin, and it will take care of the rest.
How to install Really Simple SSL on WordPress
The Really Simple SSL plugin is a viral and powerful plugin for loading a WordPress website over HTTPS. This plugin helps introduce an SSL certificate to the user’s browser. The plugin can be used for free, and you can download it from the WordPress plugin repository.
This plugin is being used on over 3 million WordPress websites.
Installing Really Simple SSL is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few minutes. Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the “Plugins” section.
- Click on “Add New” and search for “Really Simple SSL.”
- Click “Install Now” and then “Activate” to activate the plugin.
- Once activated, you should see a notification asking if you want to enable SSL. Click “Activate SSL” to start the process.
That’s it! Really Simple SSL will now automatically detect your SSL certificate and ensure that all traffic to your site is redirected to the HTTPS version of your site.
If you want to know more about installing a WordPress plugin, take a look at how to install WordPress plugin right ways.
Common issues during installation and how to fix them
While Really Simple SSL is designed to be easy to use, there are a few common issues that you may encounter during the installation process. Here are some of the most common issues and how to fix them:
Mixed content warnings
One common issue that can arise after installing Really Simple SSL is mixed content warnings. These warnings occur when your site contains both secure (HTTPS) and insecure (HTTP) content, such as images or scripts. Mixed content can compromise the security of your site and may cause your visitors to see security warnings in their browser.
To fix mixed content warnings, you’ll need to ensure that all resources on your site are loaded securely. This means updating any links or references to HTTP resources to use HTTPS instead.
Really Simple SSL includes a tool to help you identify and fix mixed content warnings automatically, but you may need to manually update some resources.
Another common issue is insecure resources, which occur when your site references resources (such as images, scripts, or stylesheets) that are not loaded securely.
Insecure resources can compromise the security of your site and may cause your visitors to see security warnings in their browser.
To fix insecure resources, you’ll need to ensure that all resources on your site are loaded securely. This means updating any links or references to insecure resources to use HTTPS instead.
Really Simple SSL includes a tool to help you identify and fix insecure resources automatically, but you may need to manually update some resources.
Issues with your SSL certificate
Finally, you may encounter issues with your SSL certificate itself. This can happen if your certificate is invalid or has expired, or if there are issues with the installation process.
If you encounter issues with your SSL certificate, you should contact your hosting provider or SSL certificate issuer for assistance. They can help you resolve any issues and ensure that your site is fully secured.
Verifying SSL installation
Once you’ve installed Really Simple SSL, it’s important to verify that your site is fully secured. Here’s how to do it:
1. Open your website in a web browser.
2. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar. If the padlock is closed and the address starts with “https,” your site is fully secured.
3. If you see a warning message or the padlock is open, there may be issues with your SSL certificate or mixed content warnings. Use the Really Simple SSL tools to identify and fix any issues.
It’s important to regularly check your site for security issues and ensure that your SSL certificate is up-to-date.
Updating your website links to HTTPS
Once you’ve installed Really Simple SSL and verified that your site is fully secured, you’ll need to update any links or references to HTTP resources to use HTTPS instead.
This ensures that all resources on your site are loaded securely and helps to avoid any mixed content warnings or insecure resource issues.
Updating your links to HTTPS is a simple process that can be done using a search-and-replace tool. There are several plugins available that can help you with this, such as Better Search Replace or Velvet Blues Update URLs.
Benefits of using Really Simple SSL
Using Really Simple SSL has several benefits for your WordPress site:
- Improved security: Really Simple SSL encrypts all data transmitted between your site and its visitors, ensuring that sensitive information is protected from hackers and other malicious actors.
- Improved SEO: Google prioritizes SSL-encrypted sites in its search results, so using Really Simple SSL can help to improve your site’s visibility and credibility.
- Easy to use: Really Simple SSL is designed for non-technical users and requires no coding or configuration. Simply install and activate the plugin, and it will take care of the rest.
- Automatic updates: Really Simple SSL automatically detects and handles any issues that may arise during the installation process, ensuring that your site is always fully secured.
Other WordPress security measures to consider
While SSL is an essential aspect of website security, there are other measures that you can take to further protect your WordPress site. Here are some additional security measures to consider:
– Use strong passwords: Use complex passwords for all user accounts on your site, and encourage your users to do the same.
– Limit login attempts: Use a plugin such as Login Lockdown to limit the number of login attempts allowed on your site, to prevent brute-force attacks.
– Keep WordPress and plugins up-to-date: Regularly update your WordPress installation and plugins to ensure that any security vulnerabilities are patched.
– Use a security plugin: Install a security plugin such as Wordfence or iThemes Security to scan your site for vulnerabilities and protect against malicious attacks.
Securing your WordPress site with an SSL certificate is essential for protecting your site and its visitors from cyber threats. Really Simple SSL makes the process of installing an SSL certificate simple and easy, even for beginners.
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