Securing A WordPress Website

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Recently I migrated a website from http to https for the first time. What does that mean exactly? It means that I secured the website with an SSL certificate so that anyone that visits the website can safely purchase products online. That’s the simple explanation!

Securing a WordPress website was a daunting experience. I knew I needed to obtain an SSL certificate but that’s all I knew. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl is resourceful! I asked for help and I did my research!

My Research

I found some great information during my research that explain http, https, and ssl certificates as well as what’s involved in moving your website to https. Here’s a list of useful posts:

They were all very good how to’s and very useful in thinking about everything that I needed in securing a WordPress website. Even though all of the posts were helpful I mainly used the Dart Creations list to get the job done.

The Steps

Here are the steps I took in order to migrate the website to https:

First Attempt

  1. Purchased an SSL certificate from DigiCert
  2. My web hosting company installed the SSL certificate
  3. Updated the general settings for site and website url’s to https
  4. Updated the .htaccess file with the redirect code per WPBeginner post
  5. Tested the website and found that images did not display, the css was broken, and the twitter feed was no longer functional
  6. I reset everything back to http

I immediately started doing more research and that’s when I found the post from Dart Creations. In this post they talked about all the steps I had completed in my first attempt but they also talked about a plugin called Really Simple SSL. I researched the plugin and decided that it was worth trying out. It had great reviews and it seemed to do all the things I needed it to do.

Second & Final Attempt

  1. Installed the the Really Simple SSL plugin
  2. Reviewed the plugin and any set up that I needed to do
  3. Discovered the free version didn’t have everything I needed so I upgraded to the premium version
  4. Installed the premium plugin
  5. Updated the settings in the plugin
  6. Ran the scan the plugin had to check for possible issues
  7. Decided to pull the trigger and had Really Simple SSL activate the functions to migrate to https
  8. The dashboard logged out because during the process it was migrated as well
  9. Logged back in and everything looked good from the back end
  10. Tested the website in the browser and it WORKED! Everything was working just the way it had before the migration!

Recommendations

  • Do your research
  • Make sure you have a back up in place or can revert your changes if your site breaks
  • Use Really Simple SSL plugin for migrating WordPress websites to https
  • If you have any thoughts or suggestions I would really like to hear them!

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