When you talk about the search engine priority for a blog, HTTPS plays an important role to drive organic traffic for your blog or site. We all know that HTTPS-enabled sites are more secure than HTTP-enabled sites. HTTPS sites use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) concept to protect sites data during connections between web server and client. Typically, you need to pay something to use SSL certificate and convert your HTTP site to HTTPS. However, almost all the web hosting services provides a free SSL certificates with limited features that we can use to enhance the security and reliability of our blogs and sites. Here, we will discuss how to activate free WordPress SSL certificate for BlueHost domain.
To Activate Free WordPress SSL Certificate for BlueHost domain, you need to follow the following instructions.
Disabling Domain Privacy For Your Domain
Before Activating Free SSL certificate, we recommend to disable the domain privacy feature, if enabled. This feature allows you to hide the domain registration information publicly, else spammers can use your contact details to send their promos and other offers that can sometime lead to security threat. The following figure shows the effect of enabling/disabling this feature.
To disable domain privacy, login to your BlueHost account and navigate to the Domain section. Click on the Domains tab, select your domain name, and then select the Privacy tab as shown in the following figure.
In the above mentioned figure, click the pause domain privacy option. If you not disable domain privacy, you will get an email from BlueHost and then you need to validate your action. That is an extra activity hence we choose to disable domain privacy temporary. Once the Free SSL certificate is implemented, just enable this feature back again.
Installing Free SSL Certificate
After disabling domain privacy, you can proceed to actual task that is “Turning on Free SSL Certificate” for your WordPress blog. To do so, click the WordPress Tools option, select Security in the left pane, and then click slide the Turn On Free SSL Certificate button as shown in the following figure.
Note: The process may take half an hour to finish. Keep refreshing your page to check the process has finished or not.
Redirecting HTTP Traffic to HTTPS in WordPress
Once the SSL certificate installation is done, you need to update the .htaccess file to redirect all the HTTP traffic to HTTPS URLs. To do so, scroll-down to Files section and then click the File Manager as shown in the following figure.
The .htaccess file is typically located under Public_html folder. Select the .htaccess file, click Code Editor to edit this file as shown in the following figure.
Note: You can also download and then edit this file with your favorite file editor and then can upload the updated file.
You need to put the following code in beginning of the .htaccess file as shown in the following figure. Replace your domain name appropriately.
Save the file and close the File Manager.
Installing Really Simple SSL Plugin.
The Really Simple SSL plugin automatically detects your settings and configure your website to run over HTTPS. Installation of this plugin is pretty simple, just install and activate it. Finally, you need to click Go ahead, activate SSL! button to proceed.
Now your website is ready to be served with HTTPS traffic. However, here one more thing is still pending. If your website has internal linking (that should be) with HTTP URLs, it is recommended to replace all those with HTTPS. To simplify it, you may use the Better Search Replace plugin, just install it and open it by clicking Tools. Follow the instructions as mentioned in the following figure.
Save the settings you made with Search and Replace plugin. That’s all you need to install and activate Free SSL Certificate for your BlueHost domain. HTTPS-enabled sites are more secure, reliable, and trusty for the users as well as for the search engines. Hope, you have enjoyed this post. Please subscribe us for more upcoming posts.
Recommended: Payoneer account setup guide