How to Install an SSL Certificate
Recently I was installing an SSL certificate on one of my domains for the first time and I thought it would be useful to share with you how it went and how to do it properly. First of all I’d like to mention why it is important to have HTTPS instead of HTTP in front of your URL. I’ve read somewhere that Google will be (or maybe already is) giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS websites. Moreover, all blogs on the wordpress.com platform are on HTTPS already. Also, if you have an ecommerce store or if you accept payments through your website, you should definitely get an SSL certificate for better security for your customers.
Where do I recommend you to get your SSL certificate from? I use NameCheap for my domains and also recommend to use NameCheap for buying SSL certificates. The cheapest one, PositiveSSL from Comodo is the one that I’ve used. It costs $9 per year. You can get another cheap one from e.g. Name.com for $9.99 (RapidSSL).
Now if you already have an SSL certificate purchased, I will explain you how to install it on cPanel. So first of all you will need to activate your SSL certificate (more instructions here). Then you need to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) code via your cPanel. You will find more detailed instructions on how to do it here. And finally you will need to install the certificate on your hosting account. You’ll just need to enter the certificate code (beginning with —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– and ending with —–END CERTIFICATE—– ) into the Certificate field. Then click on the “Autofill by Certificate” button to fill in the other 2 fields. You will find more instructions on how to do this here.
And now that the SSL certificate is already installed, you will need to change all links on your website to HTTPS. First go to Settings > General and change the WordPress Address and Site Address URLs to https://.
The last step is to install an SSL plugin. I recommend the Really Simple SSL plugin. It automatically changes all non-https URLs on your website to https. Just install it and activate it. However, I find this plugin being a little slow. There is premium version that you can get for $25 (single site) and it says that the website performance will not suffer in any way. If you know a better solution feel free to let me know in the comments below.
I hope you will find this tutorial useful.