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How to Fix Common SSL Issues on Your WordPress Website

Since the end of 2017, Google has flagged websites that do not have an SSL installed on them. This naturally forced many websites to add an SSL certificate to their website. However, this led many websites to discover that there are many common SSL errors they can run into. Thus, I have put this guide on how to fix SSL issues in WordPress together.

Here you will find the most common errors when you install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website. Luckily, none of these are particularly difficult to resolve, so there is no need to panic if you have run into one.

Today, I will show you how you can easily fix the SSL issues in the WordPress website when you install an SSL certificate.

Why Should You Start Using SSL?

Simply stated, SSL is an encryption method that secures the connections between your browser and your WordPress hosting server. If not installed properly, or it doesn’t match, then most of the modern browsers will show a warning to the user stating that they should not connect to the website.

Connection is not private

There are also other reasons you want to have a WordPress SSL certificate installed on your website. Sure, Google marks the site as “secure,” but SSL certificates also allow you to take payments and personal information over your website. This is ideal for someone who has an online store, or someone who is taking payments through their website for a service.

Google has also stated that websites that have the SSL/HTTPS protocol will also have more weight in overall listings and searches. Considering all of this, it is definitely ideal for you to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website.

Once installed, you may run into some WordPress SSL issues. Fear not, most of these issues are very common. Let’s take a look at some quick and easy ways to deal with WordPress SSL issues.

Fixing Mixed Content Errors

Arguably the most common error you will see when installing a WordPress SSL certificate is the mixed content warning.

The WordPress mixed content warning shows immediately after you have installed the SSL and while it may look like a big problem, there are actually a few different ways you can take care of this issue.

1. Fix Using a Plugin

The first way to do this, and perhaps the easiest way for most, is to install a WordPress plugin to help you get the work done. The Really Simple SSL plugin is a great one to install and configure so that all mixed content warnings are taken off your website.

Really simple ssl plugin

After you have installed and activated the plugin visit the Settings SSL section of your website and review all the configuration settings. Really Simple SSL does work out of the box and will automatically fix your mixed content errors.

Really simple ssl settings

Note: This plugin is really good at fixing errors related to SSL. It is not just limited to the mixed content error. It will automatically fix most SSL issues in WordPress. Thus, this is by far the easiest way to resolve these types of issues.

2. Fixing Mixed Content Errors Manually

Fixing WordPress mixed content errors manually requires some actual manual troubleshooting. While this may take a little more time to fix SSL issues in WordPress it is better for overall website performance.

The most overlooked step in this process is making sure that you are using the HTTPS protocol inside your WordPress website settings. So once the WordPress SSL is installed head to the general settings area of your website and make that change.

Change http to https

You see the above screenshot shows http, the shot below shows the change to https. All you do is add the “s” and save. You will be automatically logged out of the site and WordPress will prompt you to log back in for your changes to take place.

Change http to https as shown

Once this is done you will need to go through your website manually and find old HTTP URLs in your WordPress database and replace them with the new HTTPS URLs.

The easiest and most efficient way to do this is to install and activate the Better Search Replace plugin. Once activated, visit the settings page for the plugin by going to Tools > Better Search Replace.

Add the current HTTP website URL in the “Search field” and then add the website URL with HTTPS in the “Replace field.”

Better search replace plugin

You can read even more about replacing mixed content in this tutorial.

Fixing the Too Many Redirects Errors

To get this done you will need to place a little code inside your wp-config.php file. Don’t worry, the code is written out below for you and if done correctly will fix the too many redirects error you may be getting after a WordPress SSL installation.

WordPress does indeed allow you to enforce HTTPS for the admin area by entering the following line of code into your wp-config.php file:

define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);

That being said, there are some scenarios where this alone would actually cause the “too many redirects” error to occur. If this is the case for you it is an easy fix. Go ahead and add the following code to your wp-config.php file:

define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);
//in some setups HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO might contain
//a comma-separated list e.g. http,https
//so check for https existence
if (strpos($_SERVER[‘HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO’], ‘https’) !== false)
$_SERVER[‘HTTPS’]=’on’;

Fix HTTP to HTTPS Redirect

WordPress does not automatically redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS unless you go tell it to do so. A plugin like Really Simple SSL (described above) would actually take care of all the redirects for you.

However, you can also setup manual redirects by adding the following code into your .htaccess file:


<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
</IfModule>

Moving your site WordPress website to SSL/HTTPS may seem like a major task at first but it actually can be handled fairly easily.

Fix Name Mismatch Error

The name mismatch error occurs when domain name in the SSL certificate does not match the browser URL. And typically, this only occurs if you purchase one from a third-party seller. This causes the browser to think that the SSL certificate was made for another website, which means it will not work for yours.

This will generally occur if you do not purchase an SSL certificate that supports “with” and “without www”. The reason is that this is important is because the URL may be entered differently. For example, take example.com and www.example.com. These will lead you to the same place, but if your SSL certificate did not support both, you will run into this error.

To fix this, simply add the following lines of code to a custom .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

Stay Secure

An SSL certificate has essentially become mandatory for any website that wants to rank highly on Google, which is just about everyone. The good news is that your website will be a lot safer and as a result, make your customers feel safer. Thus, it is a win-win situation.

Consider using other security measures like WordFence to keep your website secure. Trust me, you do not want to be the website that got someones personal information stolen. Not many websites can come back from that.

What are some other resources you have found that help moving to SSL easier? Have you found an issue not covered in this article?

Author: Jeremy Holcombe

Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.

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