Google Says Switch to HTTPS— Here’s How for WordPress Websites

Back in August (2014), Google clearly stated that HTTPS had become a new signal used in their search ranking algorithm, and that over time, it would be given more weight, as more website owners made the switch.

https on

What is HTTPS?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) ensures that data passed between a web server and web browser is private. When activated, a lock icon appears on the interface of your web browser and the “http” in the web address changes to “https”. For example, when you exchange credit card and other personal information during an online purchase.

Google believes HTTPS should be used everywhere— not just on ecommerce websites, because without it, you may compromise your visitors’ privacy.

Here’s How to Switch to HTTPS for Your WordPress Website

  1. Purchase an SSL certficate from your hosting company (roughly $75 per year)
  2. Once installed, log into WordPress; then:
  • Go to: Settings -> General;
  • Update your WordPress Address (URL) from “http” to “https”; and
  • Update your Site Address (URL) from “http” to “https”.

WordPress Settings change

Update: If you’re hosting with WP Engine, do NOT use “https” in those fields… and don’t use a plugin to force https. Leave it as “http”.

  1. Assuming your website is on an apache server, add the following to your .htaccess file above “# BEGIN WordPress”, to redirect “http” traffic to “https”:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

https redirect

Update: Again, WP Engine has a different way of handling this via the control panel— does not apply.

  1. Check for page errors and change all image URLs within your website to “https”:

Change image URLs

Update: Yes, and this too, probably won’t be necessary with WP Engine, as it takes care of all “mixed content”.

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