How to Add SSL to Your WordPress Website Through Cloudflare
In order to provide a safe and secure experience to your website’s visitors, you should consider adding SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to your WordPress website. What is SSL? Think of it as the digital equivalent of a trusted seal – a small box at the top of your web browser that lets you know the website you are visiting is trustworthy and offers you safe browsing.
Why should you use Cloudflare for this? Because they provide free, premium, or paid certificates that you can easily install onto your WordPress site. And the best part is that they seamlessly integrate with your existing domain and don’t require you to use their separate certificates.
How Do I Get Started?
If you are reading this, I assume you are either thinking about adding SSL to your website or have already done so and are looking for ways to improve your experience. If that is the case, then you should read on. Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at what SSL is and how it works.
What is SSL?
As the name implies, SSL secures your data as it flows over the internet during online transactions. This makes your personal information (like your name, email address, and credit card number) safe and secure throughout the transaction. When a browser encounters an https:// URL, it knows it is dealing with a secure site and can display a small padlock icon in the address bar to show it is secure.
Why should I use SSL for my website?
There are several reasons why you should use SSL for your website. First, it is the ‘standard’ in online security and you will likely encounter many websites that don’t utilize it. When entering your credentials into a secure website, you can rest assured that you are doing so in an encrypted form that cannot be read by third parties. Second, many hosting companies do not allow for the installation of cryptographic software on their servers, making it difficult for you to set up a secure site on a shared hosting plan. Finally, not using SSL can leave your site vulnerable to hacking and data breaches – all of which cause major damage to your online reputation.
Why Should I Use Cloudflare?
There are several reasons why you should use Cloudflare for this, but perhaps the biggest is that they provide free, premium, or paid SSL certificates that you can install onto your WordPress site. What is a wildcard certificate? Think of it as an all-purpose security certificate that can be used for any domain name – including those that have a.com,.net, or.org TLD. That way, if someone tries to perform some sort of attack on one of your websites by hacking into the other domain names, they won’t be able to use it because it is not ‘fully qualified’ for any domain name.
How does Cloudflare work?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that was originally designed for speed and security. When you register for a Cloudflare account, you get given a free domain and can install a WordPress blog onto it. What happens is that when a web request comes in to your site, Cloudflare will grab the request and send it to one of their many data centers around the world. This approach can help to dramatically reduce your site’s load time and increase its security by keeping your content closer to your readers. As a result, your site will appear much more secure to your readers and increase your chances of making a sale.
What are the downsides to Cloudflare?
There aren’t really any downsides to Cloudflare other than the fact that it is a CDN that is faster than your own servers (because they are closer to your readers). However, this does mean that there are some features that you might not like. One biggie is that you will have to install the Cloudflare Code Editor onto your website – this is a bit like the WordPress Editing Tool, but specifically designed for websites that are hosted on Cloudflare. Another downside is that you cannot install additional plugins or themes because they will override those on the Cloudflare network. Still, these are all minor drawbacks compared to the many benefits that come with using a CDN to host your site.
Step One: Get A Certificate From Cloudflare
In order to provide a safe and secure experience to your website’s visitors, you should certainly consider adding SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to your WordPress website. So, let’s get started.
Go to https://www.cloudflare.com and click on the ‘Get Started’ button to the right of the screen. You will then be taken to the Cloudflare Certificates page. On this page, you will see a number of options for you to choose from. For the purposes of this article, we will walk you through the process of getting a free, fully-qualified, and fully-managed SSL certificate from Cloudflare. But first, you should note that these are all valid options that you might want to consider.
Why A Free Certificate?
The biggest reason why you should get a free certificate from Cloudflare is that they are offering them for free. What is a wildcard certificate? Think of it as an all-purpose security certificate that can be used for any domain name – including those that have a.com,.net, or.org TLD. That way, if someone tries to perform some sort of attack on one of your websites by hacking into the other domain names, they won’t be able to use it because it is not ‘fully qualified’ for any domain name.
What is a managed certificate? Think of it as a certificate that is tied to a specific host. With a managed certificate, you can be sure that the person who owns the domain name is accountable for any hacking or data breaches that might occur. What is the difference between a free and a managed certificate? Think of it as a free certificate for the first year and then you will have to pay a nominal fee per year after that. However, this doesn’t mean that a managed certificate is better than a free one – it just means that you, as the website owner, are more likely to get your certificate patched up if it is been compromised because you can report it to the owner. For example, say you were hacked and your data was leaked – it would be much easier for Cloudflare to patch the certificate than it would be for you to do so.
Which One Should I Choose?
Based on what you are looking for, you should choose either a wildcard certificate or a managed certificate. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two. A wildcard certificate can be used for any domain name and is, therefore, much more flexible. It can also be used for free for the first year and then you will have to pay a fee per year after that. Managed certificates are much more secure because they are tied to a specific host and can only be used for sites that are owned by the person or business that registered it. They are also much more affordable because you don’t have to pay for the entire year upfront.
Step Two: Set Up Your WordPress Blog
Now that you have your certificate from Cloudflare, you can easily put it to work on your WordPress blog. To do this, visit the dashboard of your blog and click on the ‘Apps’ button. From here, you will see a number of options; click on the ‘Add New’ button to the right of the screen. This will take you to a popup where you can enter your website’s information – including its name, description, and keywords. Once you have done this, click on the ‘Create App’ button.
You will then be brought to the Settings page of your app. Here, you can configure several options including the app name, description, and theme. You can also decide whether you want to allow download links or make the app only accessible by certain people.
At this point, you should have a blog set up with a free, fully-qualified, and fully-managed certificate from Cloudflare. You should also have a ‘downloads’ directory on your server where you can upload copies of all your publications – be it an eBook, an MP3 album, or a video course. What you don’t want to do is keep all your critical information (like your website’s URL) in a draft post or comment because, with malicious actors constantly trying to hack into your site, security software like HTTPS Everywhere will flag these as being insecure. Keep your website’s URL, along with your login credentials (if you use them), in a safe place. Then, when you are ready to share your work with the world, you can do so with a clear conscience.