How to Prepare Your WordPress Website for SSL

Most of us are familiar with the general concept of securing our WordPress websites with SSL. After all, we often see websites with the https:// in front of their domain name. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to set this up, it’s important to note that HTTPS is not the same as having SSL.

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol that all websites and servers use to transfer data. When a user visits a secure website, they see the lock icon in their browser as a visual cue that all the right pieces are in place to keep their personal information safe. This is especially important on websites that store credit cards or other important personal data.

Having SSL, on the other hand, is an extension that adds a layer of security to your WordPress site. When accessed through an https:// connection, all of the traffic looks the same as it would for a standard http:// website. The main difference is that, once you have SSL set up, you must use a digital certificate to verify the identity of the website you’re connecting to. You can purchase a $2 certificate from Let’s Encrypt, for example, which provides free certificates for qualifying websites.

Find Out How To Get Started With SSL

If you’re considering adding SSL to your WordPress site, it’s important to know how to get started with the process. While there’s no technical reason why you can’t have a fully functioning WordPress site with an https:// address, there are several steps that you must follow in order to make sure all the pieces fit together smoothly.

Pick A Hosting Provider That Is Experienced In Implementing SSL

One of the first things you should do before moving forward is to pick a hosting provider that is experienced in implementing SSL. The right hosting company will have all the pieces in place to make sure your WordPress site just works when transitioned to an https:// address. There are several reputable hosting companies, such as Bluehost, that offer fully featured WordPress hosting with high security levels. You can also research hosting companies that offer additional custom-built solutions for running secure websites.

Decide Whether To Use Free Or Proton-based WordPress Themes

Another important decision you need to make is whether to use a free or proton-based WordPress theme. Free themes are great because they’re usually easy to install and set up, but they lack the advanced features that some people may need to run a successful website. Proton-based themes, on the other hand, give you a fully functioning WordPress site, but they can be a little more tricky to set up.

Consider The Financial Implications Of Moving To A Proton-Based Theme

When picking a free theme, it’s important to consider the financial implications of moving to a proton-based theme. Just consider how much cheaper it would be to purchase a quality proton-based theme, rather than paying for a sub-par free version. Even if you were to purchase a cheap $10/month theme, you would save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Make Sure Your Hosting Company Is In Good Standing With The Better Business Bureau

One of the primary reasons to secure your WordPress site with SSL is to protect it from hackers, identity thieves and other bad actors. As a safeguard, you should contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in your area to see if there have been any complaints filed against your hosting company. You can also call the BBB directly and ask if they have any complaints that they can forward to you.

Even if your hosting company has a perfect record with the BBB, it’s still a good idea to secure your site anyway. Why? Identity theft is on the rise. Hackers can take advantage of poorly secured sites when stealing personal information. If you’re still paying for web hosting, it’s worth the small security measure of adding an https:// to your site.

Create A Backup Of Your Website In Case Something Happens

It is important to create a backup of your website in case something happens. This could include a variety of things, such as a virus infecting your website or serious hardware malfunctions causing your site to go offline. A good practice is to take a copy of your site on a regular basis using a tool like BackupBuddy. This is a free tool that can automate the backup and restoration of all your important data.

Additionally, you should look into purchasing a separate backup domain (e.g., so you can easily restore your site in case of emergency. In the event that your main domain name is compromised, you can redirect all the traffic to your backup domain.

Take Your Time

The last thing you want to do is rush into implementing SSL for your WordPress site. It’s important to take your time and research all the available options before committing. You don’t want to rush into anything simply because it’s the “in thing” to do. When you’re rushed, you may make some simple mistakes that could seriously undermine the security of your site. Take your time to find the best hosting company for your needs, pick a theme that is highly secured and that you feel comfortable with, and don’t forget to backup all of your data regularly.