This tutorial explains how to switch from HTTP to https for WordPress. Understanding these steps will help you understand WordPress and this method is faster than using the “Really Simple SSL” plugin method. Site speed is a super important factor so if you can avoid using a plugin you should always avoid it. The steps below will show you how to setup your https address for WordPress manually. This tutorial will also get you acclimated to making changes to WordPress site files as well.
Step One in Switching from HTTP to HTTPS for your WordPress Website = RUN A BACKUP.
We will be making changes to site files and database files, so it’s very important to have a backup to fall back on if things go sideways during this process. I use a free program called Duplicator. It is super easy to use, and there are limitless tutorials on line that explain how to use it. The bottom line is you should have a full copy of your site (database and site files) saved to your computer for safekeeping. I don’t care what software you are using, just make it happen.
Step Two in Migrating From HTTP to HTTPS for your WordPress site = Force Admin Login to Use HTTPS.
The next stop is to use Filezilla. See the link to Filezilla above. and make a change to wp-config.php file. To get copy this code/command. Visit my help file. It’s the first code command on this page.
I typically add it below the table prefix line which around line 60. I would place the command towards the bottom of the file. This command forces WordPress to use HTTPS when you visit your login page for the administration area.
Step Three in Moving from HTTP to HTTPS for your WordPress site is = Change your site URLs.
I have assumed that you already have SSL and that if you type https://yourwebaddress.com, it will work. If you don’t and you make this change your site will fail to function. BUT DON’T WORRY. Visit my help notes for a quick solution.
Now go to settings – general and look for the Address URL and Site Address URL fields. Switch HTTP to HTTPS and click save. Check your front page now and confirm that it works if it does not visit my help notes page and look for the two lines of code that start with the word “define” and add them to the wp-config.php file in your site root.
Step Four – In Changing from HTTP to HTTPS for WordPress is to make a redirect in your .htaccess file.
What we’ll be doing here is instructing your site to redirect any traffic coming into HTTP to HTTPS automatically. It also sends a 301 message to the search engines. This tells them the change is permanent. Use the code on my site for this. See the link below. I also included a link to a site that will test the 301 redirect.
Step Five – Change all Media in Posts or Pages to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
The only way you can do this is by executing a find and replace in your database. RULE: when making changes to the database ALWAYS have a backup. If something goes sideways and you don’t have a backup, you are TOAST. Ok, There are two approaches to this. One way is to use a third party program from Interconnectit.
This program is a bit of a pain because you have to install the files via FTP. I prefer the plugin called Better Search and Replace. You can find it here.
This plugin is easy to use, and you can remove it easily when you’re finished.
Step Six – Fixing Any Remaining Issues
Check your site now with Chrome. If you have a green padlock, you are good to go. If not right click on an empty side of your site and select “Inspect” and click the “Console” tab/button This report gives you feedback as to what’s causing the non-padlock. In most cases, your CSS file is calling background images using HTTP so open up your styles.css file or whatever it is called change those calls to HTTPS and YOUR DONE!
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