Note: If you haven’t purchased an SSL certificate yet, you can do so in the Account Control Center (ACC) or by calling our sales team. Check out our article, How to Order an SSL Certificate, for more information.

So you bought an SSL certificate to secure your site. Now what?

The first step you want to take to implement SSL on your site is to change all your http addresses to https. One of the ways you can tell if a website is secure is by looking at the http at the beginning of the site URL. Does it say http or https? Https represents sites that are secured with SSL.

How you change your site URL from http to https can vary depending on the site’s architecture or if you’re using one of our WP Hosting options. So you need to first identify which section best describes your website:

Once you have done this, navigate to that section and read about the next steps you should be taking.

Custom Built (Not CMS)

If your site is built without using a CMS, like WordPress, and you intend to use SSL on the whole site, you can use a Rewrite rule to switch the bulk of your site to SSL. Rewrite rules are created in the .htaccess file of your site’s directory. If you aren’t familiar with your .htaccess file, check out our Accessing Your .htaccess File article.

To change the entire site from http to https (and thus changing from non-SSL to SSL) use the following Rewrite rule:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on

RewriteRule ^(.*)$  https://www.example.com/$1 [L,R]

Copy and paste this into your .htaccess file. Replace example.com with your domain name. Then save the .htaccess file. If done correctly, this will change all your site’s URLs to https, which will serve your site over SSL.

Warning: This set of Rewrite Rules should not be combined with other blocks of Rewrite Rules unless you are well-versed with mod_rewrite. It is possible that combining it into another block of rules can cause an endless loop and take your site offline.

Also, check to make sure you do not have any domains nested under the directory where the SSL redirect is being placed. You can check this by looking where your domain is mapping to.

For example:

If you are redirecting

/usr/home/USERNAME/public_html

but have domains mapped to

/usr/home/USERNAME/public_html/OTHERDOMAIN

the latter domain will also be redirected.

If you have any absolute links in your site’s code, they should be updated from http to https. For more information about absolute links, check out our explanation of Relative and Absolute links.

WordPress

If you are adding SSL to a domain that holds a WordPress site, follow these steps:

Updating WordPress Address URL

You should also change the WordPress Address URL and Site Address URL from http to https. Note that this is different than using the redirection. You can do this easily by following these steps:

  1. Log into your WordPress account
  2. At the bottom of the left sidebar, click Settings
  3. Click General 
    • Settings to General image
  4. In the boxes next to WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL), add an ‘s’ to ‘http’

http to https change imageUpdating Your Database Links

We also recommend updating all links in your database to https. This can be accomplished by using a plugin, like Velvet Blues, or via the wp-cli command line tool.

Regardless of the option you choose, it is important that you do not modify any https links in the guid column. The Velvet Blues plugin automatically marks the guid column as unalterable.

If you choose to set up a Rewrite rule, remember that you will still need to make adjustments to the database.

Adding the Redirect

If you have WordPress site on a WP Enthusiast or WP Professional account, please see the Setting up a WordPress Redirect for WP Hosting section.

If you have a WordPress site set up on another type of hosting account, see the Setting up a WordPress Redirect for a Non-WP Hosting Account section.

Setting up a WordPress Redirect for WP Hosting

For WordPress sites hosted on WP Enthusiast or WP Professional accounts, Rewrite rules cannot be used because these servers use Nginx, rather than Apache.

Please contact our support team to have a redirect set up on your site. This will reroute all traffic that tries to go to the http version of your site to https.

Our support team can be contacted at:

  • support@pair.com
  • 1-877-724-7638 (US & Canada)
  • 1-412-381-7247 (International)
Setting up a WordPress Redirect for a Non-WP Hosting Account

If your site is built using WordPress but is hosted on a non-WP Hosting account, you have two options:

  • You can use a security plugin to change your site to use SSL
  • Or you can use the same Rewrite rules shown in the Custom Built section.

After you have taken these steps, your site will begin to use SSL, thus making the connection between your site and your its visitors more secure.