Yes, you really DO need to have your website SSL compliant.
If you’re still wondering what is SSL and why do I need it, read on.
SSL means Secure Socket Layer. But what does it mean to you? It means your site is more secure for anyone entering their information or buying things on your site; digital products or physical ones. It changes your site from http://yoursite.com to https://yoursite.com.
If you have an e-commerce site that uses a third party payment gateway, such as Paypal or others, you don’t technically need an SSL Certificate. However, some browsers, Firefox in particular, will show visitors an insecure site when then are on your site. That’s not a good thing. Oh,the other really good reason to get SSL compliant sooner rather than later is that Google likes it better too 😉
Here are some things to get you started.
First, go into your wordpress dashboard to Settings – General. Change the URL to https instead of http and save it. Now, even if someone clicks an http link they will go to https.
Add the (free) Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin and do a find and replace http to https on your site. I clicked all the links but the last one.
Now, go to https://whynopadlock.com to enter your new https URL to check for errors.
You may have an .htaccess error, but whynopadlock will give you the code to insert – so just copy and paste it into your .htaccess file.
Depending on where your images are stored, you may have to resolve those issue to make sure they’re pulled from an https URL.
I had a couple of http URL sidebar widget issues. So, I went into the particular sidebar widget text box and just changed the URL in there to https. That resolved it.
You can recheck your site again to see if everything is okay.
If you’re using Google Analytics, and you SHOULD BE, go over there and change the Property Settings to https. Now go to Google Webmaster Tools and change your URL to https for your sitemap.
Hopefully, that will be it for you. If you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to comment.
Useful article, Bo. Thanks for laying it out so clearly and concisely.