Keep Calm and Browse Safely

My webhost was so kind to offer free a SSL certificate for kao-ani.com. SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This way all data passed between the web server and browsers remains private.

Basically it means that you can safely enter your information in the comment and contact form on my website. You’ll also see a nice padlock in the browser url bar:

How can you move WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS?

First you need to ask your host for a SSL certificate. Some hosting providers will charge a fee, so please inform yourself about this as well. Once you’ve got a working SSL certificate, you’ll need to make a couple of changes to your site in order for the padlock to appear. I was a bit insecure about what steps to follow and searched the internet for answers, hopefully my mini guide will help you.

1. Setting up WordPress to use HTTPS
I can highly recommend the instructions on WPBeginner.
I’ve used Method 2 to set SSL/HTTPS up manually, because I prefer to use as little plugins as possible. But if you are unfamiliar with a .htaccess file, just let the Really Simple SSL plugin do the work for you (^_^)

2. Fixing mixed content in the database
Once you’ve completed the first step, you’ll probably still see a little ‘i’ instead of the padlock above your website. This happens mainly because the images in your posts are still linking to the http version of your website, instead of https. You can use the Better Search & Replace plugin and this helpful guide to fix these database entries.

Please make sure to backup your database before doing this step, in case something goes wrong. For me adjusting a database is always a bit nerve wrecking, but so far I’ve used this plugin multiple times without any problems.

3. Fixing other mixed content problems
The WPBeginner instructions also show how to handle mixed content problems in your theme or plugins. If you don’t use the Chrome Webmaster tool, you could also go to the Why No Padlock website. Luckily my theme and plugins were fine. But I did decide change some plugins to newer ones, such as the contact form. It’s always good to use plugins that are regularly updated by the developer, so your site will stay secure.

The image in this post has been created by Freepik (and kawaiified by me)