Nowadays HTTPS plays an important role to trigger organic traffic for your blog or website. Google search results having a priority of HTTPS sites over the HTTP sites. This means that installing the free SSL Certificate creates a positive ranking factor for SEO. We know that HTTPS enabled sites are more secure than HTTP enabled sites. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) concept protects the HTTPS site data during the connection between web server and client. In this blog, the following points are covered.
- How to install a free SSL Certificate on Bluehost hosting
- Steps to migrate your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS
- How to verify your SSL Certificate configuration
Bluehost is one of the best web hosting provider and it is recommended by the official WordPress site. If you have an idea to buy a Bluehost account or you think about migrating your existing account to Bluehost, then claim your free SSL certificate with your Bluehost hosting.
There are different types of SSL certificates. Free SSL Certificate is recommended for a personal blog or website with a single domain. If you are running an e-commerce website or money transaction website, then you could consider the paid SSL Certificates with and Extended Validation (EV) or Organization Validation (OV).
Before activating your free SSL Certificate on Bluehost domain, you should follow the below instructions.
To activate the Free SSL Certificate, it is recommended to disable the domain privacy feature. The effect of enabling/disabling feature is shown in the below image.
Now click the pause domain privacy option. Once the Free SSL certificate is installed, then enable the feature back again. If you forget to disable the domain privacy, you will receive an email from Bluehost to confirm your action.
After disabling your domain privacy, click the WordPress Tools option and select the Security tab in the left side pane. Now click the slide button to turn on the Free SSL Certificate.
Then you got the message like this. The process may take half an hour to one hour to finish.
To verify your domain has an active SSL certificate or not, use an online checker took like SSL-checker. You can see the result like this after adding the free SSL certificate.
Once the free SSL Certificate installation is finished, you need to update your .htaccess file to redirect all the HTTP traffic to HTTPS URLs. To do so, open the cPanel and scroll down to the Files section and click the File Manager icon.
Usually, the .htaccess file is located under the Public_html folder. Select the .htaccess file and click the Code Editor to edit the .htaccess file. You can also download this file with your FTP client and then edit with your favorite editor. After finishing, upload it again to the Public_html folder.
Insert the below-highlighted code in the beginning of the .htaccess file and save the file and close the File Manager.
After activation the free SSL certificate, the below step is to force to migrate the HTTP pages to HTTPS pages. In the upcoming ten to fifteen minutes, you will move your WordPress blog or website to HTTPS. If you don’t follow this step, you could lose your targeted traffic.
This Really Simple SSL Plugin automatically detect your settings and configure your blog or website to run over HTTPS. After installing and activating the plugin, click the Go ahead, activate SSL! Button to continue.
It is the time to update all existing links from HTTP to HTTPS. To do this, install and activate the plugin called Better Search & Replace. After finishing this, install the Broken link checker plugin and find the links to other websites with HTTP prefix should now be HTTPS.
You can see the green padlock when you open your website with any browser. Now your blog or website is ready for HTTPS traffic.
Hope, this simple guide to install free SSL Certificate in Bluehost hosting is useful for you. Share this post with other people who are using Bluehost as their hosting for the blog. If you need any further help, please let me know in the comments section below.