You may have heard of Cloudflare or there are possible chances that you are using their free services to boost up your site speed, now this technology company allows you to get completely free SSL for your site without paying a single penny, yes it is possible, before this you have to buy SSL for your site which costs a lot of money and needs technical skills to setup but now it is easier than before to set up your HTTPS sites which look trusted and have better ranking power, Google recently also announce that they are counting HTTPS as a ranking signal so it means you can have little bit more advantage of SSL in ranking over your competitor, so wanna set up your SSL, follow this straightforward and easy to do Guide.
Add your Domain to Cloudflare
If you have already added your site to CloudFlare then you can skip this step and can jump on next one, if not, then follow:
- Go to CloudFlare and signup for account, if you don’t have one,
- Click on Add new site and then add your site URL there and then click scan,
- Wait for CloudFlare to scan DNS records, once it’s done, click continue,
- Now here check if all the records are ok or not, if any record is missing then add it, for most of the people it’s okay, click continue,
- Now select plan according to your requirement, you can choose free plan here, if you don’t want to spend money,
- Now it’s time to change DNS records on the registrar, after you changed it, follow the next step.
How to use CloudFlare free SSL?
- Sign into CloudFlare and click on crypto in menu,
- Here from SSL option, choose “Flexible SSL”, (Flexible SSL can take up to 24 hours to be properly setup before you can use it)
- Now Login to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to plugin installation page,
- Search for “CloudFlare Flexible SSL” and install that on your site. (if you don’t install it, you will get infinite redirect error: The site have redirect loop), you can also install “Force SSL” WordPress plugin to make sure everything load on SSL, but it is not a right fix.
- Go to WordPress Settings and change the URL from HTTP to HTTPS by adding S to it, and then click save,
- Now WordPress will ask for reauthentication, sign back in, your site is ready and now using SSL you can see green HTTPS in a browser, if a problem occurs, read the last part of the article.
HTTPS is not green on all pages
Your site may be loading content on HTTP which is causing this, most probably this issue is caused by the old images, so here is the solution:
- Install “Velvet Blue URL” plugin and activate it,
- Go to Tools > Update URLs
- Enter your old site URL as HTTP and new site URL as HTTPS, select all the boxes and click update URL’s now, it will update all the URL and you problem will be mostly probably solved
If your problem is still not resolved, view your site source code and search for HTTP in it and see which resource is loading on HTTP and then change it to HTTPS, it will solve the issue.
Force Visitors to use HTTPS only
If you want to force your visitors to use only secure version of your site then you can create a rule in CloudFlare account which will redirect all the non-HTTPS user to HTTPS, to set this up follow the procedure:
- Go to CloudFlare site Dashboard and click on Page rules in menu,
- Here click on Create Page Rule and Add your site there in this format http://yoursite.com/* and from settings choose “Always use HTTPS,”
- Save this and now your site will only load on HTTPS, all non-HTTP visitors will be redirected to HTTPs version of the site.
How to Solve infinite redirect loop error?
Many people get themselves into this problem when they try to use CloudFlare free SSL, but don’t worry it is solvable, it happens because you haven’t installed cloudflare SSL plugin, to solve this problem change your WordPress URL manually back to HTTP, here’s a complete tutorial on it, install plugin and then set it to HTTPS.
Why you should be using SSL?
- People are more likely to order from your site as SSL is known as Trust signal by users,
- Google is now giving a rank to SSL secure sites.
- SSL make sure no one view data between user and server by encrypting it.
Hope you have successfully installed your free SSL, you can check its validity from this site. One negative point of cloudflare SSL is that it uses wildcard SSL which are installed on more than 30-50 Domains and anyone can get idea that you are using CloudFlare SSL, so it’s comparatively better to use your own SSL on e-commerce sites, for blogs it’s okay.
If you come up with any problem, feel free to comment, I will reply you very soon.