Google has announced that it will count HTTPS as a ranking factor. It is because Google cares about user’s confidential data and information. So, if you too care about users related information by securing their data then your blog’s Google ranking will improve sooner or later. You can easily do so by setup Cloudflare Free SSL Certificate and secure your WordPress blog.
Some years back, switching to HTTPS was expensive and require high technical skills. Today it is just a piece of cake for you to install Cloudflare Free SSL certificate on your blog. Furthermore, you can opt for premium SSL certificate also. However, for a newbie blogger, Cloudflare Flexible SSL Certificate is good enough. If you have enabled the financial transaction, then go for premium SSL certificate to avoid any kind of risk.
I am already using Cloudflare free SSL Certificate for one of my WordPress blogs. Believe me, after migrating your blog from HTTP to HTTPS will please your eyes. You will feel awesome when you see that green colored closed lock followed by “Secure” tab. Furthermore, your blog’s visitors also like that as your blog is now secure with SSL. Moreover, it also helps Google to understand that your blog or website is safe to use and so your blog rank may improve. Google is considering HTTPS as one of the criteria for ranking higher in SERPs.
In this blog post, I will help you on how you can install Cloudflare free SSL Certificate for WordPress blog and migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.
Cloudflare boost speed and secure millions of websites, APIs, and other services worldwide that are connected to the internet. It manages one of the best and reliable CDN services, DDoS protection from all sorts of online threats and SSL services. Encrypting user’s information to prevent any theft must be your top priority. Cloudflare is one of the first internet performance and security provider for your blog and also offer free SSL Certificate.
SSL is known as Secure Socket Layer that lets you encrypt links between your web server and user browser. It ensures all data remain safe & private and keep your visitor’s happy. You can easily migrate from HTTP to HTTPS by using any of the Cloudflare SSL segment. However, your site visitor will remain unaffected and their data are always encrypted.
Cloudflare provides you three ways on how you configure a connection between Cloudflare server to your Origin server.
Flexible SSL (Free)
Cloudflare Flexible SSL is absolutely free and encrypts traffic from Cloudflare server to your site visitors. However, it won’t allow you to configure or encrypt traffic from Cloudflare to your Origin server. Flexible SSL mode doesn’t require you to install an SSL certificate on your origin server. In fact, it does protect your visitors from several threats including ad injection over HTTP. It is safe and good enough for blogs and simple websites that don’t involve any monetary transaction.
Cloudflare Full SSL encrypt traffic from visitors to Cloudflare server and also encrypt data from Cloudflare to your origin server. You need to install SSL certificate on your origin server and you can do so by obtaining Cloudflare Origin CA. However, you can also install SSL issued by a Certificate Authority (Strict) or a self-signed certificate. I suggest you go for dedicated Cloudflare Origin CA for maximum protection.
Cloudflare Origin CA uses SSL certificate issued by Cloudflare only. It lets you avoid installation issue and still secure your traffic from origin to Cloudflare.
6 Steps to Setup Cloudflare Free SSL Certificate (Flexible) For WordPress
Before you start installing Cloudflare Free SSL Certificate (Flexible) for your WordPress blog, all you need is to Sign Up for Cloudflare account. Sign Up and Cloudflare SSL activation process is very easy and absolutely free. I have set up one and tried everything to make it simpler for you to setup SSL and migrate your WordPress blog from HTTP to HTTPS.
So, let’s install and configure Cloudflare Free SSL Certificate (Flexible) by following steps
Step 1: Sign Up and Create Cloudflare Account
Firstly, visit cloudflare.com and Sign Up along with essential and relevant details. Once logged in just click on ‘+Add Site’ link in the top right corner of your Cloudflare dashboard. Enter your site URL and click on ‘Begin Scan’ button to scan your site.
After completion of the scan, click on ‘Continue Setup’ and verify all your site DNS records. If anything you want to change then do it here only. I suggest you skip and click on ‘Continue’ button and select Cloudflare free website plan. It will take you to change the nameservers as specified by Cloudflare only.
Step 2: Change Nameservers
Cloudflare will provide you two nameservers and you just need to update your current nameservers to the new Cloudflare nameservers. To change your site nameservers, just log in to your domain providers account and update it with Cloudflare nameservers. After changing nameservers, just click on ‘Continue’ button on your Cloudflare dashboard. Activation and updating of your domain nameservers will be done after verification of your WordPress blog or site. Your domain verification process may take some time and in the meantime, you can enjoy your coffee.
Step 3: Activation Process of Cloudflare Free SSL Certificate
Once the verification process gets over, you will notice that your domain status is showing ‘Active’ under Overview in the Cloudflare dashboard. Now, you are almost ready to configure Cloudflare Free SSL (Flexible) for your WordPress blog. Next, go to ‘Crypto’ option in the dashboard and select ‘Flexible SSL’ from the drop-down menu. You need to wait for some more time to get Cloudflare Free SSL certificate to get activated.
Step 4: Install WordPress plugins
Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS need to be configured very carefully and require a high skill set to handle any error. I suggest you to backup your site and install the mentioned WordPress plugins. One of them is “Cloudflare Official WordPress Plugin” and the other one is “Really Simple SSL WordPress Plugin”.
To activate HTTPS and SSL, you need to install both this WordPress plugins on your website. Just install this WordPress plugin and activate them on your WordPress dashboard and you don’t need to change any settings as well.
Step 5: Create Page Rules
By using Page Rules settings, it lets you control which URL will trigger first. You can set Page Rule in priority order as only one Page Rule will trigger. Furthermore, you can only add three Page rules per website as per Cloudflare free account.
After installation of both the plugin, just switch over to Cloudflare dashboard and click on “Page Rules” icon. You need to create a new page rule that let you enable HTTPS on your site. So, click on “Create Page Rule” button and add your site URL between two ‘*’ as exactly like “http://*proteuz.co.in/*”. Change the default settings to “Always Use HTTPS” option from the drop-down menu and select trigger order as “First”. Finally, click on “Save and Deploy” button to save the Page Rules.
You can add “www” if your site is using “www” version and if you don’t then simply create Page Rule like “http://*yourdomainname.com/*.
Step 6: Update HTTP to HTTPS
Now final and last step is to change your WordPress blog URL from HTTP to HTTPS. To do that, go to your WordPress dashboard and select Settings and then click on the General option. In the “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)”, replace “http://” by “https://” only and save the changes.
So, follow the above 6 steps to setup and migrate HTTP to HTTPS and secure your WordPress blog.
Your site must be run over HTTPS, as SSL can improve your page load times also and boost search engines ranking. SSL ensures nobody can use your user’s data by providing highest security measures. It also increases visitor’s trust by displaying a green lock in your user’s browser.
I have tried to make this post as simple as I can. However, if you have migrated your site from HTTP to HTTPS, then share your views. You can also share your opinions and challenges you have faced in the comments section.
Author: Ratan Kumar
Passionate about web & development, I blog about creating & managing a blog, WordPress, SMM, SEO and Making Money online.