Are you seeing a “This Website is Not Secure” warning on your website? Let’s see how to fix it!
This is a very common problem, and it’s something that can easily be fixed! However, it can be frustrating, because this warning pops up for visitors of your site too—and it scares them. It makes them think your site is spammy or fraudulent when in reality you’re just an honest business owner having trouble with technology. But there’s no need to panic! You can fix this issue pretty easily.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you what’s causing this website not secure issue and how to secure a website on WordPress sites in just a few easy steps.
Why is My Website not Secure & Why am I Seeing this Error?
Your website transfers data between browsers and servers when visitors come. If you sell something, you use sensitive information such as payment details, addresses, and more. Previously, websites used HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to do this. However, the problem was that HTTP used plain text as a mode of communication. This meant that anyone could intercept or even change the data being transferred just by accessing the network.
Now that people are more aware of these security issues, search engines show this warning on websites still using HTTP. If you don’t want your visitors to get these warnings each time they access your site, you will need to move to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).
HTTPS uses secure sockets layer (SSL), which ensures that data transfers are encrypted and safe from third parties. So, even if some hacker were to intercept the data, they would only get gibberish lines and it would be almost impossible to decode it. So, let us show you how you can move from HTTP to HTTPS by installing SSL certificates. All you will be needing is your web host access and a simple WordPress plugin.
How to Install these SSL Certificates?
In this part of the blog, we will show you exactly how to secure a website WordPress by installing proper SSL certificates. So, let’s get started.
However, before you start, make sure to take a complete backup of your website in case something goes wrong. You can use UpdraftPlus to take a complete backup or your WordPress website.
1. Install an SSL Certificate from your Web Host Provider
First of all, if you’re using a web hosting provider, there’s a good chance they offer SSL certificates for free to their customers. Some providers even offer free SSL certificates for life (NameCheap) ! So check with your host and see if that’s an option. If you’re looking for a new host, BlueHost, GoDaddy, and SiteGround are three examples of providers that offer free SSL certificates (for 1 Year) with your plan.
If you have access to an SSL certificate through your web host, all you need to do is activate it in the security section of your dashboard. So log in to your account and click the “security” tab. Once you’re there, just toggle on the SSL feature and let the magic happen!
Note: if you choose this method, don’t forget to renew your SSL certificate before it expires! If you don’t renew it on time, you’ll be back at square one without secure browsing.
2. Use Third Party Vendors for your SSL Certificates
So you’ve heard about SSL certificates, and you know that they’re important for your business. But did you know that you can get them from sources other than your web host? That’s right—there are lots of third-party providers that sell SSL certificates.
If you’re looking for a free SSL certificate, check out Lets Encrypt. If cost is no object, look into SSL.com and DigiCert. Once you’ve bought or downloaded your SSL certificate from a third party, it’s time to install it on your site! Here’s how:
- Log into the cPanel on your web host account. You can usually access this at [yourwebsite].com/cpanel or, if you have trouble with that link, contact your web host for help.
- Once logged in, navigate to the SSL/TLS section.
- Upload the SSL certificate file from your PC
- You should receive a success message once everything has been set up correctly!
3. Use a WordPress Plugin to Install SSL Certificates
If you want to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress site, there are a couple of ways to do it. One of these is the Really Simple SSL plugin. You can get a free SSL certificate here, but if you want auto-installation and high-end certificates, you’re going to have to upgrade to the PRO version.
The good news is that this plugin makes SEO-friendly migration from HTTP to HTTPS easy, no matter which SSL certificate you decide to use. To make things even simpler, the plugin also takes care of those pesky redirections that come with migrating your site to HTTPS.
But what’s really great is that it enables HSTS headers right out of the box—something that other plugins don’t offer (even in their paid versions). To install an SSL certificate with this plugin, first install and activate it on your WordPress site. Next visit Really Simple SSL and click Activate SSL. After that, the plugin gives you a list of tasks that you should follow for SSL to work correctly on your website.
However, this is not All!
After you have successfully installed your SSL certificates, you need to inform Google (did you really think that they would find out on their own!). To do this, simply visit Google Search Console and resubmit your updates website sitemap with HTTPS. This would notify them that you have successfully migrated from HTTP to HTTPS and now they should crawl this new sitemap and not the old one!
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The Bottom Line
So, this is all you need to know about how to improve website security on WordPress. The majority of security errors shown by search engines are highly correlated to either not having an SSL certificate or from an expired SSL certificate.
However, now that you know how to install and activate SSL certificates on your website, so take action right away. Don’t let those juicy interested customers slip away from your site and in turn harm your sales growth just due to one pesky SSL certificate error!
Alternatively, you can use a host that offers free SSL’s for your site like Hostinger which is one of our favorites.