Google wants all web masters to use HTTPS and create a safer web space. While it is not a ranking factor, but adding HTTPS helps in getting trust of visitors. Previously, switching to https was not just tough but it was also expensive. Buying SSL certificates and installation is complex task that costs enough money.
Now it is not costly. Few companies are providing free SSL. Cloudflare is one of those who are providing free SSL and setting it is also very easy. If you are regular reader of my blog, you may have also seen the recent switch to HTTPS. In this article, I will explain how to setup CloudFlare Flexible SSL for WordPress.
How to setup CloudFlare Flexible SSL for WordPress
For using CloudFlare Free SSL, you must have CloudFlare setup for your website. If you have not already been using CloudFlare, you should start using it. It offers free CDN and protection against different web attacks. Most of the bloggers including Me have already been using it for speed up and secure our blogs.
In this article, I assume you have already setup your website to use with Cloudflare. So, I am not going into detail how to setup Cloudflare in your website.
Login into your CloudFlare account and go to the section says ‘Crypto’.
Here, you see the first section for SSL. From the dropdown, select Flexible. Flexible SSL does not require adding any SSL certificates on your server. If you are on shared server, this will be the easiest method. Full or Full (Strict) options are used when you have SSL certificates installed in your server as well. That is the better option. But, this article is only for Flexible SSL installation using Cloudflare. So, select Flexible.
Now you have requested Flexible SSL certificates from Cloudflare and it takes around 10-15 minutes to issue. When SSL certificates have been issued, it you will see a Green Label saying “Active Certificates”.
Now you need to install two plugins in your blog. These are:
- CloudFlare Flexible SSL Plugin: It prevents infinite redirect loops when loading WordPress sites under CloudFlare’s Flexible SSL system. (Important)
- WordPress HTTPS Plugin It forces all requests to use HTTPS and fix the mixed content issue. (Not essential)
Now Instruct Cloudflare to deliver content over HTTPS
Go back to CloudFlare and select your domain. This time, select ‘Page Rules’ from the top icons menu and add Page Rules for your website.
Create a page rule for your website and select ‘Always Use HTTPS’. Add your domain name as the page rule in between two asterisks.
Change your site address URL
Now you can change the site address to https:// and WordPress Address URL to HTTPS. You should first only change the Site address and see if it works.
Check your website to see if Cloudflare Flexible SSL is working
These steps should setup the free Cloudflare Flexible SSL Certificate in your website and your website visits should start seeing the green lock in your address bar.
If you do everything right, you will finally be able to setup free CloudFlare SSL in your website. In case you face any problem, you can comment below to ask and I will try to help you.