Wordpress and HTTPS

The Internet probably isn’t a place for giving out personal information and feeling absolutely safe. Sending out personal information or data without any protection will not give you any guarantee that your data will remain safe from the prying eyes or arrive at its right destination. It’s something like as if you are simply putting your faith in a miracle. That is why it is extremely important to use the Secure HTTPS protocol when it comes transferring any kind of confidential data over the Internet.

The encryption within HTTPS provides several benefits like confidentiality, integrity, and security of the information such as addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, phone numbers being transferred. It’s a secured version of HTTP and uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which allows site users to exchange information with an encrypted protocol.

The hypertext transfer protocol is an application layer protocol, which focuses more on the presentation of information but doesn’t care about how securely information is sent from one computer to the other. But, the HTTPS makes use of public and private key matching known as “handshake mechanism” before any data is sent. It allows it to establish a secure connection and protects the data from being modified without your knowledge.

Reasons Why You Should Use HTTPS?

1. Increases the Level of Security

We often heard about hackers attacking websites, delivering malware, or taking someone to a spoofed website. This can be dangerous for the prospects of your business. But, when a browser access a website that is secured by SSL, both the browser and the web server establishes a secure connection with a process called SSL handshake. The entire process determines the encryption methods and keys which is further used for the communication between the browsers. This way it becomes difficult for the hackers to interpret the channel. Even if they provide an access to that channel, it would become difficult for them to break the encryption.

2. Better Search Rankings

A website which is SSL certified enjoys better search rankings than the ones which are not. Google considers the use of HTTPS as a positive factor for calculating the search rankings. This means that using SSL will not only enhance the security level of your website but also makes sure that your site remains at the top of the searches. The approach also keeps an eye on any kind of potential human error, whenever someone carelessly saves setting or expose any sensitive information.

3. Increases Business Credibility

When we visit a website that is secured with SSL, one can be assured about the credibility of the business run by the website. A judicious use of HTTPS keeps business safe from corporate embarrassment and built trust between them and their customers. The SSL certificate makes sure that all your customer data including passwords, login, credit card number or any kind of personal information are safely transferred between web servers and browsers.

4. Establishes Data Integrity

Data integrity refers to the consistency between the data which is sent and received. Your information remain safe from hackers because it’s your server and browser which can decrypt the traffic. This way, a level of consistency can be established as your data is fully secured against any kind of modification or unwanted changes.

Important Thing to Note:

There are also some downsides of using HTTPS: one of them come from the level of computing power, which is required by both server and the client. Another is, HTTPS transfer protocol is generally slower than the unsecured HTTP transfer protocol. This is because the data is encrypted before it is finally executed, and decrypted before it is being displayed. This increases the processing time for both the server sending data and the browser which is receiving data.

Using SSL in WordPress

Setting WordPress with the use of secure transfer portals is a quite daunting process, but it is not that hard. Although, it comes with a default FORCE_SSL_ADMIN, which requires you to have a valid SSL certificate and HTTPS in order to fully access it. You can enable it by adding the following code in your wp-config.php file.

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define( 'FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true );

Otherwise, you can make use of a great WordPress plugin called WordPress HTTPS (SSL) that provides a very easy and quick way of making your website securely set up. Although, the plugin hasn’t been updated for quite a while and compatible up to WordPress version 3.5.2, not tested but may work for latest WordPress version.

The plugin mainly performs three functions:

1. Allows you to set SSL settings for your website.
2. Gives you an option for setting SSL for all or specific content of your website.
3. Also provides a meta box to each post editor, which makes it easy for you to set either individual or all pages using HTTPS.

If you are not sure of the process or don’t have any idea about how to get certificates and force security to your pages, it is recommended to ask your hosting provider to help you get an SSL certificate, so that a flawless security process can be achieved.

No doubt, HTTPS is an important decision you can make to enhance the security of your website. It will help visitors to interact confidently with your website and help businesses get the maximum benefit from them.