If you have a website, you need an SSL certificate. No exceptions. If you work with the hosting provider I recommend, SiteGround, this is SUPER easy to do. But sometimes, after installing the SSL certificate with SiteGround, it doesn’t automatically register as secure. I DON’T KNOW WHY. And this is honestly the only minor annoyance that I’ve experienced with them. Yes, I use them and I love them and I am an affiliate – but as with all great relationships, it ain’t all good, and I’m all about transparency.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix in the form of a plugin called Really Simple SSL. Read on to learn all about it. (And P.S. you can use Really Simple SSL to troubleshoot all sorts of SSL issues, whether you use SiteGround or not.)
What is an SSL certificate anyway?
Honestly, I had to look this up. What I did know is that if you do not have an SSL certificate, your website will be flagged by a lot of browsers (think Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc). This is problematic since a lot of potential customers will see a security warning message and not proceed to view your website. A partially secure site might also experience issues like certain images not showing.
Websites that are secure display as https://www… and those that are not show as http:// only.
According to Cloudflare:
“An SSL certificate is a data file hosted in a website’s origin server. SSL certificates make SSL/TLS encryption possible, and they contain the website’s public key and the website’s identity, along with related information. Devices attempting to communicate with the origin server will reference this file to obtain the public key and verify the server’s identity. The private key is kept secret and secure….SSL, more commonly called TLS, is a protocol for encrypting Internet traffic and verifying server identity.”
Don’t worry if you don’t understand exactly what all of that means. Let’s leave it at – you DEFINITELY need an SSL certificate.
How to Install and SSL Certificate with SiteGround
SiteGround makes it really easy to install an SSL certificate. Just follow these simple steps (also outlined in the video above).
- Login and and select the “Websites” tab in the menu at the top of your screen.
- Click on the “Site Tools” button for the website you want to add an SSL certificate to.
- Select “Security” -> “SSL Manager” in the lefthand manu.
- Select the domain that you want to add the SSL certificate to in the dropdown menu, and then the type of SSL certificate you want to add in the second dropdown menu. The first option is sufficient for most sites.
Oila! SSL certificate installed.
But, what happens if you go to your site and the SSL certificate doesn’t seem to be active?
How to Make Sure Your SSL Certificate Displays on Your Website
Again, only weird thing I’ve experience with SiteGround, but 9 times out of 10, when I go to the website after installing the SSL certificate, nothing has changed. If this is what’s happened with your site, not to worry.
All you need to do is install the free Really Simple SSL plugin.
Once you install it, you will find it in your main Dashboard menu under Settings. It will display as “SSL”.
Once on the Really Simple SSL screen, follow the prompts to enable the SSL. (For more instructions, watch the video above).
Please note that Really Simple SSL and SG Optimizer have some of the same functionalities, and the dashboard usually displays a warning to this effect. I often leave them both active and have not had any issues but please use your best judgment and do not hold me responsible should anything happen to your site!
If you want to deactivate Really Simple SSL once the SSL certificate has been enforced, you can do so from the Plugins list. Choose the “deactivate but keep https” option and you’ll still have a secure site.
Resources mentioned in the video:
SiteGround ➡️ https://www.kcocreative.com/siteground
Best of luck! Xx, Kara
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