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Setup And Install Free SSL Certificates on WordPress Multisite

Updated on  May 4, 2018

5 Min Read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Whenever you want to create a network of local business with subsites of different owners; the only choice is WordPress Multisite but the only restriction is your sites should be hosted on the same hosting provider. However, there are many tools available, like MainWP that can help you to manage all subsites of a Multisite network regardless of hosting provider.

Setup-And-Install-Free-SSL-Certificates-On-WordPress-Multisite-Banner

Popularity has its own hazards, so is the case with WordPress. It has now become the most favorite target for hackers to steal form submission data. Here it should be noted that form submission can be registration/login forms and credit card details etc.

To overcome such kind of online theft, few researchers started an open-source project called Let’s Encrypt, which is a bridge between user’s browser and the server. It makes sure that the user’s communication is encrypted and secure on the Internet.

We, at Cloudways, provide Let’s Encrypt Free SSL certificates to facilitate our customers. We have received many queries regarding WordPress Multisite SSL certificates. Therefore, today we will guide you how you can easily install WordPress Multisite SSL certificate on your application.

First thing first, If you don’t have a Cloudways account, sign up from here to experience fastest WordPress Multisite hosting or log in to your existing account and install WordPress Multisite. In addition, you can use our guide to set up WordPress Multisite Network.

Add SSL Certificates on WordPress Multisite

Once WordPress Multisite SSL certificate is installed and configured properly, get into your WordPress Multisite Application. Navigate to SSL certificate tab, enter your email address and primary (main) domain name to install WordPress Multisite SSL certificate.

SSL Management

It will take a few seconds to install SSL certificate on WordPress Multisite. Once the installation is done, your main domain can be served via HTTPS. To make sure SSL is properly configured on your WordPress site, follow our guide installing SSL on a WordPress site.

Changing URLs to HTTPS

In order to change the internal URLs, visit WordPress admin panel. Go to Settings > General. Change WordPress and site address URLs from HTTP to HTTPS. Hit Save Changes button to save the settings.

general settings page

Identify Mix Content

The above steps should change all the links from HTTP to HTTPS but it is important to make sure that all URLs have changed. To do so, use an online tool by JitBit to check Non-SSL content.

Copy and paste your root URL and begin the test. It will crawl your complete site and list all the URLs which are still being served from HTTP.

JitBit

Fixing them is easy with a plugin WP Migrate DB. Go to Plugins > Add new and install this plugin. Once installed, go to plugin settings and click on the first tab which says Migrate.

Migrate DB

Paste the old URLs inside Find columns and new URLs with HTTPS in Replace columns. Hit Find & Replace button to start the process.

Auto Redirect to HTTPS from HTTP

It is also important to redirect your users automatically from HTTP to HTTPS address. To do so, you have to make a few adjustments in your .htaccess file.

Note: Altering .htaccess file is a risky job and if things go wrong, it can damage your WordPress site. It is recommended to take a backup of your .htaccess file before making any changes.

Now that you have backed up your .htaccess file, access the file from your root directory and open it in any text editor of your choice. At the beginning of the document, add the following lines.

Your final .htaccess file should look something like this.

Google Search Console

Google does not know yet that we are now serving our site using HTTPS. In order to track HTTPS links in Google, we need to log in to our Google Analytics dashboard. Inside the Admin area, locate your desired property and click on Property Settings.

Google analytics property

From the drop-down menu, change the Default URL from HTTP to HTTPS.

GA default URL

Navigate back to previous step and click on View tab.

navigate to view

Here, you can find the change Website’s URL to HTTPS.

website URL

That’s it! Now Google will start tracking your new URLs with HTTPS.

Add SSL Certificates on WordPress Multisite Subdomains

To add SSL certificate on subdomains, click on Add Domain button, another text field will appear to enter subdomain of your WordPress Multisite network. By repeating the process, you can add as many subdomains as you want on WordPress Multisite network.

SSL on WordPress Multisite Subdomains

Now, click on Save Changes button, a popup will appear asking permission to revoke existing SSL certificate and re-install certificate with an updated list of a domain(s).

SSL Warning

Note: Before adding SSL on WordPress Multisite, make sure your main domain and all subdomains are propagated properly otherwise, SSL certificate will not be installed.

Add SSL Certificates on WordPress Multisite Subdirectory

It should be noted here that the above guide was for subdomains only. If your WordPress Multisite Network is based on subdirectories, you just need to add SSL certificate on primary (main) domain only. There is no need to do any additional work to add SSL on subdirectories of WordPress Multisite.

Congratulations! You are done with WordPress Multisite SSL setup.

Final Thoughts

Google ranks SSL certified websites higher in SERP. Not only this, Google Chrome, the most-used web browser started marking NON-SSL sites as “Not Secure”. This can be threatening to your business, potential visitors and buyers as they will not visit your unsecured website again.

Isn’t it easy enough to install SSL on WordPress Multisite network? But, still, if you have any query, feel free to ask in the comments section below. I would love to answer. 🙂

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

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About The Author

Mustaasam Saleem

Mustaasam is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform, where he actively works and loves sharing his knowledge with the WordPress Community. When he is not working, you can find him playing squash with his friends, or defending in Football, and listening to music. You can email him at mustaasam.saleem@cloudways.com

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