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What Is WP Force SSL and Why It’s Essential to Secure Your Site

Updated on March 25, 2024

9 Min Read

Nowadays, having a site with an SSL certificate is a no-brainer. An SSL certificate is a universally accepted digital certificate that encrypts user data entering the site and secures the data on the site itself.

Now, the most important thing to know about an SSL certificate, aside from its necessity, is its expiration. Regular renewal is essential to ensure your website’s continued security.

If you’re like most WordPress users, you prefer a streamlined approach to site management without delving into technical details.

WP Force SSL plugin simplifies SSL certificate management in WordPress, ensuring your site runs smoothly with minimal micromanagement.

In this blog, we’ll explore what WP Force SSL is, its features, and its functionality.

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What is WP Force SSL?

WP Force SSL is a crucial WordPress plugin that helps you easily install and keep track of SSL certificates on your site.

Once set up, it operates almost entirely autonomously, ensuring seamless operation in the background. However, in rare instances requiring manual intervention, you’ll receive notifications.

With WP Force SSL, you won’t be caught off guard by expired certificates, which could make your site vulnerable to attacks and harm its SEO.

WP Force SSL Key Features

There are many things worth noting about WP Force SSL. It’s much more than just a plugin that enables you to install an SSL certificate.

What’s special about this plugin are all the additional features that help you manage your certificates and, in doing so, enhance your security across the board:

  • Centralized dashboard – the centralized dashboard allows you to access all of them from the same page, which is invaluable to those who run multiple sites.
  • Status checker – run your site and pages through a multitude of tests, which will determine their status and allow you to handle the issues accordingly.
  • Content scanner – ensure that every element on every page is up to date and there are no errors.
  • Install SSL certificate – install and activate an SSL certificate using the Let’s Encrypt service.
  • Manage SSL certificates – once the certificates are installed, manage them for multiple sites at once, ensuring they’re always up to date.

How WP Force SSL Enhances WordPress Functionality?

As mentioned earlier, a website’s operation is severely impacted without an SSL certificate. This can lead to browsers flagging pages, search engines excluding them from results, and crucial data being put at risk. However, WP Force SSL goes beyond merely implementing SSL certificates.

Let’s explore its additional functionalities.

Installing the SSL certificate

WP Force SSL offers real-time monitoring, ensuring immediate notifications if any issues arise to prevent downtime and loss of users.

There are two main reasons to install a certificate: either you don’t have one yet (the site isn’t live but nearing completion), or it’s expired or close to expiring. In both cases, obtaining a new certificate is just a few clicks away.

Once you’ve checked your certificate status and decided it’s time for a new one, WP Force SSL makes it easy. Integrated with the Let’s Encrypt service, which issues SSL certificates, the plugin streamlines the process.

While it’s possible to obtain certificates without the plugin, WP Force SSL simplifies the task. After receiving the certificate, a simple refresh verifies everything’s in order, and your site is good to go.

Status tests

Assuming you have the certificate in place, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything else to check – the answer is yes.

To improve your pages’ overall security, you should run the status test and see if there are any red flags.

WP Force SSL’s test goes beyond checking the SSL certificate expiry date. It also looks for conflicting plugins, analyzes redirect rules, and verifies the page’s HTTPS status.

Notably, the test not only displays results but also provides suggestions for fixing flagged issues, streamlining the resolution process.

Content Scanner

Each page you have on your site comprises numerous elements, and while all of them can fully function with varying levels of security, you’re leaving them vulnerable if they’re not all on the HTTPS level.

For example, discrepancies can occur if you’re uploading older images or videos that simply aren’t updated to the latest security designations.

The content scanner goes through all these elements and flags the ones that could pose a potential risk. Most of the time, the plugin can also fix the issues found, with only a few instances where you’ll need to take action outside the Content Scanner.

Effects of WP Force SSL on Performance and Usage Rate

While having a secure site is undeniably beneficial, it’s important to consider that WP Force SSL’s real-time monitoring operates continuously in the background. In instances where a site is already strained due to a limiting hosting plan, poor bandwidth, or excessive apps and content, this monitoring could potentially further impact site speed and responsiveness.

However, it’s worth noting that WP Force SSL utilizes minimal resources, and in our experience, we observed no noticeable drawbacks.

User Interface and User Experience

In today’s fast-moving business world, there’s no time for complicated learning curves. We expect software to integrate smoothly and be easy to use. WP Force SSL fits this perfectly. It has basic functions and some more advanced ones, all neatly organized into easy-to-find tabs.

Doing tasks only takes a few clicks. Not to mention that most of the features can be automated.

Dashboard and Navigation – Centralized Dashboard

Outside of the WordPress backend, where you’ll be doing most of the work, WP Force SSL also comes with a centralized dashboard that can be used for a quick overview of all your sites within the license.

For those managing a single site, this addition to the main plugin offers quicker and easier access to certain features. However, for those overseeing multiple sites, it’s a real game-changer. No more jumping between sites to check basic information – everything you need is right there on one page. You’ll have access to crucial data like license status and SSL monitors.

The more sites you manage, the more you’ll appreciate the centralized dashboard. So go ahead and add that next site you’ve been planning – WP Force SSL has got you covered.

Intuitiveness and User-friendliness

WP Force SSL is incredibly user-friendly. In your WordPress dashboard, you’ll find all its features neatly organized into six tabs. With just a few clicks, you can access or adjust almost everything within these tabs. Plus, the user interface is designed like familiar everyday apps, making it easy for even the most inexperienced users to navigate and take action.

Customization Options

If you want to solidify your brand, you’ll be glad to hear that WP Force SSL features the white label option, enabling you to replace the default logos and color schemes with your own.

Since brand awareness is a big part of any business, a feature like this goes a long way in solidifying your position.

WP Force SSL Compatibility and Integration

Because having a working SSL certificate is so essential to a site, a plugin that revolves around it is essential as well. As such, WP Force SSL could be considered a core plugin, i.e., one that’s installed and activated right off the bat.

As you add more plugins, themes, and software to your site, it’s crucial that the core system can adapt to these changes and ensure the site continues to run smoothly.

Compatibility with Different WordPress Versions

It’s crucial to keep all your software up to date, as recommended by software developers, distributors, and even WordPress themes. You’ll receive notifications when new stable versions are released, indicating it’s time to upgrade.

Similarly, we recommend using the latest version of the WP Force SSL plugin with the latest WordPress version. However, we’ve tested the plugin on sites with older versions and encountered no issues whatsoever.

Integration with Cloudways Platform

As a managed WordPress hosting service, Cloudways has an integrated way to provide you with an SSL certificate. It uses the same Let’s Encrypt service as WP Force SSL, so if you plan on using both, you could get the certificate either way.

WP Force SSL enhances the certificate managing features provided by Cloudways, bringing them to a new level. To fully unlock the management aspect, we recommend adding the plugin to the default features provided by the hosting service.

WP Force SSL Security and Support

Among the six tabs used to navigate the plugin, a support tab offers an FAQ section that can quickly answer the most common questions.

Furthermore, within the same tab, you can access the documentation section. Here, you’ll find detailed information on every aspect of the plugin’s functionality. In case you encounter any difficulties, you can also use this section to directly contact the support team for assistance.

Security Features and Measures

WP Force SSL is dedicated to security, focusing on ensuring your site is safe with an SSL certificate. Every feature within the plugin serves the singular purpose of protecting both your data and your users’ data.

An oversimplification of how the whole process works would be something like this:

  • A user attempts to access the site from the front end.
  • The browser (it doesn’t matter which one) sends a query asking for the site’s SSL certificate.
  • The site responds to the query.
  • If the certificate is valid, the user is assured of an encrypted connection to the site, and access is granted.
  • If the certificate isn’t valid (for whatever reason), the user is prompted by the browser that the site isn’t safe – you can still access it in most cases, but you’re doing so at your own risk.

In addition to the SSL certificate, the HTTPS standard is often overlooked but equally important. While a page with HTTPS is considered safe, any element with an HTTP prefix compromises the entire page’s security status. Not only does this pose a security risk, but it also affects your pages’ SEO rating, critical for search engine visibility.

Thankfully, the Content Scanner feature can detect and fix these mixed content errors, ensuring top-notch security levels.

Comparison with Competitors

Given the critical importance of the SSL certificate, it’s no surprise that numerous tools are available to assist with its management. After conducting a thorough comparison with several commonly used plugins, WP Force SSL emerged as the top performer.

Feature WP Force SSL WP Encryption SSL Zen One Click SSL
SSL installer YES YES YES NO
Status checker YES YES YES YES
Content scanner YES YES YES YES
Real-time monitor YES YES YES YES
Centralized dashboard YES NO NO NO
White label YES NO NO NO

Pros and Cons WP Force SSL

Every tool has its strengths and weaknesses. Now, let’s examine the pros and cons of WP Force SSL.

Pros Cons
Enables easy acquisition of SSL certificate if not provided by hosting service. Requires manual renewal of SSL certificate; no automatic renewal feature.
Offers real-time monitoring, promptly notifying users of SSL certificate issues.
Includes content scanner to detect and resolve mixed content errors, enhancing site security.
Provides a centralized dashboard for efficient management of multiple sites.

User Reviews and Testimonials

When making a purchase decision, hearing directly from other users can provide valuable insights. To help you understand the benefits of WP Force SSL, we’ve gathered some testimonials from actual users.

Pricing and Licensing Options

Conclusion

If you want to run a site, an SSL certificate is mandatory. While there are numerous ways to obtain and manage one afterward, we’ve found that WP Force SSL provides one of the most robust and streamlined tools on the market.

Absolutely everything you need is featured here, and you won’t have to go about searching for additional plugins, apps, or extensions. WP Force SSL is the complete package, and we recommend you try it yourself.

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Inshal Ali

Inshal is a Content Marketer at Cloudways. With background in computer science, skill of content and a whole lot of creativity, he helps business reach the sky and go beyond through content that speaks the language of their customers. Apart from work, you will see him mostly in some online games or on a football field.

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