In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to redirect http” to “https” for WordPress. Using the search and replace plugin.
If your site still has “http” in the URL, you need to change it to “https”. Before you do this you need to install what they call a security certificate or SSL first. Then you can safely redirect “http” to “https”.
For e.g. see the image below. You will notice the little padlock. I think this instantly creates trust!
Why is this so important you ask?
Google now requires ALL sites, not just shopping sites to have an SSL security certificate. This is installed on your website to prevent data from being stolen. It also shows customers that your site is secure.
Have you ever seen this when you’ve gone to a website? See the image below.
To me the word “Not Secure” says danger! Would you proceed? I wouldn’t.
So what’s the first step?
Contact your hosting company and ask them to install an SSL certificate. Now the price for an SSL certificate will depend on the hosting company.
You can ask for a free Let’s Encrypt SSL if your site is purely informational. If not ask your host the most appropriate SSL for your content. Once they install this then you can move on to the next step! Ask them to notify you once it’s installed.
The next step
Make a back up of your site. This is super important! If you don’t know how to do this. Install a plugin called > Updraft WordPress Backup Plugin. And go to the settings section and click backup now.
- Inside your WordPress admin.
- Go to the Settings panel. See image below.
- Notice the “http” – without the “s”
- Type in the “s”
- So it looks like the image below.
- DO NOT TOUCH any other part of the URL. Just add the “s” and that’s all.
- Scroll to the bottom of the Settings section and Save/Update.
- The site will log you out.
- So log back in.
- You will be logging in now on the “https” version of your site.
- Add a Bookmark to the new login in your browser.
Now the final step
- This is probably the most crucial step in this process.
- We MUST update your URLs from “http” to “https” throughout the site.
- Otherwise, this will cause major errors in your site and with Google.
- We could use a plugin for this called Really Simple SSL but I prefer to use fewer plugins and do it manually.
- So go to Plugins.
- Click Add New.
- Type in “search and replace”.
- Choose the plugin by “Delicious Brains”. See image below.
- I have used this one for years so knows it’s safe and knows it works.
- Once installed > click Activate.
- Then go to the Tools panel > then “Better Search Replace”.
- See image below.
- Go the “Search for” field.
- Add the old version of the URL with “http”
- Go the “Replace with” field.
- Add the new URL with the “https”
- See the image below.
- DO NOT add a forward slash at the end (remove it).
- Go to the next section > Select tables
- Select all the tables. (CTRL-A or Command-A)
- See image below.
- Now I ALWAYS do a dry run for safety reasons.
- So make sure the > Run as dry run? is checked.
- Then click > Run Search/Replace
- See image below.
- Once completed if no errors appear, then you can safely uncheck > Run as dry run?
- Once it’s finished your site will be safe and secure.
- And all URLs will redirect from “http” to “https”
To sum up!
Making your site secure is important not only for Google but for your visitors. If they see “not secure” when they arrive at your site they will quickly leave! So follow our simple steps on how to redirect “http” to “https”. This is for WordPress sites only.
If you really don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, contact our WordPress support and we can do this for a small fee.
Written by Jodi Allbon – Web design trainer and designer since 2003.
Web Designer/Trainer – Adv Dip, Dip, TAE
Jodi is a qualified WordPress Trainer and Designer with an Advanced Diploma in Digital Media (2D And 3D Animation, Web Development) and a Diploma in Web Development. She has been a Website Trainer at the Northern Beaches Community College since 2008 and a WordPress Tutor for NSW TAFE since 2016.
Jodi has developed several web design courses including, a WordPress Beginners Course and Build your own WordPress Website for small businesses. These courses will teach you how to update and manage your website ongoing. Giving website owners more control over their website, thus helping to keep costs down.
View Jodi’s credentials here.