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Blog: The Coder Corner

How to Catch Your Site up to the New SSL Added to it

"I got your SSL cert, started to use it but my browser says my site is not secure?"

Ok, hold yer horses, sparky! Having a SSL cert is only part of the work to be secure.

As said earlier, Google wants all legitimate sites to be served over https and will enforce it with a big red label if it's not done properly. This is slated for July 2018.

So you got a SSL Cert from Coolcom but your browser still says that something is not secure?
You may have omitted a few steps.

Major CMS systems have built-in settings for you to make this easy.

If you have Joomla, go to your site /administrator and login with your admin account.
Then go to Global >Configuration. The Server tab will allow you to set HTTPS for None/Admin only/Entire site. Here's where you select "Entire site". Save and reload your site and you are under HTTPS.

For Wordpress the operation is similar, but you just have to specify that your site url is https:// instead of simply the site url
Go to Settings and set the Wordpress site url using https:// in front of it

That should take care of all the redirection issues for your site.

But what if you have a different system or even a hand-made HTML site? You're not out of luck, but the work may be a bit more intensive.

1. Go to the File Manager of your cPanel.

In the /public_html/ folder of your cPanel (where you store the files for your site) the should be a file called .htaccess. (the file starts with a . dot!)
If you can't see it, go to the Settings in the top right-hand side and check "Show hidden (dot) files"

If it is there, great. If not, you need to create it using "+File" in the toolbar of the file manager and name the file .htaccess

2. Now add the following code into it at the start of the file:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R,L]

Simply copy this to the start of your .htaccess file and save it.

3. Go back to your site and your browser should give you the https version of your site.

That's it, usually.

Well, of course, there are always exceptions.

The browser shows https: and ... strikes it out saying that all is not fine. You have followed the above directions and it's not working. In some cases, images are missing from your pages and everything looks a mess.
Time to open a bottle of something, right? You can, but I'd wait a few minutes with that.

In your browser, you have a nice function that says "Show Source code" or "Show page source".
- In Google Chrome you can access that with CTRL+U.
- In Firefox, a right-click with your mouse and "View page source" and your good to go.

Whatever you do, you will end up with probably pages and pages of pure HTML code as well as some JavaScript. This is what a CMS does for you, but that's another matter.
- Now press CTRL+F for search/find and search for http:// decidedly without the s for secure.
- Anything that is a link saying href="http://.... can safely be ignored.
- However, images are your target here and you need to check the http:// string for anything inside a < img src="http://... tag.

If your CMS did not convert this to a secure link or image, you will need to do so yourself.
- Either Find the article in your admin part of the site and correct the link 
- Or replace http:// with https:// and you're done- or replace "http://" with "//" and you're done.
- In the last case the correct protocol will automatically be selected.

There are also plugins for both Joomla and WordPress capable of doing this "more or less" but you might still end up with surprises. And in I.T. surprises are rarely good, trust me.

Once you have done everything, your site should show up with the coveted "Secure" label in your browser.

Henk von Pickartz

Written by : Henk von Pickartz

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