Tag Archives: http

Simple Methods of Adding SSL to Your WordPress Website

SSL WORDPRESS

People choose SSL mostly because it provides more secure information and gives more benefits, especially from a user’s perspective, as any information they share with your site via a form, shopping cart, etc. is encrypted – it is safe from the third party. However, few web developers that know the very same principles also apply to site administrators.

In fact, running the WordPress admin in https also brings huge benefit, since you can secure all the sensitive information you input daily inside of WordPress. All of this information needs protection; therefore, it is essential for every WordPress website out there to renew the certificate in every three months.

If you are in a tight budget, you can opt on the market for low-cost certificates that do the job nicely in most cases. Remember that ecommerce sites might be better off with higher level certificates that offer features like identity validation which allows customer to know you better.

This makes us have no reason for not giving a little time and money to understand and apply an SSL certificate. So, if you are committed to integrating SSL with a WordPress installation, now it’s time to discover the ways.

HTTPS Your WordPress

Before, we setup WordPress to utilize an HTTPS connection; you have to make sure that you already have an SSL certificate installed on your server. Actually, it is quite simple to setup WordPress to utilize an https connection, as follows:

  • Back up the site
  • Change the Site URL
  • Ensure all internal links and attachments use https
  • Run the WordPress admin in https
  • Automatically forward http requests to https

Change the Site URL

First, navigate over to settings > General inside the WordPress administration area since you’ll want to change the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from ‘http://www.yourdomain.com’ to ‘https://www.yourdomain.com’. Scroll down to the bottom and save the changes when you’re done and then, WordPress will automatically log you out. If you want to log back, you can use the newly-secured URL.

Make Sure All Internal Links/Attachments Use HTTPS

Even though you change the URL, image or attachment URL throughout WordPress, it will not suddenly switch your website into HTTPS. In order to discover ways to change the URL site, you can conduct a search and replace area of your database. One thing for sure, you need to back up your site to prevent anything from going wrong.

Nowadays, you can find many searches and replace plugins available for WordPress, but you can give a try to Velvet Blues Update URLs, as it can be an effective solution. Furthermore, this plugin only touches the areas of the database that need changes, so you will not mistakenly change the right thing. In fact, you can update URLs to get started once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, head over to tools > Update URLs to get started.

Don’t worry as using plugin is as simple as adding the old and new URLs for your site. All you need to do is make sure that all the settings look are correct then click “Update URLs Now” when you’re ready and let the plugin take care of the rest. You’ll see a report on the screen that says how many URLs are changed and where the plugin found them, once the URLs have been replaced.

Run the WordPress Admin in HTTPS

In order to ensure that there will be HTTPS in the WordPress back end, you should grab the latest version of your site’s wp-config.php file and add the following line just above “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */”:


Now, you can save and upload the file to your server.

Automatically Forward http Requests to Https

The last step is to make sure that you only use https URLs for your site. First, you need to download the latest copy of your site’s .htaccess file and add the following just underneath the line “RewriteEngine On”:

Then save and upload the file to your server. You can try and enter an http URL for your site in a browser to test it. If you do it right, it should automatically forward you to the https version. Bear in mind that every server has been set up differently, so you should find other ways to make this work. Feel free to contact your web host for suggestions.

Troubleshooting a ‘Broken’ Lock

Discover if there are any broken padlock icons in your browser’s address bar and/or mixed content warnings. If you find any, then something is trying to load in from an http address. Usually, it is caused by a script or other outside resource being called from your site’s theme or CSS. As a solution, you can refresh the page and see if that clears up the issue.

If the problem is still going on, you can visit “Why No Padlock?” and input your URL that you want to analyze. The site will scan and analyze it for you.

Conclusion

Keeping user’s information private is an important thing, especially if you are doing a business in digital world. By seeing the green padlock in your site’s address, users will think that your business takes their personal information seriously. This will surely increase their trust and interest to buy something from you or even fill out a simple contact form.

Understanding Web Acceleration

web acceleration

Usually, a high traffic website must support hundreds of thousands or millions of users. Not to mention the demand of user for a fast and reliable website. Therefore, to meet such high volumes, some web developers prefer to add more server hardware.

However, this method can be expensive. So, in order to reduce your operational cost, you can use web acceleration as another option. Web acceleration produces better speed delivery of both static and dynamic content. Furthermore, it will enable your web servers to handle more client request without the need for more hardware.

In general, web acceleration is a content delivery network. It aims to speed up the transfer of content between web servers and client browsers by utilizing a variety of techniques such as caching and compression.

HTTP Optimization
Load balancer or reverse proxy server is one of the primary ways to accelerate web traffic as it flows between clients and backend servers. However, this can create inefficiencies in server utilization and cause poor performance for other users as well.

In HTTP optimization techniques, the load balancer is in between clients and servers. It forwards requests for content to backend servers in a streamlined and efficient way. Therefore, this method maximizes speed and server utilization.

Caching and Prefetching
Rather than fetching it over and over from back end servers, web acceleration server cache or locally store commonly requested information. This will avoid any wasted server resources and increase the speed of content delivery. In fact, to prevent serving content that is out of date, the web accelerator will refresh cached content at a specified interval.

Furthermore, the web accelerator is also able to prefetch and cache content that the user is likely to ask for, such as the next page of a document. This method will enable web accelerator to deliver the content immediately after the user requests it.

Compression
To reduce transfer times, a web accelerator will compress large files, such as image or video files.

SSL/TLS Processing
In order to serve content faster, some advanced web accelerators can offload computationally intensive processing from backend servers. For example, encryption and decryption of documents during transmissions secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS).

 

When can You Use Canonical or 301 Redirect?

when-should-you-choose-canonical-vs-301-redirect

At some cases, you may find you have no opt unless applying a duplicate content which is quite a problem that every web developers will be confronted with. But don’t worry as you can choose to either make use of canonical tags or 301 redirects to avoid any duplicate content. But when you can use the right method between the two of them? Below are several scenarios that you can choose.

Scenario 1: Similar Products with Similar Descriptions in an Online Shop

If you are online shop owners, you may often face a situation where you have similar or almost identical products (e.g. same color or model number). Hence, these products will have similar product descriptions but will be indexed with differing URLs.

Providing an indication of the product in the URLs also will let users know what to expect when clicking on the link. Moreover, multiple URLs for similar products also lead to duplicate content in search engines.

Due to this, you need to avoid having any duplicate content since it is important that only one URL is indexed by Google and canonical tag is the easiest way to do this. With Canonical tag, Google will know which URL to index.

Scenario 2: Conversion of the Website from HTTP to HTTPs

Since the increase of user’s security, many websites are being converted to the encrypted https version. However, this change will lead to much duplicate content, as Google indexes both the http and the https version. In this case, a 301 redirect can be used to avoid this problem since it will redirect the http version of the website to the https version.  By permanently redirecting those sites, you will increase the loading time significantly.

  • The solution for smaller websites: All web pages are redirected to the https version via the 301 redirect.
  • The solution for very large websites: The rel=canonical refers to the https version as the original URL. This way, crawlers are encouraged to index the https version.

Scenario 3: Relaunch of a Website with an URL Alteration

Another case, if your website has reached a top place in Google Page, but because of several reasons you need to turn it down temporarily, and relaunch it again, a search engine indexes the exact URL of an individual web page, and if the structure of the website is changed, almost none of the web pages will keep their URL.

To help you minimize the risk for having any domain transfer, you can forward the old domain URL to the new domain URL via a 301 redirect. By this way, users can find the new URL without have to cope with error pages or receiving browser messages that the complete website is unavailable.