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      How to Fix Common SSL Issues in WordPress (5 Key Solutions)


      A few years ago, Google announced that it would begin flagging websites that don’t have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate installed. While setting up an SSL certificate tends to be pretty straightforward, you may encounter some errors in the process.

      The good news is that many of these errors have simple fixes. Therefore, if you run into a problem when trying to move a current WordPress site to SSL, there’s no need to panic. All it takes is a little troubleshooting to get your site working properly (and securely) in no time.

      In this post, we’ll start by discussing the importance of SSL certificates on your website. Then we’ll provide you with a list of five common SSL issues and show you how to fix them on your WordPress site. Let’s get started!

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      An Overview of SSL (And Why It’s Important)

      SSL enables you to ensure that your website delivers a secure connection via Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol. In a nutshell, this is the updated, secure version of HTTP. Since it’s encrypted, HTTPS increases the security of any data that is transferred.

      Installing an SSL certificate on your WordPress site is important for several reasons. For starters, it enables the web server and browser to communicate over a secure connection.

      Moreover, SSL/HTTPS can help prevent security breaches that can compromise not only your personal information but your customers’ as well. For this reason, Google now penalizes sites that don’t have an SSL certificate.

      For example, it may display a “not secure” or “your connection is not private” warning message to users who try to access the site.

      A “Your connection is not private” warning message in Google Chrome.

      The exact wording of the message may vary depending on the browser you’re using, but the concept is the same. Ultimately, this can hurt your engagement. Additionally, it can hamper your Search Engine Optimization rankings.

      Finally, not having SSL properly configured can also limit what type of site you’re able to run. For instance, if you want to start an online store, you’ll need SSL/HTTPS encryption to accept online payments via gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net.

      How to Fix Common SSL Issues in WordPress (5 Key Solutions)

      Now that we understand a little more about what SSL/HTTPS is and why it’s important, let’s get into the issues that can come from it. Below are five of the most common SSL problems in WordPress and how to resolve them.

      1. The NET::ERR_CERT_INVALID Error

      If you’re a Google Chrome user, one of the most common issues you might run into is an error message that reads “NET::ERR_CERT_INVALID.”

      A CERT: ERR_AUTHORITY_INVALID error message in Chrome.

      This can happen in other browsers, too, though the message may differ slightly. In any case, it simply means that the connection to the site is not secure.

      If you have an SSL certificate installed on your site, this likely means something is wrong with the settings or configuration, and therefore the browser cannot read and accept it properly. When this is the case, there are a few steps you can take.

      First, you’ll want to make sure the certificate is assigned to the correct domain or subdomain. Next, you’ll need to check that your certificate is not expired. You can do this by clicking on the padlock icon to the left of the browser address bar.

      Details of the certificate will appear, and you’ll want to make sure it says “Valid.” If it says “not valid,” you’ll need to renew it as soon as possible through the issuing provider, also listed here.

      If you installed the certificate yourself, you could try reinstalling it. However, you may want to use a different provider this time, as your browser may not recognize the issuing authority of your current certificate. We recommend using Let’s Encrypt.

      The Let’s Encrypt website.

      Finally, if the certificate is assigned to the correct domain and is updated, you may want to contact your hosting provider. If they installed the certificate, they might know what steps to take to resolve the issue.

      2. Mixed Content Errors

      Another common type of error you may encounter when moving to SSL is mixed content warnings. In a nutshell, this is what happens when images, scripts, or stylesheets on your site load while using the old, unsecured HTTP protocol. In other words, some of your WordPress content is secure while other parts aren’t.

      There are two methods you can use to fix mixed content errors. The first is to use a plugin such as Really Simple SSL.

      The Really Simple SSL plugin.

      Once you install and activate the tool on your website, you can locate the plugin settings by navigating to Settings > SSL.

      The Really Simple SSL plugin settings in WordPress.

      However, you don’t need to take any further action to fix the mixed content errors. The plugin automatically does that upon activation.

      The second method you can use is to manually fix the warnings. To get started, you can navigate to Settings > General in WordPress.

      Under WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL), check to make sure that the URLs are using “https.”

      The WordPress General settings screen.

      After you save your changes, you can install the Better Search Replace plugin.

      The WordPress Better Search Replace plugin.

      With this tool, you can easily search for, find, and replace old URLs within your WordPress database. Once you activate it, you can navigate to Tools > Better Search Replace.

      The Better Search Replace plugin settings.

      In the Search for field, you can add your website URL with “http” at the beginning. Then, add “https” to the Replace with field.

      When you’re done, save your changes. Now the mixed content errors should be gone when you refresh your site.

      3. Too Many Redirects

      Another SSL issue you may run into is the too many redirects error. This might happen because WordPress lets you enforce SSL/HTTPS for the admin area of your site.

      To resolve this error, you’ll need to edit your wp-config.php file. You can locate this file by using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client like FileZilla or the file manager in your web hosting account.

      If you have a DreamHost account, start by navigating to Websites > Files in the sidebar. Then, locate your domain and click on the Manage Files button.

      Accessing the file manager in your DreamHost account

      This will take you to the file manager. To access your site’s directory, you’ll need to open the folder labeled with your domain name. Inside it, you’ll find the wp-config.php file.

      If you’re using FileZilla, the first step is to connect to your WordPress site. If this is your first time using the FTP client, you’ll need to obtain your credentials from your web host. Once connected, locate the wp-config.php file in your site’s directory.

      Locating the wp-config.php file in FileZilla.

      Open the file and insert the following snippet of code:

      define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);
      
      // in some setups HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO might contain
      
      // a comma-separated list e.g. http,https
      
      // so check for https existence
      
      if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO'], 'https') !== false)
      
             $_SERVER['HTTPS']='on';

      Note that you should add this at the bottom of the file, right before the line that reads, “That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.” When you’re ready, save your changes and close the file.

      4. HTTP to HTTPS Redirect

      By default, WordPress won’t automatically redirect your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Instead, you’ll need to tell it to do so. In some cases, you can use a plugin such as Really Simple SSL.

      However, you can also manually configure the HTTP to HTTPS redirect by editing your .htaccess file. Again, you can do this via SFTP or the file manager in your hosting account.

      Locate and open the .htaccess file, then add in the following code:

      <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
      
      RewriteEngine On
      
      RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
      
      RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
      
      </IfModule>

      Remember to save your changes when you’re done. If you’re not comfortable editing your site’s files, we recommend using a plugin or contacting your hosting provider for assistance.

      5. A Name Mismatch Error

      A fifth common SSL issue you may run into is the name mismatch error, which we briefly touched on earlier. This occurs when your domain name listed in the SSL certificate does not match the browser URL. This normally happens when you purchase a certificate from a third-party seller.

      To fix this error, you’ll simply need to add the following code to your .htaccess file:

      <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
      
      RewriteEngine On
      
      RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
      
      RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
      
      </IfModule>

      Save your changes when you’re done. Then, when you revisit your WordPress site, you should no longer see any SSL error messages.

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      How to Fix Other Common WordPress Errors

      Do you want to learn how to resolve other technical issues on your site? We’ve put together several guides to help you troubleshoot some of the most common WordPress errors:

      Check out our WordPress Tutorials section if you’re looking for tips and best practices for running a WordPress site. This is a collection of expert-written guides designed to help you navigate the WordPress dashboard like a pro.

      Conclusion

      Adding an SSL certificate to your WordPress website is essential. This will help you ensure that your content is accessed via a secure HTTPS connection. However, setting one up can cause a variety of issues.

      In this post, we discussed five common SSL errors and showed you how to resolve them:

      1. The NET::ERR_CERT_INVALID error. This suggests that your certificate needs to be renewed or reinstalled.
      2. Mixed content errors. You can fix this manually or with a plugin such as Really Simple SSL.
      3. Too many redirects. You may be able to resolve this issue by adding code to your wp-config.php file.
      4. A WordPress HTTP to HTTPS redirect. You can configure this manually via your site’s .htaccess file or by using a plugin such as Really Simple SSL.
      5. A name mismatch error. This happens when the certificate domain and browser URL do not match, in which case you’ll need to add code to your .htaccess file.

      Do you need help choosing and installing an SSL certificate on your WordPress site? When you use DreamHost as your hosting provider, this is an effortless process. Check out our DreamPress plans to learn more!



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      How to Install Spaces for WordPress Solutions


      Introduction

      WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems (CMS) in the world, making up over 33% of the web and providing technical and non-technical users alike a way to build and grow. As WordPress sites scale however, managing large sets of data and assets can sometimes surface latency errors that can affect end user load times.

      In this tutorial, learn how to install Spaces, an S3-compatible object storage service that lets you store and serve large amounts of data, to optimize your WordPress site’s speed and performance.

      Prerequisites

      In order to complete this tutorial, you’ll need a DigitalOcean account, and ideally a WordPress installation on Ubuntu 20.04. There are many different starting points for your WordPress installation, including:

      Whichever you choose, this tutorial will start with the assumption that you have a DigitalOcean account and WordPress installation configured with an administrative user on Ubuntu 20.04.

      Create a Space

      From your DigitalOcean control panel, click the Spaces button, in the sidebar on the left:

      DigitalOcean Control Panel

      If you do not have pre existing Spaces created, you’ll see a button prompting you to create a space. You can click that button and follow along. If you have an existing Spaces installation, you’ll see a list of your existing Spaces. In this case, you can use the Create button on the top right of the screen to create a new Space and follow the rest of this tutorial.

      Spaces splash page

      Next, you’ll make a series of choices to customize your Space. Let’s review each choice for your WordPress installation.

      Select Datacenter Region

      Pick the datacenter region closest to your customers general location.

      Spaces datacenter region

      Enable the CDN

      A content delivery network (CDN) is a geographically distributed group of servers optimized to deliver static content to end users. This static content can be almost any sort of data, but CDNs are most commonly used to deliver web pages and their related files, streaming video and audio, and large software packages.

      Using a CDN with your WordPress installation can give site visitors the speed and efficiency they’ve come to expect with WordPress. Should you choose to enable the CDN, you’ll be presented with two choices:

      Spaces CDN selection

      Enter a subdomain for your Space. For help on configuring your domain or subdomain with DigitalOcean servers, visit our tutorial, “How to Point to DigitalOcean Nameservers From Common Domain Registrars”. Edge Cache TTL is set at 1 hour by default – feel free to change this to fit your use case.

      Static Site Hosting

      You can use Static Site Hosting to serve your static html, images and js files. This can be helpful for WordPress installations to reduce content load time — if you decide to use it for your WordPress installation, you can access your Space via http protocol by adding a CNAME record to your DNS host. CDN custom domain cannot be used with static site hosting.

      Spaces static site hosting selection

      Allowing File Listing

      File listing allows for anyone who queries to list the content of your Space. Choose whether or now to enable this setting, keeping in mind that restricting file listing only restricts access to the metadata detailing file contents. The file itself may still be visible.

      Finalize and Create

      Add your unique subdomain name and select the Project that you’d like your space to be assigned to:

      Spaces finalize and create selection

      If everything looks correct in your Spaces configuration, click Create Space. You’ll be taken to your new space, once created:

      DigitalOcean Spaces Dashboard

      Add to your Space

      There are several ways to add connectivity between your WordPress installation and your new Space.

      If you intend to use DigitalOcean Spaces for your WordPress media library, follow our tutorial, “How to Store WordPress Assets on DigitalOcean Spaces”, to use the DigitalOcean Spaces Sync WordPress plugin to connect your installation with your new Space.

      To extend the speed and performance of asset delivery using your new Space, our tutorial “How to Speed Up WordPress Asset Delivery Using DigitalOcean Spaces CDN” shares tips and suggestions on optimizing the Spaces CDN to deliver media assets efficiently.

      Conclusion

      Using Spaces with your WordPress installation enables you to provide a secure, fast, user-focused experience for site visitors. To dive deeper into using your new Space to benefit the speed and performance of your WordPress installation, visit the following tutorials:

      To learn more about how to optimize your WordPress installation, visit our complete list of resources for WordPress.



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      VIDEO: Skillshot Reaches Its Global Esports Audience with Network Solutions from INAP


      The proliferation of online servers and online streaming paved the way for esports to become a billion-dollar industry, enabling gamers to compete with users from around the world and legions of fans to watch along. Skillshot Media is at the forefront of this global gaming phenomenon, building this fast-growing community by hosting online and offline video game competitions for amateurs and pros alike. To support tournaments, global leagues and live arena events, Skillshot turns to INAP to deliver the exceptional infrastructure performance it requires to prevent game killing latency and lag. Check out the video below to learn why Skillshot is powered by INAP.

       

      “This competitive gaming phenomenon that used to be limited to your neighborhood arcade or couch is now played globally and watched globally, and that depends on exceptional performance,” said Todd Harris, Skillshot’s CEO. “When you’re playing a game, lag kills. Latency is your enemy. Having a partner that can deliver a product specific to the demanding gaming audience, that’s very important.”

      INAP helps Skillshot to combat latency and meet performance expectations, keeping their audience connected and in the game.

      “Performance can mean a lot of different things,” said INAP Solution Engineer David Heidgerken. “From a network standpoint, performance is low latency, low jitter, low packet loss. From an infrastructure perspective, INAP has servers across the globe so we can be where your users are.”

      “Often people just think of performance as speed, but it can be just making someone’s business better,” added Josh Williams, Vice President of Channel and Solutions Engineering. “As the games have evolved, as the technology has evolved, we’ve evolved with that. We’ve been able to adapt and support our customers in those gaming verticals. The core of our business has been letting the gaming publishers be able to focus on what they need to, and that’s that gaming experience, rather than having to worry about what’s going on on the back end.”

      Laura Vietmeyer


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