Secure Sockets Layer or better known as SSL is a standardized technology used to keep an internet connection secure while keeping any sensitive data transferred between two systems safe. These systems can be a server and a client, or two servers. HTTPS notation in the URL appears once a website is secured by an SSL certificate. This certificate includes the issuing authority, the corporate name of the website owner, and other information, all available by clicking on the lock symbol next to the URL. SSL and SSL certificates are required for websites to secure user data, verify website ownership, prevent possible attacks, prevent fraudulent versions of the website, gain users’ trust, etc.
However, SSL certificates do not last forever. After a certain amount of time has passed, they will expire. This is due to information contained in the SSL certificate having to be refreshed and re-validated to check its accuracy. After a certificate has expired, the website will become unreachable. There are also other issues that can happen with SSL certificates, and keeping track of them can be challenging, especially if you have multiple websites and multiple certificates. Some of those issues can be mixed content errors that occur when parts of a website use HTTP protocol and others use the HTTPS protocol and others.
But do not worry, there is a plugin that will help you keep track of your certificates and solve any possible issues that arise on your website. WP Force SSL is a plugin that helps you with SSL installation, and management, and redirects insecure HTTP to secure HTTPS traffic. The built-in functionality helps find and report potential issues and also fix them. The installation process is very simple, and you can provide a certificate or obtain a free one from Let’s Encrypt. The real-time monitoring tool keeps track of your certificates by monitoring for 50+ potential errors. This information can be accessed in the monitoring tab, along with the information about SSL certificates, their validity, issuer name, data, etc. Having some parts of your page delivered through HTTP protocol and others through HTTPS can lead to mixed content errors. Manually checking for mixed content can take a long time, especially if you have a large website. WP Force SSL plugin has a content scanner that automates this work and delivers a report with possible errors, thus saving time and money in the long run.
If you like this plugin and the functionality it offers, consider also the WP Reset plugin which helps you speed up your website deployment, testing, and recovery by controlling versions or restoring your environment in just one click. This can be helpful if you are not pleased with some changes you have done to your SSL settings. If you want to test some changes during development without losing out on your SEO, the best idea is to put up an under-construction page which will inform users about your work and the site availability. This is best done using the UnderConstructionPage plugin.