How to set up an SSL certificate for your WordPress blog

A quick note before we begin: this article is how to install an SSL certificate on your WordPress blog if you have hosting with SiteGround.

If your web hosting is with a different company then unfortunately this isn’t the right tutorial for you. This article also assumes that your WordPress blog has just been set up (i.e. you haven’t released any blog posts yet).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you).

Why do I need an SSL certificate for my blog?

SSL makes your blog more secure and less vulnerable to attack. It protects information that’s passed between your website and your reader, and vice-versa.

Internet browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox have been actively warning internet users about websites that do not have an SSL certificate installed since about 2017.

If you look open up your blog, then look at the top of your internet browser, on the left of where you type in your blog URL you’ll probably see an ‘information’ icon.

However or click on that and you’ll get a message telling you that you are not on a secure connection.

This can be incredibly offputting to your readers and it may make them feel uncomfortable reading your blog.

You want your readers to trust you; an SSL certificate goes a long way towards earning that trust.

5 benefits of having an SSL certificate on your blog

  1. It builds trust with your readers – SSL is a sign to your readers that your website is secure, which helps them to trust you and encourages them to stay on your blog and to interact with it.
  2. SSL is good for SEO – search engines such as Google take SSL into account when ranking your blog. Having an SSL certificate will help to give your blog a little boost in search engines.
  3. It’s good for futureproofing your blog – if you decide to collect personal data on your blog (e.g. email addresses for a mailing list) or to sell products then you’ll need an SSL certificate to protect your readers’ information. It’s easier to set one up right at the beginning rather than waiting until you’re already established.
  4. It makes your blog more secure – that’s what it’s there for! It means that information passed between your site and your reader’s browser is safe.
  5. Improve site speed – having your website run over SSL could possible give it a little speed boost. Everyone loves a fast loading blog!

How to set up an SSL certificate in SiteGround

One of the reasons I recommend SiteGround hosting is because their customer support is out of this world. Seriously, it’s awesome.

We’re going to use this to our advantage by asking SiteGround to install the SSL certificate for us.

Once you have purchased your blog hosting and installed WordPress, the next step is to get an SSL certificate added to your blog.

To start, log in to your SiteGround account and then click the “Support” tab at the top of the page.

Scroll to near the bottom of the page and click to request assistance from the team, then under “technical assistance” click “domain assistance”.

This will open a support ticket where you can add a message.

This is the message that I use:

Hello, I just registered **DOMAIN HERE** and installed WordPress through your installer. Would you be able to please install the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on my domain and also make it so that http:// links are auto-redirected to https://   Thanks, **NAME HERE**

Once you submit your request you’ll be added to a Live Chat window which looks something like this:

Now it’s a waiting game until one of SiteGround’s operators are able to help you. It should be just a couple of minutes, so be patient and be sure to keep the popup window open otherwise you may lose your place in the queue.

Once an operator has been assigned to your message they will install the certificate for you and let you know when it’s done.

They may need to ask you some questions (they didn’t for mine, but just in case!) so keep checking your Live Chat window.

Remember to be polite and speak (or should that be type?) nicely to the operator – after all, they’re doing you a huge favour by setting up your SSL certificate for free!

Have a look at your blog once the SSL certificate has been installed.

You’ll see that there is now a padlock in the top of your internet browser and if you click or hover on it you get a lovely message telling you that your blog is secure.

Another change is that your website now starts with https:// instead of http:// which is another sign that your SSL certificate has been installed correctly.

It’s time to enjoy the new more secure version of your blog!