Have you installed a free SSL certificate on your WordPress site but aren’t sure what to do next? Is the green padlock not showing up next to your site’s URL?
The Really Simple SSL plugin works by detecting your site’s settings and configuring it to run over HTTPS. It updates your site’s URLs from HTTP to HTTPS. The plugin also has a premium version that gives you access to advanced features and support.
If you’d like to read a bit more about the Really Simple SSL plugin then be sure to check out Tom McFarlin’s review. And if you’d like to see how you can secure your site with a free SSL certificate using the plugin then head over to this in-depth, step by step tutorial on Nimbus Themes.
A Developer’s Perspective
As a WordPress developer, I use and recommend the Really Simple SSL plugin because it’s a super lightweight solution that’s absolutely non-intrusive and it does exactly what it’s supposed to. And, in case, your site’s settings are configured in a way that the plugin isn’t able to route requests then it lets you know very clearly that it isn’t working and (optionally) lets you enable debugging mode so you can figure out what the underlying problem is.
Another thing I highly appreciate about this plugin is that you don’t need to keep it activated on your site. If you’re one of those people (I definitely am!) who like to deactivate/uninstall the plugins they aren’t using then you’re going to love Really Simple SSL. Basically, it gives you two options:
- If something goes wrong with updating your site’s URLs to HTTPS, you can deactivate the plugin the regular old WordPress way and it’ll undo everything it did.
- If all goes well and you want to deactivate it, you can log into your FTP client and rename the plugin without losing the modifications it made i.e. your redirects will stay in place.
- Incredibly easy to use; does what it’s supposed to.
- None whatsoever!
An Average User’s Perspective
As an average user, I was able to install my free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt and then use the Really Simple SSL plugin to make all of the necessary changes to my existing WordPress site in (literally) just a few clicks. All you have to do is activate the plugin on your site and click the Enable SSL button.
I like how the plugin is easy to use and takes all the heavy lifting out of handling the WordPress-side of installing an SSL certificate. It’ll automatically redirect your incoming traffic to your updated (HTTPS) site. So, if you ever shared a link to your site and it had HTTP in the URL, anyone who clicks on it now will be redirected to your secure, HTTPS site.
- Intuitive and easy to use.
- Helps you manage the WordPress-side of installing an SSL certificate.
- You don’t have to worry about managing redirects.
To Sum It Up
If you’re a WordPress developer building sites for clients then I would personally recommend going with the Really Simple SSL plugin to redirect incoming requests to HTTPS. It’ll only take a minute to do and you’ll be able to deactivate the plugin after.
And if you’re an average user looking for a way to take care of the WordPress-side of installing an SSL certificate then Really Simple SSL is, by far, the easiest way to get the job done. Install the plugin on your site and, a few clicks later, you’ll be all done.
Note: Be sure to take a complete backup of your WordPress site before installing the Really Simple SSL plugin.