How To Install BlueHost WordPress Free SSL (Quick)

In this tutorial, I will be covering how to install BlueHost WordPress free SSL certificate. I will also make sure to show you how to move your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS.

Before getting started, Let me stress the fact that https sites are having a priority over HTTP sites on google search results. This simply means that installing BlueHost WordPress free SSL certificate is a positive ranking factor when it comes to SEO.

There are 200+ ranking factors upon which Google decides which site to appear first. Thus, Following this tutorial to install SSL will boost your website SEO rankings. It will also help you to better optimize your site for maximum exposure.

In this ultimate guide, I will cover the following points:

  • How To Install BlueHost WordPress Free SSL
  • How to Migrate your WordPress Site to https.
  • How to avoid losing HTTP traffic upon migrating to https.
  • How to configure BlueHost WordPress Free SSL properly.

So are you ready? Let’s get started…


First: Sign Up For BlueHost Web Hosting

If you’ve already purchased web hosting from BlueHost, you can just skip this step and proceed with the other technical steps to install BlueHost WordPress free SSL certificate.

If you’ve not yet bought web hosting, then let’s do it with a 51% exclusive discount (for a very limited time). To grab your discount, You will need to use our promo link. This promo has been made exclusively for our blog readers. I’m positive that you don’t want to miss this opportunity.

get-started-bluehost

After visiting our promo link, Click on “Get Started Now” to get your hosting account. BlueHost is actually offering 4 different shred hosting plans. They’re all well-designed and optimized for WordPress.

If you’re looking forward to starting one website, then a Basic plan is what I recommend. If you’re up to hosting multiple domain names, I would recommend getting Plus plan. Don’t hold yourself back, You can signup for the Basic plan now and upgrade later. Yes, You can upgrade BlueHost at any time.

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(51% Discount Promo added in the link)


What is an SSL Certificate?

The SSL acronym is a standard security mechanism on websites called the protected socket layer. When you are using a website with SSL, you will recognize that the address should continue with HTTPS rather than HTTP (some browsers are now displaying a “lock” in the directory bar).

Common uses include e-commerce sites, login pages, and financial websites for SSL encryption where privacy protection to the user is paramount. The difference between SSL and an SSL certificate is easy to get confused.

In short, SSL is the protocol or rules by which knowledge is protected. The real encryption, therefore, relies on the SSL certificate you are using. The opportunity to authenticate the Website gives a significant added advantage to SSL certificates.

Why Do I Need an SSL?

Providers of SSL certificates are expected to conduct such checks, including identification testing and compliance with industry requirements before the certificate can be provided. Secure website rankings of Google and other search engines are similar to those but non-secured.

It is so critical that most payment processors would deny service unless you stick to the requirements of the PCI (credit card industry). So since all user information is protected on the database, both users may be confident that their information is not compromised by hackers.

The SSL certificate, therefore, performs a number of functions:

  • This preserves knowledge and details for consumers.
  • Your domain is lawfully authenticated.
  • It encrypts the details received to your web from time to time.
  • SEO upgrades.

Activate Bluehost WordPress Free SSL

Recently, BlueHost announced the launching of its WordPress Optimized Control Panel. The kit is very useful for WordPress webmasters & site owners. These tools make your life easier when it comes to managing a whole WordPress site from one place.

One of these WordPress Tools is BlueHost WordPress Free SSL Certificate. This means that current and new BlueHost users will be able to install a free SSL Certificate and enable https on WordPress.

Let me show you in detail how to enable this feature and install free SSL BlueHost.

NB: Before Starting, Please make sure to disable WHOIS guard as the SSL provider is using your domain name WHOIS information to detect your email address. And here, you will need to prove domain ownership. Once the SSL certificate has been installed, You may re-enable WHOIS guard again. 

1. Login To BlueHost Account:

The very first thing to do is to log in to your BlueHost account.

  • At the left list, click on “My Sites”
  • Choose the website domain on which you want to enable Free SSL BlueHost.
  • Click on “Manage Site”.

Install BlueHost WordPress Free SSL

Now, You’ve reached the BlueHost simplified back-end for that domain. From there, You will need to clik on “Security” tab. And on Fre SSL Certificate, Check “ON” to turn on ssl on BlueHost.

After you turn on the SSL certificate, It might give you the pending message “Working on it”. After turning it on, It might give you the pending message “Working on it”. Please be patient as it may take anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours. For me, It usually takes around 30 minutes to complete.

What’s sweat here is that it will automatically update the WordPress url in the database. This means that your site will be automatically functioning under https.  No further configurations or changes required from your end at all.

2. Check Your Email Inbox:

You should have received an email message to validate your BlueHost WordPress free SSL. Please make sure to check the email address associated with your BlueHost account.

This email is simply asking you to verify the ownership of the domain name in order to proceed with installing the SSL Certificate on your site. Click on the link mentioned:

SSL-certificate-will-not-automatically-install-Bluehost

Then you will need to choose your email address and then click “Submit”.

Validate-domain-name-for-SSL-certificate-installation

3. Validate & Install SSL Certificate:

Within a few minutes, You will get another email with instructions on how to validate and install BlueHost WordPress free SSL. It maybe due to the fact that BlueHost Certificate cannot be Verified. Here is a snapshot from the email I’ve got:

Install BlueHost WordPress Free SSL

Here, you will need to follow the instructions and paste the code where it’s asking you to complete the SSL Certificate validation. It’s pretty straight forward and won’t take more than a minute.

Congratulations, Now you’ve just completed installing BlueHost WordPress free SSL Certificate on your site! Like I said, No more changes or configurations needed at your part. It’s all automated!

BlueHost SSL Configuration:

After completely installing the SSL certificate, It would be a good idea to test it and verify it. This way we know that everything has been configured correctly. A good tool to check and verify SSL on your website is SSL Checker. This basically will tell you if your domain is having an active SSL certificate or not.

Here is the result upon checking my website:

BlueHost SSL Certificate Not Working:

While it will work in most cases, You may experience a delay or an issue during the SSL installation process. BlueHost SSL Certificate not working issue is not that common but still happens. For some reasons, You may also receive an error message like the following:

Error: Could not update option ‘site URL’., Error: Could not update option ‘home.’

Bluehost-unable-to-activate-SSL-certificate

This error message might happen for many reasons such as:

  • A conflicting WordPress plugin.
  • Conflicting Cloudflare parameters.

But don’t worry at all. This BlueHost SSL Certificate not working message means that the BlueHost WordPress free SSL has been successfully installed on your site. But WordPress is not able to update the “Site URL” or “Home URL” options.

In order to solve this issue, You will need to set these options manually to reflect the new https url of your site. Please check the snapshot below on how to perform this manual change.

manually-set-WordPress-home-URL-to-HTTPS

You will need to go to “Settings” then manually update “Site URL” and “Home URL“. There, You’re required to change the prefix “http://” to “https://” in both fields and click “Set URL“. It’s pretty simple and straight-forward!

WordPress BlueHost Redirect to HTTPS

Now, you’ve installed and validated an SSL Certificate on your site. But you still need to tell WordPress to force using HTTPS url instead of working on HTTP.

Upon the recent updates on BlueHost infrastructure, It should automatically configure itself for WordPress. Yet, You still need to force WordPress to use (https://) for all the pages on your website.

Here you will need to follow the following steps:

  • Install “Really Simply SSL” WordPress Plugin: Once you install and activate this plugin, It will automatically move your site to (https://). It’s pretty easy and straight forward.
  • Edit “.htaccess” and add 301 Redirection rule: Doing this step will ensure that all HTTP links are being redirected to HTTPS. This will avoid search engine confusion on indexing your pages. Please edit the “.htaccess” file to reflect the following changes:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
  • Use “Broken Link Checker” & “Simple 301 Redirects” Plugins: This combination will ensure you’re not having any broken links on your blog and as well you can further redirect internal links from HTTP to HTTPS with ease.

BlueHost SSL Price:

A Bluehost SSL certificate is completely free with no additional cost. Upon installing it, BlueHost will send you an email stating that you’ve just installed the certificate with the pricing table.

Here is the email with zero charges:

You won’t need to buy a dedicated IP for the SSL Certificate to work. It used to work this way earlier but not today anymore. This means that BlueHost dedicated IP is not necessary in order to install BlueHost LetsEncrypt SSL. Thanks to Comodo Positive SSL Bundle: LetsEncrypt +BlueHost + cPanel.

What if My Web Host is
NOT Enabling Free SSL Certificate?

Although many web hosting providers are using “Let’s Encrypt” to provide their clients with Free SSL Certificate, Some of them might not be updated yet.

In this case, I would recommend purchasing an SSL Certificate (81% Discount) and installing it manually. Alternatively, you may consider contacting your web hosting provider and inquire if they do provide SSLs.

As a better solution, You may need to grab a web hosting account from BlueHost. They’re giving you access to install unlimited SSL Certificates on all your websites. Let’s make it hassle-free and build it the right way with BlueHost.

Please Note: A2Hosting and InmotinHosting users can as well get the benefit of installing a free SSL certificate. Just reach out to the support staff and they will enable a free SSL certificate for you. You can also follow the steps above to force WordPress on using an SSL certificate and to verify it’s working.

BlueHost Let’s Encrypt

For all BlueHost customers, the Free SSL Certificates are being provided by a company called “Let’s Encrypt”. Therefore, if you want your SSL certification, you can choose to get it straight from Let’s Encrypt or from another provider.

Note: You will even get an SSL-shared certificate protecting a number of websites. You can install and use the same certificate, even those without a dedicated IP address, with a shared SSL Certificate on all your websites.

Note that SSL certificates are linked to a particular domain (URL / address). Therefore, you will obtain a whole new SSL certificate if you shift domains. Let’s Encrypt is actually an opensource platform that allows web hosting companies to offer their customers free SSL certificates.

When completed, it just takes a few minutes to upgrade the internals of the WordPress website to HTTPS (instead of HTTP). And to guarantee the automated translation of old inbound links into the current HTTPS format.

How Does SSL Works?

There are two components of each SSL certificate: a public key and a private key. Everyone who uses the Website is issued with the public key whilst the private key is unique to the registry of the Website.

If a guest enters your web for the first time, a copy of your SSL certificate, including the public key, will be sent to the visitor’s client. The User’s browser then checks whether the certificate of legitimacy has expired or not, including who issued it (and if it can be trusted or not).

When all is in place, the user of the visitor begins loading the tab. Your hosting service instead releases a session key, which disappears as soon as the user exits your website (based upon a private key). The entire encryption will be managed via the session key throughout the rest of the interaction.

Types of SSL Certificates

Three kinds of SSL certificates exist, categorized according to the type and level of sensitivity of the information to be protected. For things such as blogs or websites which do not deal with lots of sensitive information, a standard SSL certificate is good.

However, for high-volume shopping and sites where guests are reassured that the identity of the website has been more carefully checked and validated an EV (extended validation) SSL certificate is required.

Finally, an OV (organization validation) certificate is designed to include hundreds or even thousands of different websites in a company or an organization’s entire domain. Because Bluehost both offers hosting and SSL certificates, it is simple and easy to add improved security to a WordPress website.

However, keep in mind that it is not right for everyone before you rush to obtain an SSL certificate and turn your website to an encrypted. More server resources are utilized by encrypted websites. More information is needed and maybe loaded a little more slowly on your website.

Finally, if you are not processing sensitive data or want an open, public and welcoming image, “lock” your website by SSL and HTTPS may not be the right choice.

BlueHost WordPress Free SSL Review

Now, you should have completed migrating your WordPress site to https. For further clarification and instructions on what to do next, I would recommend checking my ultimate guide here: HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration Checklist

Migrating your site to https will add a trust bond between you and your site visitors. Although you may think it’s a simple tweak, Believe me, it worth every single minute you spend on configuring it.

What makes moving your site to https an urgent is that Chrome is currently detecting sites without SSL certificates installed as Insecure. And this may affect your site traffic and SEO significantly.

Thanks for reading. Shall you require any further assistance, please let me know in the comments section below? And if you found this guide informative, Don’t forget to share it with your friends.

7 thoughts on “How To Install BlueHost WordPress Free SSL (Quick)”

  1. Hi,
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