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How to Enable and Enforce Your Free SSL

Table of Contents

Getting Started

In order to enable your free SSL, the following must be true:

  • You have a live website on your domain that is visible on the internet.
  • Your nameservers and A record must point to the IP address associated with your iPage account.
(The main authority for your domain is the A record. Your account nameservers must point to your iPage account where your website is hosted)
 
  Free SSLs are NOT currently supported on
  • Windows hosting accounts
  • Free Weebly site builder sites.
  • Some SLDs,(second level domains).

What does Enable and Enforce actually mean?

  • Enable: the act of turning on free SSL support for a specific domain.
  • Enforce: the act of forcing all website traffic to https via a 301 redirect

How to enable and enforce your free SSL

1) Login to your Control Panel

2) Go to Domain Central

3) Click on the domain that you want to Enable with the free SSL

Choose your domain

4) Click on the Security link.

Security link

5) At the bottom of the panel you can view the status of your free SSL.
Note: you will not see the Let’s Encrypt Free SSL section if you have a current paid SSL.

Security link

6) Enable or Disable your certificate as desired.

Security link

7) It can take up to an hour for your free SSL certificate to fulfill.

8) If your nameservers are incorrectly pointed, you will see an error message as noted above.

Nameserver error message

9) Create a 301 Redirect to Enforce your SSL certificate.

10) Test to make sure your SSL certificate is working by typing in your domain name and navigating to your website. You should see HTTPS:// appear before your domain name and any subsequent pages on your site.

Secure Chrome image

Tips and Tricks

iPage's WebsiteBuilder

After enabling your free SSL, you will need to re-publish your iPage WebsiteBuilder site in order for the changes to take place.

WordPress

Enabling your WordPress site to display securely may require a few steps.

1) Backup your database and site content.

2) Make sure that your Let’s Encrypt SSL is enabled as shown above.

3) Login to your WordPress Dashboard and go to Settings and General.

db settings

4)  Revise the WordPress Address (URL) and the Site Address (URL) to https

Revise to https

5) Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

6) The database entries must now be revised to reflect the secure address (https)

Change Database Entries: WordPress sites

There are many plugins available from WordPress.org for this task. Visit the following page at WordPress.org for complete information.
https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-manual/web-publishing/https-for-wordpress/

Troubleshooting WordPress Issues

You may encounter several issues when enabling an SSL on a WordPress site. This section focuses on the most common issues - the Mixed Content Warning - it doesn't and can't address all potential issues.

Mixed content warning

This can occur when your site contains other resources that are not hosted on your site with https. A few examples of mixed content may be:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Stylesheets
  • Scripts

For instance, if you are linking to Facebook images or YouTube videos you might encounter this issue. The best practice for images would be to upload them into your WordPress media library; they would then display as secure on your site.

WordPress Resources

The best source for troubleshooting WordPress issues is the WordPress. Org site listed below. In addition a few of the plugins that can help you troubleshoot the mixed content issue are listed.

https://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page
https://wordpress.org/plugins/ssl-insecure-content-fixer/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/remove-http/

301 Redirects

Important: You can also manually edit and upload a .htaccess file by using FTP.

  1. Log in to your iPage Control Panel.
  2. Go to .htaccess Editor.
  3. Go to Direct Editor.
  4. Click Change to select which directory you want to place the 301 redirect in.
  5. Add one of the following code snippets into your .htaccess file (based on what you want to do):
    Old to new domain
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^OLDDOMAIN.com [NC,OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.OLDDOMAIN.com [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://NEWDOMAIN.net/$1 [L,R=301,NC]
    
    Update "OLDDOMAIN" to the old domain you want to redirect to and update the "NEWDOMAIN" to the new domain it is redirecting to.
     
    Https Redirect
    RewriteEngine On 
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^DOMAIN.com [NC]
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.DOMAIN.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    
    Update the "DOMAIN" to the domain that requires the redirect from HTTP to HTTPS
  6. Click Save.

Stuck? Call us at 877-472-4399 to have our iPage Professional Services set up 301 redirect for a small service fee.

FAQs

Q. Will free SSL be an account wide setting (applied to all domains) or just single domains?
A. You have the option to enable the free SSL on a per domain basis. A free SSL cannot be enabled on domains with a paid SSL certificate. When enabling free SSL for a domain, that domain and all subdomains will receive a certificate.

Q. What will be required to enable my free SSL?
A. You must have a live website on your domain that is visible on the internet. The nameservers and A Record must point to the IP address associated with your iPage account.

Q. What if I already have a paid SSL certificate on my domain?
A. If you have a paid certificate on your domain you will not be able to enable the free SSL. If the paid certificate expires or is cancelled, you will be able to apply the free SSL certificate.

Q. If I cancel my paid SSL certificate can I enable the free SSL?
A. Yes, your domain will show up in the list in Domain Central and there you can enable the free SSL.

Q. Why should I keep my paid SSL if you are giving me a free one?
A. A paid certificate offers you another level of protection and comes with a warranty. It allows you to display a security seal on your site and is a great addition for an eCommerce website.
 
Comparison: Paid versus Free SSL
FeatureLet's Encrypt SSLPaid SSL
Primary Domain EncryptionUser-added imageUser-added image
Subdomain EncryptionUser-added imageUser-added image
Lock Icon in URL BarUser-added imageUser-added image
Warranty User-added image
Comodo CA TrustLogo User-added image
PCI Compliant User-added image

If you are unsure about the level of protection you need, you can purchase more protection.
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