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Where is my URL Padlock?

Having a URL padlock on your website is proof that you have an encrypted communication between your browser and web server. Not only does having a padlock build trust for your audience, or whomever would be using your site, but it surely has an impact on how Google will rank your site. To this day it's surprising to see how many websites have the "not secure" text next to their URL.

Based off of information made public by Google, an SSL certificate (the difference between having http:// and https://) could have a factor in ranking you above your competitors in the Google search engine. Read more about how URL Padlocks work.

Here is the good news!

Fortunately, getting a padlock isn't hard at all, in fact it's something you can easily do for your website (with little to no experience) in under 2 hours. In this article I'm going to show you how fix it to help your business' online presence keep trust with your audience, and have some positive impact on your SEO.

Let's Encrypt is a public and free resource to provide your website with a SSL Certificate. For most hosting providers the process is very similar, and for this example were going to use SiteGround. I'm going to show you where you can get Let's Encrypt set up for your website in just a few easy steps.

  1. Sign into your web hosting. For example BlueHost, SiteGround etc.
  2. Access the website from the dashboard.
  3. Once navigated to the settings for the website, click on Security.

4. It will extend the menu further, when it does choose SSL Manager.

5. On this page you will be able to get SSL Encrypt set up for your website. In SiteGround, you choose your website and in the SSL dropdown choose Let's Encrypt and hit the "Get" button.

Now that you have your SSL set up it is important to enforce https:// on all your content to ensure the padlock is there for all of your web pages.

6. With the security tab extended click on the HTTPS Enforce link.

7. Ensure that the HTTPS Enforce toggle is set to "on".

Now that your SSL Certificate is established for your site, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will have the padlock. Any link, url, or image within your website that still references "http://" will prevent your site from not displaying "not secure" in your browser. Here's how to replace everything with http:// in your site with "https://" in WordPress.

  1. Once obtaining access to your WordPress dashboard, head over to Plugins and click "Add New".
  2. Search for "Better Search Replace". Once found install and activate the plugin.

3. Head over to tools -> Better Search Replace in the dashboard and access the plugin.

4. In the "Search For" box enter http:// .

5. In the "Replace With" enter https:// .

6. Uncheck the "Run as dry run?" checkbox and click the "Run Search/Replace" button.

7. This should replace all links that contain http:// with https://, if not they may need to be done so manually.

In Conclusion

Now that you have followed these steps or read the article hopefully you should now have:

  • A SSL Certificate
  • HTTPS Enforce enabled on all your pages
  • All https:// links and images
  • A URL padlock

It's worth mentioning that having a URL Padlock doesn't necessarily mean that the website is safe to all users. Recent studies have shown that many scam and phishing websites even posess them. That being said, while searching the internet please be careful and never assume that a website is safe just because it has a padlock in the url. 

I hope this article provided some value to you, if you have any comments or questions be sure to leave them below. Also, if this article helped you be sure to share it with someone you know and help them get their URL padlock too!

My name is Dan Leash, I'm the owner and lead developer at Density Design Company. We specialize in creating stylish and unique websites, web development, SEO marketing and more. Learn more about Density Design Company.

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