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Day 1: Set Up WordPress

How To Install An SSL Certificate And Configure WordPress

Action Plan

Step 1: Install An SSL Certificate Using Let's Encrypt

Note: You might need to wait until your nameservers have been updated (from the previous tutorial) before you can install your SSL certificate. This usually takes less than an hour, however, sometimes it can take up to 24-48 hours.

Why This Step Is Important

An SSL certificate is extremely important for both security and Google search engine rankings. After installing the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate your website’s URL will be using “https”. This tells your visitors that they are accessing a secure connection and that their personal information will be protected.

Watch Our Video Tutorial For This Step

This video will walk you through how install a free SSL certificate in cPanel using Let’s Encrypt.

Video Summary

  • Go to cPanel in your SiteGround admin (0:20)
  • Search cPanel for “encrypt” and click on “Let’s Encrypt” (0:40)
  • Install SSL certificate (1:05)
  • Adjust the HTTPS settings (1:33)
  • Turn on “HTTPS Enfore” (1:38)
  • Turn on “External Links Rewrite” (1:45)

(I installed the SSL certificate)

Step 2: Configure Your WordPress Settings

Why This Step Is Important

Before you can start using WordPress it is extremely important that you use our recommended WordPress settings. This will ensure that you don’t run into any problems in the future as you work through our course.

Watch Our Video Tutorial For This Step

This video will walk you through how to configure the options in the “Settings” tab of your WordPress admin. This includes the recommended settings for General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks.

Video Summary

  • Log into your WordPress admin (0:18)
  • Bookmark your WordPress admin login page (0:36)
  • Clean up the dashboard (1:05)
  • Deactivate and delete Jetpack and Hello Dolly plugins (1:29)
  • Change your site title (2:12)
  • Change your WordPress address and site address to https (2:25)
  • Log back into WordPress since https URLs were changed (2:50)
  • Turn off comments (3:15)
  • Turn off month and year-based folders for media uploads (3:50)
  • Change permalink structure to “Post name” for better SEO (4:00)

(I configured the settings in my WordPress admin)


I get an error when trying to install the SSL certificate

If you’re seeing an error message that says “You have no Let’s Encrypt certificates installed on your account,” you might need to wait a little longer until your nameservers have been updated (from the previous tutorial).

This usually takes less than an hour, however, sometimes it can take up to 24-48 hours for the nameservers to be updated. Once your nameservers have been updated, the SSL certificate will be ready to be installed.

What is the "SG Optimizer" plugin?

SG Optimizer is a WordPress plugin developed by SiteGround to improve the performance of WordPress. This plugin is automatically installed if you purchased a “GrowBig” or “GoGeek” plan. You can leave this plugin installed and activated. We will discuss this plugin and other similar alternatives later in our SEO module.

What is the "WordPress Starter" plugin?

WordPress Starter is a plugin developed by SiteGround that walks you through a different method for launching a WordPress website. You should de-active this plugin. It will not be needed if you are following our tutorials.

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Day 1

Set Up WordPress

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