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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. If your Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate has already been installed and activated by default, you can skip to 1:25 in this video to adjust the HTTPS settings.

Video Summary

  • Go to cPanel in your SiteGround admin (0:20)
  • Search cPanel for “encrypt” and click on “Let’s Encrypt” (0:40)
  • Install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate if it hasn’t already been installed and activated by default (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 the following plugins: WordPress Starter, Jetpack, and Hello Dolly (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)

FAQ


Why do I get an error when installing 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.

Why don't I see an option to install the SSL certificate on the Let's Encrypt page?

This probably means your SSL certificate has already been installed by SiteGround. If that is the case you should see the green text “Active” in the “Status” column next to your domain name.

You still need to adjust your HTTPS settings though. To do that, select “HTTPS Settings” from the “Select an Action” drop-down menu and turn on “Force HTTPS” and turn on “External Links Rewrite”.

Why am I seeing a "WordPress Starter" setup page?

WordPress Starter is a plugin developed by SiteGround that walks you through a different method for launching a WordPress website. If you’re seeing the WordPress Starter welcome page, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Exit”. I would then de-activate this plugin since it will not be needed for our tutorials.

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 since it will not be needed for our tutorials.

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 by SiteGround. You can leave this plugin installed and activated.

Why does my WordPress dashboard look different than in your videos?

This is probably because you still have the WordPress Starter plugin activated. This plugin is automatically installed by SiteGround. You should de-active this plugin if you are following our LaunchParty tutorials, it will not be needed.

Why should I turn off "Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders"?

I turn this off so that my image URLs don’t show the year I uploaded each image (it can make your content seem old). For example, let’s say five years from now I’m reading one of your blog posts and I notice that the image URL for one of your images is five years old. That might make me feel like your content isn’t up-to-date. I prefer to hide any signs of when my content was published so that it always feel current for the user.

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Day 1

Set Up WordPress

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