7 Best WordPress SSL Plugins

by

An SSL certificate is a reassuring sign that your WordPress website is secure and trustworthy. Installing an SSL certificate is the first step towards protecting the exchanges between your users and your website. However, it all comes to naught if the certificate is not configured correctly on your website. This is where the SSL plugin for WordPress comes in handy.

TL;DR: Really Simple SSL is the best free WordPress SSL plugin, while WP Encryption is the best among paid ones. Once you’ve set up SSL, strengthen your site’s defenses even further with MalCare’s robust firewall. Its advanced malware detection and removal capabilities as well as hardened bot protection make MalCare the best WordPress security plugin.

An SSL plugin not only configures an SSL certificate on your WordPress site but also ensures that your website is served over secure HTTPS and has no insecure content anywhere on it. Hence, it adds to the security of your site and improves trust in your users.

Now, there are multiple WordPress SSL plugins available in the plugin marketplace. However, deciding which to use could be a difficult task. That’s why we have thoroughly tested some of the most popular SSL plugins so that you can make an informed decision.

Recommendations at a glance

  • Best free plugin just for SSL: Really Simple SSL
  • Best full-featured plugin: WP Encryption
  • Best plugin for renewal management: WP Encryption

1. Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL is probably the best WordPress SSL plugin, and you will come across it in every article about WordPress SSL with good reason. As the name suggests, enabling this plugin on your site is ‘really simple’.

Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL’s popularity stems from the fact that it provides a large number of features in its free version, on a clean dashboard. These features suffice for most WordPress users, making it our go-to recommendation.

Really Simple SSL Dashboard

Really Simple SSL is one of the few plugins out there that works with most existing SSL certificates while also being able to generate and install one if required. It goes one step further too by performing server health checks and vulnerability detection for plugins and themes, almost treading into WordPress security plugin territory.

Features

  • Automatic SSL detection
  • HTTP to HTTPS redirection
  • Mixed content fixing
  • Security header addition
  • Compatible with most SSL certificates and web hosts
  • Multi-language support

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of free features
  • Works with existing SSL certificates
  • Can generate new SSL certificates
  • Clean, informative dashboard

Cons

  • Certificate expiry reminder limited to paid version only
  • Paid version is required to enforce HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)

Pricing: Free; paid version starts at $49 for personal (single-license) usage and goes up to $199 for 25 domains.

2. WP Encryption

WP Encryption is our choice when it comes to WordPress SSL plugins with a worthwhile paid tier.

WP Encryption

Its free version is basic in what it can do. It can generate and install free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt, force HTTP to HTTPS, and scan for mixed content. However, you will need the paid version to fix those mixed content errors.

WP Encryption Dashboard

Upgrading to the paid version comes with its own set of features. One of the most significant features is the presence of a firewall, which we have yet to test for efficacy. However, it could be paired with MalCare’s robust WordPress-specific firewall to help you relax regarding your site’s security.

Features

  • Automatic domain verification
  • Automatic certificate installation and renewal
  • Automatic Content Delivery Network (CDN) setup
  • Security firewall
  • Extensive support

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Clean, informative dashboard
  • Works with existing SSL certificates
  • Can generate new SSL certificates 
  • Automated certificate management (in paid version)

Cons:

  • Paid version is required to utilize most of its important features
  • Even basic features like fixing mixed content need the paid version

Pricing: Free; paid version starts at $29/year for a single site license and goes up to $199/year for an unlimited sites license.

3. WP Force SSL & HTTPS Redirect

WP Force SSL & HTTPS Redirect is another popular SSL plugin for WordPress, going by its active installation count (100,000+). This is a surprise considering that it offers comparatively fewer features than Really Simple SSL or WP Encryption.

WP Force SSL

The free version is pretty barebones in functionality. It only scans for issues but fixing them requires you to upgrade to the paid version. Although it can generate and install a free SSL certificate, the capability is also limited to the paid version. In the free tier, it only offers the option to force HTTP to HTTPS and enable HSTS.

WP Force SSL Dashboard

Features

  • Mixed content scanner and fixer
  • Real-time SSL and site monitoring for issues
  • SSL certificate generation and installation
  • License manager

Pros

  • Offers lifetime updates and support
  • Provides the option to enable HSTS in the free version, which is missing in other plugins

Cons

  • Majority of the features are reserved for the paid version
  • Offers fewer features, even in the paid version, as compared to other plugins

Pricing: Free; PRO (paid) version starts at $49/year for a single site license and goes up to $199/year for 100 sites.

4. SSL Zen

Unlike WP Force SSL, the SSL Zen plugin allows you to generate and install SSL certificates in the free version. It obtains a 90-day validity certificate from Let’s Encrypt for this process.

SSL Zen

It has a relatively simple dashboard but the procedure to install an SSL certificate is a bit technical. It involves creating folders and adding files to your WordPress site’s file system as well as access to cPanel, requiring users to have a certain amount of technical know-how. This is why it finds the fourth place on our list, behind a plugin that requires you to pay even for the basic features. However, SSL Zen also provides how-to videos for these processes.

SSL Zen Dashboard

One feature that sets it apart from other plugins in this list is that its free version provides email reminders starting 30 days before your SSL certificate is to expire. However, the renewal process is manual. The paid version solves this issue with its automatic certificate management capabilities.

Features

  • Automatic domain verification
  • Automatic SSL certificate generation, installation, and renewal
  • Automatic CDN connections
  • Spam and brute-force protection
  • Blocks some common attacks like SQL injection and XSS

Pros

  • Paid version offers security features in addition to SSL certificate management
  • Email reminders before certificate expiry for both free and paid versions

Cons

  • Free version has a comparatively technical method of installing SSL certificates
  • Other than that, the free version does not have many customizable options

Pricing: Free; paid version costs $49/year.

5. Free SSL Certificate Plugin

Free SSL Certificate Plugin is the only one in our comparison list that uses ads to support its free version. However, unlike WP Force SSL, you can generate and install SSL certificates in both the free and paid versions of this plugin.

Free SSL Certificate Plugin

An interesting aspect of this plugin is that there is no dedicated support for free version users; they will have to go through the plugin’s forum for issue redressal. Email or chat support is limited only to paid users.

Free SSL Certificate Plugin Dashboard

Now, does paying for this plugin make sense? We think so. The paid version not only gets rid of pesky ads, but it also provides extensive features: from setting up the plugin for your WordPress site, to automatic SSL renewal and installation. Moreover, it also sets your site up to use Cloudflare CDN servers, which could be effective against DDoS attacks.

Features

  • Automatic domain verification
  • Automatic SSL generation, installation, and renewal
  • Automatic Cloudflare CDN setup
  • Wildcard SSL and multisite support

Pros

  • SSL generation, installation, and renewal are available in both free and paid versions
  • Cloudflare CDN available for paid users
  • Cheaper plans, compared to other paid SSL plugins

Cons

  • Free version comes with ads
  • Email/chat support unavailable for free users
  • Maximum 10 sites manageable with a single license

Pricing: Free; paid versions start from $26.99/year for a single site and go up to $178.99/year for a 10-site license.

6. One Click SSL

One Click SSL by Tribulant Software is a misnomer: you need two clicks to set it up initially. The first click checks for SSL support on your web host and the second enables SSL on your WordPress site.

One Click SSL
One Click SSL Initial Screen

Unlike the previous plugins, One Click SSL cannot generate an SSL certificate. Instead, it relies on you to obtain and install an SSL certificate. The plugin then configures your website to use this certificate in one click (hence the name, we presume).

One Click SSL Dashboard

It has a simple dashboard that provides SSL enabling/disabling controls and an Insecure Resources Scanner for mixed content issues, which it fixes when SSL is enabled. In case you were wondering if more features exist in a paid version, then let us inform you that this plugin has just a free version. However, it does what it does best in the free version, which is why it has found a place on our list of WordPress SSL plugins.

Features

  • One-click SSL enabling (if your site already has an SSL certificate installed)
  • Mixed content scanner

Pros

  • Simple, easy-to-use plugin

Cons

  • Very basic feature list
  • No control options to limit SSL to the entire site or a few pages
  • Requires a pre-installed SSL certificate

Pricing: Free

7. Easy HTTPS Redirection

Easy HTTPS Redirection is yet another plugin that requires your site to have a pre-installed SSL certificate. Similar to Once Click SSL, it can configure your site to use this pre-installed certificate.

Easy HTTPS Redirection

Of all the WordPress SSL plugins we tested, this has the most basic controls. It allows you only to force HTTPS redirection on all or a few pages of your site and to force all static resources on your site to load over HTTPS. Hence, it only serves to redirect visitors to the HTTPS version of the website or certain sections of it, making it a potential accompaniment to other SSL plugins, as seen from the comparatively large number of active installations (100,000+).

Easy HTTPS Redirection Dashboard

Features

  • Quick enabling of HTTPS on your WordPress site
  • Option to force load static content over HTTPS to avoid mixed content issues

Pros

  • Simple, straightforward interface
  • Option to limit HTTPS to the entire website or sections of it

Cons

  • Requires a pre-installed SSL certificate
  • Has very basic features

Pricing: Free

Factors to consider when choosing a WordPress SSL plugin

When choosing a WordPress SSL plugin, you should consider several important factors to ensure you have a reliable and suitable solution for your website.

  • Ensure the plugin is compatible with your current WordPress version and integrates well with your website and all other plugins on it
  • Check if the plugin supports both free and paid certificates
  • Look for a plugin that offers ease of use and setup, as well as certificate renewal management
  • Assess if the SSL plugin provides security features like HSTS support, mixed content removal, etc.
  • Ensure that the plugin does not have a performance impact, like slowing your site’s loading speed 
  • Check if the plugin provides additional features like CDN compatibility, firewalls, etc.
  • Check if the plugin has a good customer support system in place
  • Ensure the plugin developer provides regular updates
  • Consider the plugin pricing if you are on a budget
  • Verify the plugin and plugin developer’s reputation through support forums and reviews

Why should you use a WordPress SSL plugin?

You should use a WordPress SSL plugin for several important reasons:

  • Security: SSL encrypts the data exchanged between a website and its visitors, making it more secure. This is crucial for protecting sensitive information, like passwords, credit card details, and personal information. It also prevents man-in-the-middle attacks and phishing attempts, thereby ensuring security for the site and its users.
  • Trust and credibility: A website using SSL is secure and this shows in the form of a padlock icon in the address bar. When users see this icon, it instills trust and confidence in them about your site. This is particularly important for e-commerce sites or any site where users are required to enter personal information.
  • SEO impact: SSL is a ranking factor for search engines like Google. So if your WordPress site is secured with SSL, it will rank higher in search results, which can lead to increased visibility and traffic.
  • Browser compatibility: Modern web browsers are increasingly emphasizing the importance of secure connections. Some browsers may display warnings or block access to your site if it does not have the security of SSL, which can deter visitors.

Final thoughts

An SSL certificate and an SSL plugin are just the starting blocks of WordPress site security. You also need a firewall to protect your site against brute force attacks, bot protection to keep harmful bots out of the way, malware scanning and removal tools, as well as activity monitoring to notice and remove any unwanted actions and actors.

Install MalCare to get all these features in one security plugin. It will complement your site’s SSL security and safeguard it from attacks of all kinds.

FAQs

What is SSL in WordPress?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that establishes a secure encrypted connection between a web server and a user’s web browser. This ensures that data transmitted between the two parties remains private and secure. In the context of WordPress, SSL is used to encrypt the data exchanged between a website and its visitors.

How to install an SSL plugin in WordPress?

Once you have decided which SSL plugin you want to use on your WordPress site, go to your admin dashboard and click on Plugins. Click on Add New and search for your required plugin using the search box. Upon finding it, click on Install and then on Activate to set it up on your site. Finally, access your plugin settings and configure it according to your requirements.

Can I run my website without an SSL certificate?

Yes. However, a site without an SSL certificate is not secure and trustworthy. Moreover, search engines are cracking down on such sites and could remove them from search results or worse, blacklist them. Hence, we recommend adding an SSL certificate to your website to avoid security and SEO issues.

How much does an SSL certificate cost?

The cost of SSL certificates varies. You can obtain free certificates from vendors such as Let’s Encrypt or you can purchase paid certificates from certificate authorities like Comodo, DigiCert, etc. While free and paid certificates offer the same protection, the latter has additional features such as priority support, automatic renewal, etc.

What are the types of SSL certificates?

There are 3 types of SSL certificates: Extended Validation (EV), Organization Validation (OV), and Domain Validation (DV). Their use cases are different so understand what each does before obtaining a certificate.

Who gives SSL certificates?

SSL certificates are issued by certificate authorities (CAs). CAs are organizations that are trusted to verify the identity and legitimacy of any entity requesting a certificate. Some of the most widely used CAs are Let’s Encrypt, Comodo, DigiCert, and Verisign.

Category:

,

You may also like


How To Prevent Fake Orders on WooCommerce
How To Prevent Fake Orders on WooCommerce

Running an eCommerce store can be challenging on multiple fronts. This is especially true when dealing with the disruptive issue of fake orders. Fraudulent transactions not only skew your sales…

What Are Some Website Security Best Practices?
What Are Some Website Security Best Practices?

Right now, as you read these words, your website could be under attack! Cyber threats don’t sleep. They are relentless, constantly probing and testing your digital defenses, looking for any…

WooCommerce Security Issues: A Complete Guide
WooCommerce Security Issues: A Complete Guide

WooCommerce security is important for every store…even the small ones.  Hackers have evolved to find different ways to exploit different types of websites for their own gain. Thankfully, website security…

How can we help you?

If you’re worried that your website has been hacked, MalCare can help you quickly fix the issue and secure your site to prevent future hacks.

My site is hacked – Help me clean it

Clean your site with MalCare’s AntiVirus solution within minutes. It will remove all malware from your complete site. Guaranteed.

Secure my WordPress Site from hackers

MalCare’s 7-Layer Security Offers Complete Protection for Your Website. 300,000+ Websites Trust MalCare for Total Defence from Attacks.