Joomla Force SSL is a Joomla feature to activate the SSL Certificate on your Joomla website.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, it is a security protocol that transmits private data across your Joomla site to the encrypted format. The latest news is, all browser has started flagging all HTTP websites as “Not Secure” (untrustworthy) without any exceptions. Are you scared? You should be. But don't worry! Now I will show how to enable SSL/HTTPS on a Joomla site in few easy steps.

What type of SSL Certificate do you need?

There are three different types of SSL Certificate:

  • Shared SSL - it is a free certificate configured to work with shared IP. It may show a pop-up warning message when used.
  • Dedicated SSL - it is a paid and private certificate. It will work with your domain only, and it will not show any pop-up warning message when used.
  • Wildcard SS - it is a paid certificate that works with your domain and subdomains.

How to set up SSL in your Joomla site?

Let’s consider if SSL Certificate is necessary for your site.

1. Checklist for your set up

To get SSL Certificate enabled for your Joomla site, you should have these followings in advance.

The quickest solution: SSL from your hosting provider

As the first step you have to contact your hosting support and ask them if they can make your site available via HTTPS. Many hosting companies offer SSL certificates (from free Let's Encrypt and other providers) for their customers. And from cPanel you can set SSL for your domain in less than a minute (for example, using the AutoSSL feature). If you use cPanel, you can utilize this method to enable HTTPS on your site. To enable AutoSSL for free, follow this official tutorial from cPanel.

FREE and easy: Cloudflare Flexible SSL

Cloudflare, the renowned web security & performance company and CDN provider, makes SSL activation easy. For websites, blogs, and anyone who wants to explore Cloudflare, they have a free plan. Cloudflare has a free service called 'Flexible SSL' that lets you add HTTPS to your site easily.

How to enable SSL/HTTPS on a Joomla site (detailed guideline)

Cloudflare dashboard.

The process is simple: First we'll see the Cloudflare side configuration. Then the Joomla-side config will follow.

  1. Create an account with Cloudflare
  2. Add your website to your Cloudflare account
  3. Wait some time until Cloudflare fetches your DNS records
  4. Verify the DNS record
  5. Complete the set up procedure (details on this official tutorial)
  6. Login to your domain registrar and change your domain's Name Servers as provided by Cloudflare (this can take a few hours)
  7. Create an 'Always HTTPS' Page Rule on Cloudflare for your domain (details on this official help article)
  8. Go to the Crypto section of Cloudflare and set the SSL option to Flexible.

The Cloudflare-side setup is done. Now configure your Joomla site to turn SSL on. Follow the process below (a screenshot is given after the texts).

2. Enable Force SSL in your Joomla site

Step 1: configure your configuration.php file

Open your configuration.php file

Find the following line:

  1. var $live_site ='';

Replace with:

  1. var $live_site = 'https://www.your-domain.com';

Next, open .htaccess file then add the following code to the bottom of the file.

  1. RewriteEngine On
  2. RewriteCond %{HTTPS} OFF
  3. RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

Step 2: enable Force SSL in your Joomla site

In the Admin Panel, navigate through System >> Global Configuration or simply click the Global Configuration button.

Access Global Configuration in the back-end setting

Access Global Configuration in the back-end setting

Within the Server tab, in the Server Settings section, there are 3 Force SSL alternatives that you can select, namely:

  • None: SSL will not be enabled in your Joomla site.
  • Administrator Only: connections to your administrator will be on HTTPS.
  • Entire Site: connections all over your website will be on HTTPS.
Joomla Force SSL feature

Configure Joomla Force SSL

Hit the Apply/Save button. You are done now! So let's check your site now.

Joomla Force SSL feature

Joomla Force SSL is enabled

Tips:

If you want to enable Force SSL in some specific pages of your Joomla site. This option is actually not available in Joomla back-end settings. However, there are various Joomla extensions allowing you to redirect your selected pages into HTTPS. SSL Redirect could be a great pick, this extension is compatible with Joomla 3.


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