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Steps to Enable HTTPS in WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress is a web developer’s dream-come-true open source website creation tool. WordPress offers immeasurable flexibility, scalability and even security with tons of security plugins. Whether it is to build a single website that boasts of great utilities or multiple websites that run attached to many websites, WordPress can do it. The WordPress Multisite Network feature was rolled out with WordPress 3.0 version.

WordPress Multisite Network is a network of websites that are created on a single WordPress installation. A WordPress Multisite Network solution is useful for enterprises that are managing multiple sites or subdomains.

Unique Features of WordPress Multisite Network:

  • WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin of Multisite allows you to run multiple websites from a single WordPress installation
  • The network can have several sites or sub-domains
  • WPMU has a Super Admin User feature that can be used to install themes and plugins that can be used across the network

Activate HTTPS WordPress MultiSite

With WordPress Multisite Network you can run multiple blogs, sub-domains or websites from a single WordPress installation. It simplifies your routine as a website administrator. There are 3 types of WordPress Multisite you can pick from:

  1. WP Multisite with Subdirectories
  2. WP Multisite with Sub-domains
  3. WP Multisite with Multiple Domains

Multisite with Sub-directories:

If your WP Multisite set up with sub-directories, then you can choose Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificate. Single SSL certificate can be installed on the main domain to secure all the sub-directories on WP Multisite network.

For Example,

https://www.example.com/site1
https://www.example.com/site2
https://www.example.com/site3

You can also choose Extended Validation (EV) SSL to protect Multisite with Sub-directories. EV SSL activates visible trust indicators such as green padlock icon, https:// and legally incorporated company name is displayed prominently on the browser address bar.

Multisite with sub-domains:

Each sub-domain will have an identity of its own. Subdomains cannot be secured using a single SSL certificate. Therefore, you will require a Wildcard SSL certificate in order to protect unlimited subdomains hosted on WP Multisite Network instantly. You need to add an asterisk symbol (*) in your main domain (eg. *.example.com) to request a wildcard certificate.

For Example,

https://www.example.com
https://store.example.com
https://anysubdomain.example.com

Multisite with Multiple Domains:

You can secure Multisite with Multiple Domains using a Multi-Domain (SAN) SSL certificate. You can request a certificate for a main domain, and add other domain names as an additional Subject Alternative Names (SANs).

For Example,

https://example.com (main domain)
https://example1.com (SAN)
https://example2.com (SAN)

Selecting SSL certificate is based on your business requirement as well as type of WP Multisite opted. Each type of WordPress Multisite offers diverse benefits. More number of websites in the Multisite Network, difficult to secure it. Enabling HTTPS for your WordPress Multisite Network helps to prevent an Man-in-the-middle (MITM) Attack.

Follow Steps to Enable HTTPS across your WordPress Multisite Network:

After SSL certificate installation on WP Multisite, Complete the steps as mentioned below to configure your Multisite network’s HTTPS settings using WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin:

Step 1: Go to WP Admin dashboard >> Settings >> Domain Mapping, where scroll down to the bottom of the page to choose Force http/https (Only for original domain) option.

Force HTTP to HTTPS

Step 2: You would be prompted with a “Would you like to force https in admin and login pages”. Select ‘Yes’ to force https login and admin pages of WP Multisite when user visit the page without typing “https” in the prefix of URL.

Step 3: Next, you would be prompted with a “Would you like to force HTTP/HTTPS in front-end pages”. Select ‘Force https’ option.

Steps 4: Scroll down and select the feature “Enable excluded/forced URLs”. Where Just you need to click on all square boxes to assign permission to your users to exclude desired pages or URLs from mapping and allow them to use your SSL on their websites.

Enable excluded or forced urls

Step 5: After settings completed, a user can go to Domain Mapping option and map multiple websites.

That’s it. You’re done of enabling HTTPS for a WordPress Multisite Network.

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