Thanks to Cloudflare‘s free SSL service, the eduk8.me website is now secured over SSL. Cloudflare is a cloud proxy system for websites, allowing the website to load faster for users while also protecting the website for denial of service or other attacks. There are two other nice features for websites when used with Cloudflare, IPv6 support and SSL. IPv6 is the next generation internet addressing scheme, and already there are users in the world that only have an IPv6 address and not the older IPv4. These users, and other IPv6 users, can access eduk8.me over the new addressing scheme.
I’ve been running Cloudflare in front of my WordPress installation for awhile, and this week finally got around to setting up SSL. Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is what makes the https:// green in the address bar.
When the https:// is green, you know that your access to the site is secure from others. It also verifies that you’re talking to the real eduk8.me and not some imposter.
To get this working correctly under WordPress, I had to install two plugins: Cloudflare and Cloudflare Flexible SSL.
When a website is used with Cloudflare, unless the website takes special precautions, the website will not be able to track IP addresses of users. This is used for harassment and spamming issues on eduk8.me. Since Cloudflare acts as a proxy in front of the website, all of the visitors look like they are coming from Cloudflare’s network. The Cloudflare Plugin gets the correct IP address information from Cloudflare in these instances.
Cloudflare Flexible SSL Plugin
The Cloudflare Flexible SSL plugin fixes an issue where the WordPress website will get stuck in an infinite redirect loop and never load. Installing the Cloudflare Flexible SSL plugin fixes that issue.
Once these two plugins were installed, and flexible SSL was turned on at Cloudflare, I went to the WordPress Dashboard -> Settings -> General and set the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to https://.
And voilà! Eduk8.me is now nice and secure.
p.s. One final tip, if you have installed the WordPress Jetpack addon from Auttomatic. Turn off the Photon photo caching service. Photon caches your images with the WordPress network, but this breaks SSL. If you’re seeing broken images once SSL is turned on, check to see if Photon is turned on in Jetpack and turn it off if it is.
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