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In Depth Tutorial: How To Setup Your SSL Secured HTTPS BJJ Site

In Depth Tutorial: How To Setup Your SSL Secured HTTPS BJJ Site

This tutorial is going to run you through how to setup your SSL secured HTTPS BJJ site. It’s assumed you’ve already bought your domain and setup your WordPress site. If not, please revisit those tutorials.

Why Does BJJ Marketing Lab Recommend SSL Secured?

Why should you care about SSL? This article by Forbes gives a fantastic deep dive into why having an SSL secured website is so important. For those in a hurry, I’ll give the quick summary here:

  • A better user experience. More security equals more trust.
  • Since 2018, Google Chrome specifically highlights sites as “Not Secure” when not SSL encrypted. How must trust and security do you think someone feels when they’re checking out your site and in big bold letters it says “Not Secure”?
  • Better results with Google. Google gives better SEO rankings for secure sites.
  • Site security. The last thing you want is your customers’ data being stolen. Avoid that PR mess and just get your site secure.
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A basic foundation piece of your martial arts digital marketing strategy should be to have an SSL secured site.

Martial Arts Marketing 101: Add New WordPress Plugin

From your WordPress admin dashboard, hover over the “Plugin” option in the left-hand menu, and select “Add New”

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From the Add New plugin screen, search for “CloudFlare”. You should see two plugins popup – “CloudFlare Flexible SSL” and one simply called “CloudFlare”. Install and activate both.

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CloudFlare Setup

Now go to your list of Installed Plugins. From the list of active plugins, find “CloudFlare” and hit “Settings”, and in the new window click “Create Your Free Account”. CloudFlare let’s you register one domain free per email address.

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After creating your free account, your next step is to update your NameServers. Remember how we updated our NameServers here?

We’ll be doing the same thing again, but this time pointing our custom NameServers from our domain registrar (GoDaddy, NameCheap, Google Domains), to CloudFlare.

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Once the custom NameServers have been set, go back to CloudFlare and select “Re-Check Now”. It can take up to 48 hours to come into effect, but in our experience it is typically ready in under 2 hours.

Marketing Ninja Tip #1:

If you’re using G Suite’s Gmail features, then you’ll also need to update your MX records in the CloudFlare DNS to point to Google. Follow this guide by Google Support for detailed instructions on changing your MX records.

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Marketing Ninja Tip #2:

If you previously verified your Google Search Console (GSC) with your DNS records, ensure that CloudFlare now has your TXT file in the new DNS records.

This should carry over automatically, but if not this is your chance to update it before your verification to GSC breaks.

Here’s a great video by TipsWithPunch that outlines how to verify your Google Search Console in your DNS records.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRCmKkzeeMI

Setting Up Your SSL Certificate

In CloudFlare, go to the SSL/TLS tab, set the SSL certificate to flexible. That’s it! Everything in CloudFlare should now be done.

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Back in your WordPress admin, go back to your list of active plugins, and ensure that CloudFlare Flexible SSL plugin is active.

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Ideally SSL would just work when you turn it on. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. That’s why we use the CloudFlare Flexible SSL plugin.

The CloudFlare Flexible SSL plugin essentially kickstarts your SSL certificate and forces it to work.

In nerd talk, it works to prevent an infinite loop of redirects under HTTPS, but we don’t need to get into that

Marketing Ninja Warning:

A WORD OF WARNING: once you have your CloudFlare SSL setup and working, DO NOT turn off your CloudFlare plugin. If you do your website will effectively break.

It will infinitely try to redirect back to HTTPS, which no longer exists. However, all is not lost!

If you do accidentally turn off your CloudFlare plugin, this forum gives a good explanation how to get your site back online. Specifically the entry by “jdsitesdevelope”, which I’ve tested myself with success.

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Refresh your BJJ site. If it is not yet HTTPS secured, don’t panic. This can take up to 48 hours to make its way through it’s systems. In our experience it typically takes 24 hours.

If after 48 hours it is still not working, review this tutorial to ensure everything was done correctly, and if it’s still not working, either email us here at BJJ Marketing Lab, or reach out to your hosting company for support.

Congratulations From BJJ Marketing Lab!!

When you reload your page and see that it is HTTPS secured, congratulations, you’ve made it!

That’s how to setup your SSL Secured HTTPS BJJ site.

Not only will the visitors to your site appreciate that their information is secured, but Google will also give you a slight edge in the search results over competitors who do not have secured sites.

Having an SSL Secured HTTPS site is a basic foundational piece that the rest of your martial arts digital marketing strategy will be built upon. Onward!

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To your never ending success….

Arthur

BJJ Marketing Lab

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