You know how frustrating it can be when you see “secure connection error” on WordPress. This error can prevent you from accessing your website’s backend, making it difficult to update content or install plugins.
Luckily, you can take a few simple steps to fix this error and get your website back up and running. This blog post will walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix the secure connection error in WordPress.
What Causes This Problem?
Before diving into the solutions, let’s first look at what causes this problem. The “secure connection error” message usually appears when you wrongly configure your website’s SSL.
An SSL certificate creates a secure connection between your website and visitors’ browsers. This certificate ensures that all data exchanged between your website and visitors are encrypted and intercept-free by third parties.
If you did not configure your SSL correctly, WordPress will display the “secure connection error” message in the admin area. In some cases, you may also see this error on the front end of your website.
Fixing the Secure Connection Error
Now that we know what causes this problem let’s look at how to fix it.
Wait It Out
If you just installed an SSL certificate on your website, it can take up to 24 hours for the certificate to propagate across the internet.
So, if you see the secure connection error message shortly after installing an SSL certificate, try waiting a few hours and then reloading your website’s admin area.
Check Your Website’s DNS Settings
Another common cause of the secure connection error is incorrect DNS settings. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, you must ensure that your website’s DNS settings are updated to point to the new SSL-enabled URL.
- To check your website’s DNS settings, log in to your domain registrar’s account and navigate the DNS management page.
- From here, you’ll be able to view and update your website’s DNS records.
If you’re not sure how to update your DNS settings, contact your domain registrar’s customer support team and they’ll be able to help you out.
Update Your Server’s Hosts Files
Sometimes, incorrect entries in the server host file cause the secure connection error. The host file is used to map hostnames to IP addresses and is located on every computer connected to the internet.
- To check if there are any incorrect entries in your server’s host file, you’ll need to access your website via FTP or SSH.
- After logging in, navigate to the following directory: /etc/hosts.
- Next, open the host file in a text editor and look for any lines that contain your website’s URL.
- If you see any lines that don’t start with “127.0.0.1” followed by your website’s URL, delete them and save the changes to the file.
Once you’ve updated your server’s host file, try reaccessing your website’s admin area.
Enable cURL for PHP
Another common cause of the secure connection error is that the cURL extension for PHP is not enabled. cURL is a library that allows website applications to communicate with other applications over the internet.
WordPress uses cURL to connect to remote servers when updating plugins and themes, checking for new versions of WordPress, and more.
If the cURL extension is not enabled, WordPress will not be able to connect to these remote servers, which can trigger the secure connection error.
You’ll need to edit your website’s php.ini file to fix this problem. This file contains all the configuration settings for your website’s PHP installation.
- To edit the php.ini file, you’ll need to use an FTP client or your hosting provider’s file manager. Once you’ve logged into your website, navigate to the /wp-content/ directory and edit the php.ini file.
- Find the line that says “;extension=php_curl.dll” and remove the semicolon from the beginning of the line. This will uncomment the line and enable the cURL extension.
- Once you’ve saved the file, reload your website’s admin area. The secure connection error should now be fixed.
Disable Flexible SSL
If you’re using the WordPress HTTPS (SSL) plugin, you may need to disable the “Flexible SSL” setting to fix the secure connection error. This setting is designed for websites that don’t have an SSL certificate installed and can cause problems if your website does have an SSL certificate.
- To disable Flexible SSL, log in to your WordPress site’s admin area and navigate to Settings and then find WordPress HTTPS.
- From here, scroll down to the “SSL Mode” section and make sure the “Flexible” option is disabled.
Check Your LocalHost
If you’re still getting the “Secure Connection Error” on your WordPress website, it’s likely because your computer’s firewall is blocking outgoing connections from your local server to WordPress.org.
- To fix this, open your firewall settings (on Windows, you can do this by pressing the Start button and searching for “Windows Firewall.”)
- On Mac, you can find firewall settings in System Preferences, Security & Privacy, and add an exception for your local server.
- Once you’ve done that, try reaccessing your WordPress website — the error should now be gone.
Maintain Your Website With Launch Digital
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to encounter the “secure connection error,” don’t worry. It’s easy to fix. Just follow these simple steps and you should be back on your website in no time.
And if you need help, our team at Launch Digital is more than happy to assist. We provide website maintenance care plans for businesses in Johannesburg, South Africa to keep your WordPress site running so you can focus on your business matters.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help take your online presence to the next level.