WordPress Multisite SSL: Ultimate Guide for Secure Networks

Level up your WordPress Multisite with the power of SSL! But what exactly is a Multisite SSL certificate, and how do you choose the right one for your network? Don’t sweat it, website owner. This comprehensive guide breaks down everything you need to know. From understanding different certificate types to setting up seamless HTTPS encryption.

Variety is the spice of life, and SSL certificates are no exception! Wildcard and Multi-domain options cater to different network structures. Choose the perfect fit for your subdomains or individual domains. This will help you to ensure all data exchanges remain secure and private. Ready to dive in? We’ll walk you through the SSL installation on WordPress multisite, to enable HTTPS across your entire network.

But wait, there’s more! To ensure a smooth sailing SSL journey, you can also consider partnering with a WordPress development company. They’ll possess the expertise to tackle any integration hurdles and guarantee a secure experience. So, get ready to enable your Multisite network with the robust protection of SSL.

What is WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate?

It’s a digital certificate specifically designed for WordPress Multisite networks. It encrypts communication between your websites and visitors. This encryption process ensures data remains unreadable to unauthorized parties. Thus, the WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate prevents breaches and ensures compliance with data privacy regulations.

This robust encryption shields your network from various threats, including:

  • Man-in-the-middle attacks. These involve intercepting communication between users and your website to steal data.
  • Data breaches. Unencrypted data is vulnerable to unauthorized access. This can lead to financial losses and reputational damage.
  • Malware injection. Hackers can inject malicious code into unencrypted connections, compromising website functionality and user security.

Eager to implement a Multisite SSL certificate for your network? Let’s dive into the different types of certificates available, explore the setup, and address frequently asked questions. Remember, prioritizing WordPress security is an investment in the long-term success and reputation of your Multisite network.

What are the Different Types of SSL Certificates for Multisite?

With the importance of Multisite SSL established, let’s dive into the two main contenders in the WordPress security arena. This includes; Wildcard SSL and Multi-domain SSL certificates. Deciding which one suits your network best depends on its specific structure.

1. Wildcard SSL Certificate

Protecting your online ecosystem is crucial, and for WordPress Multisite networks, securing all subdomains efficiently is key. That’s where Wildcard SSL certificates step in, acting as a single umbrella shielding your entire subdomain roots under a robust layer of encryption.

  • Asterisk Power. The secret lies in the asterisk (*) within the certificate’s domain name. This wildcard symbol acts as a stand-in, representing any subdomain under the specified domain.
  • Broad Protection. Picture it as one certificate securing your main domain (e.g., <invalid URL removed>). Also covers all its subdomains like <invalid URL removed>, <invalid URL removed>, and any future additions.
  • Encryption on Autopilot. All communication between your subdomains and visitors gets automatically encrypted. It’s like putting an invisible shield around your entire multisite network.
  • Validation. Depending on your validation needs, you can choose between Domain Validation (DV) or Organization Validation (OV). Choose the level that best suits your website’s needs.

While Wildcard SSL is ideal for subdomains under a single domain. If you have entirely separate domains with different top-level domains, consider a Multi-domain SSL certificate.

2. Multi-domain SSL Certificate

What if your Multisite network comprises entirely separate domains with different TLDs? Consider leveraging Subject Alternative Names (SANs). Each SAN works as a dedicated security guard, each assigned to protect a specific domain name you list.

For example, you could secure <invalid URL removed>, yourwebshop.net, and any other domains under your ownership, all within a single certificate.

  1. Independent Domain Protection. Each listed domain enjoys individual encryption. This ensures all communication on each site remains secure and private.
  2. Flexibility is Key. Add, remove, or modify SANs as your domain portfolio evolves. It offers adaptable security tailored to your needs.
  3. Validation Options. Choose between DV, OV, or even Extended Validation (EV) for each SAN. Depending on the desired level of trust and verification for each domain.
  4. Simplified Management. Manage one certificate instead of juggling multiple ones, streamlining your security practices.

If your network primarily operates under a single domain with various subdomains, a Wildcard SSL certificate offers a more suitable solution. Feeling unsure about which type is best for you? Seeking assistance from dedicated WordPress experts can provide valuable guidance for choosing the perfect fit for your Multisite network.

How To Set Up WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate?

Ready to implement that crucial layer of security for your WordPress Multisite network? It’s time to dive into the setup process! With the right guidance and a touch of technical know-how, you can successfully secure your entire network with an SSL certificate. Here’s a breakdown of the essential steps involved:

Step 1: Choose Certificate Type

Before undertaking your SSL journey, selecting the appropriate certificate type is crucial. Remember, the perfect fit depends on your Multisite network’s structure. Let’s rethink our two contenders:

  1. Wildcard SSL. Ideal for networks with subdomains under a single domain (e.g., <invalid URL removed>, <invalid URL removed>).
  2. Multi-domain SSL. Designed for networks with completely separate domains, even different TLDs (e.g., <invalid URL removed>, yourwebshop.net).
  • Do you have subdomains under a single domain or entirely separate domains?
  • If you have numerous subdomains, a Wildcard SSL might be more economical.
  • Consider the ease of managing one certificate (Wildcard) vs multiple with SANs (Multi-domain).
  • Choose the validation level (DV, OV, EV) based on your desired level of trust and verification.

Still unsure? Don’t worry! Seeking assistance from an experienced WordPress development agency can provide the required guidance. With strategic analysis, you can choose the SSL certificate that aligns perfectly with your specific network structure and security needs.

Step 2: Generate CSR

With your certificate type chosen, it’s time to create a unique identifier for your Multisite network. This is where the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) comes in, acting as your security key. Generating a CSR can seem technical, but don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the process.

  1. Access Web Server. This might involve logging into the control panel, it may vary depending on the WordPress hosting you choose. You can use command-line tools depending on your hosting environment.
  2. Locate the CSR Generation Tool. Look for options like “SSL/TLS,” “Certificates,” or “CSR Generation” within your web server interface.
  3. Fill In Details: Enter your organization information, domain name, and choose a key size (2048 bits is recommended). Remember, accuracy is crucial here.
  4. Generate and Save the CSR. Once verified, generate the CSR and save it as a file format compatible with your chosen certificate provider.

Carefully verify all details, especially your domain name, to avoid delays and ensure a valid certificate issuance. Treat your CSR file like a private key and avoid sharing it publicly.

Step 3: Install the Certificate

Once your CSR is generated and ready, You’ll need to put the final security barrier in place: installing a WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate. This step connects your unique key with your chosen certificate, activating encryption across your Multisite network.

  1. Obtain Certificate Files. Your certificate provider will deliver essential files. This typically includes the certificate (CRT or PEM format) and intermediate certificates (if applicable).
  2. Access Web Server. Similar to generating the CSR, locate the SSL/TLS management section within your hosting control panel or command-line tools.
  3. Install Certificate Chain. Following your server’s specific instructions, upload and install the certificate file. Also, ensure a flawless setup of any intermediate certificates in the correct order.
  4. Configure Server. Depending on your server environment, additional configuration might be necessary to activate. It might include the certificate and redirect traffic to HTTPS. Consult your server documentation or hosting provider for guidance.
  5. Verify Installation. Test your website across different browsers and tools like SSL checkers to confirm successful installation and active encryption.

Installing the SSL certificate acts as the final step in strengthening your WordPress Multisite network’s security. With the successful completion of this phase, you’ve activated encryption across your entire domain structure.

Secure Your WordPress Site with Top-Tier Development Services.

Step 4: Enable HTTPS

All set with a certificate installed and verified? It’s time to make the switch. Enabling HTTPS redirects all website traffic to the secure encrypted channel, ensuring comprehensive protection for your Multisite network.

  1. Access WordPress Network Admin. Log in to your Multisite’s Network Admin dashboard where you manage settings across all sites.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Network Settings. Locate the network-wide configuration options within your dashboard.
  3. Enable HTTPS Settings. Look for options like “Force HTTPS” or “Enable SSL” and activate them. The specific labels and locations might vary depending on your theme and configuration.
  4. Choose Redirect Behavior. Select whether to redirect with or without a 301 redirect. While WordPress 301 redirects convey to search engines and users that the change is permanent, a simple redirect works fine in most cases.

This procedure of enabling HTTPS is the crucial step that directs all communication through the secure channel. Actively protecting your network and its users.

Step 5: Test

After navigating the setup process, it’s time to ensure everything is functioning as intended. Testing your Multisite SSL certificate validates your efforts that your network is securely encrypted.

  1. Browser Address Bar. Check for the green padlock icon and “https://” at the beginning of your website’s URL in all major browsers.
  2. SSL Checkers. Utilize online tools like SSL Labs to assess your certificate’s validity and configuration details.
  3. Mixed Content Warnings. Employ tools like Google Search Console or your browser’s developer tools. It will let you identify and address any remaining mixed content issues (HTTP elements on HTTPS pages).
  4. Cross-Browser and Device Testing. Access your website from different browsers and devices to ensure consistent HTTPS across various platforms.
  5. Redirection Verification. Confirm that all requests are automatically redirected to HTTPS. Consider using tools like Redirect Path extension or by manually testing HTTP and HTTPS versions of your URLs.

Still, encountering errors? Don’t hesitate to seek assistance! Your hosting provider can often help diagnose and resolve certificate-related issues. Additionally, consulting with WordPress developers can provide insights and tailored solutions to ensure your Multisite thrives in a secure online environment.

Which is the Best Plugin for WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate?

While the core setup process involves manual steps, choosing the right WordPress plugins can simplify your Multisite SSL journey. Here are some highly-rated options:

1. Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL, both in its free and Pro versions, stands as a popular choice for simplifying SSL installation. It also offers several management functionalities within your WordPress Multisite network.

  • Effortless Activation. The “Go ahead, activate SSL” button initiates automatic configuration for most setups.
  • Network-Wide or Site-Specific. Apply SSL across your entire network or selectively enable it for specific sites.
  • Mixed Content Fixer (Pro). Identifies and resolves mixed content issues automatically, ensuring consistent encryption.
  • Wildcard Support (Pro). Secure all subdomains under your main domain with a single Wildcard certificate.
  • User-Friendly Interface. Intuitive dashboard for managing certificates and monitoring SSL status.

While Really Simple SSL streamlines the process, understanding the core setup steps provides valuable knowledge for long-term maintenance. By following these steps and leveraging its user-friendly features, you can efficiently secure your network and enhance user trust.

2. WP Encryption

WP Encryption stands out as a comprehensive plugin tackling multiple aspects of Multisite SSL management.

  • Automatic SSL Activation. Initiates certificate generation and installation with a single click, simplifying initial setup.
  • Wildcard Support (Pro). Secures all subdomains under your main domain with a single Wildcard certificate.
  • Mixed Content Fixer (Pro). Identifies and resolves mixed content issues automatically, ensuring consistent encryption.
  • Force HTTPS. Redirects all HTTP traffic to HTTPS, enforcing secure connections across your network.
  • Security Headers. Implements essential security headers like HSTS and CSP, bolstering overall server protection.

WP Encryption’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, lets you efficiently secure your network and enhance user trust. Moreover, with minimal technical hassle compared to others.

3. WP Force SSL

Emerging as a potent plugin, WP Force SSL is specifically designed to bolster your WordPress Multisite network’s HTTPS setup. Let’s dive into its functionalities:

  • Network-Wide HTTPS. Enforces HTTPS across your entire network, redirecting all HTTP traffic to secure connections.
  • Mixed Content Fixer. Identifies and resolves mixed content issues (HTTP elements on HTTPS pages), safeguarding communication integrity.
  • HTTP Header Security. Strengthens server security by configuring essential HTTP headers, and mitigating vulnerabilities.
  • Custom Certificate Support. Allows installation and management of custom SSL certificates alongside other SSL integrations.

WP Force SSL offers robust enforcement mechanisms. Still, you need to understand that overriding HTTPS redirect rules might be necessary for specific integrations or legacy content.

FAQs About WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate

How do I fix mixed content issues after enabling HTTPS?
After enabling HTTPS, address mixed content issues:
  • Assure that all resources, such as images and scripts, are loaded over secure connections (https://).
  • Use plugins or database 'search-and-replace' tools to update internal links.
Additionally, update external links to HTTPS if possible, and consider using the "Content Security Policy" header to mitigate mixed content.
Do I need a separate SSL certificate for each site in my multisite network?
In a WordPress Multisite network, you can use a wildcard SSL certificate that covers all subdomains, or a multi-domain (SAN) certificate. This eliminates the need for separate certificates for each site.
Are there specific considerations for SSL with subdomains in multisite?
When dealing with SSL for subdomains in a multisite setup, ensure that the SSL certificate is configured to cover both the main domain and all subdomains. Regularly update and renew SSL certificates to maintain secure connections across the entire multisite network.


You’ve steered the complete WordPress Multisite SSL certificates setup to plugins to use for post-management. Remember, a secure online space assures users’ trust, improves experience across diverse browsers, and empowers your content to shine.

But the journey doesn’t end here. Upholding optimal security necessitates vigilance and ongoing WordPress maintenance tasks. Regularly test your SSL configuration, promptly address mixed content issues, and stay updated on evolving security best practices.

However, if the technical intricacies seem daunting, stress not! Reach out to us and get support from top-rated WordPress experts. The trusted allies who can shield you from the technical complexities while ensuring your Multisite thrives under the secure space of an SSL certificate.

Discover Custom Solutions for Your Business with WordPress Development.

Vish Shah is Technical Consultant at WPWeb Infotech since 2015. He has vast experience in working with various industries across the globe. He writes about the latest web development technologies and shares his thoughts regularly.

Leave a comment