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Switch to https

When it comes to activate HTTPS for a WP website, there are two possible scenarios :

1) WP is configured behind a reverse proxy

2) WP is directly accessible through a web server

WP behind a reverse proxy

In that case, the most important part is to tell WP that URL must be rewritten in https.

As WP official codex states:

If WordPress is hosted behind a reverse proxy that provides SSL, but is hosted itself without SSL, these options will initially send any requests into an infinite redirect loop.

It is hence necessary to adapt wp-config.php:

if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO']) && strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO'], 'https') !== false) {

WP with direct access

Either we're moving an instance from one environment to another. Or we're simply activating SSL for an existing instance.

  1. Backup the original database
  2. If necessary, import the backup to the new environment
  3. If necessary, adapt wp-config.php for DB_ values
  4. Run the wp-domain_update.php script
  5. Export database to a text file (SQL dump)
  6. Search/Replace {} to {}
  7. Re-import updated SQL
  8. Adapt wp-config.php to force https
    define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);
  9. Adapt any JS URL rewriting
  10. Check .htaccess for URL rewriting

Here is the detail of the wp-domain_update.php script :


global $wpdb;

$old_url = ['', ''];
$new_url = '';

$sql = "SELECT * from {$wpdb->postmeta};";

$meta_posts = $wpdb->get_results($sql , ARRAY_A );

$result_count = count($meta_posts); 
echo "<pre>Updating {$result_count} records...".PHP_EOL;

foreach($meta_posts as $meta_data){

    $original_meta = $meta_data['meta_value'];
    $is_serialized = false;

        $original_meta = unserialize($original_meta);
        $is_serialized = true;

    $new_meta =  process_meta_values($original_meta, $old_url, $new_url);

        $new_meta = serialize($new_meta);

    $update_result = $wpdb->update($wpdb->postmeta, array("meta_value"=>$new_meta),array("meta_id"=>$meta_data['meta_id']), array("%s"), array("%d"));

    if($result === false){
        echo "Error Updating {$meta_data['meta_id']}".PHP_EOL;

            echo "Mysql Error: Updating {$wpbd->last_error}".PHP_EOL;
    else {
        echo "Updated Meta ID :  {$meta_data['meta_id']}".PHP_EOL;

function process_meta_values($meta_values, $old_url, $new_url){
        return str_replace($old_url, $new_url, $meta_values);
    foreach($meta_values as $meta_key => &$meta_value){  
        $meta_value = process_meta_values($meta_value, $old_url, $new_url);     
    return $meta_values;