From time to time we are asked how you can force your website visitors to view your website over https. For example, if a visitor access, you can force them to so that they are always using the SSL certificate.

Please note, if you use the Premium Website Builder to create your site, please see our article on How to Force your Premium Website Builder site to use SSL.

The following instructions gives you code to add to an .htaccess file. If your .htaccess file has existing code, then you shoud place the following code examples above the existing code of your .htaccess file so that the newly added code is executed first.

How to force your visitors to use your Shared SSL Certificate

To force your visitors to use your Shared SSL certificate:

  1. log into your cPanel and access the redirects section
  2. Set Type to Permanent (301)
  3. Next to http://(www.)? choose the domain name you are working with
  4. Next to redirects to, enter your website's url using the Shared SSL Certificate
  5. We recommend having Redirect with or without www. selected, so that the user will be forced to use SSL whether they use or
  6. Ensure Wild Card Redirect is selected
  7. Click Add

When testing, we were redirecting to

You can see below how the rewrite was setup before we clicked "Add"


When you save this redirect, cPanel actually sets up the redirect by editing your .htaccess file. You don't need to do anything further from here (other than test). If you were actually looking for the .htaccess code to perform this type of redirect, cPanel added the following code to the .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ "https\:\/\/secure21\.webhostinghub\.com\/\~whhsup5\/$1" [R=301,L]

How to force your visitors to use your Dedicated SSL certificate

If you try to setup a Dedicated SSL redirect using the same steps above, cPanel will fail with an error message, similar to:

Redirecting to will cause a redirection loop because ''

which is located at /home/whhsup5/public_html/

is above ''

which is located at /home/whhsup5/public_html/

The following changes to the .htaccess file will require that you make use of the edit options available within the cPanel. You will need to edit the .htaccess file to force the re-direct. Depending on your situation, you may need to re-direct all website traffic, only a specific domain, or a folder to use HTTPS.

Forcing a specific domain to use HTTPS

To force a specific domain to use HTTPS, use the following lines of code in the .htaccess file in your website's root folder:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^abcd\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

In the .htaccess code above, if website is accessed, it will re-direct to You will need to replace abcd\.com with the domain name you're forcing to https and also replace with the domain name to where the website traffic will be re-directed. Here's an example:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^test-site\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

In the example above, any one typing in will automatically be re-directed to

Forcing all website traffic to use HTTPS

In order to force all web traffic to use HTTPS, use the following code in your .htaccess file. If you are hosting multiple websites on your account, it is possible to have an .htaccess file for each website. Make sure that you are editing the .htaccess file that is in the root folder where you want the re-direct to occur.

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

Be sure to replace with your actual domain name.

Forcing SSL on a specific folder

If you want to force SSL on a specific folder you can insert the code below into a .htaccess file placed in that specific folder:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} folder 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

Make sure you change the folder reference to the actual folder name. Then be sure to replace with your actual domain name and folder you want to force the SSL on.

If you need further assistance please feel free to ask a question on our support center website.

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n/a Points
2014-03-22 11:51 am

I tried the redirect as above but instead it make the site not visible at all with too many redirects. I need to figure out how to change in the htaccess file. Are you able to help me? I know nothing about this. Please help?

9,618 Points
2014-03-24 9:55 am
Hello Sabrina,

If you are getting a redirect error, most likely your existing .htaccess file has a rule that is interfering with the redirect you are adding.

There may be another way to accomplish this within your CMS; for example with a plugin. What CMS are you using? Wordpress, joomla, Concrete5?

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

n/a Points
2014-03-24 2:25 pm

Thank you so much. I am using Wordpress and have compared the htaccess file from the not working site to a properly working site and they are the same. I don''t know enough to go beyond that.

13,722 Points
2014-03-24 2:49 pm
Hello Sabrina,

Thanks for the question. If you are trying to use a shared SSL with WordPress, you can find a published article on this issue here.

WordPress is URL-centric in that it uses the URL that you designated during installation and generates the links that a user will see BASED on that URL. So, the main problem with using a shared SSL is that it is totally dissimilar from your original URL. There is a plugin that resolves this issue: Wordpress HTTPS. It's free and is the solution we recommend for you, since it makes it much easier to manage. Make sure to review the plugin page for notes and troubleshooting information should you run into any problems.

NOTE: This plugin will also work with normal SSL links.

I hope this solves the problem for you! Please let us know if you require any further assistance!

Arnel C.
3,661 Points
2014-03-24 3:20 pm
Hello Sabrina,

When using WordPress, if you want to have the entire site secured over HTTPS then you would just want to login to your WordPress dashboard, then under the Settings > General section you'd want to change your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to begin with https://.

Another alternative you have if you didn't want to secure the entire site, would be using a plugin like WordPress HTTPS to only protect certain pages.

Please let us know if you're still having any issues.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-03-24 3:44 pm

It is not a shared ssl. It is a multi site ssl. I checked the general settings and it is set to

13,342 Points
2014-03-24 5:23 pm
Hello Sabrina,

I am seeing the site fine with the https however there is a warning regarding the SSL stating there are portions of the site that are insecure. This typically means there are hardcoded URLs in the code somewhere that are using http:. In checking the code on your site the only issue I saw was with the CSS. The background image is defined as http://.

This can be found by entering your domain name at

You can correct the issue by using a plugin such as the WordPress HTTPS. Alternatively, you can edit the CSS file itslef in your theme editor and remove the http: portion there. That way it will use whichever protocol is being called at the time (http: or https:)

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-07-17 8:13 am

Hello, I wonder how can I change all http access to https,  I using wordpress, when I change my .htaccess, I can't access my websites,  the error says that too many redirect, hope to get a answer.

2,172 Points
2014-07-17 2:08 pm
This would not work in WordPress due to the internal redirection that happens there. There, is, however, a plugin that you can use to force SSL within WordPress at the following:

WordPress HTTPS (SSL)
n/a Points
2014-12-07 10:09 am

Use the above plugin HTTPS for wordpress as suggested by JeffMA. My friend Mike is the author of that plugin. I really believe Mike knows more about developing for Wordpress that Mullenweg does himself.

n/a Points
2014-12-10 1:26 pm

does this work for subdomains as well

13,722 Points
2014-12-10 2:00 pm
Hello Ian,

Thanks for the question. Yes it does. You would simply need to change the URL to include the subdomain.

I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-12-10 2:21 pm

so it would only put the subdomain into https not the main domain ?

13,342 Points
2014-12-10 3:15 pm
Hello Ian,
The SSL only works for the domains that it is assigned to along with any subfolders. For instance an SSL set for would work for but not for Subdomains are considered part of the domain name, so would not be valid for

Kindest Regards,
Scott M

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