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 http://domain.com, you can force them to https://domain.com 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 domain.com or www.domain.com
  6. Ensure Wild Card Redirect is selected
  7. Click Add

When testing, we were redirecting example.com to https://secure21.webhostinghub.com/~whhsup5/

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

force_https_cpanel

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:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+\..+\.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}\.txt(?:\ Comodo\ DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.example.com$
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 https://www.example.com/ will cause a redirection loop because 'http://example.com/'

which is located at /home/whhsup5/public_html/

is above 'https://www.example.com/'

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:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+\..+\.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}\.txt(?:\ Comodo\ DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^abcd\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.xyz.com/$1 [R,L]

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

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+\..+\.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}\.txt(?:\ Comodo\ DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^test-site\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.some-website.com/$1 [R,L]

In the example above, any one typing in http://test-site.com will automatically be re-directed to https://some-website.com.

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.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+\..+\.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}\.txt(?:\ Comodo\ DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R,L]

Be sure to replace www.yourdomain.com 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:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/[0-9]+\..+\.cpaneldcv$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well-known/pki-validation/[A-F0-9]{32}\.txt(?:\ Comodo\ DCV)?$
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} folder 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yourdomain.com/folder/$1 [R,L]

Make sure you change the folder reference to the actual folder name. Then be sure to replace www.yourdomain.com/folder 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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Comments

n/a Points
2018-01-23 12:32 am

 

The article says “use the following lines of code in the .htaccess file in your website's root folder”. I wish I knew which folder is the root folder. And I assume the .htaccess will need to be created since I didn't find it anywhere. I was at my /home/sitename folder and tried to create it there but I could not see it.

 

Staff
1,166 Points
2018-01-23 9:34 am
By default, the website document root is the public_html directory, but for subdomains and addon domain it will be the subdirectory for that domain. This can be changed in the domain settings in cPanel.
n/a Points
2018-02-22 11:22 am

The   .htaccess file is in your cpanel ,public_html root directory.t the file 

n/a Points
2018-03-06 9:12 pm

Hi, I am confused - any help would be appreciated.

My http website sits on a shared server with shared SSL Certificate and uses Cpanel.

I keep reading that there all sorts of steps involved in migrating a site from http to https including rebuilding all the pages and all its resources as a totally new site with https instead of http and 301 redirecting all the old pages to the new ones etc.

Does this article mean none of that is necessary now? I simply perform the 7 steps in the article and my existing http site will appear as an https site to any visitors?

Staff
16,670 Points
2018-03-07 11:40 am
Hello Tim,

We recommend that you use either a free or dedicated SSL certificate for your website. The article above references using a shared SSL but it is not preferred as it does not use your actual domain name. The Free SSL option is new. For more information on a Free SSL, please see this article. There are links in the article that will help you get a free SSL if that is recommended over using a Dedicated SSL. The Shared SSL is still available on the shared server, but it is not recommended over the Free SSL. The main reason is that since the shared SSL does not use your domain name, then it will not be recognized for search purposes. Search engines such as Google are beginning to recommend using SSL if your site is accepting or transmitting user data. They currently flag sites that do not, so it is in your best interest to make sure that you're using https for your site URLs where needed.



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