Installing an SSL Certificate on AWS WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Security is paramount for any website, and one of the fundamental steps in securing your WordPress website hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) is installing an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts the data transmitted between your website and its visitors, ensuring that sensitive information remains private and secure. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of installing an SSL certificate on AWS WordPress, enhancing your website’s security and trustworthiness.

Why SSL Certificates Are Essential

Before we dive into the installation process, let’s briefly understand why SSL certificates are crucial for your WordPress website:

  1. Data Encryption: SSL encryption scrambles the data exchanged between a user’s web browser and your website’s server. This encryption prevents eavesdropping and protects sensitive information such as login credentials, payment details, and personal data.
  2. Trust and Credibility: Websites with SSL certificates display a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar and use the “https://” prefix. These visual cues signal trust to visitors and indicate that your site takes security seriously.
  3. Improved Search Rankings: Search engines like Google consider SSL certificates as a ranking factor. Having an SSL certificate can positively impact your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and visibility in search results.

Now, let’s get started with the installation process.


Before proceeding, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. An AWS Account: You’ll need an active AWS account to access AWS services and resources.
  2. A WordPress Website on AWS: Ensure that your WordPress website is hosted on AWS, either using an EC2 instance or AWS Lightsail.
  3. Domain Name: You should have a domain name associated with your WordPress site. AWS Route 53 is a popular choice for managing domain names.

Step 1: Obtain an SSL Certificate

There are several ways to obtain an SSL certificate for your website. One of the most common and cost-effective ways is to use AWS Certificate Manager. Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to AWS: Log in to your AWS account using your credentials.
  2. Navigate to AWS Certificate Manager: Go to the AWS Management Console, and in the “Find Services” search bar, type “Certificate Manager.” Click on the result to open the Certificate Manager dashboard.
  3. Request a Certificate: In the Certificate Manager dashboard, click the “Request a certificate” button.
  4. Add Domain Names: Enter the domain names you want to secure with the SSL certificate. You can specify both the root domain (e.g., and subdomains (e.g.,
  5. Validation Method: Choose a validation method. The easiest method is usually “DNS validation,” where you create DNS records to prove ownership of the domain.
  6. Review and Confirm: Review your certificate request details and click “Confirm and request.”
  7. Domain Validation: Follow the instructions to validate the domain(s) you specified. This may involve adding DNS records to your domain’s DNS settings.
  8. Certificate Issued: Once the validation is successful, the SSL certificate will be issued.

Step 2: Install the SSL Certificate on AWS

Now that you have obtained the SSL certificate, you need to install it on the AWS service that hosts your WordPress site. Depending on your hosting setup, follow one of the two paths below:

For AWS Elastic Beanstalk:

  1. Access Elastic Beanstalk Environment: Log in to the AWS Management Console, navigate to Elastic Beanstalk, and access your environment where WordPress is deployed.
  2. Configuration: In the environment dashboard, click on “Configuration” in the left menu.
  3. Load Balancer: In the “Instances” card, click on the “Edit” button next to “Load balancer.”
  4. Listeners: In the “Listeners” section, click “Add listener.” Configure it to listen on port 443 (HTTPS) and choose the SSL certificate you obtained from AWS Certificate Manager.
  5. Apply Changes: Save the configuration changes, and Elastic Beanstalk will automatically handle the SSL certificate installation and configuration for your WordPress site.

For AWS Lightsail or EC2 Instance:

  1. Install and Configure Nginx or Apache: If you’re managing your WordPress server directly, you’ll need to install and configure a web server like Nginx or Apache to handle SSL. You can use a tool like Certbot to simplify this process.
    • For Nginx, use the “certbot-nginx” plugin.
    • For Apache, use the “certbot-apache” plugin.
  2. Install Certbot: SSH into your server, and follow the instructions to install Certbot.
  3. Request a Certificate: Run the Certbot command to request a certificate for your domain. Certbot will guide you through the process and automatically configure your web server to use the certificate.
  4. Test SSL Configuration: After Certbot has configured your web server, you can test the SSL configuration by visiting your website using “https://” in your browser.

Step 3: Update WordPress Settings

Now that your SSL certificate is installed, you need to update your WordPress settings to ensure that your website uses the HTTPS protocol.

  1. Access WordPress Dashboard: Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Update WordPress Address and Site Address: In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to “Settings” > “General.” Update both the “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” fields to use “https://” instead of “http://.” Save your changes.
  3. Update Links and Content: To ensure that all internal links and content on your site use HTTPS, consider using a search-and-replace plugin like “Better Search Replace.” This plugin will update all instances of “http://” to “https://” in your content and database.
  4. Update Google Analytics and Other Services: If you use third-party services like Google Analytics, ensure that you update the website URL to use “https://.”
  5. Test Your Website: Thoroughly test your website to ensure that all resources, including images, stylesheets, and scripts, are loading over HTTPS. Correct any mixed content issues that may arise.

Step 4: Set Up Automatic Renewal

SSL certificates have a finite lifespan, usually one year. To ensure that your SSL certificate remains valid, set up automatic renewal:

  1. For AWS Certificate Manager: AWS Certificate Manager automatically renews certificates that are managed by the service. You don’t need to worry about manual renewal.
  2. For Certbot: If you used Certbot to obtain your certificate, it includes an automatic renewal script. You can verify it’s working by running certbot renew --dry-run as a cron job.

Step 5: Test and Monitor

After completing the installation process, it’s essential to thoroughly test your website to ensure that SSL is working correctly. Here are some additional steps:

  1. SSL Checker: Use online SSL checker tools to verify your SSL certificate’s installation and configuration.
  2. Browser Testing: Test your website in various browsers to ensure that there are no mixed content issues or other SSL-related problems.
  3. Security Headers: Implement security headers like HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to further enhance your website’s security.
  4. Monitoring: Set up monitoring and alerts to be notified of any SSL certificate issues or expirations.


Securing your WordPress website on AWS by installing an SSL certificate is a vital step in protecting your visitors’ data and ensuring trust and credibility. With the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can confidently secure your site with SSL encryption. Remember to stay vigilant, regularly test your SSL setup, and set up automatic renewal to keep your SSL certificate valid. By doing so, you’ll not only enhance your website’s security but also improve its search engine ranking and user trust.

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