WebCitz Blog

How to Force HTTPS using .htaccess?

How to Force HTTPS Using .htaccess

HTTPS is a security standard that protects sensitive information as it travels from your computer to a server. It’s important for you to force HTTPS on your website because it prevents hackers from intercepting and reading private data, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

In this blog post, we will show you how to force HTTPS using .htaccess files! By the end, you will learn how to force visitors to use SSL and redirect all traffic from insecure requests.


Three Ways to Force HTTPS

1.) Force HTTPS for all traffic (recommended!)

If you want to force all traffic on your website to use a secure connection, you can set up 301 redirects in your .htaccess file. Here’s how to force HTTPS:

  • Edit the .htaccess file in your home directory, which might be your public_html or /var/www/html folder.
  • At the top of the file, add:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
  • Save the file.

2.) Forcing HTTPS on parked domains

Redirecting parked domains (sometimes referred to as alias or parked domains) to HTTPS is easy with this one piece of code, in the same .htaccess file as before:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain2.com [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

This is just an example. In the above code, always replace “yourdomain2.com” to your actual secondary domain name.

3.) Forcing HTTPS on specific folders

Forcing HTTPS for specific directories is easy with this piece of code, added again to the same .htaccess file as before.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(folder1|folder2|folder3) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Clear your browser’s cache and see if you can connect to your site via HTTPS. If that worked, congratulations!


Troubleshooting .htaccess Redirect Issues

Sometimes .htaccess updates don’t go according to plan. To make sure your changes are recognized, try clearing the cache of your browser(s). If you’re still unable to force HTTPS, then check if you are using a service like Cloudflare or Sucuri that might need its cache cleared.


What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is a security standard that protects sensitive information as it travels from your computer to a web server. It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure and is used to protect information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

It encrypts all data sent between your computer and the website using TLS encryption, or SSL encryption if you are on a severely outdated machine. This makes it difficult for hackers to read any transmitted information without expending considerable resources to decrypt the information.


Why is HTTPS Important?

The importance of having a website that uses an encrypted connection is to prevent hackers from intercepting and reading private data. An insecure website makes it easy for anyone on the same network as you, or any other individual who can view your traffic, to learn what information you are sending over the web.

Also, search engines and consumers do not trust websites that use insecure connections. For example, if you were to fill out a form on an insecure connection then this data would be visible for others who are connected to the same network as you. This could lead to customers losing trust in your website and leaving, which will have a negative impact on your business.

If your website uses HTTPS and forces traffic to secure pages, visitors will feel more comfortable entering their personal information on your site. This is because the user will know that their data is encrypted and cannot be easily viewed by others.


Final Thoughts on Forcing HTTPS within .htaccess Files

In conclusion, you can use the .htaccess file to force all traffic on your website to use a secure connection. This will help to prevent hackers from intercepting and reading private data, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

Using a site without an encrypted connection will have negative impacts on your business due to the loss of trust from customers and search engines. This is why forcing HTTPS connections on a website is so important.

If none of these steps work, then contact your web hosting provider to see if they can help secure your website. Most good web hosts will be able to help force HTTPS security on your website.

We hope that this article helped you understand how to force your website to use a secure connection!

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Timothy A in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.