moving wordpress to http2 (via https)

    

I just moved my wordpress site to http2 (via https). Some advice on steps to moving your site ;

  • Run it behind nginx + lets encrypt – offload ssl certs and get http2 performance
  • Setup nginx default to redirect all http -> https
  • update your WordPress site to correct URL (via admin / settings / general)  i.e. https://sigtar.com
  • Run WP plug-in to change all media / links to new https links. Else you get mixed secuirty (some http, some https)

SSL caching and redirects in chrome

While setting up SSL reverse proxy using lets encrypt and nginx i  had a few troubles with testing via googles Chrome browser.

  • Chrome caches some SSL responses which can be cleared by deleting your browsing data via settings or Ctrl+Shift+Del.
  • Chrome also caches http -> https redirects, you can see these by going to chrome://net-internals and select “HSTS” from the drop down. Enter the domain name under “Delete domain” and press the Delete button

The easiest thing to do during testing is use incognito mode. You will not need to clear the cache every time you change config or re-issue certificates.

bye bye http – hello letsencrypt

I’ve been a fan of HTTP and caching since my dial-up modem.

Skip to today where google returns HTTPS sites higher in its search results. Its could also be possible that you cannot trust a man in the middle HTTP cache any longer either right? :)

SSL certs have traditionally been expensive, but say welcome to lets encrypt which provides a free way of securing all of your websites. If you haven’t heard of it check it out here – https://letsencrypt.org/

As always i’ve implemented my LetsEncrypt trial via docker. The container image i have been using has been put together by the linuxserver guys  – https://hub.docker.com/r/linuxserver/letsencrypt/
(i use a few of their container images, they seem legit)

This container image comes ready to roll with Nginx built in which can act as a reverse proxy to your unsecured websites at the back-end. I’ll be testing it for the next few days to see how it stacks up, but so far so good. Nginx is fast, so a good transition if only to offload all my SSL traffic. If all goes well it will be the end of my squid reverse proxy which i have used happily for many years.

In the past http had the performance, certs were too difficult (but are they?) and expensive to implement and i was a fan of my sites being cached. New times are here, SSL (TLS) rules supreme.

On another note, HTTP 1 sites are dwindling, SPDY didnt last long but apparently some of that has been built into HTTP/2 – exciting!

Check out these links for some interesting reading on performance – 
https://samrueby.com/2015/01/26/why-is-https-faster-than-http/
http://www.httpvshttps.com/

Handy link for testing if your site is using HTTP2 – https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

Creating a .pem with the Private Key and Entire Trust Chain

download (3)You may find you install a SSL cert, but certain browsers show the connection as unsafe (i.e. mobile browser has issues but desktop browsers are happy)

This generally points to not having the cert chain correct. You can check your cert chain at sites like –

https://ssltools.websecurity.symantec.com/checker/views/certCheck.jsp

https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html

 

  1. Download your Intermediate and Primary Certificates.
  2. Open a text editor (such as notepad) and paste the entire body of each certificate into one text file in the following order:
    1. The Private Key – your_domain_name.key
    2. The Primary Certificate – your_domain_name.crt
    3. The Intermediate Certificate – gd_bundle_g2_g1.crt
    4. The Root Certificate – TrustedRoot.crt

    Make sure to include the beginning and end tags on each certificate. The result should look like this:

    —–BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY—–
    (Your Private Key: your_domain_name.key)
    —–END RSA PRIVATE KEY—–
    —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–
    (Your Primary SSL certificate: your_domain_name.crt)
    —–END CERTIFICATE—–
    —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–
    (Your Intermediate certificate: DigiCertCA.crt)
    —–END CERTIFICATE—–
    —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–
    (Your Root certificate: TrustedRoot.crt)
    —–END CERTIFICATE—–

    Save the combined file as your_domain_name.pem. The .pem file is now ready to use.