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I've made a few test installation of WordPress, including Multi-Site, using https://www. - and haven't encountered any specific problems or issues.

I aim to make https://www. the default, site-wide. So, SiteUrl, Homepage, and Domain will all be: https://www..

According to WordPress: HTTPS for WordPress - https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-manual/web-publishing/https-for-wordpress/#implementing-https-for-wordpress:

Normally install WordPress (HTTP URL or HTTPS both will work, better to use HTTP for installation)

Question #1:

Given that WordPress' instruction is to install using HTTP, and then update SitURL and others to HTTPS, why would installing using HTTP be better than HTTPS?

Question #2: Installing using HTTPS and SEO

Many people suggest using .htaccess to forward all HTTP requests to HTTPS. And, the same recommend .htaccess 301 permanent redirect for the benefit of SEO. Could installing WordPress using HTTPS have any negative repercussion from a SEO perspective?

Of course, using HTTPS to install WordPress is not the same as using .htaccess to redirect and force https://www. - but I expect both of these approaches to be equally valid from a SEO & Search Indexing perspective.

Question #3: SSL / HTTPS Plugin

If my aim is to have the whole website HTTPS, including front & back end, then should I simply install using HTTPS?

Given this, seems an over-kill to use any Plugins. I appreciate the flexibility such Plugins provide, but - I want the whole site to be https://www. and installing HTTPS seems the most proper way.

  • "better to use HTTP for installation" - I can't think of a good reason for that, except one fewer moving parts to go wrong in your server set-up, or perhaps the installation process pulls in some external resource over HTTP only that'd cause warnings or fail to load if included or iframed into an HTTPS page - and since installation is a rare operation that might not be caught as easily as if it were in the admin site. But I really doubt either of those are true. – Rup Oct 6 '14 at 23:23
  • I am anticipating some issues with loading placeholder content from Theme XML files. Most iFramed content these days provide the HTTPS option too. I have read about cases where Plugins and others have HTTP declared within their URIs - and it is this last point that makes me lean towards a Plugin-based solution for delivering the website using HTTPS. – Dylan Oct 6 '14 at 23:34
  • Update: turns out that HTTPS isn't a problem as such, but installing as HTTP then updating to HTTPS prior to activating Multisite is preferred. WPMS recommends using Naked Domain Names, I still want use of CNAME so will use .htaccess to force www. and stick with https://www.. Importing placeholder content into WordPress from Theme XML won't be a problem for the Theme I'm using. – Dylan Oct 8 '14 at 1:01

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