How to migrate WordPress site to CloudFlare SSL

In this article I’m going to show you how to enable CloudFlare Flexible SSL for your WordPress website.

Cloudflare flexible SSL is the simplest method, to get your site running under SSL (HTTPS) fast and free. Using CloudFlare, you don’t need to purchase an SSL certificate and do any complicated server configuration, pretty much any host will work.
I will try to create very detailed guide on how to do this right, with proper redirects for non-SSL content and HSTS. Don’t be afraid of it’s length, the steps are fairly simple.

What you gonna need

  • A WordPress site with admin access and ability to install plugins.
  • Access to your domains DNS records. In the example I’m going to use a domain name registered at, but any other registrar should work, you just have to look for an option to change name servers.
  • CloudFlare account. You can create one for free here:

The setup process

Let’s start with a WordPress site without SSL.

hobbybasis without SSL

Step 1 – prepare the WordPress

In order for Flexible SSL to work, you need to install a plugin. It’s important to do this step before switching over the DNS to CloudFlare, because otherwise you will lock yourself out of WordPress admin panel, due to some weird redirect thing the WordPress is doing.

  1. Log into your WordPress admin panel
  2. Go to Plugins > Add new
  3. Search for plugin named “Cloudflare Flexible SSL
  4. Install the  plugin
  5. Activate the plugin
Searching for plugin
Installation of Cloudflare Flexible SSL plugin
Plugin activation
WordPress plugin activation

Step 2 – add the site to your CloudFlare account

Head over to
Log in and click “Add site” at the top bar.
Input your domain name and click the Begin Scan button. This should automatically find your DNS records, when it finishes, click Continue Setup and check if everything is added correctly. It usually is.

CloudFlare scanning for DNS records
CloudFlare scanning for DNS records
CloudFlare DNS records
List of DNS records on CloudFlare

In the next step, select CloudFlare plan. For the features we need, you can safely choose Free Website plan.

CloudFlare plan selection
Selecting CloudFlare Free plan

Next – CloudFlare will display the new nameservers you will need to set at your domain registrar in the next step, so don’t close this window.

CloudFlare nameservers
CloudFlare nameservers

Step 3 – move your DNS records to CloudFlare

Go to the site where you have registered your domain name. In my case it’s, but any other registrar should be similar. You’ll figure this out. navigation
Click “Manage Domains”
Select your domain name and click "Manage" under nameservers
Select your domain name and click “Manage” under nameservers
Set your nameservers to Custom and enter the ones CloudFlare just gave to you
Set your nameservers to Custom, enter the ones CloudFlare just gave to you and click OK

Step 4 – go back to CloudFlare

Go back to CloudFlare, select your domain and click “Recheck Nameservers”. Please note you may need to wait a little, until the nameservers are updated, it usually takes only couple of minutes, but it may be a lot longer in some situations, so don’t panic if it’s not working right away.

Recheck Nameservers at CloudFlare
Recheck Nameservers button

Once it’s done, you will need to make some configration changes on CloudFlare.
At first, select the Crypto section and enable “Flexible SSL” and “HSTS”.

Flexible SSL
Enabling Flexible SSL
Enable HSTS
HSTS Settings
HSTS Settings

Now you need to set up redirect for your non-SSL content to the SSL version, to avoid duplicate content and give all users secure access to your site.

Open the Page Rules section and create page rule for the address* and only setting “Always use https: ON”

Page Rules section
Open the Page Rules section
Always use HTTPS
Set use HTTPS to ON

Step 5 – go back to your blog and change site url

Now you may need to wait for some time, until DNS cache for you is updated. One the site is working in SSL version, go to WordPress admin panel > Settings and change the WordPress Address and Site Adress fields to https version.

Wordpress settings
Changing the address in WordPress settings

Now you should be done!

hobbybasis HTTPS version with CloudFlare Flexible SSL
hobbybasis HTTPS version with CloudFlare Flexible SSL

Bonus – how to change all the existing WordPress links from http to https?

If you already have lots of content with images in the posts and inter-linking posts, you should consider updating these links and image src’s to match your new links starting with https:// therefore avoid unnecessary redirects and browser security warnings.
This can easily be done with a single query if you have access to your MySQL database (phpmyadmin, shell access, etc.).
Just execute this query (consider making database backup before. This should be safe, but I would advise making a backup every time before running any direct queries to wp database, especially if you are not an expert at SQL):

UPDATE `wp_posts` SET `post_content` = REPLACE(`post_content`, '', '') ;

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