I have a multisite that uses Domain Mapping. I want to add

I have a multisite that uses Domain Mapping. I want to add SSL to the main site only:

What do I need to do/consider when adding SSL to the main site?

I had read that search engines may penalize mmy sites for sending visitors from a non-SSL domain to an SSL domain ... it said that this may appear to be a phishing scheme and could hurt my sites' SEO. Can someone elaborate on this, as well as the question above?


  • Michelle Shull

    Hi, Chris!

    You can get dinged, and you may also get mixed content errors, which is when an element served by http is embedded in an https page. There are fixes for this, including plugins, but most of the fixes involve increasing your net of https coverage. If there aren't specific reasons NOT to protect your subsites with SSL, it may be easiest to serve your entire network under https. It's not a huge increase in resources, and having too much of your site encrypted is certainly a better position than not having enough.

    Thanks, Chris!

  • Chris

    @Michelle - Thanks for your input. I agree, more protection is better. I've read through a number of threads that have been posted over the past two years. It's all a bit confusing, and I'm not sure how much the Domain Mapping plugin has changed over this time to adjust for SSL. My takeaway is to use Wildcard SSL. Can you confirm that this can be used to protect the main site, as well as mapped subsites?

    If the mapped subsites are protected (SSL), will I still get dinged in the search engines if they are referring customers to the main site (also SSL)? Is it simply that I'm referring people to another site for payment?

    Update: I just spoke with my domain registrar. Since I will be mapping the subdomains to their own domains, the registrar indicated that a multi-domain SSL cert is best for this. Can you confirm?


  • Michelle Shull

    Hey, Chris!

    Sorry for the delay here.

    If you protect your whole network under SSL, all your problems will be solved. You won't get dinged by search engines, and you will avoid the risk of mixed content errors. (Barring the periodic plugin that uses HTTP.) A multi-domain SSL will cover you here, if you're using mapped domains. On an unmapped network (where urls maintain the original structure, subsite.yoursite.com, rather than being mapped to a new URL) you can get by with a wildcard SSL, but in your case you'll need the more extensive coverage of a multi-domain SSL.

    The good news is you can take that SSL cert with you, if you happen to change hosts.

    Does this help?

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