How to Force HTTPS using .htaccess (Updated 2019)
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How to Force HTTPS using .htaccess (Updated 2019)

After installing an SSL certificate, your website is available over HTTP and HTTPS. However, it’s better to use only the latter because it encrypts and secures your website’s data. While Hostinger allows users to configure this setting in just one click, you can also use the .htaccess file to force HTTPS connection. This tutorial will show you how.

Forcing HTTPS on All Traffic

One of the many functions you can perform via .htaccess is the 301 redirects, which permanently redirects an old URL to a new one. You can activate the feature to force HTTPS on all incoming traffic by following these steps:

  1. Go to File Manager in your hosting panel and open .htaccess inside the public_html folder. If you can’t locate it, make sure to create or unhide it.
  2. Scroll down to find RewriteEngine On and insert the following lines of code below it:
    RewriteEngine On 
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off 
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
  3. Save the changes.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the line RewriteEngine On is not repeated twice. In case the line already exists, simply copy the rest of the code without it.

Forcing HTTPS on a Specific Domain

Let’s say that you have two domains: http://yourdomain1.com and http://yourdomain2.com. Both domains access the same website, but you only want the first one to be redirected to the HTTPS version. In this case, you need to use the following code:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain1.com [NC] 
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Make sure to replace yourdomain1 with the actual domain you’re trying to force HTTPS on.

Forcing HTTPS on a Specific Folder

The .htaccess file can also be used to force HTTPS on specific folders. However, the file should be placed in the folder that will have the HTTPS connection.

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

Make sure to change the folder references to the actual directory names.

After making the changes, clear your browser’s cache and try to connect to your site via HTTP. If everything was added correctly, the browser will redirect you to the HTTPS version.

Conclusion

Congratulations! you have successfully edited your .htaccess file and redirected all HTTP traffic to HTTPS, the safe version of your website. Depending on the platform where you developed your website, there could be alternative methods to enable this feature. For example, you can configure your WordPress or PrestaShop site to work with HTTPS using plugins.

If you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions that you want to share, we are looking forward to seeing them in the comments!

The Author

Author

Edvinas B. / @edvinas

Edvinas mentors and trains every new customer support agent at Hostinger. When he's not teaching new guys the secrets of providing an exceptional service, he likes to travel the world and play basketball.

Related tutorials

Author

Adnan Reply

April 13, 2017

I have problem, for me it doesnt work

    Author

    domantas

    Replied on April 13, 2017

    Hello Adnan, Do you get any errors? Are you following all steps carefully?

Author

Saleem Reply

April 13, 2017

i write this in htaccess file, is it correct? RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www.mywebsite.com$ [NC] RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.mywebiste.com/$1 [L,R=301] RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Author

gene darner Reply

July 23, 2017

Hi I cant seem to really make it work. can you please mail me the exact code i should insert in the .htaccess file for my website. that would be a great help my website "cryptofitnessclub.com"

Author

Alex Reply

January 25, 2018

I tried but no success. Here is what I get in URL after adding code: http://reservationexcursions.me/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Freservationexcursions.me%2Fwp-admin%2F&reauth=1 I added like this at the end of .htaccess : RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^reservationexcursions\.me [NC] RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L] Can you help?

    Author

    Gediminas B.

    Replied on February 15, 2018

    Hello, Alex. Try removing the lines that you added and use this code instead: RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301] Keep in mind that you do not need to change anything. SSL should start forcing immediately after adding it. Alternatively, you can reach the same result in WordPress with the help of plugins, such as Really Simple SSL.

Author

Pacilinja2 Reply

July 04, 2018

Thanks to this tut, my website is now secure!

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