We’re going to dive into a common issue that many WordPress users face: the dreaded ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

You know, the one that makes your website’s visitors cringe and doubt the safety of your site.

Well, worry not!

We’re going to explore some of the common causes behind this error, along with step-by-step solutions for each. So, let’s get started and make your website secure and error-free again.

Understanding SSL and HTTPS

Before we dive into the solutions, it’s important to understand what SSL and HTTPS are, and why they matter.

What is SSL?

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a security protocol that encrypts the data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server. This encryption ensures that sensitive data, like login credentials and payment information, is kept secure and protected from hackers.

The Role of HTTPS

HTTPS, or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, is the secure version of HTTP. It uses SSL to protect the data transmitted between the browser and the server. Websites with HTTPS have a padlock icon next to the URL, indicating that the connection is secure.

Causes of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress

There are several reasons why you might be experiencing the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress. Here are some of the most common ones:

Expired SSL Certificate

SSL certificates have an expiration date, and if yours has expired, it could cause the error. Visitors will see a warning message, and this can negatively impact the user experience.

Improper SSL Certificate Installation

If the SSL certificate has not been installed correctly, it can lead to the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. It’s important to ensure the certificate is installed and configured properly to avoid this issue.

Mixed Content Issues

Mixed content occurs when a secure HTTPS page loads content from insecure HTTP sources. This can cause browsers to block the insecure content and display the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

Incompatible SSL Settings

Sometimes, the error can arise from incompatible SSL settings on your server or within your WordPress installation.

Browser or Server-Side Problems

Lastly, the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR might be caused by issues with the user’s browser or server-side configurations.


To fix the error, we first need to diagnose the cause. There are several tools and methods available to help you do this:

SSL Checking Tools

There are numerous online SSL checking tools available that can help you identify issues with your SSL certificate. Some popular options include:

Analyzing Browser Error Messages

Different browsers may display different error messages related to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. By analyzing these messages, you can often pinpoint the root cause of the issue.

Identifying Server Logs

You can also review your server logs for any errors related to SSL configuration or certificate issues.

Renewing an Expired SSL Certificate

If you’ve discovered that your SSL certificate has expired, you’ll need to renew it. Here’s how to do that:

Identify Your SSL Certificate Provider

First, you’ll need to know who your SSL certificate provider is. This is usually your web hosting company or a third-party SSL provider.

Process of Renewing an SSL Certificate

Once you’ve identified your SSL certificate provider, you’ll need to follow their specific renewal process. This often involves purchasing a new SSL certificate and submitting a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).

Installing the Renewed SSL Certificate

After obtaining the renewed certificate, you’ll need to install it on your server. This can be done through your web hosting control panel or manually, depending on your hosting environment.

Proper SSL Certificate Installation

If your SSL certificate is not installed correctly, you’ll need to fix the installation to resolve the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

Obtaining an SSL Certificate

If you don’t already have an SSL certificate, you can obtain one from your web hosting company or a third-party SSL provider.

Installing an SSL Certificate through Web Hosting Panel

Many web hosting companies provide easy SSL installation options through their control panels. Look for an SSL/TLS section or a dedicated option to install SSL certificates.

Manual SSL Certificate Installation

If your hosting provider doesn’t offer an easy installation method, you can manually install the SSL certificate by uploading the certificate files and updating the server configuration. This process may vary depending on your server environment, so consult your hosting provider’s documentation or support team for assistance.

Verifying SSL Certificate Installation

After installing the SSL certificate, it’s important to verify that it’s working correctly. You can use the SSL checking tools mentioned earlier to confirm that your SSL certificate is installed and configured properly.

Resolving Mixed Content Issues

Mixed content issues can be tricky to fix, but with the right approach, you can resolve them and eliminate the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR from your WordPress site.

Identifying Mixed Content on Your Website

You can use browser developer tools or online tools like JitBit’s SSL Check to scan your website and identify mixed content issues.

Using WordPress Plugins to Fix Mixed Content

There are several WordPress plugins available to help you fix mixed content issues automatically. Some popular options include:

These plugins can automatically update URLs in your content and settings to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Manually Updating URLs to HTTPS

If you prefer to fix mixed content issues manually, you can use a search and replace tool like Better Search Replace to update all instances of “http://” to “https://” within your WordPress database.

Adjusting SSL Settings for Compatibility

If the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is caused by incompatible SSL settings, you’ll need to ensure your SSL settings match your server environment and WordPress installation.

Ensuring Your SSL Settings Match Your Server Environment

Consult your hosting provider’s documentation or support team to determine the correct SSL settings for your server environment.

Configuring SSL Settings in WordPress

To configure SSL settings in WordPress, update your site’s URL to use HTTPS in the WordPress admin panel under Settings > General. You can also enforce HTTPS by adding the following lines to your wp-config.php file:

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

Updating .htaccess File for SSL Compatibility

To force HTTPS across your entire site, you can add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

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

Troubleshooting Browser and Server-Side Issues

If the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is caused by browser or server-side problems, try the following solutions:

Clearing Browser Cache and Cookies

Ask your visitors to clear their browser cache and cookies, as these can sometimes cause SSL-related issues.

Checking for Browser Updates

Outdated browsers can also cause SSL errors. Ensure that your visitors are using the latest version of their preferred browser.

Verifying Server-Side SSL Configurations

Check your server-side SSL configurations to ensure they are set up correctly. You may need to consult your hosting provider’s documentation or support team for assistance.

Best Practices for SSL Maintenance

To prevent future occurrences of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress, follow these best practices:

Regularly Updating SSL Certificates

Keep track of your SSL certificate’s expiration date and renew it before it expires to avoid any downtime or security issues.

Monitoring for Mixed Content Issues

Regularly check your website for mixed content issues, especially after updating themes or plugins, to ensure that all content is served securely over HTTPS.

Keeping WordPress and Plugins Up-to-Date

Updating your WordPress installation and plugins can help you avoid security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues that may lead to SSL errors.

FAQ on err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress

What is ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress?

Well, ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is an error message that appears in users’ web browsers when there’s a problem with the SSL certificate or its configuration on your WordPress site.

This error prevents users from accessing your site securely, and it can damage your site’s reputation as it raises security concerns.


There are several reasons why ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR can happen, including an expired SSL certificate, improper SSL certificate installation, mixed content issues, incompatible SSL settings, and browser or server-side problems. Identifying the root cause is essential for resolving the error.

How can I diagnose the cause of the error?

To diagnose the cause of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, you can use online SSL checking tools, analyze browser error messages, and review server logs for any SSL-related issues. These methods will help you identify the underlying problem and guide you in resolving the error.

Can an expired SSL certificate cause this error?

Yes, an expired SSL certificate can definitely cause ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. When your SSL certificate expires, browsers will display a warning message to users, negatively impacting user experience and potentially driving visitors away from your site.

How do I renew my SSL certificate?

To renew your SSL certificate, first identify your certificate provider. Then, follow their specific renewal process, which usually involves purchasing a new certificate and submitting a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Finally, install the renewed certificate on your server.

What are mixed content issues, and how do they relate to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

Mixed content issues occur when a secure HTTPS page loads content from insecure HTTP sources. Browsers may block the insecure content and display the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. To fix mixed content issues, you can use WordPress plugins or manually update URLs to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

How do I properly install an SSL certificate on my WordPress site?

To properly install an SSL certificate, you can either use your web hosting control panel’s SSL installation feature or manually upload the certificate files and update the server configuration.

After installation, use SSL checking tools to confirm that your SSL certificate is installed and configured correctly.

How can I fix incompatible SSL settings?

To fix incompatible SSL settings, first, ensure that your SSL settings match your server environment. Next, configure the SSL settings in your WordPress installation and update your .htaccess file for SSL compatibility.

Can browser or server-side issues cause ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

Yes, browser or server-side issues can contribute to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Clearing browser cache and cookies, updating browsers, and verifying server-side SSL configurations are some ways to troubleshoot and resolve these issues.

What are the best practices to prevent ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

To prevent ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, regularly update your SSL certificates, monitor your site for mixed content issues, and keep your WordPress installation and plugins up-to-date. These practices will help ensure a secure and error-free browsing experience for your website visitors.

Ending thoughts on err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress

Well, there you have it! We’ve covered the most common causes behind the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress and provided detailed solutions to fix them.

By following these steps and implementing best practices for SSL maintenance, you can create a secure, error-free browsing experience for your website’s visitors.

Remember, keeping your website secure and up-to-date is crucial in today’s digital world, so don’t let issues like ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR stand in your way.

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