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How To Fix err_ssl_protocol_error on WordPress Site

Visitors may encounter an SSL issue like “err_ssl_protocol_error.” When they are trying to access your website in a browser, This prevents them from viewing your site content, which can have a negative impact on your conversions and rankings. If you’re facing the err_ssl_protocol_error on your WordPress site, it indicates an issue with the SSL/TLS. This error prevents visitors from accessing your site securely, which can be frustrating for both you and your users. Luckily, Using several simple steps you can fix this problem. In this comprehensive tutorial, we’ll take you through the process of diagnosing and resolving the err_ssl_protocol_error.

What is err_ssl_protocol_error?

Actually, err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress simply indicates that the installation does not support the https protocol. When you create a website in WordPress, you need to install a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. This SSL certificate allows the website to run on secure protocols, known as HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) and ensures the secure data transfer between the user and the server the website is hosted on. 

Even if a site does have an SSL certificate, you might still face this error due to an outdated cache or a glitchy extension in the user’s browser. A firewall or antivirus program on the user’s devices might be blocking the connection. Sometimes the err_ssl_protocol_error is caused due to a problem on the website rather than the user’s device.

Sometimes, the certificate is properly configured, but the website is still running on the HTTP protocol instead of HTTPS. If your site is using HTTP search engines like Google will deem it unsafe, which could cause a drop in SEO rankings.

Common Causes of err_ssl_protocol_error 

Understanding the common causes specific to WordPress helps you in troubleshooting and resolving this issue more effectively. Here are given the most frequent reasons this error might occur on a WordPress site:

1. Incorrect SSL Installation and Configurations

    One of the most important common causes is the improper installation of the SSL certificate your WordPress site server hosted on. This can happen if the SSL certificate chain is incomplete or if there are incorrect configurations during the installation process.

    2. Expired or Invalid SSL Certificate

      If your SSL certificate has expired, visitors will encounter these types of SSL errors when trying to access your website. Similarly, if your SSL certificate is self-signed or not issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA), it will be considered invalid.

      3. Outdated SSL/TLS Configuration

        Using outdated SSL/TLS protocols may cause compatibility issues with modern browsers, which can lead to the err_ssl_protocol_error.

        4. Mixed Content Issues

          When a secure HTTPS page loads resources such as images, scripts, or stylesheets over an insecure HTTP connection. Modern browsers block this mixed content for security reasons, which can lead to SSL errors.

          5. Plugin or Theme Issue

            Certain WordPress plugins or themes may not be compatible with SSL Certificate, which can lead to the err_ssl_protocol_error.

            6. Incorrect Site URL Configuration

              If your WordPress site URL is not correctly set to HTTPS, it can lead to SSL errors. This often happens when migrating from HTTP to HTTPS.

              7. Server Configuration Issues

                Incorrect server configurations in the .htaccess file for Apache or the nginx.conf file for Nginx, can interfere with SSL connections.

                8. Outdated Browser

                  Older browsers may not support the latest SSL/TLS protocols and can cause SSL errors.

                  How to fix err_ssl_protocol_error 

                  Here are some common troubleshooting tips to help resolve the err_ssl_protocol_error on WordPress.

                  Step 1: Verify SSL Certificate Installation

                  First of all, make sure that your SSL certificate is correctly installed and configured on your WordPress site. You can use online tools to check the installation and configuration of your SSL certificate. Go to the tool, enter your website URL and start the test. Review the results for any issues with your SSL certificate installation. If this test indicates issues with your SSL certificate, issue  and install again the certificate following your hosting provider’s instructions.

                  Even if your WordPress site has a properly installed and configured SSL certificate, you might still need to force your site to use HTTPS. To do this, you can use a tool, open the tool and navigate to Plugins, add new and use the search bar to look for the plugin. Then, click on Install Now, followed by Activate.

                  Now, go to Settings, SSL and click on the button Activate SSL. This will automatically force HTTPS on your site. If you try opening your website, you might no longer see the err_ssl_protocol_error.

                  Step 2: Check SSL Certificate Validity

                  Ensure that your SSL is not expired and valid. Most SSL certificates have a validity period of one year or more than one year, and they need to be renewed before they expire. To check SSL validity navigate to your website in a browser and click on the padlock icon in the address bar.Now view the certificate details to check the validity period. If your certificate has expired, renew it through your SSL certificate provider and reinstall it on your server.

                  Step 3: Update Your SSL/TLS Configuration

                  As we have discussed, outdated SSL/TLS protocols can also cause err_ssl_protocol_error. Ensure that your server is configured to use the latest SSL/TLS protocols.

                  Connect to your server using your hosting control panel and open your server’s configuration file. Now update the SSL/TLS settings to support the latest protocols. For example, in Nginx, you can add the following lines to your configuration-

                  ssl_protocols TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3;

                  ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

                  ssl_ciphers ‘ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384’;

                  Next save the changes and restart your web server.

                  Step 4: Update Your Browser and Operating System

                  Ensure that you are using the latest web browser and operating system version, as outdated versions may not support the latest SSL/TLS protocols.

                  Step 5: Disable Browser Extensions

                  You need to disable any extensions in the browser if that might be causing the issue.For doing so, open your browser settings. Navigate to the extensions or add-ons section. Disable all extensions and then try accessing your website again. If the error is resolved, re-enable the extensions one by one to identify the culprit extension.

                  Step 6: Check Server Configuration

                  Ensure that your server is properly configured to handle SSL/TLS connections. Check your server’s error logs for any SSL related issues. For Apache, the error logs are usually located in /var/log/apache2/error.log, and for Nginx, they are in /var/log/nginx/error.log. Look for any error messages that indicate a problem with the SSL configuration. Correct the issues based on the error log messages.

                  Step 7: Clear Browser Cache and Cookies

                  As we have mentioned above this error could be caused by an issue with the user’s browser or device. If you’re encountering the err_ssl_protocol_error message the important thing to do is clear your browser cache and cookies.

                  Because the browser could store old data about the SSL certificate. Therefore, it’s unable to authenticate a secure connection. To clear your browser in Chrome click on the three dots in the top-right corner of the browser and select Clear browsing data or press Ctrl+shift+delete This will open a window where you can choose your preferred time range, cookies and the cached data you want to delete. You only need to check the box for cookies and other site data, and cached images and files. When you’re ready, click on clear data and try to visit your website again. If you still see the error, the problem might be on the server rather than your device. 

                  Step 8: Ensure Correct Time and Date Settings

                  Incorrect system time and date settings also can cause SSL handshake errors. Ensure that your device’s time and date are set correctly.

                  • For Windows, Go to Settings > Time & Language > Date & Time and enable the option to set time automatically.
                  • For MacOS, Go to System Preferences > Date & Time and enable the option to set date and time automatically.

                  To prevent err_ssl_protocol_error issue in WordPress, any content delivered on the website must have a URL starting with https:// Going through it all might be difficult, but it is necessary. We will receive mixed content alerts if we miss some URLs. Check again to ensure that every contest we post on the site is safe with https. There are some plugins that can help you with employing secure CDN for static material, but they can also cause issues. In fact, if we use a plugin for link rewriting, that may cause the issue. Consider removing it, restoring a backup of the website, and then attempting it manually.

                  Step 10: Check the .htaccess file

                  Open the .htaccess file in the root directory and follow the code line given below to see if there are any issues with the 301 redirects.

                  RewriteEngine On

                  RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off

                  RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

                  Save the setup to complete the process and try to access the website.

                  Step 11: Contact SupportFly Experts

                  If all above mentioned steps are not working and you are still facing the issue, contact our WordPress experts they will definitely help you in fixing this error. If you’re not sure about making potentially harmful changes to your site, it’s best to contact an expert. Contact SupportFly’s WordPress Experts, they will help you in making code changes and look deeper into the issue.

                  SupportFly Ensuring Secure and Reliable WordPress Management Services and Support

                  Managing a WordPress site is full of numerous responsibilities and risks from regular updates and security checks to optimize smooth performance and ensure seamless user experiences. Encountering errors like err_ssl_protocol_error can be a daunting task for you , but with a systematic way and approach, these issues can be resolved effectively.

                  By understanding the common causes of SSL/TLS errors specific to WordPress site administrators can take proactive measures to maintain a secure environment. Regular updates to SSL/TLS protocols and regular monitoring of certificate expiry and validity, and meticulous configuration of servers are essential practices for smooth and secure operations.

                  SupportFly offers WordPress management services that play a crucial role in maintaining the health and security of a website. These services include:

                  1. WordPress Consulting

                    SupportFly WordPress Consulting services provide 24/7 expert guidance and strategic advice to help you make the most of your WordPress website. Whether you’re just starting or looking to enhance your existing WordPress implementation, our consultants offer valuable insights tailored to your unique needs.

                    2. WordPress Implementation

                      Our team of experienced developers and designers work closely with you to bring your WordPress website to life. We handle all aspects of implementation, including theme selection, customization, plugin integration, responsive design, and seamless migration from your existing platform to WordPress.

                      3. WordPress Managed Services

                        Our WordPress Managed Services take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your core business activities. We handle all the technical aspects of WordPress management, including regular updates, security monitoring, performance optimization, backups, and troubleshooting.

                        Utilizing SupportFly’s professional WordPress management services can significantly reduce the burden on site administrators, allowing them to focus on content creation and business growth while experts handle the technical aspects. This ensures that your website remains secure, performs optimally, and provides a reliable experience for your visitors.


                        Concludingly, the err_ssl_protocol_error can be a significant obstacle for both site owner and users but with the systematic approach, it can be resolved.  you can fix this error effectively, by verifying your SSL certificate installation, ensuring certificate validity, updating configurations, and checking both server and client settings. By regularly maintaining and monitoring your SSL/TLS configurations and staying updated with the latest protocols and software versions can help you in preventing such issues in the future.

                        We hope by following these easy steps, you should be able to resolve the err_ssl_protocol_error and restore secure access to your WordPress site. If the issue persists, consider reaching out to us for further professional assistance.