Press This: In reality Easy SSL with Rogier Lankhorst

by | Aug 18, 2023 | Etcetera | 0 comments

Welcome to Press This, the WordPress community podcast from WMR. Each episode choices guests from around the community and discussions of the largest issues coping with WordPress developers. The following is a transcription of the unique recording.

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Report Pop: You’re paying attention to Press This, a WordPress Crew Podcast on WMR. Each week we spotlight members of the WordPress community. I’m your host, Report Pop. I fortify the WordPress community via my serve as at WP Engine, and my contributions over on TorqueMag.Io where I get to do podcasts and draw cartoons and academic films. Take a look at that out.

You’ll subscribe to Press This on Pink Circle, iTunes, Spotify, your favorite podcasting app otherwise you’ll have the ability to download episodes immediately at

This present day, we’re diving into the vital global of web site protection with a focal point on SSL certificates. SSL cert is like a virtual shield that encrypts wisdom and protects your particular person’s wisdom. Now, if that’s now not enough to stick you listening, imagine pouring your heart and soul into making a good looking web site easiest to have Google slap a big “Now not Secure” label in your internet website when visitors take a look at getting access to it via Chrome, simply because you aren’t the usage of HTTPS or SSL.

Proper right here to talk to me these days is Rogier Lankhorst, the lead developer of In reality Easy Plugins, the makers of the highly regarded WordPress plugin, In reality Easy SSL, Rogier, thank you this sort of lot for changing into a member folks these days.

I’d love to hear about your starting story and the way in which you got into WordPress.

Rogier Lankhorst: Well, thanks for having me inside the show. To start with, I believe in 2016, a purchaser asked me to get his web site onto SSL as quickly as imaginable. So I installed a plugin that used to be as soon as not unusual in this day and age and all of the internet website went down. So at that 2d, I assumed I will do this additional lightweight and more straightforward, with just one click on on arrange.

And I revealed it on WordPress and it in fact used to be as soon as a rollercoaster coaster after that.

Report Pop: Utterly. And, this used to be as soon as now not your first WordPress plugin, right kind? This used to be as soon as the principle one that in fact took off in this sort of massive manner, then again you had another Actually Simple plugins forward of that.

Rogier Lankhorst: Some in fact small experiments, problems I thought to be at the time and revealed them and they didn’t in fact take off, as you said. So Actually Simple SSL used to be as soon as the principle, large hit you should say.

Report Pop: I at all times like that analogy about buying a lot of lottery tickets. Like you put out numerous experiments and one in all them caught on and likewise you’ve been able to build a industry from it. And since we’re talking about SSL, can you tell the listeners what an SSL certificate is? And why is it very important for a WordPress internet website to have one?

Rogier Lankhorst: With SSL certificates, the web site encrypts all wisdom forward of it’s sent to the web site buyer and the other way spherical as smartly. So it’s serving to secure the web and now not only for web shops, however moreover for any web site that another way may well be impersonated by the use of attackers. And it’s moreover great for ranking in Google.

And it merely turns out much better for your browser if there’s a lock in your web site. SSL is free, so why now not arrange it?

Report Pop: I mentioned to begin with of this show, how the principle time I ever thought to be SSL used to be as soon as when I was the usage of Chrome and were given right here during a internet website that used to be as soon as now not secure and that internet website used to be as soon as mine. So I was scared by the use of my own internet website. And had to be told about putting in place SSL certificates in an effort to optimistically have a better enjoy when consumers come to my internet website and see it. Whilst you arrange SSL and also you’ve were given an HTTPS take care of, then Google won’t show that warning anymore on Chrome visits, then again does it moreover affect search engine optimization?

Rogier Lankhorst: Yeah, sure. Google has numerous tough apparatus to get consumers to do what they would really like. And one of the vital tough tool they’ve is the ranking. So in the event that they would really like web site householders to do something, they only put it inside the ranking mechanism and the web site will apply.

Report Pop: And in addition you mentioned that SSL certificates are free this present day. I imagine after I first signed up for them, that used to be as soon as merely beginning to happen, it appeared find it irresistible used to be as soon as a painful process and most likely worth some money and then services like Let’s Encrypt came to visit and in fact made it more straightforward. On easiest of that, numerous internet hosts, mine built-in, started offering free Let’s Encrypt, they started construction it into the way to make it as simple as imaginable, which is in fact helpful. 

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So with the ones imaginable possible choices out there now for having the ability to arrange, most likely from my host, is there a reason that someone would nevertheless be the usage of Actually Simple SSL instead of if their host provides it?

Rogier Lankhorst: Well, Actually Simple SSL used to be as soon as now not in the beginning built to generate SSL certificates. That’s merely something we added two years previously, because of I assumed, smartly, if we’re Actually Simple SSL, we should be capable to generate a certificate as smartly, but it’s now not the principle reason people arrange Actually Simple SSL.

When consumers have SSL, they don’t perpetually they perpetually don’t know what to do with it. And in WordPress, you need to do a few problems; add redirects, restore blended content material subject material, stuff like that, add protection headers to in fact get all out of the secure SSL you’ll have the ability to get out of it. So I believe that’s nevertheless the principle reason, people arrange Actually Simple SSL for merely the quickest technique to get SSL configured in your web site.

Report Pop: Yeah, and there are some added safety features that aren’t, I don’t bring to mind them necessarily as SSL similar which may also be part of Actually Simple SSL. Can you tell us about one of the most essential other complicated choices {{that a}} Actually Simple SSL accommodates?

Rogier Lankhorst: We noticed numerous people already thought to be us as a security plugin. So, that’s after I thought we want to fulfill those expectations. We started with together with some hardening choices, like blocking particular person registration. A large number of web site householders don’t appear to take into accout that particular person registration is opened and things like the debug log location, which is in a position to include very important information, like particular person email correspondence addresses or license keys or stuff like that. Report bettering, feedback on the login visual display unit. 

When you log in and WordPress says, the username isn’t correct, the attacker is conscious about, I can be in a position to try another time. So the entire ones problems are in fact the start for us to increase proper into an entire protection plugin one day. And the remaining serve as we added used to be as soon as the vulnerability detection, which is in fact a useful gizmo to in fact secure your web site as most issues in WordPress internet websites with protection are resulted in by the use of plugins with a vulnerability, which don’t appear to be up to the moment. So if consumers are additional conscious about that, I believe WordPress will change into a lot more secure.

Report Pop: The entire thing you mentioned, I believe, are little pet peeves that people have about WordPress protection. And it’s in fact interesting that Actually Simple SSL has roughly complex into this easy approach to arrange an SSL certificate, however moreover like these items should be patched. Proper right here’s a in fact easy approach to restore that.

I’m roughly curious if bloat is a concern of yours, when you’ve got a plugin referred to as Actually Simple SSL. Are you worried every now and then that by the use of together with the ones additional choices, it’s worthwhile to be making it slightly of tougher. And then I guess on easiest of that, are you moreover fascinated with changing the identify of the plugin as you add additional choices?

Rogier Lankhorst: Yeah, smartly, one day that’s the target that it’ll change into Actually Simple Protection. I believe that will be the beginning of next one year. Alternatively while talking about bloat, that’s a difficult issue. You want to stick problems as simple as imaginable. So we’ve now worked onerous to make it nevertheless imaginable to just do the SSL activation.

And all other problems are modular and now not loaded when you don’t use it, then again at the identical time, I believe we’re in fact very good at making difficult stuff in fact simple. 

I believe that’s where our power is what we will be able to in fact do for people to make it in fact simple for non technical consumers. And for additonal complicated consumers, they can dive rather additional into the settings.

Report Pop: That’s very good. I believe that’s a great spot for us to take a short lived damage. And once we come once more, we’re going to stick talking to Rogier about Google’s push for SSL. And I guess merely, we’re going to talk slightly of bit additional about what it’s like having one of the most the most important not unusual plugins inside the WordPress repository.

So stay tuned for that.

Report Pop: Welcome once more to Press This, a WordPress community podcast. I’m your host Report Pop. This present day I’m talking to Rogier Lankhorst, the lead developer at Actually Simple Plugins. And we’re talking about SSL because of Actually Simple plugins makes an highly regarded plugin referred to as Actually Simple SSL. Rogier forward of, forward of this damage I mentioned that an enormous reason that we’re talking about SSL certificates this present day is largely because of Google made a push on the internet for this to happen. 

I’m moreover seeing that Google is pushing for most likely shortening the time frame. So some SSL certificates are for like two years, and Google’s talking about pushing for 90 day SSL certificates. Did you’ve got any concepts about how Google impressed people to get SSLs?

Do you suppose that worked out great for everyone?

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Rogier Lankhorst: Well, I believe it’s a very good issue. At the time that Google started with this, numerous consumers nevertheless thought SSL isn’t very important for me because of I’ve just a small blog. I don’t have someone wisdom on my internet website, then again there are numerous other ways attackers can use that roughly connection between internet websites and most likely show incorrect information to consumers, pretending to be there with each different web site.

So I believe it’s very important that all internet websites could have an SSL connection one day. So I believe even though Google at all times has its private reasons for doing things like this. In this case. It’s a very good issue.

Report Pop: And the 90 day limits, did you’ve got concepts on that?

Rogier Lankhorst: Well, I’m now not very familiar with the reasons behind it, I’ve to admit, then again I know rather about it and that it’s additional secure to have shorter lifetimes of certificates. And I believe it won’t make that so much difference because the most used SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt are already for 90 days, so it wouldn’t have so much have an effect on anyway.

Report Pop: So let’s go back to talking about Actually Simple SSL. There’s a style on the WordPress repository, the plugin repository, the free style with 5 million. I know I keep announcing that, but it’s this sort of surprising amount, 5 million vigorous consumers or additional. 

What’s the consideration between the free style of Actually Simple SSL and the pro style that I know that y’all offer?

Rogier Lankhorst: The pro style principally accommodates numerous protection headers and I believe most consumers don’t appear to be in fact familiar with protection headers. Alternatively the ones are some very important headers consumers can set on their internet websites, which can even build up protection. And now not only for their own web site, however moreover for the web site visitors, which I believe is perpetually forgotten in protection.

We make it in fact easy to configure protection headers and we’re in recent times working on vulnerability detection for instance. We’ve a serve as which robotically handles the updates or provide time, if a vulnerability is detected. We also have some cool new choices coming up, which is in a position to prevent creation of admin consumers by the use of any other methods than the WordPress particular person profile change or creation.

So should you occur to try recent vulnerabilities, you’ll see a big problem is when admin consumers are created. So should you occur to fasten that, you prevent numerous vulnerabilities.

Report Pop: We had talked in regards to the ranking of this plugin and the WordPress repository. I’m on the most popular internet web page on right now, and I don’t know if the ones are ranked on the subject of order, then again the ones are all plugins with 5 million vigorous installs or higher. I see that merely on this tick list, Actually Simple SSL is the ninth down. I believe that can in fact be this means that that it’s the ninth most up to date plugin these days on the subject of vigorous installs. 

Rogier Lankhorst: Utterly. Yeah.

Report Pop: Wow. That’s improbable. It’s now not a big surprise to look Yoast and WooCommerce and Akismet proper right here. I don’t get to talk to those that created such not unusual plugins.

I don’t get a chance to talk to them too perpetually. I’m merely roughly curious when you’re proper right here, what’s that like? I suggest, I guess proper right here’s my first question is when you’ve got this sort of crazy not unusual free plugin, I imagine it makes it in fact difficult to, you almost certainly get numerous requests, numerous comments, numerous questions and be in agreement requests.

How do you handle that for a free plugin?

Rogier Lankhorst: I believe it’s now not as many fortify requests as people perpetually suppose. Throughout the advance of the plugin and the former like seven, 8 years, I’ve at all times tried to each create an article on the web site when there used to be as soon as a question or create a solution inside the plugin itself, or make it additional clear inside the plugin.

So that way has in fact saved fortify down. And we’re if truth be told with a company of 10 and with merely two fortify reps. We also have two other plugins, with I believe usually, over six and a component million installs. So I believe the fortify load isn’t as large as many people suppose looking at the numbers of the installs.

Report Pop: Can you keep in touch in regards to the industry type of a free plugin like this? How does a company like yours allow 5 million vigorous installs on Actually Simple SSL and nevertheless be a company?

Rogier Lankhorst: Well, in the end, for each 100 free consumers, there’s someone who buys the highest magnificence plugin. That’s where we will be able to assemble a company from the upgrades. Each so ceaselessly free consumers complain in regards to the upgrades. And we want to tell consumers what we offer.

They usually at all times say, smartly, I believe it’s a very good deal because the best magnificence plugin lets in us to increase for free for 5 million consumers. 

Report Pop: And on the subject of balancing what goes inside the free and what’s going inside the skilled permutations, do you’ve got concepts at the means you every now and then get to the bottom of how problems get charged or how problems stay free to be in agreement promote it the larger product. Is it difficult to make a decision when new choices get added within the match that they’re skilled easiest, or within the match that they’re free?

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Rogier Lankhorst: Yeah. That’s at all times a difficult discussion to think about, what should be inside the free and what should be in best magnificence. And we usually give away such a lot, I believe. Our number one way is like with the vulnerabilities, the detection is free and everybody can see in the event that they’ve a vulnerable plugin, then again the automatic solutions for which may also be best magnificence.

So that’s how it’s divided. And with the remaining of the impending updates, I believe we will add additional inside the best magnificence plugin like login protection, two factor authentication, and limit login makes an strive, stuff like that. That’s moreover because of we think there’s already this sort of lot inside the free plugin that we want to keep the stableness right kind. We want to get began putting additional in a best magnificence right now.

Report Pop: And I believe that’s a great spot for us to take our free episode of the podcast into business damage, which helps keep it free. That’s a lovely segue. 

Stay tuned for after this fast damage, we’re going to come back once more and wrap up our conversation with Rogier from Actually Simple Plugins about one of the most essential other plugins that Actually Simple are offering right now.

So stay tuned for additonal.

Report Pop: Welcome once more to Press This, a WordPress community podcast. I’m your host Report Pop. This present day, I’m talking to Rogier Lankhorst, the lead developer of Actually Simple plugins. We’ve been talking about SSL certificates and Actually Simple SSL. We moreover discussed the fact that Rogier, you’ve got numerous other plugins out there.

What are one of the most essential other plugins that you just’re in recent times focusing on at Actually Simple plugins?

Rogier Lankhorst: We’ve Complianz, which is a privacy answer. And it’s the fastest emerging plugin excluding Actually Simple SSL. And, it provides a cookie banner, and also blocks services that require consent, in line with local privacy laws similar to the GDPR in Europe. Canada is growing an make a decision in privacy law as smartly. So numerous problems are changing in privacy regulation. So the plugin provides a approach to handle that robotically. 

And we also have a statistics plugin, which is lovely new. It now not too way back hit 100,000 installs, and the target there’s to supply a privacy delightful statistics answer, in order that you don’t have to use Google Analytics, which requires consent in most global places, in order that you lose wisdom there.

Report Pop: It’s in fact interesting you’re talking about this because of I’ve been taking into consideration such a lot lately about Google and the web’s dating with Google. And I’m taking into consideration, I don’t in fact need to have Google analytics on my internet website anymore. I don’t need to have people opting out of the cookies if the only issue in fact there’s Google analytics.

So I’m like, you’re talking about burst statistics and likewise you’re talking about it being an alternative to that. I’m all ears. I’m evidently fascinated by that.

Rogier Lankhorst: Yeah. It’s gorgeous cool because of I believe most consumers easiest know Google Analytics and they don’t know there are additional solutions. And most consumers are also now not conscious about the privacy issues that Google Analytics raises, specifically in more strict privacy legislations.

Report Pop: Well, thank you this sort of lot for coming on the show these days and talking in regards to the art work that y’all are doing and about SSL usually. It’s been very interesting speaking to you. If people want to to determine additional about what you’re working on, what’s a good way to stick observe of Actually Simple plugins and most likely what you’re working on.

Rogier Lankhorst: Practice me on Twitter. Or sign up for our newsletter on we’ll be sending newsletters on our latest knowledge each few weeks.

Report Pop: Well, that’s great. I in fact appreciate having you on the show. Uh, because of everyone for paying attention to Press This, a WordPress community podcast from WMR. We’ve had numerous great episodes lately, and in a while we will be going to WordCamp US, which optimistically we’ll come once more from there with a lot more interesting stories and interviews with other people.

Report Pop: Thanks for paying attention to Press This, a WordPress community podcast on WMR. Once another time, my identify’s Report and also you’ll have the ability to apply my adventures with Torque magazine over on Twitter @thetorquemag otherwise you’ll have the ability to go to where we contribute tutorials and flicks and interviews like this every day. So check out or apply us on Twitter. You’ll subscribe to Press This on Pink Circle, iTunes, Spotify, otherwise you’ll have the ability to download it immediately at each week. I’m your host Doctor Smartly-liked I fortify the WordPress community via my serve as at WP Engine. And I in point of fact like to spotlight members of the community every week on Press This.

The post Press This: In reality Easy SSL with Rogier Lankhorst appeared first on Torque.

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