You wake up in the morning and open your site, and you see an error “this site couldn’t establish a secure connection.” This message could spoil your whole day after all your site security matters. This error is even worse because there is no specific guidance on why it occurs.
So, there could be multiple reasons behind this error, but here we will discuss most of them with their solution. And for this, all you need to do is buckle up your sleeves and stick till the end.
The Causes of Unable to Establish a Secure Connection Error in WordPress:
Whenever an error or message pops up like “this site couldn’t establish a secure connection”, a sudden question will arise. Why is it happening even if you had an SSL? And it’s pretty fair to have it because 1/3 of websites worldwide have an SSL whose purpose is to provide a secure connection. You were also one of them.
Well, this isn’t it. If you are seeing this message, it doesn’t necessarily mean your site is not secure. There could be multiple reasons for this error and being a site owner. It would be good to know about them first for a better solution.
So, let’s find out the causes of this standard security error.
- Due to hosting – if you are using shared hosting, then this error is obvious. Because your site is shared with someone whose site is consuming lots of traffic and causing high stress on the server. That will strain the connection request with WordPress.org – the mother site.
- Failed Connection – your site always needs a connection between WordPress.org and the hosting server before opening it up to the user. This error will occur if it fails to connect due to some misconfiguration.
- Incorrect computer settings – though there are rare chances of it. But still, if you have incorrect settings of date and time sets in your computer, a security error could occur. Pretty easy to fix in this scenario.
- Expired SSL certificate – of course, the reason for SSL is to provide a secure Connection and if this error there might make it possible that your site’s SSL has expired as they need to renew it from time to time.
- Failed updates – one of the most common reasons. As you all know, different themes and plugins often require updates that may fail sometime, which could result in corrupted files. So, if you failed to update any of the plugins or themes, this could be a reason.
- Too much traffic – though, it’s a good reason to have this, but if this error occurs, it means lots of people wouldn’t be able to access your site. Due to traffic, the database server would be unable to handle that traffic. It could be either a part of your (any specific viral post) site or a whole site that could be affected.
Fix the WordPress Secure Connection Error:
Before digging into the solution to the “this site couldn’t establish a secure connection” error, you must remember that full server access is a must, as it will solve the problem relatively easily.
Especially if you have shared hosting, you won’t be able to perform this task, unlike if you have VPS or a dedicated server option. So, if you are using shared hosting, connect with the hosting provider, as there won’t be any solution.
Moreover, there are multiple ways to do it due to multiple reasons for this error. Try each of them because if one might work for others might not work for you; who knows?
Good to know: The message which will appear may vary depending on your browser; however, it will indicate that your site has a secure connection problem.
1- By Enabling cURL Extension for PHP:
If you are using a local host chances are you don’t have a cURL extension. Moreover, cURL is needed to download plugins and themes or transfer files using the PHP extension.
That’s why you need to edit the php.ini file using the following commands. For this you only need to open your php.ini file on your computer.
For window, computers use this
But if you are using mac or Linux, use this
Now, remove the semicolon before the text and enable the extension. Don’t forget to save the changes and restart the Apache server, which will reload the file. Should resolve the problem.
2- Using Firewall Settings:
Sometimes enabling cURL is not enough because a firewall could block the ports. This means the firewall is preventing the local host from connecting with wordpress.org. When outgoing connections get blocked it could result in this security error.
You can enable and configure your firewall directly from cPanel, and here you will search for the firewall option after pressing the start button. Once you find the firewall option, you must add an Apache file and allow both upcoming and outgoing connections.
Now, simply restart the Apache to get the changes into effect.
Note: if you didn’t find these settings in cPanel, you should check the hosting provider documentation, and here you will find the information on how to unblock ports.
The Bottom Line:
So, in a nutshell, the main or the head of all reason is that WordPress is trying to connect to the server but can’t because the server is temporarily off.
To avoid this problem in the future, we strongly recommend using only quality hosting and always getting ready with the backups of the site so that you can restore the settings in case something unexpected happens.
Ending with a note that you can fix this error but not all the time, and if you don’t, there is no harm in connecting the customer support for better consultation.
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