By default, Cloudflare uses a system called “Flexible SSL”. In this system, Cloudflare secures the connection between your visitors and Cloudflare, but not the connection between Cloudflare and your website. Not only is this less secure, some websites (notably WordPress) have trouble detecting whether HTTPS is in use, causing all sorts of issues.
The best way to resolve this is by using Full SSL in Cloudflare. This way, the connection between Cloudflare and your website is encrypted, and your website can easily detect that HTTPS is being used.
This guide describes how to set this up.
Get a Self Signed SSL certificate
To use Full SSL, you’ll need an SSL certificate installed on your hosting account. For this purpose, we’ll use a “Self Signed” SSL certificate. Such certificates are not trusted by browsers (but they are trusted by Cloudflare), but they can be valid for a long time.
You can get a self-signed SSL certificate using the Free SSL Certificates tool in the client area.
Install the Self Signed certificate automatically
Install the Self Signed certificate manually
With the certificate created, it’s time to install it.
To do so:
- Open the SSL certificate page in the client area and the SSL/TLS page in the control panel.
- Copy-paste the Private Key from the client area into the Private Key field in the control panel.
- Click Upload Key.
- Copy-paste the Certificate from the client area into the Certificate field in the control panel.
- Click Upload Certificate.
Set Cloudflare to Full SSL mode
With the certificate installed, it’s time to configure Cloudflare.
To do so, login to the Cloudflare Dashboard, go to your domain name, then go to “SSL/TLS” → “Overview” and set the encryption mode to Full.
And for the most part, this is all you need to start using Full SSL!
Configure your website to use HTTPS
If you are switching an existing website to HTTPS, you may need to make some changes to your website to make it work.
You’ll need to make sure that all URLs on your website use
https:// instead of
The process for this varies depending how you’ve built your website. Sometimes, you don’t need to do anything at all. But if you’re using an existing script or CMS, there is usually a setting you’ll need to edit, either in a configuration file or a settings page. If you’ve built your website without a CMS, you may need to manually edit the code of your site.
For WordPress, you’ll need to change the Website URL setting, which can be found in the WordPress admin interface in Settings → General.
After changing this setting, you should check your site to make sure it still works.
Enable Always Use HTTPS in Cloudflare
Once you’ve configured your website to work with HTTPS, you should force everyone to start using it.
The best way to do this is to enable the setting “Always Use HTTPS” in Cloudflare. You can find it under “SSL/TLS” → “Edge Certificates”. Enabling this setting will make everyone always use HTTPS on your site.
While you’re on that page, you should also make sure that “Automatic HTTPS Rewrites” is turned OFF. This setting is generally not necessary, can hide other configuration issues and cause weird errors.
Can I use "Full (strict)" SSL mode?
Yes, you can!
To use “Full (strict)” mode, you need a certificate that Cloudflare can verify is actually yours. A self signed certificate doesn’t work here.
To use Full (strict) SSL on free hosting, you’ll need a certificate provided by a trusted authority. You can get a free, trusted SSL certificate through our client area and install it on your account. Then, you can use Full (strict) mode.
However, you need to manually renew this certificate every three months, unlike with a self signed certificate. So it’s easiest to use “Full” (not strict) SSL mode instead.
Premium hosting integrates Let’s Encrypt directly in the control panel, so free SSL certificates are automatically renewed, so you can use “Full (strict)” mode without the hassle.
Can I use Cloudflare Origin Certificates?
Another way to use “Full (strict)” SSL mode is to use an Origin Certificate from Cloudflare. These are “self signed” certificates signed by Cloudflare. Cloudflare trusts these certificates, so they can be used for strict SSL
However, the free hosting control panel performs additional validation on SSL certificates, and Cloudflare’s certificates do not pass these checks.