In this article I'm going to show you how you can use a secure SSL certificate on your PHP-Nuke installation to encrypt data transmission between the server and clients.

When you are accepting input on your website that could be of a secure nature, this information is transmitted in clear-text across the Internet. If someone was in a public WiFi area for example, and they were entering in their credit card details, someone also on that same WiFi network could attempt to intercept their network packets and read the non-encrypted data.

When using a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate on your PHP-Nuke site, this allows the server to encrypt data, so that if someone was trying to intercept the network packets, they would only be left with unusable encrypted data and the sensitive data would remain secure.

Using a SSL certificate with PHP-Nuke

PHP-Nuke actually doesn't require any special changes in order to take advantage of an SSL certificate. You just need to either use the shared SSL certificate on your server, or order a dedicated SSL certificate for your domain.

In order to find your shared SSL address for your domain you'll need to find your server name in cPanel. In this example I have my PHP-Nuke installed to a sub-directory /phpnuke, so in order to access my PHP-Nuke installation securely over a SSL certificate, I'd use one of the following formats:

Shared SSL format:

https://secureXXX.inmotionhosting.com/~userna5/phpnuke

Dedicated SSL format:

https://example.com/phpnuke

Force a SSL certificate with .htaccess

If you want to force all of your visitors to access your PHP-Nuke site only over the SSL connection, you can force a SSL connection using the .htaccess file on your account.

In this example, here is the .htaccess code I used on my site to take advantage of the shared SSL for my PHP-Nuke site:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} phpnuke
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://secure103.inmotionhosting.com/~userna5/phpnuke/$1 [R,L]

Now when I attempt to go to my PHP-Nuke site un-securely with this:

http://example.com/phpnuke

My web-browser automatically redirects me to the secure version of:

https://secure103.inmotionhosting.com/~userna5/phpnuke/

You should now understand how you can take advantage of an SSL certificate providing encyption for your PHP-Nuke website.

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