Fix SSL Error Message “err_ssl_protocol_error” on WordPress

How to fix SSL error message
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If your WordPress-powered website isn’t loading because of an error such as err_ssl_protocol_error, you are not alone. Let me guess, you have also experienced it on Google’s chrome? While you may have experienced the error with other browsers such as Firefox or Microsoft Edge, it’s quite familiar with chrome. But, there’s no need to worry as this article will let you understand what the error is, likely causes and how it can be fixed or avoided. 

“err_ssl_protocol_error” on WordPress – What Is It?

How to fix SSL error message "err_ssl_protocol_error" on WordPress
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Before we jump right into what err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress is, you’ll need to understand a few other things. There was a time when the worldwide web was a place people went for information. Gradually, it became more than that and now almost everything happens on the internet. You can carry out money transfers, purchases, and store sensitive information. 

The simple fact that tons of exchange of valuables now happen on the web means that internet criminals are waiting to take advantage of any possible loophole. Therefore, the need to load web pages on a secure connection is crucial. This need for extra online security is where SSL/TLS (short socket layer/transport layer security comes in.

Now, you may have noticed that website addresses either begin with HTTP or HTTPS. Both are protocols or rules that determine the transmission of web pages from the website’s location, i.e., server.

HTTPS (Hypertext transfer protocol secure) is a secure protocol, unlike the HTTP. You can quickly identify HTTPS by the padlock icon just before the actual website address. The protocol ensures that data transmission is encrypted; hence, online criminals can’t eavesdrop. 

To make your website work with an HTTPS protocol or connection, you must install a valid SSL certificate. Now, this is where the error comes in. If you visit a website with SSL protection on Google Chrome and the secure connection doesn’t work, Chrome informs you. You’ll know there’s an issue of certificate exchange once you see the message “err_ssl_protocol_error,” also called error 107. Google Chrome displays the message as ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection.’

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“err_ssl_protocol_error” on WordPress – Why Does It Happen? 

How to fix SSL error message "err_ssl_protocol_error" on WordPress
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The general explanation from Chrome is that there is a problem with the server, i.e.,the website’s location. Additionally, there could be a requirement from the client authentication certificate that you don’t have. Well, this explanation isn’t saying much. Just that the problem is either from the side of the server or the client. Let’s look at a few reasons why you’ll experience error 107 or err_ssl_protocol_error.

1. Expired SSL Certificate

From the server-side, the usual problem is an expired SSL/TLS certificate awaiting renewal. Because the Certificate Authority Browser requirements set a lifespan of 27 months for SSL certificates, every website is required to renew or replace their SSL certificate within 24 months.

2. You Migrated Your WordPress Website  

It’s possible you were using an SSL certificate that supports HTTPS protocol. But after migrating your WordPress website, your new installation no longer supports HTTPs protocol.

You will have the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR because there’s a conflict between what the server wants to load based on the original installation and the browser. The conflict stops the website loading the process; hence, the error.

3. SSL Certificate isn’t Trusted 

The err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress also shows up when the browser doesn’t trust the approving company of your SSL certificate. What it means is that the certificate authority isn’t on the browser’s list of trusted SSL certificate approvers or providers. SSL certificates approved by the server are referred to as self-signed certificates and are a common cause of error 107.

4. Mismatch Error

The error will happen if there was a mismatch between the domain name in the SSL certificate and the URL typed into the browser. It’s a simple error with an equally simple correction by adjusting the typo. E.g., if the domain name on the SSL certificate says www.everysite.com but you typed https://everysite.com.

5. Mixed Content Error

SSL error can also be seen if you load a secure page that contains a mixture of elements loaded from an insecure page. It could be an image, animation, or short snippet from the insecure (HTTP) page. Altogether, your browser will rather display an error message instead of loading.

6. Error From your Browser

During this error, it is possible that the SSL certificate isn’t expired, but the server just can’t locate it. The most common issues include:

  • Local device date, time or both are not correct
  • SSL/TLS connections are fireball impaired
  • SSL cache contains expired versions of the certificate 
  • Chrome’s extension
  • QUIC protocol is blocking the connection 

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How Can It Be Fixed?

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Since it’s not just one issue that leads to err_ssl_protocol_error in WordPress, there’s equally no single solution to the problem. You might need to adopt several options to solve the error. Here are some of the methods you can choose to resolve the error 107 if it is from the browser end. 

Method 1: Correct Your Local Device Date/Time

Does it seem like the correction of data and time seems too easy to fix this error? Well, it just so happens that the SSL certificate has a strict validity period. This validity period is very important in the authentication process. If there’s an issue with your device’s date or time, there will be conflict during the authentication of the SSL certificate.

Usually, once a secure connection is achieved, a valid time and date are assumed, which is why you need to ensure the time or date is accurate. Setting the time and date is pretty straightforward.

Windows: 

If you are working with Windows, e.g., Windows 10, tap the Windows key to select the system settings. For fast navigation, type ‘time’ into the text box. Click on the change date and time from the options available. From the time and date window, check if the time is correct and adjust it if necessary. 

Mac: 

If your device runs on a Mac operating system, click the Apple icon at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menus, click on select preferences where you’ll select date and time from the list of options available. Set the time if necessary. It will likely fix the problem if the time was wrong in the first place.

 

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Method 2: Verify SSL Certificate

How to fix SSL error message on WordPress
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Above, we already identified expired certificates as a significant cause, it’ll be ideal to ensure your SSL certificate is still within its validity. If you have a case where the propagation of DNS settings isn’t ready, but the SSL certificate is prepared, the same error comes up. The error will be the same because the SSL certificate will not create an association with the right domain at the point of creation. 

You can resolve this issue by performing a scan of your domain name using online tools. It’s easy to use once you get to the web page. Just enter your domain name and click submit. The report appears once the scan is complete. If all is well, you’ll get a good rating e.g, an ‘A’. Among many of the results is the certificate transparency, which must indicate a ‘yes.’ The result must also display the authorising company and the website.

Method 3: Disable Chrome Extensions

Another source of error, as earlier stated, is a browser extension. Like every browser, Chrome can be extended with plugins so that additional features, games, etc. can be added to the user interface.

If you enable multiple browser extensions, you can disable them sequentially to check if any extensions are causing the issues with your secure requests. To disable Chrome extensions:

  • Click on the icon(three dots) located at the top right of the chrome browser window.
  • Click on more tools.
  • Select ‘Extensions’ from the menu.
  • Begin to change the enabled status of all the browser extensions to disabled.
  • Ensure that you check your site after disabling an extension. If you find that the extension is the cause of the err_ssl_protocol_error issue, you can either remove or let it remain in disable mode.

Method 4: Update your Browsers to the Latest Version 

Running an old version of your browser is another reason why a secure connection isn’t possible. Software producers usually update security features and fix bugs and glitches. Therefore, regularly updating your browser is the best way to go.

Unless you accidentally or deliberately turned off updates, a Chrome browser, like many applications, checks for updates whenever you are online. If you have the habit of keeping tabs open for long, try and restart the browser as this action will trigger the checking of updates. 

Method 5: Update Your WordPress URL (http to https)

This adjustment might seem like another funny suggestion, but people forget to change their source code to secure protocol after installing an SSL certificate. Mainly if you are getting mixed content, this is the fix to try. It takes less than three minutes.

  • Go to the dashboard of your WordPress Admin.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Select General.
  • Change your URL from (insecure)”http://” to (Secure)https:// in the menu. 
  • Don’t forget to click save. It’s simple. Recheck to see if a secure connection now exists between browser and server.

Method 6: Check .htaccess File

So, all you need to do here is ensure that the right code is in your .htaccess file. Simply open your .htaccess file from the root directory. If the code is not available in the file, you have to add and save it. The code is stated below.

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

Method 7: Clear Your SSL State

Clearing your SSL state is one method that almost always works as long as the SSL certificate isn’t expired. The Chrome browser usually stores outdated SSL certificates in a cache to archive the subsequent connection speed.

If the browser doesn’t store in the cache, every secure protocol request would require the download and authentication SSL certificate. This process will slow down the performance of the browser. To clear your SSL state: 

  • Click the three dots at the top right corner to do the browser page.
  • Select Settings from the drop-down.
  • Go to Advanced Settings.
  • Open proxy settings by searching in the text bar.
  • ‘Internet Properties’ window will open up.
  • Click on Clear SSL State.

Once you have cleared the SSL state, ensure you restart your browser and reconnect to see if there’s a secure connection.  

Method 8: Disable Antivirus and Firewall Programs Temporarily

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Antivirus and firewalls are there for the protection of your device and files. However, firewalls and antivirus design work within specific programmed rules. These rules sometimes disrupt the connection with some websites, even if they pose no risk whatsoever. Sometimes, they just block an IP address or domain because they are a security risk. 

To check if your antivirus and firewall are triggering the error 107, simply go to the antivirus icon and disable. Then, relaunch the web page. If a secure connection happens, simply make changes to the program settings and remove the IP address from the blacklist.

Method 9: Delete Host Files

Before introducing the domain name system, a manually maintained system based on a local text file was used. Today, this file is referred to as a host file and is still in many operating systems, but it only functions as a tool to assign addresses to your local network. 

If a malicious program gains access into your system, it could redirect the wrong websites to make the  ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR appear. On Windows, you can fix the issue by:

  • Selecting the Windows key and [R] at the same time to ‘Run’ program.
  • A new window will pop up, insert the following line C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  • Confirm the entry by clicking on ‘OK,’ 
  • You will automatically move to the folder where the host file is so you can delete.

Method 10: Update Your Operating System

There’s almost nothing as important as updating your operating system. Do you have your automatic update always running? That’s great. If you are running the latest Windows, you don’t need to worry because it has auto-updates. 

However, if you use a system that doesn’t update automatically, you’ll need to regularly check for updates. Updates help to fix bugs and run the latest security features. Once this is done, your system will run in an optimised condition, offering excellent performance. 

“err_ssl_protocol_error” on WordPress – How Can It Be Avoided in Future 

You might not be able to avoid the err_ssl_protocol_error WordPress altogether. Sometimes this happens and goes away within a few seconds, especially when the issue is not from your end. 

However, you should ensure the host of your site has a valid SSL certificate. To be sure, opt for a paid host and clear your SSL state, browser cache and cookies. Note that you may have to re-log into sites you previously visited all over again. Furthermore, check out for your browser updates to run on the latest security features and update your device operating systems. 

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“err_ssl_protocol_error” on WordPress – Conclusion 

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in WordPress can be annoying sometimes. While the issue may be from the server’s end, it can also be from the browser’s end. It’s great to know some of the ways to fix this error.

Remember that one method might not fix the error, so run through the steps. Remember, to browser cache, update browser and operating system to reduce the reoccurrence of the error.

Also, remember to leave a comment and share the knowledge.