How to Cleanly Remove the Really Simple SSL Plugin

Really Simple SSL is a plugin that is used and installed on a number of sites that have a valid SSL cert to make the site load over HTTPS. But the plugin does not need to be used if the site database already has had a search-replace run from HTTP to HTTPS. If you have used WP-CLI then you can very easily run a search and replace in the sites database before baking a site database backup.

wp db export
wp search-replace '' 'https:/' --recurse-objects --skip-columns=user_email,guid --all-tables
wp option update home ''
wp option update siteurl ''
wp rewrite flush

Really Simple SSL plugin can be cleanly removed when it has been uninstalled. The plugin has a setting to keep the site being HTTPS when deactivated;

Settings > SSL

Then from Settings.

Then deactivate the plugin but keep the SSL button.

If the plugin is causing an issue when it can not be deactivated on a site then you can manually remove any of the changes it has made to the site.

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First, you can rename the plugin folder name from really-simple-ssl-bk which would be in the wp-content/plugins folder on the site server. When you now reload the plugin list screen in wp-admin the site will show that the Really Simple SSL plugin PHP file could not be found and the plugin will be deactivated. If you have used WP-CLI before you can also easily deactivate the Really Simple SSL plugin.

wp plugin deactivate really-simple-ssl

Or you can uninstall and delete the plugin using this WP-CLI command;

wp plugin uninstall really-simple-ssl

Next, you will need to look for any Really Simple SSL entries made into the sites .htaccess file the lines to look for;

# BEGIN rlrssslReallySimpleSSL rsssl_version[3.2.6]
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]
# END rlrssslReallySimpleSSL

Now go check that the sites wp-config.php file has not had any changes made related to the Really Simple SSL.

Using the siteurl and home constants in the sites wp-config.php file can cause issues when you need to clone the site to create a staging or development site.

The Really Simple SSL plugin creates the following option names which you can search for a delete using phpMyAdmin from the options database table;


Removing the Really Simple SSL will remove the need for a plugin dependency for something as basic as having a site load over HTTPS when a valid SSL cert has been installed.

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