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How Can I View My Staging Site and Its Links Over HTTPS?

If your live site has an SSL certificate installed and is using HTTPS links (in other words: if your site has the famous green padlock indicating that it’s fully secure), there’s a good chance that the Staging site may have broken links, or may even seem completely inaccessible because of browser warnings:

While this warning may appear very ominous, it’s actually nothing to worry about! Staging subdomains aren’t covered by the live site’s SSL certificate, so this warning is normal.

It may seem like this means the Staging site needs all of its links changed to plain HTTP, but fortunately, there’s a much easier way around the issue!

To get around that scary-looking warning and load the Staging site, just click through. Don’t worry; it’s safe to do so.

This guide only applies to Flywheel Staging sites. If you see this warning elsewhere on the web, it’s best to avoid loading the site.

1. Visit the Staging site over HTTPS

If you’re already seeing a warning screen in your browser like the one above, you can skip this step.
Otherwise, if you’re just seeing broken links on the Staging site, you probably just need to load the site over HTTPS. (As a side note, the Jetpack plugin can also cause image link issues on Staging.)
Visit the Staging link, but add https:// in front of “staging” to load the Staging site over HTTPS.,

2. If prompted, re-enter the site’s Privacy Mode credentials

These can be found in the Staging tab of the site’s Flywheel dashboard.

3. Click ‘Advanced’ (in Chrome and Firefox), or ‘Show details’ (in Safari)

4. Click ‘proceed anyway’ (in Chrome), ‘Add exception’ (in Firefox), or ‘Visit this website’ (in Safari)

5. If necessary, click ‘Confirm Security Exception’ in the Firefox popup window

That’s it! Now you can load your Staging site over HTTPS without broken links, and there’s no need to switch links between the live site and the Staging site.