How can I view my Staging site and its links over HTTPS?

Updated on January 28th, 2022

If your live site has an SSL certificate installed and is using HTTPS links and images, there’s a chance that the staging site may have broken links and images, or may even seem inaccessible due to browser warnings:

While this warning may seem alarming, it is to be expected, since staging sites on our Legacy platform don’t have an active SSL certificate.

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 to view the site correctly.


This guide is for staging sites appearing on Flywheel’s Legacy platform. If your site is on the Flywheel Cloud Platform and has a staging URL that ends with, in most cases it will already be covered by an SSL certificate. If your staging site meets this criteria but does not appear to have SSL installed, reach out to our Happiness Engineers so we can take a look.

Viewing your staging site over HTTPS


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 will want to load the site over HTTPS. Visit the staging url, but add https:// in front of “staging” to load the staging site over HTTPS.


If prompted, re-enter the site's Privacy Mode credentials

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


Bypass the Warning

First, click ‘Advanced’ (in Chrome and Firefox), or ‘Show details’ (in Safari) Firefox requires more steps. (see #4 Below)

Next, click ‘proceed anyway’ (in Chrome), or ‘Visit this website’ (in Safari). 




The following step is only necessary if you are using Firefox as your browser.


Bypassing the Warning in Firefox

  • If necessary, click ‘Confirm Security Exception’ in the Firefox popup window
  • Go to Settings
  • Click on the Privacy & Security tab
  • Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page and you will find a section for Certificates
  • Ensure that the checkbox is unchecked for “Query OCSP responder servers…”
  • Try loading your staging site and you’ll be greeted with a different warning page in Firefox.
  • Once the above steps are complete, visit the staging site again:
  • Click on “Advanced”
  • Then click on “Accept the risk and continue”
  • You’ll now be able to view and edit your site while requesting it via HTTPS. 

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.

As always, if you’re running into any problems, feel free to hop into chat or reach out to us via ticket at any time and we’ll be happy to help you out!


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