I am not much familiar with server configurations, please help me on this issue:

I have a Debian8 server and a SSL certificate, the SSL certificate only for My non-www domain so I would like to redirect all of www request into non-www, by below htaccess code its working for some browsers but not working for some other

On Chrome: Successfully redirecting http://www.example.com or http://example.com request into https://example.com this is what I want for all browsers.

On Mozilla: Redirecting http://www.example.com request into https://www.example.com and stopped working with INSECURE CONNECTION error. I think from here browser checking first for SSL certificate of www and stop before non-www redirect.

Following is my .htaccess to redirect www to non www with https, is anything I missed on .htaccess? or any other solution through DNS or with help of apache default ssl.conf.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.*)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%1/$1 [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

My SSL certificate is Certbot and I followed this tutorial to install https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TPoGQ4IjDI&t=100s you could see there is only one domain prompting that is non-www, no option for setting SSL certificate for www. If I could get a SSL certificate for www then also I can solve the issue.

3 Answers 3


its working for some browsers but not working for some other

It shouldn't be "working" for any browser, unless you have perhaps previously accepted the invalid certificate? You will get the invalid certificate browser warning before your site receives the request. The SSL handshake is the very first thing that occurs during the request to ensure the connection is secure, it's not possible to implement a redirect (or anything) before this occurs.

The only way to resolve your problem is to implement a SSL cert that covers the www subdomain.

  • but its totally working fine in Chrome, anyway like you said, let me think about new certificate that covers the www also... Jul 3, 2017 at 9:23
  • here is a free ssl certificate that provide free ssl for www and non-ww , but I don't know how to install this in a Debian8 server. Jul 3, 2017 at 9:27
  • sorry link missed sslforfree.com Jul 3, 2017 at 9:56
  • 2
    You would expect to see a browser cert warning when trying to access https://www.example.com (ie. HTTPS and www) since the cert does not cover www. This is what I assume you must be requesting (or you have enabled HSTS)? In this situation, a cert that covers www is required. (Most basic certs do cover both the apex domain and www subdomain these days.) However, on re-reading your question, you would not normally expect a request for http://www.example.com to result in an INSECURE CONNECTION error (unless you had enabled HSTS - in which case the browser auto upgrades the connection)?
    – MrWhite
    Jul 3, 2017 at 10:05
  • 1
    When the user accesses https://... you can send back a Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=NNNN HTTP response header. From now on (until it expires) the browser will always send requests to HTTPS, even if the user types HTTP. You should consider this a one-way process - there is no way to go back to HTTP (before it expires), once HSTS has been enabled.
    – MrWhite
    Jul 3, 2017 at 11:00

This should be a comment, but its a bit long.

I think from here browser checking first for SSL certificate of www and stop before non-www redirect.

Why do you think that?

Did you look at your logs to see what was actually being requested?

The most likely reason for this behaviour is that your Firefox browser is unable to verify the certificate - but you checked the specific error message and decided it wasn't relevant to the discussion here so you didn't tell us what it is. And you tried pointing firefox directly at https://example.com and did not get the same error.

Or did you?

  • thanks for the answer, I am going to install a SSL thats covers www also Jul 3, 2017 at 9:25

it Worked for me!
Basically in the term of SSL http://www.example.com and http://example.com are Different domains. you need to reissue certificate and add http://example.com as primary domain and add other domain http://www.example.com


  • This is a comment on another answer and seems to promote a particular vendor.
    – RalfFriedl
    Sep 27, 2018 at 6:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .