How to Fix NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID on Chrome?

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SSL connection error or SSL error generally occurs whenever the user tries to get securely connected to a website server. These SSL errors occur mostly due to improper executions of SSL/TLS Certificates, resulting in the error message being displayed instead of a website being loaded.

ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID

If you’re trying to open a website and you face this general SSL error, “NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID”, no need to worry. Here, we’ll help you know what this error message is and what’s the reason behind it. Also, a solution to fix this error.
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What is Common Name on an SSL Certificate that You See In NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID and What Causes It?

Put simply, a common name on an SSL/TLS certificate is the domain name, which must match exactly with the web address in your host. For example, if you’re going to secure example.com with an SSL/TLS Certificate, the common name must also be example.com.

Also, there are two different versions of the domain name, WWW and non-WWW. So, the common name can be seen on both. And, a common name can have a subdomain such as test1.example.com

The common name could be similar to the web address included in the search console and web server. And, the common name mismatch error can occur if the name of the SSL/TLS Certificate fails to match with the web address present in the address or search bar.

Why NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID is Displayed in Google Chrome?

To be precise, common name mismatch error is displayed whenever the domain name is not listed on the installed SSL/TLS Certificate either as the common name, subject alternative name or even as a wildcard.

Apart from these causes, another reason for Google Chrome to display NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID error message could be because of a misconfigured redirect.

Ways to Eliminate NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID in Google Chrome

Before you fix this NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID Error, it’s recommended to get to know what’s causing the error in your Google Chrome browser. If you get the reason behind it, then you will be able to solve it quickly with any of the given solutions.

1. Make Sure the SSL/TLS Certificate Installed on a Domain is Correct

It’s one of the common reasons why the “NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID” error occurs. If the domain name is not included in the SSL/TLS certificate, then this mismatch between the domain and the certificate can occur.

The easiest way to find out is by inspecting the installed certificate and comparing it with the information of the domain “issued to” with the certificate installed on the domain. If the certificate is SAN or wildcard, then you must also check the list of SANs on the certificate, as well or check whether the certificate installed under the domain is eligible to cover under a wildcard.

2. Inspect the Redirects and WWW vs. Non-WWW

Check whether the visitors of your website are forcefully redirected by Google Chrome to another version of your website. If that’s the case, then adjust the settings to eliminate the redirection issue. If the redirect is mandatory, then you may need another SSL/TLS Certificate to cover the domain to which the users are redirected.

Also, verify whether you’re forcing the traffic through the WWW or non-WWW version of the domain. It’s important as SSL/TLS Certificates may not cover both the WWW and non-WWW website versions by default. In that case, you’ll need to confirm that your installed certificate includes both the versions of the website by default.

Other Troubleshooting Steps for WordPress and cPanel

Check Whether the Website Address is Set Properly in the WordPress General Settings

Many times, out of curiosity, new users change the site’s protocol to secured HTTPS from an unsecured HTTP without purchasing and installing an SSL/TLS Certificate. Once the change is saved, error NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID, will be displayed by the web-browser. Also, to solve the issue, it’s recommended to revert the site address to the old HTTP URL from the WordPress General Settings until the SSL is installed

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To make the change, go to General Settings of the WordPress account and check the URL. If the entered URL is the secured version without any purchase or installation of an SSL/TLS Certificate, then change it back to HTTP.

In Hosting, Change Information of the URL via phpMyAdmin

Once the WordPress settings are changed to the secured (HTTPS) version without installing an SSL/TLS Certificate, getting back to your dashboard might become a problem. Most probably, you won’t even be able to access your login page. To solve this issue, you have to make certain tweaks in your hosting files.

Go to the cPanel and click on the ‘phpMyAdmin’ option.

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Then, go to your database. If you’re hosting more than one website, then select the right database.
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Now, select the WP options that allow you to edit themes, plugins, and settings of the WordPress website (Select Wp_options).
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Here, you have to select the edit option for the home URL and site url under “option_name.” If any of these two sections are not similar, you’ll get the error. Simply, put the identical web address in both locations. It’s the option through which you can revert any accidental change in the URL through the WordPress settings area. In other words, another option to access the WordPress settings indirectly is to change the address or edit the URL.

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