Beginners guide on transferring HTTP to HTTPS
This simple guide will help you switch your HTTP website to HTTPS.)
Do you still own an HTTP site?
It is good if you are trying to look unique amidst the HTTPs sites.
But it won’t be good anymore as Google is all set to have a crackdown on HTTP site.
The reason is pretty simple—HTTP sites are not safe anymore.
However, the fear of penalty from Google is not the only reason to shift to HTTPs. HTTPS ensures the protection of data to your website as well as your customers.
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP. In HTTPS, the data is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS), an erstwhile Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
The address of an HTTPS website has a green padlock in the starting of their web address.
Simply put, HTTPS is a way to encrypt data between a browser and a web server.
This way, it safeguards your website’s users from cybercriminals who are ready to get into the information being delivered to a website, like credit card info or passwords.
Earlier, HTTPS connection was used by the sites containing sensitive data. Today, more than 50% of websites have switched to HTTPS.
Apart from ensuring data security, switching to HTTPs have many benefits given below:
- HTTPS websites load much faster than HTTP sites. And sites with faster speed are likely to rank better.
- HTTPS has been a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm since 2014.
- HTTPS encourage buyers to interact with your website. Although they don’t have a technical understanding of secure connections, they can see Google’s warning “Not Secure” placed in the URL bar.
- HTTPS will make your website look more authoritative.
HTTPS encrypts sensitive information and helps your website gets better rankings.
How to Shift from HTTP to HTTPS?
I hope that this brief information would have encouraged you to opt for HTTPS.
How to shift from HTTP to HTTPS?
All you need to purchase an SSL certificate; install your SSL certificate on your website’s hosting account and set up 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS.
This seems pretty straightforward and easy. Isn’t it?
But it’s not that easy when it comes to implementing the steps.
There are overwhelming numbers of options offered by SSL certificates vendors to choose from. How to make sure if your all pages have been updated? How to execute the process in the right way?
Many things come into play while shifting from HTTP to HTTPS.
Let’s find out how you can switch to HTTPS from HTTP.
FIRST OF FIRST…
Before starting with the very first step towards HTTPS, consider the following points…
- The ideal time of the HTTPS conversion is during an off time of day or sales cycle to minimize downtime.
- Make sure that your host is ready and capable of delivering an HTTPS website.
- Make sure to inform everyone on the team about the switch.
- The process is time-consuming and takes a lot of efforts.
How Do You Switch?
Purchase an SSL Certificate:
The very first step is to purchase an SSL certificate if you don’t have the one. According to Google, the certificate should be a 2048-bit key or higher. You can buy them from your domain vendors.
Generally, there are three types of a certificate to choose from.
It is available for single domain or subdomain and can be bought for $9 a year. It is issued immediately.
Available for domain or subdomain, it requires verification of a business to ensure a higher level of security. It is generally issued within 1-3 days.
It is also available for domain or subdomain and requires business verification as well. It is issued within 2-7 days. The sites with this certificate type generally have a full green in their URL as you see with banking websites.
Integrate Hosting with SSL Certificate
If your website is not able to set up the SSL Certificate on its own, talk to your vendor. Always seek support when in doubt. Once your website is configured appropriately, there will be no messages regarding invalid certificates while visiting HTTPS pages.
Clear your cache completely to see these changes. Or you can request someone to visit newly made HTTPS page to the site.
Perform a Full Back-Up:
It is always important to back up the data before making major changes to your website. You can consult your hosting company to see if it offers backup service.
Change your HTTP links To HTTPS:
Make sure to update all of the internal links in your website. You can do it manually if you have a few web pages. If you have hundreds of pages, there are the tools that can automate this hectic process.
Change All Your Non-CMS Web Links to HTTPS:
- Change the link path. For example, if the link is http://www.xyz.com/link” than it should be “/link”—. The link should be started from the first “/” to avoid hassles.
- Refresh cache on your website browser. Visit the page of the link and click.
Set Up a 301 Redirect:
Although it sounds challenging, it is a simple process.
A 301 Redirect is used to redirecting traffic from one URL to another. It is more important as your website is going to shift permanently from HTTP to HTTPS, especially if your website has hundreds or even thousands backlinks from other websites.
301 Redirect means you don’t have to change all of these links manually.
The use of 301 Redirect is determined by the type of web server that you utilize. These servers can be Apache, NGinx, LiteSpeed, and Windows. Update the htaaccess file for Apache and LiteSpeed. Update the NGinxConfig file for NGinx. Update the web.config file for Windows.
Update Other Tools and Transactional Emails:
You may have other tools like email marketing, marketing automation and landing page generators built around your websites. Prepare a list of all these tools and check if they mention your webpages. If so, update them to HTTPS.
The same thing goes with your emails like invoices, newsletter and welcome emails.
Update Your Analytics and Search Console:
Last but not least—change the Default URL to HTTPS in your Analytics. Search Engine requires you to add the site with HTTPS. If you are using any third party SEO tool like MOZ.com, make sure to submit the HTTPS version to them to see the score of HTTPS version.
DistanceEducation360.Com is a good example of a website that has shifted from http to https.
There is never a right time to shifting from HTTP to HTTPS for your website. You should do it as soon as possible. It will not only establish you as a secure website to the visitors but also help you get better ranking. While it requires little to no technical know-how to kick start the process with this simple guide, it is better if you seek professional help if the step seems Greek to you.
What do you think? Please let us know by commenting below. Happy transferring to HTTPS!
About Author: My name is Alexey and I am a writer at DailyRazor. DailyRazor is a provider of professional web hosting services along with other web services like domain name, e-commerce, web design, etc.