Recent updates made it clear that HTTPS is must, else Chrome will display the site as ‘not secure’. So, here are 8 steps to guide you through on HTTP to HTTPS Migration

https error

Websites are the gateway to brand reputation in this digital world. The better your website is, the more visitors you can get. So how do you make your website better? The first step to making a superlative website is to have an HTTPS.

The recent update by Google on 8th February 2018 made it clear that if you have a website that is not secured with HTTPS, Google Chrome will display the site as ‘not secure’. Mozilla Firefox had executed this strategy right at the outset of 2017. For business owners who have still not got their website migrated to HTTPS, now is the right time to do it.

However, before you make this huge switch, you should draft a proper plan for the hassle-free migration. Check out the rankings of your website on Google and have a complete backup of the information stored therein that includes social shares too. Select the appropriate deployment option according to your business requirements so that you do not have to confront any bugs during or after the process. It is an exhaustive process to migrate your HTTP website to HTTPS, but it gives you the benefit of a better SEO ranking, more visitors to your website, improved sales, and enhanced customer trust. E-commerce website owners should definitely implement this strategy in their website development.

To make things simpler for you, here is a complete guide to help you with a smooth migration from HTTP. 

1. Install a security certificate for the website

SSL Certificate, also known as Secure Sockets Layer is a must to encrypt the information shared between the browser and server. There are 3 main types of SSL Certificates discussed below:
  1. Domain Validation
    This type of validation is the most economical certification that requires no paperwork. Only an email validation is enough, and the Certificate Authority will issue the certificate almost instantly. It is used for a single domain or subdomain for a website.
  2.  Business or Organization Validation
    A single domain or subdomain can be secured with the help of Business Validation. You will be asked for business verification and if the Certificate Authority finds it appropriate, you will get the Certificate in 1 to 3 days.
  3. Extended Validation
    If you need to offer better security or trust to your website visitors, EV SSL is perfect for you. It shows a green padlock with the Secure tag on your website. You can secure a single domain or subdomain with the help of these certificates. It takes 2 to 7 days to get this certificate.
Subdomain Migration

There’s another type of certificate known as Wildcard SSL Certificate that can be used to secure multiple subdomains for the same website. If you are looking forward to subdomain migration, you should consider buying Wildcard SSL. It helps you save your money and time as it allows you to secure the full domain with all the subdomains. The best Wildcard SSL Certificate is available in the digital marketplace at budget prices. 

http to https migration wildcard


2. Make sure there are no mixed content issues

Mixed content is a challenge that many website owners face after migration to HTTPS. Sometimes, the initial page loads over an HTTPS connection while images or scripts load over an HTTP connection. As a result, some of the content is secure while the remaining resources stay insecure. It is important to overcome this issue because HTTP resources make the entire website susceptible to hackers by diminishing its security. 

Image Source: Finalsite Support

It is simple to update the internal resources to HTTPS. Just use find-and-replace database query or upgrade-insecure-requests CSP directive that makes the web browser request for the HTTPS version of the respective resource.

3. Redirects should be updated on external links

If you miss out on this important step, the redirects may jump from old structure to the new one before switching to HTTPS with another redirect. You should have the full data for backlinks and audit them. Subsequently, you should run every referred page through a tool known as Screaming Frog to ensure that all the web pages are mapped to the appropriate page and there are no unnecessary redirects.

4. Activate HSTS

If you use redirection as the sole mechanism for HTTPS, it can still put your website at risk to hackers. HTTP Strict Transport Security or HSTS as it is called in short processes every request for resources to load through HTTPS. To enable this system, you should have a valid SSL Certificate that is valid for all subdomains. Once you do this, you should include a line of code to the .htaccess or webconfig file.

http to https migration HSTS security

5. Include HTTP/2

Hypertext Transfer Protocol/2 is used to enhance the performance of the website and concomitant processing of several requests all at once. When compared to HTTP/1.1, the loading time of HTTP/2 websites is enhanced 50-70%.

6. Edit XML sitemaps, Sitemap references, Canonical Tags and HREF LANG in robots.txt

It is of paramount importance that the XML sitemaps, canonical tags, HREF LANG and sitemap references of the robots.txt point to the HTTPS URL. Not following this guideline will exhaust your crawl budget because of the inaccessible pages and prevent the Googlebot from accessing the actual page.

7. Google Search Console should include the HTTPS versions

Google Search Console or GSC is a wonderful tool that is a must-have for every website owner. The only disadvantage is that it is active on a subdomain level. Your GSC account should be updated with all the important information like URL parameter settings and the disavow file.
http to https migration

8. Check the default URL in Google Analytics and Social Accounts

Last but not the least, update all the URLs in Google Analytics and social media accounts or email so that the website visitors do not have to face any unnecessary redirections. 

Wrapping Up

Follow a systematic approach as discussed above and you are sure to ace the migration to HTTPS. Remember there are no shortcuts to hard work. 

Persistence, Perseverance and Patience are the three Ps that can get you to a secure website. 


Henry

Henry Emmanuel

Henry is an avid mobile geek who loves to keep a tab on new gadgets. When he is not fanboying over the latest games online, then you will probably find him watching the Originals and Grey's Anatomy. You can chit-chat with him on Facebook where he speaks out fire.

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