In 2018, Google announced that all sites that are in HTTP will now be considered unsecured connections compared to sites having an HTTPS one.
This update to convert to an HTTPS connection, a vital decision site owners have to make, impacted users’ browsing experience. Any change can be intimidating, but understanding the impacts of converting HTTP to HTTPS is a smart digital marketing move that will benefit you and your business in the long run.
Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know how to convert to HTTPS step-by-step.
Let’s first have a brief comparison between HTTP and HTTPS and identify the distinct separator between them.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and HTTPS have the same purpose. Both are the foundation of online communication – how information is sent from a server to a browser. The only difference is that HTTP doesn’t have the protection of HTTPS.
The SSL certificate is the most significant distinction between the two protocols. In fact, HTTPS is an HTTP protocol with added protection. This added security is important, especially for websites that collect sensitive data from users, such as credit card numbers and passwords. And as an incentive for switching over, Google announced that they would provide HTTPS sites with a minor rankings bump.
Switching to HTTPS indicates that your website is stable, increasing your customers' level of confidence and potentially increasing your revenue. That’s why we’ve compiled the steps you’ll need to successfully migrate your website to HTTPS.
Converting to HTTPS is easy. For a smoother and hassle-free transition to safer data and connection, here’s what you need to do:
To successfully migrate to an HTTPS website, you need to get a valid SSL/TSL certificate for your server and install it. Start with choosing a reliable certificate provider that offers 24/7 tech support. Make sure you choose the appropriate level of security.
Things to consider in buying SSL:
The type of SSL Certificate your business needs. There are three types:
Once you’ve figured out what SSL Certificate is right for your business, it is best to buy an SSL Certificate directly from your hosting provider. This is to ensure that they can activate and that it is installed correctly on your server. If you buy it from an SSL provider, you might need to import the certificate into the server, which can be a little bit tricky without proper support. A simple SSL plugin can help you with the process.
If your website is already established, ensure all your page links directly to an HTTPS URL after the switch. A combination of HTTP or HTTPS for your domain will only confuse readers. And instead of getting the upper hand and better ranking, it only led to penalties from search engine protocols.
A 301 redirect notifies search engines that your site needs to be crawled and indexed anew. Using this makes the migration much cleaner, and is essential for good SEO since it ensures you don’t undermine the user experience. This also helps your website avoid publishing duplicated content, which is commonly flagged and results in a Google penalty.
An unsecured HTTP on your domain's URL can only mean one thing for your readers – your site is outdated, and not compliant with the latest online security demands. You're skyrocketing to let cybercriminals hack your site and steal customer data.
HTTPS, however, does the opposite. Securing a green padlock icon on your domain means that your site is authentic and values integrity. Having HTTPS redirection is your way of saying that you care about making improvements for a better consumer experience.