Cyber-attacks and the hacking of websites are increasing day by day, leading to an increase in online security. Google undoubtedly loves secured sites. Back in July 2018, Google had announced that Chrome and Firefox would be marking all ‘HTTP’ websites as ‘Not Secure.’
Before this, in 2014, Google had endorsed ‘HTTPS – as a ranking factor.’ Let us understand through this guide the HTTP to HTTPS Migration.
What is HTTP & HTTPS?
HTTP abbreviated for HyperText Transfer Protocol, is used over the Internet for communication on device networks. HTTP works at the application layer. The data transferred via HTTP is not secure.
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS carries the encryption facilities before transferring data over the Internet. This protocol uses SSL certificates. HTTPS works in the Transport Layer(a layer responsible for delivering messages between network hosts) of OSI Model.
We are often posed with the dilemma of whether or not an HTTP to HTTPS migration is appropriate. HTTPS equips us with better security settings, uncompromised referral data, and a better SEO ranking than HTTP. However, before picking one over the other, let us understand what is HTTP and HTTPS, and what they offer.
What does HTTPS provide?
HTTPS acts like a protective wall between attackers and your server and browser. It provides a secure layer of confidentiality when data transfer happens between the browser and the server of the user. This secure layer ensures that no one breaches the confidentiality of the communication.
HTTPS ensures data integrity by ensuring that the data exchanged or transferred over the World Wide Web is not modified or compromised in any manner. If a user is about to access an unsecured website, a warning is posted to alert the user of the potential threat.
HTTPS ensures that the websites and Web pages that a user interacts with are safe and secure. An additional layer of security is added because it uses certificates to authenticate (verify the identity of) the user as well as the website. This layer of security allows the user to have a trusted communication with the Web page and also lays the foundation for reliable data transfer.
How Migration from HTTP to HTTPs Works
Purchase and Installation of SSL Certificates
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are installed on the website’s creation server. SSL certificate encrypts data and transfers it to the destination securely. SSL validations are offered at three levels:
Used for small websites with no transaction goals, Domain SSL does not require in-depth security procedures to be followed, just the email verifications.
This requires comparatively higher verification methods. Organisation SSL requires the ownership of the company to be validated.
This is the most rigorous verification amongst all. Extended SSL takes the process in-depth to verify company details. Once verified, Extended SSL makes the bar look green in browsers and seems more secure as an identification.
Setup 301 Redirects
SEO friendly websites always recommend the permanent 301 redirects on temporary sites. While redirecting, CMS (Content Management Systems) like Magneto and WordPress automatically handle redirection, whereas, other CMS panels need to update the .htaccess file with useful logs.
Updating Social Media Links
All the insecure HTTP version links present on social media need to be updated with secure HTTPS links. This step would boost backlinks positively.
Configuring New Sitemap
While managing websites, the sitemap needs to be regenerated and submitted in the Google search console. Updating the XML sitemaps in the robots.txt file is also an essential step.
Updating Assorted Content Issues
To rank high on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), the content on your website is a primary factor. The images placed on the sites are also very crucial. Assorted content is the mixed content on a website. Websites may contain individual images with the ‘http’ version, which may weaken website security. Using the Screaming Frog tool, figure out all the URLs in the ‘HTTP’ version that need to change into the secure version ‘HTTPS.’
Update HTTP versions to Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics (GA)
GSC and GA need to be updated with the new version to track the live updates on a website. Google considers ‘HTTP’ and ‘HTTPS’ as different sites. Updating this would help monitor the traffic received on both versions.
Problems may arise if the past version of the website contains any toxic links. Therefore, while updating GSC, it is essential to resubmit the disavow file using the disavow tool.
Migrating websites from an insecure version to the secured version is a bit of a task. But security is what owners demand for their websites. These migrations, along with the spurt in SEO services, care about authenticity. The SSL certificate ensures that the required protocols in establishing the secured links between the networks are followed.
Have you migrated your site? Contact the best SEO company to help you in migrating your websites keeping the various SEO approaches in mind.
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