Ever since (since 2014 to be precise) Google started actively endorsing the importance of SSL Certifications, websites have been in a hurry to migrate to HTTPS. Google’s announcement in 2016 stated that, “Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure” has almost made it mandatory for e-Commerce websites to migrate to HTTPS immediately. This announcement clearly means that if the website is not SSL certified, Chrome users will get a notification that they are on a “non-secure” website – this can negatively impact websites perception and thus customer faith.
To be perceived as a safe site, websites developers have been burning their time and money to migrate to HTTPS and on getting the HTTPS validations. Often in the rush there are vital small nuances missed that either lead to a drop in traffic or in ranking.
Here are 7 things that you must consider when you want to migrate to HTTPS seamlessly.
- Understand your website: Your website is your face with the customers and often created with utmost diligence. Many revamp their website to stay fresh adding feature after feature over the years. When moving a complex website from HTTP to HTTPS, it is important that you consider the core brand identity. A website may boast of third party assets such as dashboards, blogs, customer support areas, etc. which too need to be compliant while the website wants to migrate to HTTPS to avoid mixed content.
- Decide SSL validation Type: Planning is the key to such intricate moves. Before buying an SSL validation, it is important to understand what needs to be SSL validated. Decide if you need Domain validation (this covers encryption only), Organizational validation (a bit costlier than domain validation but includes Authentication in its coverage), and finally Extended Validation (it ensures best security and is a must for Banks and eCommerce businesses).
- Draw evaluation criteria for SSL Certification Provider: Websites or SSL certification vendors are available at a dime-a-dozen. Whatever is available for free may not be the right choice. You need to have an evaluation plan ready to make the right choice that ensures better experience and return on investment.
- Assemble a team: Migrating a website from HTTP to HTTPS can get tricky. Create a team that will be able to do it properly and accurately. Accurately is the keyword here as fixing issues can be detrimental to the entire process in the short and long term.
- Create link map of your site and redirection: A link map will come in handy after you have bought the SSL validation and you need to fix redirections. This will help you to keep things in motion and avoid getting mixed content.
- Re-add the website to Google Webmaster Tool: After you have the HTTPS website ready, you need to add this to the Google Webmaster Tool and submit the new site map as well in the listings. You need to do this because Google still only recognizes the HTTP site.
- Testing and fixing: Mixed Content occurs when some resources of the HTTPS website such as the images, JS files, videos etc. are still on HTTP. Now these resources will be tagged as ‘insecure’ and will be stopped by the browser from loading. To fix this you need to test your freshly created website and fix mixed content.
After you have considered this, all you need to do is check your keyword ranking, make amends and monitor traffic. If you do not have the resources to migrate to HTTPS, it is best to get a specialist onboard.
The 2023 Guide to SSL Certificate for website