How do I migrate my website to https?


Migrating has lots of advantages. SEO-wise Google will reward you, but keep in mind that there are also risks. Take a look at our advice below to make ensure a flawless migration, or let Humix do a complete scan so we can give you tailor-made advice for your company.

http ->https

Google looks at the http and https variants as two different domains. In other words, the consequences of a migration to https are SEO-wise just as radical as when you switch to a whole new domain name with a matching new URL-structure. Make sure that the complete https configuration gets a score of A or A+.

To test this, use this tool: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

SSL Certificate

Use a certificate from a reliable authority which is authorised to give out these certificates (for example Comodo, Symantec or GlobalSign). It’s preferable that u use a certificate with a 2048-bit private key. By now, Google has set this as a basic requirement. There are 3 kinds of validations and certificates available:

  1. domain validation (lock without green address bar)
  2. organisation validation (lock without green address bar but with company information)
  3. extensive validation (lock with green address bar and company information)

If you consider to take one, choose one with an extensive validity.

Backlinks

Look at the backlinks profile and check if it’s possible to replace important backlinks for the new https-variant. Unfortunately you’re not able to do this yourself. With important links you can always contact the administrator of the website to change this. If you have toxic links, ask Google to delete them (disavow links).

Canonical URL’s

Replace all the canonical URLs of your website by the new https-variant. This way, you help Google to determine which version of your website should show up in the rankings.

301 redirects

Insert permanent redirects from the old website’s URLs to the https-variant of these pages through a 301 redirect. For example, make an export of the old URLs and map out where these have to link to. Through a script, you can change them all at once. Don’t redirect every URL to the homepage because otherwise the link value of these pages is lost. Best practice is to really redirect every URL to the new one. To prevent any caching issues you can also work with 302 redirects during the first few days. If everything seems to be working fine, you can change these in 301 redirects.

Internal linking

Replace all the internal links on the website to the https-variant of this link. This applies to not only the text links, but also for images, stylesheets,…

Social Media

Check your Social Media channels (especially Google+) and replace every URL with the https-variant.

Sitemap – robots.txt

Check the sitemap and the robots.txt file of your website and change the URLs to the https-variant.

Htaccess rewrite

Of course all incoming requests that still contain a http have to be rewritten to a https request. You can do this through the addition below:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

 

 

Of course this isn’t the only thing that you have to think about with a migration. Do you need more information about migration or do you want to know what the opportunities are on your website to make it perform better? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Andreas Remes | 17 October 2016

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