HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration Checklist

I’ve been spending a while now learning new things about SEO and ranking factors. One of these important factors to rank higher on search engines is to perform an HTTP to HTTPs WordPress migration.

Although it wasn’t the case a few years ago, Having an SSL certificate on your site nowadays is considered to be a strong ranking element for better results.

Other elements like page load speed, mobile friendliness, backlinks still count. And recently, performing HTTP to HTTPs WordPress migration is the new strong member to the ranking factors family.

What is HTTPS?

When you browse a website on the internet and check the site browser’s bar on the top, you will find that most websites are using the unencrypted HTTP protocol.

For those sites having HTTPs (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) green browser bar, It means that this site is having an active running SSL certificate. I’m sure you’re familiar with the green padlock icon beside the website URL.

Basically, It works in a way of building a strongly encrypted connection between the site and the browser’s device. That being said, it disallows interception of data from the two machines by hackers and abusers.

Why is HTTPS important?

HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration Checklist htaccess redirect

Using HTTPs has been so ever very important for eCommerce sites. And especially when the site is obtaining strictly confidential information from users such as credit card information or passwords.

Recently, Google included using HTTPs as a ranking factor. This means that those sites that have HTTPs actively installed may rank higher than those other sites that don’t have HTTPs.

That being said, HTTPS is:

  • very good for your site security.
  • very awesome for your online reputation.
  • important to rank higher in search engine results.

In order to run your site on HTTPS, you will need to install an SSL Certificate on your site.

How To Get An SSL Certificate?

Getting an SSL certificate has never been easier. You’ve got several options:

  • Purchasing it from your hosting provider.
  • Obtaining it for free with Let’s Encrypt from your hosting provider.
  • Purchasing it from sites like TheSSLStore.

Basically, it’s kind of a text file with a key. Installing and syncing this key will allows the secure connection between your site and your users.

Once don, you’ll unlock the green padlock on the top browser’s bar.

Which SSL Certificate Type To Choose?

confidential-information-https-wordpress

When it comes to SSL Certificates, there are four main types to choose from. They are all working the same way, however; you still should choose it based on your site nature and the way it works.

Let me share with you short hints about those 4 main types and which one to choose for your website:

  • Domain SSL: It basically covers the yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com. If you’re running a basic website or a blog, then this type should be the perfect choice for you. Furthermore, this is the cheapest type and you can even get it for free with Let’s Encrypt (Ask you web hosting provider whether they support it).

  • Wildcard SSL: It works the same way as Domain SSL. But It covers all the subdomains on your domain. For example, you can run at on whatever.yourdomain.com for an unlimited number of times. This is more expensive than the basic domain SSL yet cost effective.

  • Organization SSL: It’s way more expensive as it adds a padlock icon in the browser’s URL bar. It includes a check on the domain name and company ownership. It’s mostly being used for companies and corporates for a higher reputable online presence.

  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL: It normally takes around 3 to 4 days to be issued. Mostly being used for companies and corporate websites. It allows the site to use the green browser bar.

HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration Checklist:

Now, you should have got a clear idea about what is the SSL certificate, why it’s important to use it, and which type to go for. That being all explained, it’s time to show you how to perform HTTP to HTTPS WordPress migration.

That being all explained, it’s time to show you how to perform HTTP to HTTPS WordPress migration. The below steps should walk you through the process.

Let’s get it started:

1. Obtain & Install SSL Certificate:

I would say it’s way more recommended to purchase the SSL Certificate from your web hosting provider as they’ll help you with the installation.

Please be noted that if you’re not having the necessary technical experience, it’s always better to get a developer’s help or your web hosting provider help.

That’s why I’m recommending that you get it from your hosting company to avoid any installation hassles. You need to make sure it’s going to work on both www. and non-www. versions of your site for the ultimate benefits.

Once installed probably, you should be able to access your site on HTTPS with or without www.

2. Run a Full Website Backup:

It’s so important to run a full backup everytime you’re doing any changes to your site.

Usually installing an SSL Certificate won’t affect your site data. But this is such a necessary step in case any issue would happen, you still do have a full site backup.

You can easily do this via the Full Backup tool in your web hosting cPanel Dashboard. You may also ask your hosting provider to take that measure right before installing the SSL certificate

3. Update Your WordPress Site Address:

Now, you should have installed and activated an SSL certificate on your site. The next step is to tell your site’s WordPress that you’re now on HTTPS.

You will need to go to Settings > General and update WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to the HTTPS address of your site; for example https://www.yourdomain.com.

4. WordPress HTTPS Redirect (301):

WordPress HTTPS Redirect (301) is a very important step to tell Google and search engines that you’ve performed HTTP to HTTPS WordPress migration. It might be a little bit trickier than the rest of steps as it requires a .htaccess file edit.

You will need to login to your hosting account cPanel > File Manager. Head to Public_html > edit .htaccess file. There, you will need to paste the following lines:

 
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^/?(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [R=301,L]

WordPress HTTPS Redirect htaccess code is basically telling your site to redirect any link from the old HTTP URL to the newly activated HTTPS URL.

It will automatically redirect internal and external URLs from HTTP to HTTPS.

5. Update Google Accounts:

You will need to update Google accounts accordingly with the new HTTPS URL of your site. With Google accounts here, I mean Google Analytics, and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

  • Google Analytics: Changing the URL is pretty straightforward and can be done via Admin > Property Settings > Change the Default URL to use HTTPS.
  • Google Search Console: You’ll need to recreate a property with the new HTTPS URL and resubmit a sitemap for it as if you’re setting it up from scratch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to edit URLs there.

HTTPS Migration Checklist:

That was exactly the same exact checklist I’ve followed to perform an HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration. Make sure you’re following the above-mentioned steps carefully and let me know for any questions.

I understand you may not be a technical savvy and may not be able to proceed with the migration yourself. So I strongly recommend that you get a helping hand from your web hosting provider.

They should be able to install the SSL certificate for you and do the HTTP to HTTPs WordPress Migration for you. Just contact them and make sure to stress on having it active on both www. and non-www.


Thanks for reading and sticking by. Please let me know in comments below shall you require any assistance. I would love to help you further. 

Also, don’t forget to share this article with everyone on social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

1 thought on “HTTP to HTTPS WordPress Migration Checklist”

  1. We all know https always paid but the recent time I see some hosting providers give this free for one or two years is it safe for a website? Also is it safe for search engine optimization? Thanks in advance.

    Reply

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