Creative Web Design: A Step-By-Step Guide To Migrate Your Site To HTTPS
Web design service provider/experts all over the world consider many factors as they go about their business of Web Development. One of the factors they consider is the security of the site amidst website hackers and other online vices.
Online security is increasingly taking center stage in the business of creative web design such that many Web developers have consistently found new and effective ways to stem the tide. Switching to HTTPS happens to be one of the simplest forms of online security.
Certainly, there are many other ways to ensure online security (including using HTTP), but what migrating to HTTPS towers above them all for obvious reasons. First, it presents a safe and secure website to your visitors.
HTTPS, unlike http hosting, is good for business. HTTPS is a stated ranking factor on Google and people who visit your site are reassured of safety.
Hence, shortly, we wouldn’t be asking why we need to migrate to HTTPS, but the question would be when we are going to make the switch?
Are you prepared for or familiar with this technology? If you are not, then you will need to follow this step by step guideline to safely and securely Migrate your site to the HTTPS with little or no impact.
Step l. Buy the right SSL certificate
The first step towards migrating to HTTPS is to purchase the right SSL Certificate for your site. In simple terms, SSL certificates are used to create encrypted and impenetrable links between the Web server and the browser window.
Although there are several kinds of SSL certificates available at different costs, it is pertinent to note that they all basically under the same principles. Paying for a more expensive certificate, for example, will not guarantee you more security because the SSL certificates all have different features.
The entry-level SSLs which are referred to as Domain SSLs are issued instantly and do not require more than an email verification.
While they offer HTTPS browsing with a padlock, their verification process is not in-depth, but just a domain-ownership check. Verification process, just a domain-ownership check.
Small businesses with little budgets that are not receiving online payments will find this very useful.
Next is the Organization SSLs. These types of SSLs take longer periods to be issued, usually within two to three business days. Unlike the entry-level SSLs, they require a higher degree of verification, including checking company ownership. The company name and domain name are conspicuous in the browser bard.
Extended Validation SSLs are the last. They allow you to use “green browser” bard. They are more expensive compared to domain and Organization SSLs. Also, their verification process that comprises of legal, operational as well as physical verification.
For SSLs to be produced, various legal documents need to be produced, and it may take almost a week to be issued.
Step 2. Obtain an SSL certificate installation
The next step after purchasing your SSL Certificate is to approve it. Before the certificate is released, there are different levels of verification. The SSL issuer, for example, can issue the Domain SSLs, immediately the domain owner verifies his email address.
Those using shared hosting can ask their hosting company to assist them as they administer the certificate. Then your hosting company will assist you as it administers the server. Once you have approved the certificate, everything can now be done for you.
Step 3. Do a full back up
To avert the danger of loss of data at any point, it is advisable to periodically do a full back up of all your website files whenever you make major changes to your site.
Step 4. Your HTTP links should be changed to HTTPS
Update all of the internal links in your website before switching to HTTPS. You can go to your website and change any links to HTTP pages on the site to HTTPS links.
How you go about this is dependent on the size of your website. If you have a few pages, you can manually switch to HTTPS, but if on the other hand, you have hundreds or thousands of pages, there are automated tools that can help you switch.
Step 5. Check code libraries
To take this step, you would have to ask your Web Development expert to update all software that generates links or are linked with HTTP pages so as to change them to HTTPS.
Step 6. Update external links under your control
All links that are directed to your site from social media and listings in authority directorate, especially those that are under your control should be updated.
Even if you cannot achieve 100% update, you do not need to worry. You’ll be fine. Focus on the main once.
Step 7. Create a 301 redirect
A 301 Redirect is used to redirect traffic from one URL to another. Since your website is permanently moving from HTTP to HTTPS, the redirection is also permanent.
Creating a 301 redirect is of utmost importance to those with thousands of backlinks pointing to it from other websites.
With a 301 redirect, you do not have to change all the links. A 301 redirect can be set, depending on the type of Web server you use. LiteSpeed, Apache, Nginx, Windows, etc. are the most popular Web servers now.
Step 8 Update CDN SSL
If for instance, you are using a content delivery network (CDN) like CloudFlare, your SSL needs to be synchronized with that system.
An updated CDN does not only guarantee speed but also takes care of security concerns. It is capable of identifying and recognizing various malware patterns to shield your site from online hackers.
You can get instructions from your Web design services provider, Web hosting company or CDN’s technical support team.
Step 9. Update transactional emails and other tools
There are some additional tools businesses use on their websites, such as marketing automation, landing page generator, email marketing, etc.
You may have to compile a list of these software programs. While collating the list, you would need to look out for sites that are referred to HTTP need to prepare a list of these software programs and look for any mentions of web pages that refer to HTTP. Find and update them to HTTPS.
Transactional emails like welcome invoices, forgotten password emails, etc. is another area that needs to be updated.
Step 10. Use Updated Google (Analytics and Search Console)
The final step to take in migrating to HTTPS is updating your Google account. Google Analytics and Google search console are a good place to start.
For Google Analytics, all you need to do is to change the default URL to HTTPS simply. For search console, however, you may have to add the new sites with HTTPS.
In conclusion, the way to go regarding online security is just switching to HTTPS. We are certain that those who are yet to embrace this simple but profound truth will do so sooner or later.
The process is quite simple, but if you are not a technical person, a Web design service provider can help you to utilize the steps mentioned above in ensuring that your switch to HTTPS is seamless.