Today is September 2018. Google has been aggressively campaigning HTTP websites to become secure and has now upped the game by declaring that all HTTP websites will be marked insecure in Chrome from July 2018.
If you haven’t made the transition of your WordPress website within these two months, do it now!
- Google’s algorithm will give a higher preference for https than HTTP for SEO rankings.
- Would you like it if a warning flashes across your favourite blogger’s website or e-commerce website stating that the connection is not secure? No, right? That’s why. Think about the bad impression formed in your readers’ (bloggers) and customers’ (e-commerce sites) minds.
So today, let’s teach you how to make the transition from HTTP to https in WordPress safely.
Change your WordPress site from HTTP to https
(1) Easy method
Easiest methods almost always include the activation of plugins. Let’s go in ascending order in the level of difficulty.
- I will assume that you already have an SSL certificate, either given free of cost by your host or purchased one. I will also assume that you have already uploaded the certificate to your server.
- Install and activate the free plugin called Simple SSL. It has more than one million active installations and a solid 5-star rating.
- After the activation, a new option gets added to the Settings menu – SSL. Click on SSL, and you will be directed to its configuration page.
- Now sit back and watch as this plugin automatically detects the SSL certification. It also redirects all the HTTP URLs to https.
It also solves the problem of mixed content, partially. This plugin solves the problem by redirecting HTTP to https while the page is still loading. This poses another problem. Your loading time increases and SEO rankings dip. To solve this problem, add a caching plugin. Internal linking learn how to install and configure the best backup plugin UpDraftPlus.
Remember to not deactivate this plugin despite it saying its safe to do so. If you do so, your SSL will be set up with WordPress, but the mixed content issue arises again.
(2) Slightly tough way
If you don’t want to depend on plugins, keep reading.
- Please go through these steps only if you think you can trace back your steps in case of any misstep.
- Please have your site backup handy. It is a safety net in case you cannot perform the migration successfully.
- First of all, visit the General Settings page. Now replace the WordPress URL and Site URL to the https version.
- As soon as you Save this setting, WordPress will log you out, and you have to log in again.
- Now, you need to search every HTTP URL in your main site address and change it to https. If you want to do this the easy way, install and activate the Better Search Replace plugin. This free plugin has over 500,00 active installations and boasts a beautiful 4.5-star rating.
- Use the Tools option in the sidebar and search for URLs starting with HTTP:// and replace it with https:// in the plugin’s page.
- In the Select Tables tab, choose to replace images first, on a trial basis. Enable the option to make URL changes regardless of whether it is in capitals or not.
IMPORTANT! Please remember to leave the Replace GUIDS unchecked.
- To take a trial run (shown as ‘Run as dry run’) and find out a list of mixed content that will be replaced with https:// URL.
- You can now hit the Run Search button. Sit back as it does this job for you.
- To be completely sure that every single HTTP mentions have changed to https in your WordPress site, go over to the whynopadlock.com and find out what exactly stops your green padlock icon.
- You can see a list of those offending URLs now. Go and fix them.
Be very sure of this transition!
- Perform a double-check and see if all the pages and sub-pages beneath your homepage are fully secure.
- To do this, head over to https://www.jitbit.com/sslcheck/ and input your URL. In case any errors are found, it tells you the exact source of insecure content so that you can fix it. However, if your site has more than 200 pages, not all of them will be checked. You will have to buy the tool then.
- CHAMPION CHECK! Now visit your site’s top ten traffic drawing pages and make sure your readers or customers see the nice green padlock placed next to your URL.
Congratulations! You have successfully migrated your WordPress website from HTTP to https.
Now there is just another tiny step to perform.
You need to let Google know about this change.
Google treats HTTP and https sites as separate entities, regardless of who the owner is or if the content is the same.
- So now, Add a New Property with the https:// URL. Verify the Property and upload the new sitemap containing all the https:// URLs.
- To make Google index your site, utilize the Fetch as Google tool.
Great! You have successfully let Google know about the migration.
Now that you have successfully secured your WordPress website with the green lock learn how to secure your website EVEN MORE by knowing how to stop brute force attacks!
If you find any difficulties while securely migrating your WordPress website from HTTP to https, please feel free to contact us.