HTTP To HTTPS : Why Should Switch Your Website HTTPS?

HTTP To HTTPS – Step by step guide to migrate website from nonsecure to secure

HTTPS is mandatory now. If you are still running your website on HTTP then you have to move your website HTTP To HTTPS as Google considers HTTPS as a ranking signal.

Google, the world’s favorite search engine is on a mission to make HTTPS a standard web protocol across the world. With the given advantage of HTTPS by search engines and the browser community, perhaps this is the best time for webmasters to migrate their websites from HTTP to HTTPS.

In this article, we will be explaining in simple terms what you need to do and how you need to do it to migrate your websites from HTTP to HTTPS.

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What Is HTTP And HTTPS? How Are They Different From Each Other?

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the cornerstone web technology that helps to transmit and share information across the WWW (World Wide Web).

However, it has some downsides too. Its most striking shortcoming is security. HTTP is not secure for modern-day web purposes. It is easy to break in by unauthorized personnel for hacking and data theft.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the second coming of HTTP. It will make the Internet a safe haven for day-to-day transactions like eCommerce, Internet banking, instant messaging, video chat, file transfer, cloud storage, etc.

SSL Makes All The Difference

The key point of difference between HTTP and HTTPS is an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts the data before sending or receiving between a web server and a web browser. The data encryption ensures that no harmful malware, virus, or even security threats sneak into the network of the end-user.

The following table enlisting the differences between HTTP and HTTPS will help you understand both technologies in a better light.

Particulars HTTP HTTPS
URL URL has the prefix “HTTP://” URL has the prefix “HTTPS://”
COMMUNICATION Uses a Port 80 Uses Port 443
SECURITY Has proven security issues Eliminates threats for online information exchange

The Compelling Need for HTTPS Migration

  • Google has made it clear that HTTPS helps to boost search engine ranking. It means HTTPS web pages have a high probability of landing in the top search results than those running on HTTP.
  • Google Chrome new version 56 labels indicator as ‘not secure’ for HTTP pages which collects passwords or credit cards. Even, Mozilla in its upcoming releases will show a context message when a user enters credentials on insecure pages.
  • Customer/users consider HTTPS as a sign of confidence and security for transacting or exchanging information with the website.
  • Further, the Internet is adopting HTTP/2 with a rapid pace. It has better a 70% more optimized performance across all browsers compared to HTTP/1.1. Therefore also, HTTPS is a must to adopt HTTP/2.

The Roadmap For HTTP To HTTPS Conversion

  1. Purchase SSL certificate and Configure it
  2. Change website links with HTTPS
  3. Set Up 301 redirects to HTTPS
  4. Test and Deploy

1.   Purchase and Configure SSL Certificate

There are various types of SSL certificates available in the market. There are 3 major varieties of SSL certificates :

You can select from any as per your business/website requirement.

How To Configure A SSL Certificate For The Website?

The process of configuring an SSL certificate is fairly simple and easy. The following steps outline will help you how can get it done.

  1. Prepare your WHOIS record with the correct name, location and country details.
  2. Generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on the server to be submitted to the certificate issuing authority.
  3. Create a private key along with the CSR. (It should NOT be submitted along with the CSR).
  4. Submit the CSR to the certificate issuing authority after encoding it with the relevant specification.
  5. Obtain validation for your domain name and location and other submitted credentials.
  6. On receiving the certificate from the issuing authority, install it in your server.

1. Factors To Consider While Buying SSL Certificate:

Some checkpoints you can keep in mind while buying an SSL certificate for website security.

  • Domain Support as required by your website (single, sub-domains or multiple domains)
Products Supports Offer Price CA Price
RapidSSL Certificate Single Domain $12.00/yr. $47.37/yr.
Comodo Positive SSL Multi Domain Multiple Domains $30.00 /yr. $158.40 /yr.
Comodo Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Primary Domain + It’s Sub Domains $90.00 /yr. $383.04 /yr.
  • Extended validation support (if required)
  • Flexible pricing
  • Browser compatibility
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Technical support
  • Validity, warranty and products

2.   Change Website Links With HTTPS

The next step in HTTP to HTTPS conversion is rebuilding all the website links to reflect the HTTPS encryption. If you are using CMS like WordPress, even permalinks have to be changed to HTTPS. If you have not been using relative links within the website until now, do a further search into the website’s content to trace links that point to other locations within the website. Such links should also be converted to HTTPS for the SSL security to take place.

3.   Set Up 301 Redirects To HTTPS

301 redirects is like notifying your contacts of your changed address but in an automatic manner. Setting up 301 redirects is very important from an SEO point of view. If the redirect is not implemented correctly, it could deplete your search engine rankings.

The 301 redirects can be done manually through the insertion of codes at the server level. For a website that contains hundreds of links, updating codes at the server level is the best way for 301 redirects. It will save time, will give consistent updating of codes and will ensure that no code is left in HTTP to HTTPS conversion.

It can be done by inserting the below-mentioned codes in the .htaccess file located in the server’s root file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

4.   Test And Deploy

Like with any other digital transformation, your HTTP to HTTPS conversion cannot be completed before testing for its veracity. Conduct a complete website testing to ensure that all the links are updated with the HTTPS, the redirects are functioning properly and that the web content is also secured after the migration.

If you find any error in testing, go ahead and deploy your SSL encrypted website.


Migrating to HTTPS is a great investment for the future. Of course, it is not an easy task. If you are someone who is not used to doing core technical tasks, you are bound to feel lost in the process of HTTP to HTTPS conversion. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources available (including this article) which will help you get through with the migration. Rest assured that the migration will gain your website a better chance at higher search engine ranking, more conversions and compatibility with all browsers.


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