Is It Worthy to Switch Your Site to HTTPS?
So many discussion come along after the latest announcement by Google that HTTPS is a ranking signal. People argue if it is really worth it or not.
It is clear that the padlock symbol in your address bar have some benefits. However, there are a lot of doubts happened to people before they actually make the switch.
The worries are understandable; make a big change to a website have potential mistakes that could be happened such as bad user experience or the drop of search visibility and rankings.
Whatever the reason is, the change is unavoidable. The web security must be the number one priority of every webmaster. Their responsibility of their own websites are the one that will be awarded by google SERPs.
True Meaning of HTTPS
First, it stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. I know some of you might know it, so let’s go deeper.
Base of what google said, HTTPS “protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and site.” Which consist of three layers of protection namely encryption, data integrity, and authentication.
In a simple way, HTTPS is important to ensuring the safe and security of website visitor/user from internet threat coming everywhere.
Generally speaking, that this HTTPS thing is not make your website impossible to penetrate. Even with the best security programmer in the world, your site is still vulnerable to threats. But yes, it improve your site’s security.
Is HTTPS have More Benefits?
First of all, from the SEO view, websites with better security considered better by google and they will give it some point in its ranking signals. Although for now on, it is only a small lightweight signal and only effects a small number of search queries, most of SEO experts expect this to be better in future.
This is pretty much like how mobile friendly websites have some benefits in SERPs which started to gaining its momentum nowadays when we see mobilegeddon and mobile-first indexing by google. This hopefully will be a clue for website security to be the next priority by google.
The effectiveness of HTTPS is depends on what kind of websites do you have. For instance, an e-commerce websites definitely has a huge advantages using HTTPS mainly to secure the customer’s payment. Once this payment are trusted, visitor will no doubt of coming back.
Moving your websites into a secured environment might not as important as high quality content or link building, but it will be a smart decision to complete your site with it.
If we discuss it deeper, more benefits are available. From the perspective of user experience, visitor would likely to be more trusting a site with an additional ‘s’ letter in their URL bar. They will feel more secure and confident to trust your site contents.
Things to Consider Before Migrating.
Migrating is not without risks, how if the migrating process accidentally block important URLs in robots.txt? Will it slows my website speed? How if I mess up the redirects and canonical tags? Will it drop my rank to the ground? What if my web get sandboxed by google?
Those concern mentioned above should not prevent you to migrate. We don’t know if migrating will impact to our site, but one thing that very clear is that everything should be done in a proper way (don’t stop reading to get the guide).
Step by step HTTPS Migration Guide.
Don’t mess your site in the migration process. Make sure to follow this migration checklist to get it safe:
- Get a security certificate. (SSL certificate). Choose the highest quality of this certificate: as recommended by google is 2018-bit key. We recommend to buy this certificate from your hosting provider hoping that they will assist you install it.
- Set up redirects to keep your visitor in-site if you accidentally broke your links. Redirect all your old HTTP pages to new HTTPS.
- Update your internal links. This need a hard work if your site have a thick content, but it worth it!
- Update all other resources such as images, scripts or downloads to the new HTTPS locations.
- Make sure your HTTPS site is not blocked by robot.txt. Avoid ‘noindex’ tag.
- Reindex your new site using google search console and submit your new sitemap.
- Final test it is working using SSL Server test. Contact your hosting provider if something goes wrong.
Beyond all of the steps, it’s always a good idea to ask an expert’s help to do all the steps. Moreover, you can check the data in your google search console to find whether there are any URL or crawl errors.
To sum up, it is clear that migrating to HTTPS have more advantages than drawbacks. Maintaining the security of your sites will benefit you in some ways until maybe someday google will put a high value into it regarding its position in SERPS.
Just do it if google says you should do it! Right!?