We know that Google now wants our site to be on HTTPS. Not only does it help your rankings, Google will also be showing a warning of some kind in Chrome 42 for non-secure sites. Outside of that, did you know that consumers actually look at websites to see if they are secure before entering their credit card? It is true, a pool of users do this and will not purchase from unsecure sites. About a month ago I told everyone they needed to switch to HTTPS. I made it clear it should be part of their late 2015 or early 2016 Internet marketing planning. Well, at Ignite Visibility we practice what we preach. In this post I am going to give you the skinny on how I migrated https://ignitevisibility.com to https://ignitevisibility.com, and didn’t miss a beat.
Contacted the Hosting Company
Even though I have done this a bunch of times, I was a little paranoid because so many things can go wrong. The first thing I did was contact our hosting company, wpengine.com, “who is awesome by the way.” They gave me the run down on all the things that could go wrong.
Bought the Security Certificate
Next I bought the security certificate from wpengine. It took about an hour to populate on the website.
Launched the HTTPS Version
Next the HTTPS version went live. At this point, it was there for people to see (I didn’t have a robots.txt block on the website or anything) so we had to move quick.
Installed Webmaster Tools for Bing and Google
I quickly installed Webmaster Tools for Bing and Google. This allowed us to get eyes on the website right away.
Updated all the Internal Linking
One of the most tedious things we had to do was update the internal linking on the website. I pulled in some help for this. Big thanks to Tiny Frog for helping out with this part. If the links would have still been pointing at http instead of https, it would have been confusing for Google.
Made Sure Images Were Relative
We changed all the links to relative links, so that they wouldn’t flag any security warnings. So before there were coming from https://ignitevisibility.com/<image-location> and now they come from /<image-location>
Tested the Pages to Ensure they Were Secure
Next, we reviewed each template on the website to make sure it was secure. At this point we found that a few of the fonts were not safe. We changed those out and made sure each page validated.
Submitted the New HTTPS Version to Bing and Google
Now that we were feeling good about the current state of the site, I submitted key pages, the xml sitemap, image sitemap and video sitemap to Bing and Google for the HTTPS site. At this point, the search engines were aware of the site.
Pushed the 301 Redirects Live
Next, it was time to push the 301 redirects live from HTTP to HTTPS. After pushing the redirects live, I resubmitted the HTTP site to Google and Bing. This allowed the search engines to see the 301 redirects that were in place. I also submitted a few key pages.
Changed all the External Links I Could
This part is still ongoing, but certainly moving forward. I changed all the links that were pointing at the site which I could control. Kari Luu, a member of our team, changed all the social media profile links.
Emailed Everyone Who has Ever Linked to Us
At this point, there were so many links left out there. So Noella, a member of our team, sent an email to everyone who has linked to us and asked them to link to the correct version of the site.
We Waited and Watched
After doing all of this, it was time to take a breather. After only a day and half, the HTTPS pages started showing up in the index. Almost all of the pages are now ranking higher than they were and traffic is up about 30% daily.