In this WordPress HTTPS redirect guide, I will show you how to quickly switch your website from HTTP to HTTPS using a WordPress HTTPS plugin. The HTTPS migration SEO checklist given in this article will enable you to be up and running using SSL in no time.
WordPress HTTPS Redirect
I am not going to spend time talking about the importance of SSL and why you should switch. If you would like more information on this, then make sure you read my post what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS before continuing.
Once you know the difference and why switching is important, let’s get down to actually switching your site to HTTPS.
For the purpose of this article, I will assume you are using CPanel, however, the steps will be similar no matter which hosting control panel you are using. Most hosting providers offer a free SSL certificate, but if yours does not, pop over to Let’s Encrypt to gets yours.
WordPress HTTPS Plugin
The most popular way to set up SSL on any website is to do so via htaccess. However, I understand that many website owners won’t have the confidence to do this. Therefore, I would recommend downloading and installing the Really Simple SSL plugin, which in my opinion is the best WordPress HTTPS plugin.
This WordPress HTTPS plugin enables even the most novice of WordPress owners to switch their website themselves without any coding knowledge.
HTTPS Migration SEO Checklist
Follow the simple steps in the below HTTPS migration SEO checklist and your WordPress website should be SSL compliant in less than 30 minutes.
Make sure you have a full backup of your website.
Login to CPanel and go to ‘Security – Lets Encrypt SSL’.
Follow the on-screen steps to install your SSL Certificate.
Login to your WordPress admin and install the ‘Really Simple SSL’ plugin.
Once installed and activated, hit the ‘Enable SSL’ button.
Log out of WordPress and log back in again.
If your website uses any cache plugins, purge the cache of the site.
Check the front end of your website to ensure the HTTP version redirects to HTTPS.
Login to your Google Search Console account and add the HTTPS versions for both the www and non-www versions of your site. Set the preferred domain to www or non-www, make sure the international targeting settings are correct and submit your XML sitemap. Traffic should now slowly reduce for the HTTP website and switchover to the HTTPS version over the coming weeks.
Login to your Google Analytics account and change your site from HTTP to HTTPS by going to ‘Admin – Property Settings’ and ‘View – View Settings’ (for each different view created). Go to ‘Property – All Products’ and edit the Search Console Settings to relink the profile to the HTTPS version of the site, if required.
Finally, if you also use Bing Places and/or Bing Webmaster Tools, make sure you edit your profile to HTTPS and/or create a HTTPS profile and submit the XML sitemap.
Following the steps above will not just make sure your site is correctly setup for SSL, but it will ensure that Google and Bing will start indexing and ranking the correct versions to preserve any SEO efforts.
You may find that your website still has some mixed content issues after the switch – this is where some areas of your site are still referencing old HTTP elements. The most common are images if you have a full URL path to an image within your content.
To find out if this applies to you, I would suggest you take up our offer for a free SEO audit immediately after following the checklist above. This will give you a report showing where any mixed content issues are present and how to fix them.
I hope you found this guide helpful, but if you do have any issues or questions, then please do leave your comments below and I will get straight back to you.
Michael is a successful entrepreneur with a strong background in all areas of web development, online marketing, graphic design and IT. As the current owner of Improve Position, as well as a small range of other related businesses, Michael’s enthusiasm shines through with his passion to help others understand and succeed in the world of online business marketing.
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