Last July, Google’s very own browser, the ever popular Chrome marked HTTP based sites to be NON-SECURE. The announcement was made at the start of 2018 and it got implemented this July. Although this move has already being implemented by Firefox the success rate was not satisfactory, especially with small business owners using HTTP. But then, Firefox is not the most popular browser of all. That might have been the saving grace.
Chrome has always been the most popular browser globally. A recent survey on browser popularity clearly indicated the fact that Chrome remains the most popular browser of all with around 50% users considering it as their primary browser. But now, Chrome may well be losing out on its popularity level. Ever since it has announced the HTTP to HTTPS transition part, users have become curious. While some of the users have switched to HTTPS for their websites, nearly 50% of the users are still sticking to HTTP for their website address. For these 50% users, security of their websites ignites an issue of trust and survival. The question as to whether things can go on like this or changes must be done is making its rounds seriously.
HTTPS was introduced as an SEO tool way back in 2014. But then, it took quite a bit of year for Google to officially announce the part. Since Google took much of time, it definitely means there something bigger going on in think tank behind Google. There’s a common practice prevalent among Google officials. They never reveal the ranking factors early. This is done to avoid any kind of fraudulent activities being done to their system. Switching to HTTPS has definitely more benefits than one can ever imagine. Slowly people will be introduced to these factors. But presently, what matters most is crossing over from HTTP to HTTPS. How to do it? Well, here is a step by step solution to the scenario:
Security acquisition factor along with the installation of the server
This is the first step to the process. Security acquisition along with server installation depends a whole lot on the hosting process being used as well the server settings. You will have to acquire a security certificate. This will, at a later stage, be installed on the server. Search online and you will find several open certificate authorities available free of cost and highly reliable.
Updating every single reference
This is important. Failing to update every single reference will result in causing content loading problems. Say, for example, the initial contents may be loaded on the HTTPS while other additional resources are being loaded on the insecure HTTP. You may think of it as an ignorable issue but the reality may well be harsher than what’s expected. If this situation is ignored, it can challenge the overall security of the entire page, thus making it vulnerable to several hacking activities.
Updating every reference is not a difficult process. You can simply carry out reference updates to any query where you think that a directive needs to be used to enable the browser to request HTTPS version for making the updates as per instruction. Now, considering other resources like the plugins, they must be tested manually to ensure safe functioning process.
Updating the redirects on the external links is a must
Well, if you are part of the SEO industry for long, you must have a clear idea about the importance of this step. However, there are also many of those who miss out on this part. If the redirects are not done properly, every single link is obtained from the domain will transform into a chaining scenario. Now, if such a scenario takes place, the redirects will start jumping from old formation to new prior to converting from HTTP to HTTPS. This will also result in affecting the ranking process since the bots will find it difficult to send the signals being used to rank the contents. There will be an unnecessary amount of steps to deal with while handling the redirects. There are numerous examples where you can witness bigger domains losing out on their visibility factor due to unnecessary redirects.
If you are yet to channel your backlinks to a LIVE PAGE with a single redirect, here is an easy way to get it done. Have a look:
First of all, you need to take into consideration all the data involved in the process that may play a significant role in backlinking. Then, you need to run the referred pages using a website crawler. This is done to check the quality of the page. Now, depending on the web crawler’s response, you need to take a suitable action.
Compelling HTTPS through Redirects
This is another crucial step that depends a lot on your setup and ways of hosting. Take for example WordPress. It will handle this type of a scenario automatically via the admin panel. Now, it all depends on individual setup options. If you have a different kind of a setup and there’s not much of help you are receiving, the primary configuration needs to be updated with a certain RULE REDIRECT. But make sure that this RULE DIRECT is well documented. However, you need to make sure that RULE DIRECT is being pointed towards the HTTPS as their landing place to avoid chaining of different commands to create a complicated situation while challenging the security aspect.
Activating HSTS to avoid chances of hacking
HSTS is basically a security directive imposed by web servers, compelling to all the requests for information, to be loaded via the HTTPS. The term HSTS stands for HTTP Strict Transport Security. When using the HTTPS redirection method, it only leaves a certain loophole for the hackers to get the site penetrated, thus asking for trouble. There still lies the option to forcefully load the site via an insecure version. But once the HSTS gets enabled, this loophole gets sealed, leaving hackers with no alternative options. To utilize the benefits of HSTS, you must opt for a valid SSL certificate. All the requirements of the subdomains must be met. Accordingly, the subsequent codes must be added to the configuration files.
Activating OCSP for eliminating inefficiencies
OCSP stands for Online Certificate Status Protocol. It is an upgrade to CRL or Certificate Revocation List that needs to check for an update of security certification status. Using CRL, you need to download a specific list that will be used to compare the inaccuracy and inefficiency issues. OCSP helps in eliminating inaccuracies and inefficiencies through the query process of the certificates by handling the problem alone. OCSP also provides you time to acquire another certificate in case there happens to be an expiry date on the close.
Remember, migrating from HTTP to HTTPS must be carried out with lots of patience and an open mind. If there happens to be any kind of potential troubles, it must be resolved during the test phase itself. This will ensure a better experience for the audience while using the newly transformed site into HTTPS.