If you’re starting a new website from scratch we recommend you start out using https on your site because we do believe the internet is moving in that direction as security becomes more of an issue in the coming years.
If you’re thinking about converting a current website to https, here are a few things we learned during our process that may help make the transition a little smoother:
First and foremost, before you get started, make sure you are prepared with a full URL list of all the pages on your website. You can use this website crawler to help out – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/. Use that list to create 301 redirects from all of those pages to the new pages with https.
Once you’ve made the change, make sure you have a secure padlock. If you’re not sure, go to https://www.whynopadlock.com and do a scan of your site to make sure that everything is properly secured. This site is a great tool for figuring out any reasons you may not be seeing the secure padlock sign.
Be sure to update your Google business page, Facebook page, Yelp, etc as soon as you make the change. This step should not be necessary if you’ve done your 301 redirects correctly, but it is still a good idea to cover your bases.
Immediately create a new sitemap for your website with all the new URLs in place and submit that to Google webmaster tools.
Lastly, any backlinks you have, particularly those with higher domain authorities or Google page indexes, go ahead and change your backlinks to https. Again this step should not be necessary if you’ve properly implemented 301 redirects, but in our experience it is better to be safe than sorry.
We’d love to hear from you about your thoughts and experiences about converting to https and whether or not it was a positive experience for your SEO rankings. You can find us at 90degreedesign.com