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SEO

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS - checklist

Google told us a long time ago that you should start using HTTPS as it will become a significant ranking factor over time. Therefore, the transition from HTTP to HTTPS has been undertaken by many websites, not only for security reasons, but also to improve their ranking in search engine results. While Google has provided a list of what to do when migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, the reality is that in many cases some steps are not done correctly or are simply skipped.

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In this regard, when the transition from HTTP to HTTPS is carried out incorrectly, the site may be thrown out of the index altogether or simply start indexing from scratch, which is also not profitable.

That's why we've put together a three-part checklist with all (hopefully) tasks you need to complete before, during, and after the transition from HTTP to HTTPS.

HTTP to HTTPS Transition - Website Preparation

Item

Task

Example

Where

1 SSL Certificate Setup Purchase, configure and test a TLS certificate using SHA-2 for SSL. On the server (it's worth asking your web host if they will do it for you)
2 Register your domain in Google Search Console Register HTTP domains in Google Search Console and HTTPS, including versions with and without "www". If you have subdomains, duplicate them and set them to HTTPS version. Google Search Console
3 Position Control Start tracking your site's position in search engines for both versions of the domain (HTTP and HTTPS). Position tracking tool
4 Highest page ranks and profitable keywords Identify your top subsites that rank high and don't forget about valuable keywords. Focus on checking them and checking frequently. Google Search Google Analytics
5 Current site indexing Check how many subpages of your site are indexed in search engines. Write down the current structure of your site. Crawling tool like Screaming Frog
6 Install new version of HTTPS, update internal links Install new version of site to make changes, test and update sites. Remember that now every external and internal link must start with HTTPS. This applies to all images, scripts, CSS files, PDF files, etc. Site Code
7 HTTPS canonical URL Update canonical URLs, including absolute URLs, using HTTPS in the site code. Site Code
8 Check Different Address Versions Check that site redirects (www, without www, slash and without slash) are also reflected in the HTTPS version of the site, as and in old HTTP. Site Code
9 Preparing redirects Prepare all redirects and test 301 rules from HTTP address to HTTPS address. Server
10 Generate a new XML sitemap Generate a new XML sitemap with URLs containing HTTPS that you submit to Google Search Console after your site is up rescheduled. Generator map XML
11 Prepare the robots.txt Prepare the robots.txt file that will be uploaded to the HTTPS version after the site is live . Duplicate all directives, remembering to change to HTTPS if necessary. robots.txt
12 Preparing changes to online campaigns Change URL in all active campaigns from HTTP to HTTPS. Campaign Platforms
13 Disavow Configuration Check if you have ever filed a pull request. You must correct and resubmit them, taking into account the new HTTPS addresses in your Google Search Console profile. Google Search Console
14 Geolocation Configuration too), make sure you geolocalize again it in HTTPS. Google Search Console
15 URL parameters configuration If URL parameters are supported by Google Search Console, duplicate everything and reconfigure in the HTTPS version of the site profile. Google Search Console
16

Prepare your CDN configuration


that your service provider will be able to properly support HTTPS and the SSL version - your domain certificate after you complete the transition from HTTP to HTTP.

CDN Service Provider


17 Update social media and existing ads Make sure everything advertising codes and addresses of social networking sites that you enter lead to to the HTTPS version of the site. Advertising & Social Media
18 Analysis Tool Configuration Make sure the existing analysis tool configuration will also monitor traffic from the new HTTPS address. Website Analysis Platforms

HTTP to HTTPS Switching - Implementing HTTPS

Here we will slightly change the "when" information table. It is useful to write down the exact date for yourself, as this will help you find possible errors. When

1 HTTPS website launch Publish the approved version of the HTTPS page. FTP or hosting tool Data 2 Checking the structure of the new website based on HTTPS Make sure the URL structure of the new site is matches the HTTP version . Site Code Data 3 HTTPS internal links Check all internal links on your site for invalid URLs (change all HTTP to HTTPS). Site Code Data 4 HTTPS canonical URL Check that canonical URLs point to the HTTPS version. Site Code Data 5 HTTPS canonical URL Implement site redirects (www, without www, with slash and without slash) in the HTTPS version of the site. Site Code
Data 6 301 HTTP to HTTPS redirect Do all 3 01 redirects from each site address in the HTTP protocol version to HTTPS. Site code Data 7 Postpone the date of transition from HTTP to HTTPS Mark in all tools that analyze your site , date of transition from HTTP to HTTPS. Once again, make sure that all tools have access to the new version of your site. Analysis Tools Data 8 SSL Certificate Verification Check the SSL certificate configuration on your server. You can use the SSL Server Test tool. Hosting & SSL Testing Tool Data 9 Update robots.txt file Update old robot file s.txt prepared earlier, with appropriate changes for the address on HTTPS. robots.txt Data

HTTP to HTTPS Migration - Post Implementation Checklist

Item

Task

For example

Where

When

1 Checking HTTPS site indexing level Use crawling tool to check that all HTTPS addresses are available, properly bound, and that there are no errors anywhere, i.e. 404 errors, canonical errors, etc. Crawl tool like Screaming Frog Data
2 New HTTPS redirect validation Check all 301 redirect rules for HTTP to HTTPS, www to without www and with a slash and without a slash. The correct transition from HTTP to HTTPS largely depends on the correct 301 redirect.

Site Code


 

Data
3 XML Sitemap Recheck the XML sitemap (in terms of URLs) and submit it for indexing in Google Search Console. Google Search Console Data
4 Официальное подтверждение внешних ссылок Проверьте все свои внешние ссылки и убедитесь, что они содержат новый адрес HTTPS. Social networks, affiliate sites, advertising
Data
5 Positions of HTTPS pages and traffic generated by them Track HTTP and HTTPS website versions , check for traffic drops, as this may be caused by a failed transition from HTTP to HTTPS. Monitoring and position analysis tools Data
6 Indexing monitoring Visit Google Search Console daily and look for errors in all versions of your site HTTP, HTTPS www, without www, etc. Google Search Console Data
7 Checking the robots.txt file Double-check that all robots.txt directives are correct in the HTTPS version of the domain. robots.txt Data

HTTP to HTTPS Transition - Summary

With our checklist, I hope your HTTP to HTTPS transition goes smoothly without what -Either problems or drop in search engine rankings.

If any important sub-item is missing, don't be afraid to write an appropriate comment.

We wish you a successful transition from HTTP to HTTPS!

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