A Complete Guide to Migrate HTTP to HTTPS




If you are going to collect the sensitive information or conduct the transactions online, you must plan to migrate it from HTTP to https on your website.

To discover why, so let us start with some of the definitions:

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a method by which data is moved around the Web. You can see now how integral the HTTP is to the online world by looking at beginning of any Web address.

On the positive side, the HTTP is very fast and reliable. On the negative side, it is as secure as a diamond at a cat burglar’s convention. There are a lot of ways to hack your way into the data being transferred via HTTP and while that is not a problem for many of the online data transfers; it is a problem if you need to protect your data which is being sent.

The Https or the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is the answer for the data protection issue. It is used on the sites which feature services like e-Commerce, banking, and with a simple login page, the https protects your data by encrypting it before sending it to both ways by using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate.

The SSL certificate contains both public and the private encryption keys which are long strings of the alphanumeric characters used for the encryption of the data in a way which is very hard to crack therefore making it an ideal for protecting the sensitive data.

The Process of Changing from Http to Https

Changing from HTTP to HTTPS is quite straightforward:

  1. Purchase an SSL certificate
  2. Install SSL certificate on the website’s hosting account,
  3. Ensure that all website links are changed from HTTP to https so they’re not broken up as you flip to https switch afterward, and
  4. Set Up 301 redirects from the HTTP to HTTPS and the search engines are notified that your website’s address has been and anyone who has bookmarked your site, they’ll be automatically redirected.

Your Hosting Company will Manage Most of the Process for You

If you already have some technical knowledge required to change the site from HTTP to HTTPS, then you can easily manage the entire end-to-end process independently. As a small business owner, you need to be involved in making the right business decisions and learn some basics of a website.

Majority of the hosting companies offer packages including an SSL certificate, installation of the certificate you can select from to redirect setup. Which leaves you with only one technical task, the job of changing the links of your website to point at the https instead of HTTP.

It may cost you more to purchase a package. Here are some important things to consider:

  1. You must always ask your web hosting company to make sure that you understand what exactly is included in your package.
  2. As it is clear, that you can either use the SSL certificate provided by hosting company. This will change the pricing of each package a bit.

As it is explained earlier, even with any person with handling technical side, you will still need to make business decisions and understand, at least on the basic level, what is involved technically.

SSL Certificates

SSL Certificates is a small data file which digitally binds a cryptographic key to details of an organization. When the SSL is installed on the web server, SSL will activate the padlock, the https protocol and it will allow a secure connection from the web server to the browser. Typically, the SSL is used to secure the credit card transactions, data transfer, and logins, and more recently it is becoming the standard when securing browsing of social media sites.

SSL Certificates bind together:

  • A domain name, server name or hostname.
  • An organizational identity and location.

The SSL is used to keep the complex information, sent across the Internet encrypted so only the chosen recipient can understand it. This is also important because the information you send on the World Wide Web (www) is passed from the computer to computer to reach to the end server. Any computer in between your and server can perceive your confidential information like usernames and passwords, and all the other delicate information if they are not encrypted with the SSL certificate. When you use the SSL certificate, the information becomes very complex to read by other, except for the server you are sending the information to. The objective is to protect it from hackers and unidentified the thieves.

Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?

Data transferred in the form of a plain-text or unencrypted format can be caught, monitored, compromised and stolen.

Many transactions made online may involve submitting the personal information such as the credit card information, social security numbers, usernames, and passwords. Cybercriminals who hijack unencrypted communications will gain the full access to this data and can use it for the fraudulent purchases and activities.

Faith and security are the two things which make people confident enough to provide their private information online. SSL certificates are something make a website trusted. All the organizations should use the SSL certificate for securing their site if they want online payments or expect the visitors to submit confidential information. Apart from building a basic trust and security in the website, SSL certificates also help with the SEO efforts now which the Google is giving rankings to boost web pages those are served over the https.

Purchase the SSL Certificate

There are two ways to purchase the SSL certificate:

  1. From your hosting company, or
  2. From the SSL certificate vendor.

While it is easier to buy the certificate from the hosting company, sometimes they do not offer the type of certificate you need.

There are many types of SSL certificates and one must select based on your business needs. Below are the different types of SSL certificates which are grouped by the validation level and then by the level of coverage. Always consider choosing a certificate aligned to your website needs.

SSL Certificates by Validation Level

When you move the site to the https, those changes are reflected in the browser for the visitors to see. There are three levels of validation; each level provides more data security to potential customers than other. That is why the validation level selected by you is also an important marketing decision.

All of the three levels will make a closed lock to appear in the browser’s address bar, an indication which shows the connection with the site is secure. Behind that, there are differences in both when the information is displayed while seeing the certificate in the browser and, at the highest level of validation, in the browser’s address bar also. You can see the differences in the images included in descriptions of each validation level below.

Time and money are the two most important factors to consider when you select your certificate validation level: higher the validation, longer the time is consumed to receive the certificate. That is why each step up offers more validation of the domain’s owner than the step before. It also needs more paperwork on your side and more review on the issuer’s side. In addition, the higher the validation level, more the SSL certificate will cost.

SSL Certificates by Coverage Level

Another way to group the SSL certificates is by the level of coverage it supports. The three levels of SSL certificate coverage are:

  1. Single Domain SSL Certificates — this type of SSL certificate covers one domain and one domain only.
  2. Wildcard Domain SSL Certificates — this type of SSL certificate covers one domain and all the subdomains underneath that domain.
  3. Multi-Domain SSL Certificates —this type of SSL certificates is used to cover the multiple domains.

Installing Your SSL Certificate

Installing your SSL certificate on the website requires generating both public and private encryption keys and entering them in the correct spot on the Web hosting control panel.

If you are not sure how to do these steps, you have two options:

  1. Allow your hosting provider to do it for you.
  2. Search for your hosting provider support section for step-by-step instructions.

Also learn about Google Digital Garage


The one guarantee about changing of the HTTP to HTTPS is that you are going to be muddled at some of the points during the process.

All these benefits include an excellent customer trust, a super-tight data security, and even slight chance through which Google will rank your site more highly. These are the description of HTTP and HTTPS and the SSL certificate, by reading these and understanding the need of your business you can choose the certificate.

About the author, Team Digital Shiksha

Digital Shiksha is the leading online and interactive digital marketing training institute in India. We offer professional certification courses in Digital Marketing, which will help you create effective digital marketing strategies. Our students have access to the latest tools and techniques used in online marketing, including social networking, mobile marketing, online communities, viral marketing, wikis, and blogs. With a career in online, interactive, and digital marketing, you can progress into roles such as campaign planning and brand development. At Digital Shiksha we are committed to supporting and educating our students to reach their full potential in the field of digital marketing.

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