Combatting Common Problems When Transitioning Sites to HTTPS

Ever since Google was reported saying that transitioning your website from https to https would give you a boost in ranking, many website owners quickly began buying SSL certificates to change their URL. When making this haste transition, many web masters have encountered problems, when they were expecting a smooth and easy transition. Some of the problems they have encountered include:

• SEO teams are not made aware of the transition and panic when they see traffic drop off in Google Search Console. It is important to set up the website HTTPS profile in Google Search Console.

• Errors due to not truly securing the website before transitioning. This error can occur when
CSS style sheet URLs are not updated to HTTPS from HTTP. Your HTML documents will call for the old URLs and your website will appear broken.

• Forgetting to redirect URLs and canonical tags to their new HTTPS URLs.

• Google informing users that the website is insecure and that they should not proceed even though you have an HTTPS URL in place.

• Images are often forgotten when making the transition. Images that are linked from your website on other pages such as Google My Business, will fail to load unless you change all the pointing URLs to HTTPS.

• A site with many backlinks that need to be 301 redirected, can end up losing traffic. As Google has said in the past, a 301 redirect decreases page rank by a little. Too many 301 redirects add up and hurt your ranking.

As you can see there are many problems that arise when transitioning your website from HTTP to HTTPS. Making the change seems simple enough to someone who does not have enough knowledge.

Transitioning to HTTPS requires much more work than just purchasing an SSL certificate.
The best practice to follow, if you decide to make the switch to HTTPS, is to carefully devise a plan with all teams and people involved. It can get complicated the bigger the website is, so you need everyone on the same page to make the switch without encountering too many problems.

If you have enlisted an SEO company to handle your website and web presence, talk to them about making the transition before just buying the SSL certificate on your own.

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