Google now has the HTTPS website URL as their favorite in their search results
Last year they already mentioned that they will identify https sites as save in Chrome (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/https-required-collecting-sensitive-information-chrome-january-2017/182342/). And you can see for yourself that the Lock icon and the save mark ar on this website.
I recently checked the results for a common search like “build a website” and found that the first 10 results all show https websites.
The first website without https showed up on the 14th spot, all the others on page 2 are also https sites.
Moving from HTTP to HTTPS
- Always backup your website, including database before you start.
- Remember, for Google, this is a site move! So if not done correctly you might lose traffic.
Getting from HTTP to HTTPS need to be supported by your hosting company.
You can buy a full SSL certificate for your domain, and if you have an e-commerce store that should be your first choice.
For a standard website or blog like this one, a Free LetsEncrypt option will do just fine.
With the Siteground Hosting company where this site runs, they support both options.
It’s also really easy to get a LetsEncrypt certificate. Just go to your Hosting Cpanel en click on Let’s Encrypt.
You then get a list of your domains that already have a certificate and you get a selection box where you select the domain and request a certificate.
Wait a couple of seconds to let the process complete and you are done with this part.
Now you need to login to your Content Management System and change the base URL from HTTP to HTTPS.
I use WordPress on this site, so for me, it meant going to Setting -> General and change the URL to HTTPS and re-login.
But with the image and other links on the website still pointing to http:// resources you don’t get a full save icon, its mixed content.
For WordPress there is a plugin called Really Simple SSL that fixes this, it also makes sure that the http:// links get redirected to the https:// version.
Something that is really important for Google and your visitors.
If you want to take it a step further, get the Pro version of Really Simple SSL, as that works it’s magic to get HSTS.
I don’t have the Pro version on this website, but I do use it on my dutch WordPress Magazine website and it has a 100% secure rating on the Dutch Internet.nl website making it into the Hall of Fame.
Doing a basic check on this site via https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/ gives me an A rating.
So to keep your rating and stay in the Google search results, move your site from HTTP to HTTPS.
If your hosting company does not have an option like Let’s Encrypt, ask them if and when they will implement it.
If you don’t get it or if you are not getting a clear answer, you might want to consider moving your website to a new hosting provider like SiteGround.com, I did and I am very happy that I did!