You may have been recommended to migrate your website over to HTTPS. With what appears to be a simple change, you also might be deciding on migrating to HTTPS yourself. We strongly recommend using caution when doing so as the risk involved can be catastrophic if done incorrectly.
Migrating to HTTPS yourself
Purchasing the SSL Certificate yourself is easy enough. Installing the SSL Certificate yourself can be a little trickier. But making the migration over to HTTPS is a whole other ball game. The steps involved are lengthy, and if you don’t factor everything in your website can suffer a huge loss. Not only in search engine rankings and traffic, but financially.
We’re all too often coming across horror stories of these migrations gone wrong and a recent one to mention is HTTPS migration gone wrong on the Moz forum. The owner of the website started to notice a HUGE drop in traffic to the website. And not just by fifty people. But by hundreds!! This was 90% of their overall website traffic.
As you can image, if your website is your main source of income where you are selling a product or service, this can be a huge loss, not only to your business, but your financial well being.
So what happened here?
The owner wasn’t educated in all the steps required for a successful changeover to HTTPS and subsequently lost thousands of dollars in revenue by not adding what’s called 301 redirects to redirect all website traffic to the HTTPS version of the website. What this means is, Google didn’t recognise that http://yourwebsiteurl.com.au/ and https://yourwebsiteurl.com.au/was in fact the same website. Crazy… yes it’s that easy for things to go south.
How to avoid this
The best way to avoid a mishap like this, is to enlist the help of an experienced digital agency specialising in HTTPS migration. We highly recommend you always ask for proven case studies that demonstrates their process and experience with these types of migrations.
The process typically crosses both a development team and a marketing team so understanding their capabilities is key.
You can also ask some specific questions around their process to gauge their experience such as:
- What would you do with my disavow file?
- What 301 redirects would you put in place for my website?
- How do you know if the migration was successful?