This article is going to be about a move that not everybody had done yet – which you really really should – and not everybody knows how to approach – with which we will give you all the help you need. So what is it we’re talking about?
This article is going to be about the move to HTTPS.
We will show you how to secure your site for Google’s relatively new HTTPS algorithm. Google has been increasingly persistent in encouraging website owners to move to the HTTPS/SSL protocol. What for? We won’t bore you with website developers lingo, but cut straight to the point.
What this move means for users is, primarily, an increase in search engine ranking.
Google’s new HTTPS has several other benefits, including a boost in security, authentication, data integrity and increased user trust, among other things.
But the focus of this article is not on the decision to move. It’s on the process.
Since even some website developers in Toronto find it daunting, we decided the topic warrants additional explaining. As a Toronto web development agency, we’ve conducted many such moves for our clients – and our own websites – and created a streamlined process for it. This process really boils down to one checklist that you need to follow in order to get it right.
Let’s go over it now.
The general phases of the move are divided into:
- The Planning Stage
- Moving Day Phase
- Follow Up Stage
Let’s go into some detail and describe what each of them entails.
The Planning Stage
- How much of the content will you be moving? All of it, some of it? Which parts?
- Map your site pages – its internal links, canonical tags and other important things
- Review your inbound external links to make sure they lead to the new domains
- List your social media and other accounts you should update with new links
- Go through the Google Webmaster Tools review
- Update all internal links to have https in them
- Check and update your content management system settings
- Set up a system of 301 redirects for the old urls
- Very important – distribute tasks: who on your crew is responsible for what part of the move. Set timelines and report times. Make sure everything is covered by someone.
Moving Day Phase
Everything is ready. Time to set things in motion and see what happens. Here’s what you do once it’s done:
- Test the site. All internal links, image links and other components should work as usual
- Update and verify Google Webmaster Tools
Follow Up Phase
- Update and keep track of Google Analytics
- Revisit and update social media accounts
- Update your email signatures and business cards
- Also update themes and templates accordingly
As you can see, the prep stage takes most of the time and effort, as well it should. If you get that one right, you will be OK in the next two, with possible minor hiccoughs.
So there you have it, your very own HTTPS migration checklist. If you’re still daunted and prefer to delegate this hefty task to a professional Toronto web development agency, you know what to do.