Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS

I recently switched my hiking conditions website from HTTP and HTTPS.  Google’s documentation noted there may be a dip in my search rank and traffic while they re-index the site, but my experience was almost no detectable dip in the numbers. Here is the before and after from my Google Analytics account:

http-to-https traffic report
Google Analytics before and after switching to HTTPS

That being said. Don’t just flip the switch and hope for the best.  At a minimum do the following:

  • Make sure your site is running as fast as possible.
  • Make sure the site is fully functional over HTTPS.
  • Build new xml site maps using the HTTPS URLs.
  • Create a new Google Analytics property for the HTTPS site
  • Add the xml site maps to the property.
  • Update your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL)
  • And the final step, Add a 301 redirect to move all traffic from HTTP to HTTPS

If your site is hosted at GoDaddy and BlueHost (or any EIG owned web host) you should consider moving, before migration to HTTPS.  Your site will be twice as fast if not more at SiteGround, and they give you the SSL for FREE. Why do you want a fast site? 1) A slow site hurts your page rank everyday.  2) Your users hate how slow your site is. 3) Your migration to HTTPS is going take longer – because it takes Google longer to read your site.

Look at this. I moved a new WordPress site from GoDaddy (shown in blue) to SiteGround (shown in yellow) a few months ago.  Without cache and compression on GoDaddy it took Google 1200ms to read the average page. After I added cache and compression 800ms. Compared to SiteGround with cache and compression at 500ms.

If your site has an average download time of 1200ms lets move it. 1200 it too crappy for your readers, and your page rank. Give me a call 603-497-2500 to figure out your options.

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Kimball is a website designer and developer in Goffstown, NH.

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