How to make a website https?

March 09, 2023 - Anaïs Sautarel

8 minutes

In the last few years, the number of cyberattacks has burst. That’s why you must get https.

Protecting your website from cyberattacks is essential and gives your visitors' confidence.

But how to make a website https (that is to say, a secure website)? How to be sure that your pages are secure?

Https protocol, ssl, tsl, ev, dv, ov certificates… Maybe these acronyms about web security impress you.

It is normal and we understand you!

Let’s see what does a https website involve, what are its advantages and how to get https with SiteW.

What does “https website” mean?

Http stands for “hypertext transfer protocol”.

The whole information exchanges through this protocol may be intercepted.

That’s why https has been created. Https is an http extension that works with the ssl protocol (secure sockets layer) to transfer data securely. The ssl protocol is for transferring data. The evolution of ssl is tls (transport layer security) which is a safer way to encode information.

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A website is secure when the connection used to communicate with the server is encoded. As you will have understood, a secure website address starts by https:// (“s” stands for “secure”) contrary to a not secure website which starts by http://.

When you visit a https website, a padlock is shown to the left of the website address. In your browser and by clicking on it, the “secure” mention is shown.

Cybersecurity is important for users because your website has their data and yours. Thanks to the padlock and the “s” at the end of http://, it’s easy for internet users to recognize a secure and a no-secure website. So, getting https for your website enables you to gain the confidence of users.

make a website https

A https website not only enables you to protect yourself from some problems, but also it brings about some significant benefits.

Let’s discover these benefits.

The benefits of getting https

You are certainly convinced that it is useful to make your website https.

Here is the checklist with all the benefits of a secure website:

  • HTTPS / SSL protocol

A person who wants to hack one of the hardware used by the Internet (Wi-Fi connection, telephone line, optical fibre) can’t spy sensitive data on the Internet (such as passwords, credit cards…). This protocol is like an anti-hacker / anti-intrusion shield.

  • The website has a padlock-shaped mention on the address bar of the browser

On the contrary, if a website isn’t https, browsers send warning messages to users and this makes a “bad impression”.

On the Internet, what makes us higher visible makes us stronger. Moreover, since 2018, Google has considered all http pages to be not secure immediately, and has mentioned them in its results pages. If you want an effective brand image, you prefer avoiding this situation.

  • Your website is higher credible with your visitors

Internet users are even more careful, and they are right, as there are many online frauds. Doing your utmost to reassure your visitors is always a good idea.

  • The mobile version of your website is also secure

The whole security rules for desktops are also valid for mobile devices. There are more and more Internet users who use their mobile devices to surf the internet, and Google values responsive websites a lot.

Therefore, getting https is essential and no longer optional. It’s a prerequisite to stand out from the competition.

https website

Make your website https

If your website is still no-secure, follow these steps. 👇

How to get https?

In all sincerity, if you begin in IT and decide to start by yourself, the job may be a bit difficult. However, remember that website builders like SiteW enable you to initiate the process easily and successfully.

Don’t worry! We’ll talk about it just after.

Method to make your website https

Getting https for a secure connection indeed requires ssl certificate registration from a certifying body (Symantec, Commodo, Let’s encrypt…).

If you start by yourself, here are the steps you need to follow to create a https website:

  • Make a certificate signing request (CSR) on your server to collect the necessary data (public key certificate) to register the ssl certificate.

  • Choose and buy the ssl certificate.

You will find different types of certificates (see below) that will give you different web security levels. Providers implement variable prices, so compare the different offers attentively and choose it according to your needs and budget.

  • Configure your web server.

It will be time to configure your web server. Depending on your software, the process will be different. So, don’t hesitate to read the existing tutorials.

  • Create 301 redirects (permanent redirects) to redirect traffic from your http pages to your new https pages. The securing doesn’t impact on your SEO negatively with 404 errors.

  • Check the compliance of your ssl configuration with some online tools such as SSL Labs.

As you will have understood, to follow this process, first, choose the appropriate ssl certificate. Here are all the different types of certificates to enable you to make the best choice.

Choose your ssl certificate: the different types of certificates

Here are the different types of ssl certificates of the market. Choose your certificate according to your needs and budget. An ssl certificate is renewed each year, and its price varies between €30 and €2000 per year.

It depends on the company that sells the certificate, its security level and adaptability to your business.

make website https

  • Dv certificate

This SSL certificate controls your domain name. It is the lowest security level. In this case, the certifying body just checks the domain name ownership. The dv certificate will suit you if you don’t ask your visitors private data and your website isn’t inclined to frauds such as pishing.

  • Ov certificate

This certificate controls the organization. In this way, the company is controlled: for example, it is ensured that the company is registered at the Commercial Register. This certificate suits you if you transfer non-sensitive data.

  • Ev certificate

This certificate enables you to widely control the company and offers you the highest security level. It is the most appropriate certificate to transfer sensitive data (payment information, for instance).

After going from HTTP to HTTPS

Going from HTTP to HTTPS requires many changes. So, once you have fulfilled these steps, let’s move on to the next ones:

  • Update your Google Webmaster Tools account with your new secure web address.

  • Update all your documents and online accounts that have your URLs (email campaigns, ads, social media, affiliation…).

  • Check all your backlinks to not create 404 errors. To that end, you can use free software such as Broken Link check. This will preserve your SEO.

  • Ensure the compatibility of your external files and plugins (for example, if you have designed your website with a CMS).

Eventually, remember to renew your ssl certificate to keep the protection and modifications of your website.

How to optimize your SEO moving from HTTP to HTTPS?

As explained above, if you want to optimize your SEO in the long term, getting https is no longer optional today.

However, moving from http to https may be delicate for your visibility on search engines. To succeed, pay attention to the following elements:

  • Create 301 redirects to show Google that you have secure pages now. It would be a shame if your visitors discovered 404 errors on your website.

  • Delete the old http pages to not have the same contents. Duplicate contents are limited by Google.

  • According to the owners of the different top websites, if possible, edit all the internal links and backlinks (or they will be 301 redirects). Thus, you will keep your linking.

  • Update all your URLs on the different supports (leaflets, business cards…).

Fortunately, if these steps seem difficult for you, ask your service provider to deal with them.

However, the situation may be different, depending on your solution for web design.

Create a https website with SiteW

With all the explanations above, you are sure about getting https immediately.

If you choose SiteW to make your website https, the steps will be easier.

Our website builder manages everything totally:

  • The ssl certificate is automatically registered and renewed.

When you create your website and its pages, each content will be already secure thanks to our paid packages. You don’t need to think about redirections and 404 errors: everything is already secure.

  • All compatibility problems are resolved: to have a secure website, all the used files indeed must be downloaded from a secure https connection. Thus, all the files must be changed into https or disabled.

In this way, you will have a secure website and the much-vaunted padlock without effort.

It’s easy to enable the security on your website. Once you have created your website, chosen your template and built your website, go to the dashboard. Then, click on Settings > Search engines.

Go to the bottom of the Search engines section and tick the box Secure HTTPS website (SSL).

https website

Web security is not a joke and everybody knows it. Making your website https is essential to succeed on the Internet. Once you have your secure website, it will be a success!

If you host your files and data in the Cloud, you optimize your storage. Protecting your cloud is essential to keep all your data. You can also protect your pages with a password.

Thanks to SiteW you make your website https effortlessly.

Anaïs Sautarel
As confident in the mountains as with foreign languages, our contents and tool travel around English-speaking and Spanish-speaking countries with me. 🌍

Last update: March 09, 2023

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