In the recent days, there has been a lot of controversies regarding whether you should opt for the switch of your e-commerce websites from HTTP to HTTPS. Though there have been several sites that have easily modified their site URL to HTTPS without any obvious effect yet in some cases, this switch has lead to the generation of multiple adverse risks and website issues. Beginning from October 2017, Google Chrome has initiated sending the warning signs of ‘Not Secure’ for every website starting with HTTP to all the visitors of the same. Although previously the conversion of the site URL was confined to websites that require the transfer of confidential and private information including but not limited to bank account password, credit/debit card number, and other such personal details, however, in order to ensure security for the entire visitors and audience, Google has announced that all the sites are now compelled to switch to HTTPS to ensure a better and safe platform.
In August 2014, Google declared that HTTPS would positively influence the ranking of your website and that’s what made a large number of website owners to jump to HTTPS. However, as per the recent studies, HTTPS hasn’t yet shown a huge impact on the website ranking and as per the anticipation, this may influence the ranking factor in future. But as of now, the main aim behind the implication of HTTPS is limited to ensure users safety. Here are some of the major reasons why you need to switch to HTTPS:
- HTTPS won’t let your sensitive details to get exposed to any third party as the entire information is encrypted. Thus, only the actual recipient of the information is entitled to receive the same.
- Since Google has started declaring the HTTP websites as ‘Not secure’, the probability of losing your potential visitors and customers escalates.
Potential risks and website issues by switching from HTTP to HTTPS
In order to switch your website URL, the owners are required to get an SSL certificate from a reputable agency. However, switching isn’t that easy how you might have thought it to be. Below listed are some major issues you might face while switching your site to HTTPS:
1. Domain Level Canonicalization problems
While switching to HTTPS, your foremost consideration should be to examine and evaluate if the entire variations of your website have been redirected to the recent version. This is because, in some cases, the http://www version of a website readdress to the appropriate https page, however, if you do not enter www along with HTTP://, a not secure page warning would be displayed on your address bar. Hence, it is essential to make certain that regardless of the method people try to get access to your web page, they must be readdressed to the correct version of HTTPS.
2. Failure to readdress URLs appropriately
While you alter to HTTPS, you’re required to ensure that every URL 301 readdresses to its HTTPS equivalent. In some cases, it has been observed that whilst the home page appropriately readdresses to the HTTPS version, the internal pages don’t. If you’re having some links directing to the HTTP version of a page even after switching to the HTTPS version, you tend to get rid of the advantages you might have received from those particular links.
3. Failure in updating internal links
While switching to HTTPS version, it is essential to update the entire internal links of your site to the latest version so that they direct the visitors to an HTTPS page. Now, if your internal links are all relative, you can avoid this step. However, if the links are absolute i.e., all directing to HTTP pages then you’re required to readdress all the links prior to getting to the ultimate page. Now the issue is that people often believe that following a redirect often results in a small reduction in PageRank connected to that link. So as per this approach, every time you’ll redirect, there might be a slight diminish in your PageRank.
4. Mixed content issues
Though mixed content problems won’t lead to the loss of your page ranking, it is still considered to be a daunting issue. If you’re operating an HTTPS page, however, you’ve been utilizing the script and images that are hosted on HTTP pages, the probability of getting the ‘not secure’ signals increases. Hence, in order to avoid such issues, the site owners are required to go through all the pages of their website and analyze if the same hurdle is happening. In addition to this, while switching it is equally essential to create a new sitemap for your web page.
5. Reduction in your Adsense revenue
If you’re running a monetized website and Adsense is the source of your revenue generation then post switching your website to HTTPS, you might have noticed a slight reduction in your revenue generation from Adsense. The website owners that switched their URL in 2014 observed a reduction in their Adsense revenue by no less than 35%. However, as per the recent sources, this issue has been resolved by Google. During 2014, the reduction in Adsense revenue was mainly caused as most of the advertisements of Adsense weren’t that compatible with HTTPS protocol. But the good news is that the case isn’t apparent in the recent days.
It is worth to note that prior to switching to HTTPS, you must make sure to update your Adsense code, otherwise, you are likely to face the mixed content issues mentioned above.