It’s always been important to have a secure website. However, Google is now using the presence or absence of a secure website as a ranking feature. That means it’s vital to make the switch from http:// to https:// for your WordPress site.
This will appear as part of your website address in the browser bar. A green padlock signifies your site is secure, i.e. it has a secure socket layer (SSL) in place to protect those using the site. That green padlock won’t be there if the site isn’t secure. And now, you could start ranking lower if you don’t make the switch.
Better still, secure pages load more quickly, which is yet another element Google looks at when ranking your page. Good news, isn’t it?
How to make the switch
Firstly, you’ll need an SSL certificate. Most reputable hosts will include this as part of their service. If so, you need only log in and look for the option to move from http:// to https:// in the dashboard for your site. You’ll need to get a certificate for the domain you’re using. Your host will likely provide step-by-step instructions on getting this.
Do make sure you back up your WordPress site prior to making any changes. It should be fine, but… well, you never know. Do it to be safe, just in case.
Update the URL in WordPress
This is ideal for a new site, but we’d recommend you make every page secure on an existing site too – even if it doesn’t include sensitive information or contact information of any kind. Since Google is using it as a ranking tool, it doesn’t make sense to limit it to just one page. More and more people are looking for secure green padlocks, so give them what they’re looking for.
You need to change your WordPress Address (URL) and your Site Address (URL) in the general settings area. Make sure you type in the correct address in each case to include the new https:// prefix.
You may also need to redirect the original http:// command to https://, which can be done in your .htaccess file.
There are more in-depth instructions available for making the switch on individual pages if you wish. Remember, if you run into any problems, we can handle making the change for you. Just get in touch to find out more.