Switching on HTTPS with Joomla - Tips and Tricks
Written by Andy Nathan
Google’s recent announcement that site security will affect rankings has the search engine marketing community upping their sites’ security. To help you keep in touch with what is going on, we wanted to go over some solutions for you to move your site to a secure HTTPS site.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Translation Protocol Secure. It’s the secure extension to the HTTP for finding a website address.
SSL Certificate is the Secure Socket Layer certificate that hosting companies provide for the additional website security. The certificate enables an extra layer of the security and makes a site HTTPS.
TLS Certificate stands for Transport Layer Security. It is the newer version of SSL. Recent versions of TLS provide much more security to a website.
Why Is This Important?
Having a secure website is important for two reasons.
First, encrypting your site makes it harder for hackers to attack your site and also makes your users’ experience on the internet safer. Second, Google is now using HTTPS as a ranking signal for websites. This means that you can improve your website traffic from Google search encrypting your site with an SSL certificate.
While it is too early to tell how much your website traffic will improve with an encrypted site, a few webmasters with encrypted sites have noticed a small spike in rankings and traffic after the recent change to the algorithm.
How to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS
Here is a short step by step guide on how to switch your website from HTTP to HTTPS.
1. First, make sure you have chosen the best SSL Certificate for you and you have successfully installed it on you server. If you use Linux based server like CentOS or Ubuntu, don't forget to enable mod_ssl and openssl.
*Note: Most hosting companies will help you add your SSL Certificate with single-click solution.
2. Second, enable the https in your Joomla! following the path: Global Configurations > Server > Force SSL. Completing this step, you will enable SSL features throughout your whole website. You can also switch off SSL features for the entire website and switch them on only for some specific pages in the menu item’s edit screen.
Testing Your SSL Server
Not sure if your SSL certificate is working on your site? Then test your domain at Qualys SSL Labs. They are the approved Google SSL test provider at the moment.
If you are running a TLS, make sure to check out the article Google recommended on IsitFastYet.Com about how to ensure fast server speeds for the TLS certificate.
What Should I Do Moving Forward?
Are you ready to purchase an SSL certificate for your site? Check with your Joomla hosting provider to find out what type of options they have. You can also shop around online to find the best deals from a third party providers. Just make sure the hosting you go with can support the SSL certificate company of your choice. With that in mind, you are now ready to switch your site to an HTTPS secure Joomla website.
Let us know below if you have any questions about how to move your Joomla site from the HTTP to HTTPS.