So, you’ve decided to make the switch to https but not sure what to do next? Let us guide you through the steps you need to take to set up your SSL certificate on your website.
1. Acquire an SSL certificate
What type of SSL certificate do I need? and what do they cost?
Most businesses will just need a simple Domain Validated SSL certificate that will show that your site data is secure and not flag any issues. If you have an online shop or gather lots of data then we’d recommend an extended validation certificate.
What do SSL certificates cost?
They can cost anything from around £20/year to £249/year depending on the level of security required.
Where can I get an SSL certificate?
You’ll find no shortage of providers by searching online but you can save yourself the time and hassle by letting us acquire one on your behalf. Our pricing starts at £25/year but if you enlist our installation we can supply a Comodo Essential SSL Domain Verified certificates for only £15/year. This is less than if you go to Comodo directly!
2. Installing the SSL certificate
To install your SSL certificate, you’ll need access to your hosting control panel. If we host your site we can provide you with this access. You’ll need to add some codes that your SSL provider has given you so that your server recognises the SSL certificate that you’ve purchased. There are plenty of specific installation guides for each server type.
3. Configuring your website
It’s not enough to simply acquire the certificate and then let your host know it’s installed. You all need to make sure all of the content on your site (including images, PDFs, etc) are all now located at https instead of http.
If you have a WordPress site, this is a fairly straightforward process. The easiest way to do this is to install a plugin, such as Really Simple SSL, that handles this for you. Use the plugin to enable your certificate and you’re pretty much good to go! If you’re stuck, make sure to check the plugin’s knowledge base!
4. Checking it’s all worked
You need to be sure ALL of your content is now getting loaded from https otherwise warnings will get shown to site visitors. Use an https checking tool like Geocerts. If you can’t see a padlock showing your site is secure, try using Why No Padlock?
5. Informing Google **IMPORTANT**
Now that the SSL certificate is enabled and working on your site, make sure to change your address to https:// in the WordPress settings as well as main services such as Google My Business or Google Analytics. Importantly, you also need to add a new property for your https site in search console.
6. Keep an eye out…
If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll start to see that Google will index the https version of your site instead of the http one. Don’t immediately panic if there’s a bit of disruption to some of your search rankings. We’ve seen this happen but it does tend to be very temporary (as long as you’ve carried out the process correctly)
Does all of this look too daunting or time-consuming? We can take the pain out of the whole process from start to finish. Just get in touch if you’d like to explore that option.