Enabling SSL (https) is so easy with SiteGround- no drop in traffic

Hosting

One of the main reasons I migrated to SiteGround hosting is because SiteGround makes it very easy to enable SSL to your site with Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt provides SSL certification for free with the objective to make websites more secured.

After I migrated my database to Siteground and change the DNS setting to point to SiteGround hosting, I proceeded to enable SSL on my sites. It has been almost a month after I have done it and there is NO drop in my traffic. In fact, there is a reported 5% increase in my traffic in the last 28 days.

By nature I am not a techy person- hence changing host is seriously something that I really dread. But it come to a point where literally all sites have changed to SSL- sites with hundreds of thousands of articles have all migrated…. all without any hitches. If these large mega sites made the move, what excuse that I have.

And if you have not done it… what excuse do you have? Intimidated by the complicated SSL certification and the problems reported by various blogs and YouTube vloggers?

I must say I delayed enabling SSL for my sites because I was intimidated by the complicated steps that I seen written in blogs and videos. As well as all the things in the world that could go wrong after migration or the fact that the whole site gave a dangerous warning message when the certification is not renewed every 3 months.

Well, I discovered that the steps are complicated if:

  • if the site owner is an early adopter- meaning they started the migration before enhancements and integrations were being done
  • the hosting company does not integrate with Let’s Encrypt because they wanted to sell you their certificates
  • if you install Let’s Encrypt manually
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However, using SiteGround, enabling SSL is just a few clicks away. Here are the screen shots:

  1. Login to your SiteGround hosting account. Go to Account> CPanel and scrolll down till you see “Security” section and  click on “Let’s Encrypt”.

Install SSL via SiteGround hosting

2. You would be brought to a page where there is dropdown box for you to install eligible sites under “Install new Let’s Encrypt Certificate”.  Select the domain you wish to install SSL, then the “Let’s Encrypt SSL Type”.

Note: At first, I have selected the “Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL” hoping that it can install SSL certification for all my subdomains as you see in the screen above. However after more than 3 hours, it is still not done. I logged in again and re-select the “Let’s Encrypt SSL” and do it individually for each site. After the selection, click on “Install” and the next screen shown below will be displayed:

3. By default, the HTTPS Enforce is “off”. Push the button to enable it (it will turn to green colour). There is a warning to mention to ensure your .htaaccess files does not explicitly force the insecure HTTP connection to avoid any redirection loops. That is why it is never a good idea to mess with the htaaccess file.

Install SSL via SiteGround hosting

4. After you enabled the HTTPS Enforce button, you would see the “External Links Rewrite”. This is where the magic happens- by enabling this button (turn to green or on), any external links that is on http will automatically be switched to https. I’ve had a lot of hard coded links that are http which are both internal and external links. I need not go in to manually change as all would get automatically switched to https.

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Install SSL using siteground hosting

5. Login to your WordPress Dashboard site. Go to Settings> General. Change the url of both the “WordPress Address” and “Site Address” from http://yoursite.com to https://yoursite.com.

Install SSL via SiteGround hosting

Refresh your site and viola…. instead of “Not secure”, it now has the padlock and https next to your site.

Final steps is to login to your Google Analytics account to just change the property address from http:// to https://. If you have Google Console account, create a new property under the new https:// address.

That’s it and congratulations… your site is now secured and no longer scare visitors away 🙂

Traffic impact

I am very pleased to inform that there is no noticable drop in my traffic. In fact, page views went up 5% the last 30 days. Most probably because my site loading speed has increased.

Seriously, many sites have migrated to https. In recent months, there has been very less complaints about migration causing traffic drop because Google actually reindexed these pages relatively quick. My sites have already appeared in the search engine traffic as https instead of http.

 

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