If it’s not broke, don’t fix it…unless Google asks you to.

Converting Divi Theme Examples to run on https:// has been on my to-do list for quite a while now, but with a well ranked, high traffic site I was not willing to risk the possible loss of ranking that may occur. Google views a https:// site as a new site that will need to be indexed and ranked accordingly and whilst a 301 redirect should mean little loss in ranking, I was terrified it wouldn’t. I asked a lot of friends what happened to their traffic after switching to https and most said there was a slight dip before a full recovery, but few noticed much of an improvement.

Still unconvinced I decided to let it roll on as http, but as traffic growth had stalled slightly over the past few months I was once again reconsidering the https switch. When I got a message in Google Search Console pointing out that “Chrome will show security warnings on http://www.divithemeexamples.com“, my mind was made up.

The process to convert from http to https is pretty well documented so I started to read through various online guides and tutorials to formulate a plan. The process i used I will outline below;

How I switched Divi Theme Examples from http to https

STEP 1 – Take a full Backup of the site

I always take a new backup just before I start making any major changes so I know I can rollback at any time if something goes wrong. My main backup tool for Divi Theme Examples is Updraft Plus which auto saves to my Dropbox account.

STEP 2 – Install the SSL certificate

I was able to Install LetsEncryps SSL certificate via my cPanel as a free, 1 click, auto-renewing service, on my Siteground cloud hosting plan. Once my SSL was added on my domain via cPanel, I could then test it was working correctly using the following sites;
SSL Shopper
SSL Labs

STEP 3 – Update site URLs in WordPress admin

In the WordPress admin dashboard under Settings -> General, update the site URLs from http://www.divithemeexamples.com to https://www.divithemeexamples.com – once you save these changes you will be logged out and need to log in again via the https site.

STEP 4 – Force a 301 redirect to the https site

Force all users onto the https version of the site using a 301 redirect in the .htaccess file.
I used the following code added to the top of the .httaccess file to redirect all traffic to https://www.divithemeexamples.com

I used this code to force SSL and redirect all pages to https://;

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c="">
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^divithemeexamples.com [NC] 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.divithemeexamples.com/$1 [L,R=301] 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
</ifmodule> 

(Option B) I could have also used the Siteground SG Optimizer plugin which has an option to force https and would do the same without having to edit the htaccess file.

STEP 5 – Convert all references to the old http URL’s

Convert all links within the site to use https and fix any mixed content (links that still point to http within your site)
I used the Better Search Replace plugin which will go through your database and find/replace every instance in a couple of minutes.

– Add the http URL to search for http://www.divithemeexamples.com
– Add the https URL to replace with https://www.divithemeexamples.com
– Select all tables and un-check the run as dry run option.
– Uninstall the plugin once the process is completed.

STEP 6 – Why no green padlock

There are a few tools out there where you can check if everything is running as it should be and to scan your website for non-secure content. At this stage the site was showing the green padlock on all pages but all the woocommerce pages were still showing as insecure, so I needed to find where the non-https links were added.

Check @ JitBit
Check @ Why No Padlock

The results from the JitBit scan showed the no-secure content was coming from the advertising banners added into the Woocommerce pages. I was able to pinpoint the issues to customized woocommerce plugin files within my Divi child theme where I had hard-coded in these banner adverts. Once I updated these image and site links to https, the green padlock started showing for the Woocommerce pages.

STEP 7 – Clear all caches

With everything up and running using https, I cleared all of my caches which for me are the Siteground Supercacher, Cloudflare CDN + the Divi Nitro plugin

STEP 7 – Webmaster Tools search console

Tell Google about the https switch by Creating a new site in Google search console for https://
+ Add the new https sitemaps for new https property
+ Speed things up by submitting the homepage in “Fetch” -> “Submit to index.”

STEP 8 – Google Analytics

In Google analytics property settings update the default URL to https://

STEP 9 – Update external links

Update all external links to point to the https:// version of Divi Theme Examples that I have control over.

STEP 10 – Wait

Google will need some time to re-crawl and re-index the new https website but if all goes well Im hoping to see little change in my ranking and traffic.

Traffic and ranking after https switch

So, it’s now 5 days since i switched Divi theme Examples over to https and the good news is that traffic and rankings seem not to have been effected at all. My https pages are now showing in all of my main keyword searches and traffic is consistent with previous trends. I will of course be monitoring rankings and traffic closely for a while now and will update the posts if anything changes.

Other side effects of changing to https

Social share counts – Unfortunately most of my Facebook social share counts have been lost from the Monarch plugin. There are various tutorials on recovering these but most seem to involve telling Facebook that the old http page is the main page which seems like a bad idea to me, so I’m starting from scratch with these. Time to start sharing 😉

Facebook comments – I was previously using the FB Comments plugin on posts and products (examples) but these have also been lost. The plugin I was using is also no longer supported and I was unable to find a good alternatives. I had been thinking to switch over to the default WP comments for a while now, so from now on commenting on Divi Theme Examples will be using the built in WordPress commenting system. Time to start commenting 😉

One Signal Push Notifications – I wanted to add push notifications to the site for a while now, but while it’s possible without https, the functionality is not great and subscribers will be lost when switching from http to https. Push notifications are now running on Divi theme Examples so subscribe and get notified of the best new content as it is added.

Did you make the https:// switch yet?

How did your https switch go? Did you notice any traffic or ranking loss or gains?

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