The Internet is the lifeline for a plethora of organizations in the current world. In fact, it has become the necessity for all, due to this reason the technologists are rigorously working on the parameters to secure the online business from the hackers. They started working HTTP feature, but this feature caused many risks to the users and the website owners. As the HTTP traffic is unencrypted, any kind of data that is sent over HTTP can be easily tailored by anyone who can access your network. Thanks to Google and its recent update on the use of an SSL certificate and the use of HTTPS that the businesses are now installing HTTPS that is helpful in giving encrypted security. While HTTPS has long existed in terms of web security, but there are some websites who are reluctant to still adopt it.
Although implementing an SSL certificate is easy, that does not take a lot of efforts. If you are a professional and know the exact process, then you can install it in few seconds. Certificate Authority – CA, which authenticates the issuance of SSL certificate for the business owners. While installing HTTPS there can be different methods that can be opted, for example – there is a traditional approach, external provider method or let’s encrypt. These methods of installation can be chosen as per your website needs or as per your choice, but the ultimate goal that HTTPS provides is server authentication, data confidentiality, and data integrity. You get the point now, that installing HTTPS correctly is quite important.
Let’s start with some common mistakes while installing the SSL certificate:
These mistakes are very common in nature as they are not emphasized much and are majorly ignored. Any mistake while installing SSL, leads to indecent security that eventually loses the entire gist of SSL. So, this article is focused on putting down a few important points for your quick reference and guide so that in the future while installation you can take care of the same. Please remember – use, trusted certificates that are valid and help in building trust and reputation enabling visitors to trust you more.
HTTP vs HTTPs
It is important to understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPS before or while implementing HTTPS. This is to avoid confusion while installing, for example, there should be a right use of CDN (Content Delivery Network) that will help your website load faster. Here, mixing both (absolute and relative path) can show an error message to your website visitors. Thus, it is recommended to use a relative path to build the website’s trust.
With this, there are some mistakes that shall be avoided while installing HTTPS as well, especially for the SEO boost and security of the website. Although as per SemRush, HTTPS is a not a very great thing for SEO bonus or a privilege of big businesses, it is indeed a necessity for all kinds of websites. This article will now focus on mistakes that can occur during HTTPS implementation and how we can fix them or we can avoid them so that there are no blunders or pitfalls in implementation. Now, let’s see the study and the survey executed by SemRush:
Passwords are an integral part to secure your data and confidential information on the website. Thus, the study by SEMrush indicates that there are 9% non-secure pages that have passwords and are vulnerable. Being, a critical error, it has to be fixed immediately and all the pages that take passwords on the website shall be encrypted.
Website Architecture issues
- It is seen that if your website elements are not secured with HTTPS such as – links, images, scripts etc) this may lead to the security issues. In these cases, browsers warn the users about the unsecured content and this may affect the user experience. It is considered to be a critical error.
- A notification which is highly recommended is to link all the internal pages and images to HTTPS or implement HSTS for better security.
- There is no redirects or canonicals to HTTPS URLs for some percent of the website. For example, if you are running both the version of HTTP and HTTPS on your homepage, then it is very important to make sure that their existence on the homepage does not hamper the SEO
- A highly recommended point under website architecture mistake is inappropriate and mix the match use of the HTTP URLs and HTTPS in the sitemap.xml. Fix this issue immediately as this can affect crawling of the pages on the search engine’s algorithm.
Security certificates issues
When you know that SSL certificate is essential for your website’s security you need to pay close attention to its expiry dates and validity. This prevents the theft of the information and helps in smooth transmission of data. If the SSL certificate is expired it will send you a warning message, if ignored and not renewed it will affect the bounce rate on your website and will have plummeted organic search traffic.
Please be careful while registering SSL certificate if it gets on to a wrong domain, then it will certainly be not great for HTTPS implementation. This mistake is typically seen in 6% of the websites, but you can solve the problem by using the SSL certificate for multiple domains or multiple IP addresses.
Highly recommended mistake to be fixed: If your server doesn’t support HSTS, then it can be a big mistake while implementing HTTPS. If HSTS is not there it becomes difficult for the browsers to communicate properly with the servers. This causes a huge error while implementing HTTP.
Highly recommended mistake to be fixed: If Lack of server name can be a mistake that should be fixed as soon as possible. SNI is an extension to the TLS that allows the support to more than one layer and it also hosts extra certificate on a single IP address. Using SNI will help in enhancing trust and in turn, improve security.
Critical mistake that need immediate attention: Moreover, running the old version of SSL or TLS protocol is not advisable, this needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Mistakes shall be fixed when implementing HTTPS
When you are implementing HTTPS on your website, and analyzing the error of an expired SSL certificate, then the SEMRush tool will show you the date of expiry and the status. This will help you to monitor your certificate expiration.
In a case of incorrect domain name, the audit report will show the incorrect subdomain so that it becomes easy to amend the problem.
In server related issues, while implementing HTTPS you get a full report on the upgrade versions of security protocols, SNI support and HTTPS implementation.
Under website architecture issues, while implementation the audit report gives you a full check on the mixed content, HTTP element detected, or any other insecure element detected on your website. This is really a breather and can help in fixing the issues.
Security is an important element for the websites, thus while implementing HTTPS make sure you do not make mistakes and follow the above-mentioned points to get full security for your website. Also, it is important to mention, this data given in the article is authentic and is provided by SEMush Site Audit Tool, hence it can be relied on. Make sure all the critical errors and highly recommended points shall be addressed on an immediate basis.
Suggested Read: Get the Right SSL Certificate for Your Website