SSL Checklist to Ensure Your Community Finds You

By John R. Aberle | Internet Marketing

Mar 14
This is a screen capture of John R. Aberle’s spreadsheet checklist for doing an SSL conversion, i.e. making your site secure as an https:// site.

If you read the previous post, “Do You Want Visitors to Continue Finding Your Site,” you may have decided to take action and get your SSL certificate. The problem with this action step is that it merely initiates or starts the ball rolling. For instance, you need to make changes in your WordPress site’s Settings to change from “http://” to https:// Additionally, you need to notify Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing, and others about the change. And you have your social media profiles.

This is a screen capture of John R. Aberle’s spreadsheet checklist for doing an SSL conversion, i.e. making your site secure as an https:// site.

As a small business owner or manager or as an entrepreneur or solopreneur, there are a lot of places that your website can show up with the old URL, i.e. the http:// version or unsecured site. This checklist does expect a minimal amount of technical skill, like being able to open your blog and change the Settings or being able to edit your profile in Facebook. While you are encouraged to use Google Analytics, if you prefer not to, just skip that step.

Major Checklist Steps

Here are some of the major categories of activities you might want to consider.

  • Decide on the type of SSL Certificate you want
  • Decide on the type of trust indicator you want
  • Buy an SSL Certificate or Use Let’s Encrypt
  • Install your SSL certificate
  • Check your SSL certificate – One of the three tools below can help
  • Change URLs on any signature lines in your Autocorrect Signatures (Microsoft Office)
  • Update all Hard-coded Links to HTTPS
  • Change your URL on your active websites under the WordPress Settings, General tab on the Dashboard from “http” to “https” – change both URLs.
  • Install Really Simple SSL plugins
  • Add 301 Redirects to New HTTPS URLs
  • Update your robots.txt File
  • SEO: Google Search Console, Sitemaps, Fetch
  • Update Your Google Analytics Profile URL
  • Miscellaneous Updates
  • Install your Google Analytics code on your site

(You will either need a new code for “https://” or need to edit your existing codes to change them to “https://” as Google Analytics did not automatically track the change otherwise.)

  • Change your URL for your active websites on Google Analytics from “http” to “https”
  • Change your URL for your active websites on Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools) from “http:” to “https”
  • Change your URL for your active websites on Bing Webmaster Tools from “http:” to “https”
  • Change your URL on FeedBurner and any other RSS Feeds
  • Change your URL for your email server for any automated emails from your website
  • Change your URLs on your password service, e.g. LastPass or RoboForm
  • Change your URLs on your EzineArticles profile and any other article directories you submit to
  • Change your URL for your active websites on your social media profiles from “http:” to “https”

 

For those more technically inclined, there are additional steps that KeyCDN covers in their article, “Complete Guide – How to Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.”

As you can see, there are a lot of places to check. You can get the spreadsheet itself to save retyping these items as well as to get the sub-bullet points that are not here by opting into the Aberle Enterprises email list as this is another bonus that will go out to all members of my community.

Start with a Few Key Points then Keep Working at It

When following this checklist, do the primary items first, like choosing, purchasing and installing your SSL certificate and then changing your WordPress.org Settings for your two URLs. After that, keep working at the tasks nibbling away at them like a piece of cheese until they are all done.

Benefits for Installing SSL Certificates

Having your SSL certificates, i.e. securing your site, will ensure that your community continues to be able to find you as the major search engines tighten up on the requirement for security. You will also benefit from prospects having more piece of mind, your visitors are protected from other people seeing their interactions with you, and you may even gain search engine ranking over competitors who haven’t taken action to secure their site(s).

Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs can use all the edge they can find to compete with companies big and small. Securing your sites will do that. But just buying and installing an SSL certificate is not enough. You need to make changes to the way your URL shows up on your site, on Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools plus various profiles. The above checklist will help. The spreadsheet I’m sending to all subscribers will make it even easier to know what to do and to track getting it done.

Open your heart in selling,

John's digital signature written with mouse 
John R. Aberle

P.S.

Join my community now to get notices of new articles to benefit your small business or entrepreneurship as well as to get occasional bonuses like this “Checklist for SSL Conversions.”

Related Article

Do You Want Visitors to Continue Finding Your Site?

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