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Why should your links be HTTPS instead of HTTP?

Why should your links be HTTPS instead of HTTP?

Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that when moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS, you should make sure that any internal links are changed to HTTPS instead of being redirected from HTTP.

What are HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP and HTTPS are abbreviations for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and the clue is in the name as to the difference in security between the two. Whether or not a site is HTTPS is a ranking factor by Google, so really every website should have HTTPS. This is set up by installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on your website, which can be easily done by your web hosting company.

Mueller gives a few reasons why you should change your internal links to HTTPS instead of HTTP, these being:

– It’s cleaner than having a bunch of redirecting links
– Unlike with external links, you have complete control over the URL to which visitors are sent
– Changing the links can have a positive effect on webpage performance
– The webpages will load more quickly, resulting in a better user experience (this has been a key ranking factor for Google since it released the Core Web Vitals update back in 2020)

Furthermore, this won’t at all affect the visual effect of your links on your website, as all of this is done in the backend code.

How can you change your links?

If your website is using WordPress as its content management system (CMS), there is a free plugin you can install called ‘Better Search Replace’ which enables you to find any links and replace them. This allows you to change any http://www.[yourdomain].com to https://www.[yourdomain].com, although you need to make sure you have an SSL certificate installed on your website first.

To conclude, if you are looking to improve your website’s user experience, changing any HTTP links to HTTPS is a must. At Engage Web, we can create a digital marketing strategy to help you go much further. To find out more, get in touch with our friendly team.

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