Recently Google shook up the industry by announcing that HTTPS is now a lightweight ranking signal. Having websites with more security rank higher in search results is an easy concept to grasp, but implementing the security on your website is not. HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and HTTPS is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communication security over the Internet.


1. Get an SSL Certificate

The following steps will go wrong if you don't have an SSL Certificate installed on your domain by your hosting company. They usually cost $15 per year or free, and take about 10-15 minutes to get processed and approved.


2. Activate SSL on Website

  • For Joomla, in administrator, go to Site > Global Configuration > Server > select Entire Site for Force SSL > click Save & Close.
  • For WordPress, in administrator, go to Settings > General > select HTTPS for WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) > click Save Changes.


3. Redirect HTTP to HTTPS

Your hosting should automatically redirect HTTP to HTTPS. If not, you need to update the .htaccess file which is located in the root directory of your site through FTP ( Use the Apache suggested code.

RewriteEngine On
# This will enable the Rewrite capabilities

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
# This checks to make sure the connection is not already HTTPS

RewriteRule ^/?(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [R,L]
# This rule will redirect users from their original location, to the same location but using HTTPS.
# i.e. to
# The leading slash is made optional so that this will work either in httpd.conf
# or .htaccess context


4. Update Google

Resubmit the HTTPS version of your site to Google Webmaster Tools.


For Google Analytics, there are 2 sections that need updating. Select your Property > Admin > Property Settings > change Default URL to HTTPS > click Save. And, Select your Property > Admin > View Settings > change Website's URL to HTTPS > click Save.

Google Analytics


You'll know when Google has updated your site when you see HTTPS in front of your URL in search results.

Google Search Results