Quality Engineering
min read
April 10, 2023

How to Test HTTPS and HTTPS Redirect

How to Test HTTPS and HTTPS Redirect
Table of contents

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol security. This protocol ensures the secure transfer of encrypted HTTP data over a protected connection. You can validate website authentication and maintain data integrity by using secure connections, such as Transport layer security or secure sockets layer.

Checklist for HTTPS

HTTPS Redirect-Checklist

HTTPS is a security protocol that encrypts data transferred via HTTP. Securing the transfer of data over the internet between computers and servers involves using an encryption algorithm to scramble the data, rendering it unreadable and inaccessible to anyone without proper authorization. 

To protect your personal data, it's important to ensure that your online communication with a website is secure before sharing any information.

Two ways to check for secure sources

Look at the uniform resource locator (URL) of the website

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HTTPS is the recommended protocol for secure URLs, rather than HTTP. The “s” in “HTTPS” stands for secure, which indicates that the site is using a secure ‘secure socket layer (SSL)’ certificate.

Look for a lock icon near your browser’s location field

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The presence of the lock symbol and HTTPS in the URL indicates that the connection between your browser and the web server is secure and encrypted.

HTTP to HTTPS migration checklist

  • Verify that the SSL installation was successful.
  • Make sure HTTP Requests are being transferred to HTTPS.
  • Make sure all your requests are using HTTPS.
  • Make sure all versions of your website are added to the Google search console.
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Note: To enhance the monitoring and optimization of your website, it's recommended that you add all potential versions, such as subdomains, to your Google search console. When adding properties to the search console, it is important to include “https://”if your website is served from an HTTPS protocol, as per Google’s recommendation.

  • Your old HTTP links will be updated with HTTPS in Google index.
  • The traffic to the HTTP version of your website will drop with time.
  • You will see an increase in HTTPS traffic in your Google search console.
  • Don’t forget to change to HTTPS in Google analytics.
  • Make sure your new sitemap supports HTTPS and submit it to the Google search console.
  • Update all your social media bio section links to HTTPS.
  • Use the Google search console fetch and render tool to verify that your site is being crawled fine.

How does an HTTP redirect work?

HTTP is a protocol that follows a request/response model. When a client, such as a web browser, sends a request to a server, the server returns a response. HTTP redirects come in two types, permanent and temporary. A permanent redirect (HTTP status code 301) indicates that a resource has moved to a new location permanently.

This type of redirect is recommended for all redirections, except those that point to a different path. For example, if you're restructuring or migrating a website from HTTP to HTTPS, a permanent redirect is the appropriate choice.

Below is an example of the QED42 homepage

  • Open Google chrome and go to QED42.com.  
  • Right-click on the home page and select the Inspect option.
  • Enable the Inspect feature and click on the network and all tabs.
  • Go to the clear button and clear all the data..
  • Copy the current URL and remove the URL again.
  • Remove the ‘s’ from the HTTP in the web address and press enter.
  • You can now see this in the network area, scroll up the name column and check the status.
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Advantages of HTTPS

  • HTTPS provides a secure connection between websites and users.
  • HTTPS ensures the security and privacy of user data by encrypting data and protecting information from unauthorized access.
  • HTTPS enables users to safely perform transactions, including banking and other sensitive information, without the risk of data hacks.
  • The SSL technology in HTTPS protects data from third-party threats and hackers, helping to build trust with users and ensure a secure online experience.

Factors to consider with HTTPS

  • Users need to purchase an SSL certificate.
  • The website’s slow loading speed would likely be due to communication complexities.
  • Users have to update all internal links.

Secure a website using Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04

Install Let's Encrypt

To install Let's Encrypt on Ubuntu, run the following command in your terminal:

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Allow HTTPS through the firewall and configure to Apache2 virtual hosts

To enable Apache2 to pass through the firewall, use the commands below if you’re using Apache:

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Obtain an SSL certificate

To obtain an SSL certificate, execute the command given below:

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You can use this command to generate an SSL certificate for your preferred domain by following the prompts displayed.

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Test the auto-renewal process

Automatic SSL certificate renewal is handled by Certbot, and you can test it by executing the following command:

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You have the option to perform a dry run of the auto-renewal process using the command below:

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Conclusion

Using HTTPS is not a choice anymore. Having a trusted site is crucial for both users and search engines. HTTPS provides a secure way to transmit data between your website and web browser or server, protecting sensitive information like customer and payment data from potential hackers. By implementing HTTPS, you can ensure that your site is safe and trusted by your visitors and search engines. 

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