Http vs https URL's

I just got my first encrypted website (https), but I’m confused by the URL games. First, I was surprised to learn that I can still use the original http URL’s. So I apparently have a choice of linking to [http]mypage or [https]mypage.

It seems logical to keep the original URLs rather than forward visitors to a https address. So why do some sites use https URL’s in the first place? Is it just a way of letting visitors know they’re on an encrypted site?

Things get even more complicated when you visit Google’s Webmaster Tools, and they invite you to create site maps linking to three or four different URL types - http vs https and or

So I wondered if anyone could advise me on how to proceed? Would it be best to link my pages to https or http? And is there some advantage to linking to rather than It seems to me that the best way to go would be a single, consistent structure - either [http] OR [https] Why would I want the same page showing up under four different URL’s in my site statistics?

Thanks for any tips.

I would suggest you redirect traffic from http to https via htaccess.


So I should change my “canonical” links from http to https? I guess that is the way sites like Wikipedia do it. Thanks for the tips.

P.S. Can you post the .htaccess script you use to redirect traffic to https?

Also set the http meta canonical link to the https version otherwise there will be multiple search references to the same data. A single search reference point will boost your SEO Brownie points :slight_smile:


Thanks, I’ll do that. So my new links will be [https]


you may also find your site is set to also allow www. or not. e.g and as said above .htaccess will allow you to do a 301 permanent redirect to www. and https so google should then know which is the correct link.

as an aside google apparently compensates for the very slight increase in download time for a secure page over a non-secure page so your ranking won’t be affected, as google wants people to move to https


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