How to Redirect https:// to https:// 07 Feb 2017
For those with websites that are wanting to change the domain name of it, it should be a relatively straight forward process to change the domain name of your website and have the previous domain name forward to the new domain. However, for the majority of websites, this is easy when the original website did not have an SSL certificate associated to it. When an SSL certificate is associate to a website and you then want to change your website’s domain name, things can get slightly more complex – as of the start of 2017, there is no a single solution to this problem so here is a first for the internet!
To explain how to do this, I will guide you through the imaginary domain transfer of a made up website, https://buysomefruits.com, who are wanting to change their domain name to a better one: https://buyfruits.com.
If the website did not have an SSL certificate on it, then it is a relatively straight forward process for which most hosting companies will do for you at a click of a few buttons. The http://buysomefruits.com is removed from the hosting account and http://buyfruits.com is put onto it. Another way to do this is to copy the content of the hosting to a new hosting associated to http://buyfruits.com and then delete the old hosting, making sure http://buysomefruits.com redirects all of its pages to http://buyfruits.com.
But, if the website had an SSL certificate, things get complicated because a standalone domain cannot have an SSL certificate associated to it. Only a website can.
So here is what you do.
The process is pretty much the same as the above. However, when taking the old domain name away from the hosting, the SSL cannot stay with that domain but must stay with the website – this can be done by temporarily sticking the SSL certificate on a subdomain.
Once the old domain has been removed, the new domain can be added to the hosting and then the SSL certificate can be put onto the new domain, for us it is https://buyfruits.com.
So what you will notice from this is that the actual URL for the website changes with the addition of an SSL certificate, changing from ‘http://’ to ‘https://’. This causes the problem that any traffic that goes to https://buysomefruits.com will not be forwarded to https://buyfruits.com, as we want it to because the standalone old domain, which is now merely used as a 301 redirect, cannot have an SSL certificate as a standalone domain name. Yes, http://buysomefruits.com redirects to https://buyfruits.com. But, https://buysomefuits.com does not. For a website which has a lot of organic traffic where Google sends the user to ‘https://…’, this will cause a complete drop in traffic, which is never good.
Therefore, the workaround is to stick the old domain name, in our case http://buysomefruits.com, onto a hosting account so that it becomes a website. From doing this, the domain is now eligible for an SSL certificate which you can add to the hosting account of the old domain. Once you have done this, you can go into the cPanel of the hosting and make sure there is a permanent 301 redirect to your desired new domain name (such as https://buyfruits.com’) and make sure it is a ‘Wild Car’ redirect so that anything after the domain name, such as pages and posts, are redirected too.
This fixes the problem and now you will have transferred your domain name from one https:// domain to another without losing traffic!
A student in England studying a Masters in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as FreePoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com You can follow him @willGreeny.