Really Simple SSL

How to setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console/Webmaster Tools

Rogier

Rogier

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When you move your site to ssl, you might have to adjust your settings in Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools/Search Console accordingly. It’s not much work, but it’s important you fix it. In short, you need to set your primary domain in both Webmaster Tools as in Google analytics to your https domain. I’ll discuss Search Console first, but it really doesn’t matter in which order you do it.

Prefix or domain validated

Before making any changes, check if your site is domain or prefix validated. You can test this by clicking on your domain in the top left corner, right below the Google Search Console text.

If your site is prefix validated, it will show all the prefixes (http://, http://www, https://, https://www) that have been validated (top part of screenshot below). Note that you might only see one prefix, for example http://. If this is the case continue with the Webmaster Tools / Search Console section below to add the other prefixes.

If your site is domain validated it will show as a Domainproperty (see the bottom part of the screenshot below). If your site is domain validated you don’t have to make any adjustments to your Google configuration at all! All domains and prefixes will automatically be tracked for a domain validated property.

Webmaster Tools / Search Console

First navigate to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home.

In Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools), you should add a new property for the https:// variant of your domain.

          

Click on images to enlarge them.

Near the top-left corner of Search Console, next to your current property, click on the downwards pointing arrow to show the ‘Add property’ button. This button will appear on the bottom of the dropdown menu. After clicking ‘Add property’ a popup should appear, here you can enter your domain with https://www. If your site uses https:// without www, enter https://. The domain should match the one in the general settings of WordPress, the site url.

That’s all you need to do in your Webmaster Tools / Search Console setup. Now when you want to do something in Webmaster Tools / Search Console, just use the https://(www) property.

Google Analytics

First, navigate to http://analytics.google.com

After you move to SSL, you should change your domain in Google Analytics to https. This way, GA starts registering your hits again. I would recommend using the .htaccess redirect if you’re on apache.  GA might not register hits if the site is not redirecting properly to https.

The language on the screenshots is not English, but it will look the same in English.

To update the GA settings, in Google Analytics, first go to your website dashboard, and click the cogwheel at the bottom, “Admin” .

 

Now there are two urls that need to be changed. For tracking, only the url under “view settings” appears to be important, but I would change both anyway. So first, click “property settings”, and change the default url. Then click “view settings” and change the website url.

 

Now, change the protocol to https for both url’s

That’s it! Your site is now correctly configured for SSL.

If Really Simple SSL fixed your issues and/or saved you time, you might consider buying the premium plugin to support the continuing development of the plugin. You’ll get some great additional features, like HTTP strict Transport Security, the SSL certificate expiration warning and premium support.

Bing

I’m not a regular user of Bing, but based on user feedback, I would recommend to follow these steps:

– Add a new sitemap with https
– Use the site move tool to make sure Bing knows it is moved to https:
https://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/how-to-use-the-site-move-tool-bb8f5112

Additional settings

If you experience any issues with your sitemap after migrating to SSL while using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can disable and enable the Yoast plugin once. That will change all links in the sitemap to https://.

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209 Responses

          1. New in search console is that you can group properties, which is a great improvement.

        1. Hi Richie,

          this is mainly done because it is a best practice defined by Google. This way Google knows what your main domain is and setting up the multiple domains ensures you don’t miss any hits on your website which came through another domain than your primary.

          Mark

  1. Hi Rogier,
    Does it matter whether I change the domain to https in Google Analytics first or Search Console first? Looking at the screen shots it looks like search console was done first but I want to be sure.

    Thanks very much,
    Barbara

  2. Rogier,

    Even though I didn’t change this yet in Google Analytics, it does still count views on my website. One question I do have is, if I change http to https in GA, will I loose the historical analytics of the http address?

    Thanks for your help.
    Katia

    1. Hi Katia,

      On the sites I did the migration for, the historical data is kept after the change to https. Even if your hits are still registered, it’s better to let Google know what your primary url is.

  3. Hello,
    At the Google Search Console, I only got to enter the first variant of my site’s name and now I don’t understand how to verify it or how t enter the other versions. Such as http://www..etc or https:… I’m not understanding the Google Analytics portion of how to proceed with the real simple SSL plug in? Please help?

    Thank you

    1. You can just add a new property in Google Search Console. I’ve added a link to Google instructions how to do this to the article. As for Google Analytics, if you follow the steps described in the article, you should be fine. Is there anything in these steps that is not clear?

      1. There’s one thing I would add, Rogier – and that would be to update the property association near the bottom of the Property screen via “Adjust Search Console.” You’ll have to delete the existing association and add the new https property.
        Also, in specifying the preferred domain in Search Console, the http/s option doesn’t appear.. the choice is between www. and non-www, and carries through both http and https variants…
        at least, that’s what I’m seeing.

  4. Thanks for the article! One question: Do we have to add a new property in Google Analytics with https instead? Or is making the switch from http to https as you described here all we need to do? I followed the article, and in analytics it still shows at the top http://mydomain.com instead of https. Is this normal? I have it set to https as you showed here but just want to clarify that this is all I need to do, or if I should add another property in analytics. Your clarification will be appreciated!!

    -Saul

    1. It sounds like you’ve done it right. Is it possible the name of your property is “http://domain.com”? the name doesn’t have to contain the protocol, it’s just a descriptive name.

  5. Hello, i already add all 4 variant URL to Webmaster and those are verified. But…i don’t know how to set one of the https domains as “preferred domain”. Can you help please ?

  6. Hi there!

    Thanks for a great plugin!
    One question tho: after reactivating the plugin in WP 4.7.1, the “SSL activated! Don’t forget to change your settings in Google Analytics en Webmaster tools. More info.” message in my admin section has lost it’s x to close it.
    I’m very happy it’s all working, but I’d like to get rid of the message 😉 Saving the settings didn’t help.

    Any tips welcome, tia!

    Martine

    1. Hi,

      I have tested it with the latest beta release from WordPress, and it works without problems. In some cases the x is hidden behind the “help” dropdown.

  7. Thanks Rogier for this wonderful plugin, just followed the link via the plugin and i gained alot of knowledge regarding the SSL certificate and verification on google. Going to google webmaster tools to ensure everything is verified.

  8. First of all, thanks a lot for making such a wonderful plugin. I used clouflare free ssl & then installed your plugin. Everything is working fine as of now. So, do I need to change anything in Htaccess file?

  9. I understood that I must create property all my URLs in case 4. Well, my site had as main URL http: // www on it was my site map and my international follow up. Now my main URL is https: // www and here is my question. Do I have to leave the map site in the new URL and do the international follow-up configuration only for https: // www?

          1. Hello! I tested in Redirect Checker and received this information Error: in URLs found how should I proceed? Help me please. I find it strange because in my .htaccess file a 301 redirect is created after installing Really Simple SSSL

          1. Hello Rogier! My sites are already normalizing and increasing in Google searches. Already started to have an increase of more than 50%. Thank you very much.

  10. Hi and thanks for your plugin, work well, easily installed SSL, but now i lose over 50% of my traffic, and some keyword drop, any suggestion to fix ?
    I would not go back.
    Best Regards

  11. After switching to https I see my website disappearing from Google searches.

    only appear in google usa

    note : i didnot put ant international target but i found that this site put to preferd domain www.

    now i changed to non preferd domains

    any advise ?

  12. Really simple SSL worked immediately! I had previously tried to get a result with just using plugin Insecure content fixer…that didnt work at all. so this is fantastic Then in the search console I followed your above instructions to add another property for the https version. I also changed the protocol in analytics. It seemed to generate another duplicate verification number…I thought it would be different…but I uploaded that, just overwrote the file. Then I could not set the preferred version to https. it now says I have to reverify the http version but not sure how to regenerate that again … and then just to complicate matters, (I do have a multi-site) in my yoast, I tried to generate a new sitemap but it went to a 404 page. umm. Any ideas would be gratefully accepted. Oh and you will see pageIDs in my site because the theme HeatMap got stuck and I could not activate the template I wanted, using postname permalink. But that is another issue so just ignore that.. thanks!

    1. To verify your site you can in most cases just click “verify” in Google analytics. As you already have done so before, you will still have the html file on your site. As for the 404, try re-saving the permalinks in settings/permalinks, or just retry it in Yoast.

  13. We have all 4 variants submitted into Search Console (http://, https://, http://www, https://www). My question is specific to selecting the preferred domain. Within my preferred profile (https://), I will select my preferred domain as mysite.com. But in the case of the other 3 profiles, does this mean i need to use the ‘Don’t set a preferred domain’. Even though it’s not differentiated within Search Console to use the https:// version of our site.

    At the moment I have all 4 profiles setting the preferred domain as mysite.com and I just wasn’t sure if I need to change this given which profile it stems from? Or if this even matters?

  14. Very sincerely Thanks Rogier Lankhorst for such an elaborate and easy to implement article on the subject. It helped me a lot in a successful migration from http to https.

        1. You need to connect to your site using FTP, then you can look for the folder where the wordpress files are, like wp-config.php, wp-content, etc. That is the web root.

  15. Thank you so much for your great plugin Really Simple SSL and for this article. I’m using the plugin on my two domains (my main web about photography and also at a photo blog website). Both – this article and your plugin – saved me so much time! Thanks a lot for such a great job! 🙂

  16. Hi Rogier,

    How about the different verification codes? I have verified the https property with a meta tag and put this code in the Yoast plugin. This is ok. I cannot set the prefered domain yet, so I guess I need to add the other properties too.

    Question:
    When I create the other properties, I need to verify these again (so 4 verification codes??). In the Yoast plugin I can add just one verification code, or not? Should I add all verification codes to the head section in WordPress? Can you please help? I really don’t know how to fix this. Thanks a lot for your help and the plugin. Karin

  17. Hi Rogier!
    On your screenshots from GA you change View settings, but not Property ones.
    Should I change to ‘https’ in Property Settings too? Or is View enough?

  18. HI!

    Thanks for helping us 🙂 Can you check my site if im doing the right thing? Is it supposed to be redirecting to different sites?

    i checked my site via pingdom and this is one of the reports

    Remove the following redirect chain if possible

    thank you.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Those results are all resources that are loaded by your site. You have some ads loading, these URLs contain redirects. There’s nothing you can do about that, apart from removing the ads.

  19. Hi Rogier,
    Thanks for your info, very helpful.
    I have a question for you. I see you change the protocol to https in Google Analytics/View Settings/Website’s URL. How about this in Google Analytics/Property Settings/Default URL? Do you also change from http:// to https:// there?

  20. i add https version of my site in web master but it not verify that i tried alot both meta tag codes are same for http and https but http version is verified bit now htpps in not verifying error The connection to your server timed out. what to do now

  21. Hi there,

    I recently added https and https://www properties in Console and my admin advised me to delete old ones, http and http://www, so I deleted them… and I have second thoughts, especially because I have issues when posting articles on my Facebook page.

    After deleting the 2 old properties (http and http://www), can I add them again?

    Thnak you

  22. The contact form on this site isn’t working and this page is linked by the notification so I’ll post here. Since the last update your plugin’s notification in the admin area won’t go away that says, “SSL activated! Don’t forget to change your settings in Google Analytics en Webmaster tools. More info.”

    1. Hi Ali, possibly your problem on the contact page is caused by Google Recaptcha, but the support form should always work. I don’t see this behaviour you describe on the sites I manage. Sometimes the dismissal does not work when another plugin causes a javascript error. If you check the developer console in your browser, do you see any errors?

  23. Few things; It’s a multisite so that fix isn’t very efficient. Yours is one of two plugins out of several that have this problem. The other is wp-spamshield but several other plugins, I can click and it goes away for good so there’s something there. Lastly, it’s a bit of an unnecessary, proactive message.
    While I appreciate the effort, and I don’t mean to sounds rude, but what business is it of yours whether I keep google up to date? Especially since your plugin isn’t an seo plugin. WP-spamshield, same thing. Warning about a bug in the wp core. Nothing to do with spam. One good thing about plugins like yours and Scott’s is that they stayed out of the way and did their jobs. We like that. No longer the case maybe? Having messages the pop up that keep popping up after dismissal for admins is not the best thing on a multisite.

    1. I have added a multisite script:
      https://really-simple-ssl.com/knowledge-base/ssl-activated-message-not-going-away/
      As for your question why this message is there: this message has been added simply to lower the number of questions I get from people who did not do this, and see their hits drop, and ask me how Really Simple SSL has caused this. This saves me a lot of time. Which means it clearly answers a question for a lot of people.
      Probably the other dismissals work with a submit, which I’m planning to add. A submit does not depend on javascript. I can’t reproduce it on any site, so it must be something specific on your site.

  24. Thanks Roger!
    I had changed over to SSL and saw a decrease in impressions and did lots of searches to try and figure out what I did wrong. I found your article to extremely helpful…Thanks for the article!

  25. sir my domain is showing result’s with https or without https in google search engine so can any one help me how to fix this issue. I want to show the results with out https. Please some one help me

  26. Many thanks for this explanation! I could appreciate a decrease in WMT, but not that much in Google Analytics, does it has the same effect in both (not changing to https)? Because in Analytics still counting some visits..

  27. Do I need to change my /sitemap_index.xml of wordpress site once really simple plug in installed. I am using free Yoast plug in for site map links. after installing really simple plug in and cloud fare free plug in, site map contains htpp links in google webmaster. I have added https://gokarnapuja.com/ as new property in google webmaster. But my website shows https. correctly.

  28. Hi there,
    I was really looking for a detailed step by step guide to do this because I was really confused about doing this.
    Thanks a lot, buddy.
    Keep posting good stuff. Cheers.

  29. Hello i have activated SSL on my website but, when i open my website without Https it will open normally and when i just open it with https. It also load normally.
    Please suggest me where i have to do changes so it will open with https and do i need to change my sitemaps also??
    thank you

  30. Great Post,
    But Can you please tell me, using a free SSL for website is safe?
    Because i just asked some of bloggers they says free SSL is not Safe.
    Please tell me
    Thank you

  31. Already did it but I have some problem when I’m adding https domain in webmaster tools.. Its need new verification.. But i always fail adding new txt record on my dns domain..
    Can you help me??

    1. Hi Yogesh,

      what sort of problems are you experiencing? Normally when you disable the plugin your site reverts to http://. If that’s what you want, you’d need to make those changes in analytics and search console as well.

      Makr

  32. Sir, I’m Little confused over here, when I add the SSL to my website, then go to google webmaster and add it there, Do I have to delete the old one from google webmaster ? or keep them both in Google webmaster ?
    is this going to cause a duplicated content ? since I have add the XML Sitemap for both one with SSL the old one without SSL ?
    Clarify, Thanks.

  33. Hi Rogiers,

    Many thanks for the wonderful plugin. It works!!!

    I was wondering what would happen after the plugin’s work is complete, does anything get reset if the plugin is deleted after its work is complete?

  34. 2nd Question : Should i aldo have to add http version as my property ? IF yes than how to handle meta tag issue? Https has a different meta tag and Http has different ?

  35. I think the article is very helpful but I am stuck with a question

    If I am switching my domain and website, I will be doing a 301 redirect slowly and monitor my analytics but should I be using one google analytics account and add two properties or should I create a separate google analytics account and later delete the first one. please advise

    from http://www.omeida.com.cn to http://www.omeidachinese.com (eventually moving to https as well)
    So do I use one google analytics account?

    1. I would personally just move it in one go. But that’s not what you want: as far as I know, there’s no option to add two domains to google analytics, so if you want to track two domains at the same time, you will have to create a new account.

  36. This is strange. My site has been changed to https successfully at first. After I’ve added it to google search console,
    “create a set” and verify the https site, suddenly my site is shown as “Not secure” and I couldn’t log in to my wordpress anymore. What’s possibly gone wrong?

    1. Hi Noel,

      that’s strange, while the timing makes it look like it these events are unrelated. Do you still experience issues? Your site seems to be working fine for me. Have you tried clearing your browsers cache? Let me know if you still experience issues.

      Mark

  37. This was super helpful, thank you!

    I’ve just installed the plugin and converted to HTTPS. Something I’m not quite sure of is: Do I still need to do a 301 redirect from old URLs to https or does “really simple ssl” do that autimatically?

  38. Hi Rogier, I have installed your plugin and I am using Cloudflare which does http redirects etc. Everything works. Do i need to update robots.txt and sitemap.xml which points to https site?

    Regards
    Martin

  39. Hello,
    I have followed these steps to the letter. Quite straight forward I must say – Thank you so much for taking your time.
    I have a couple of questions though:
    How much does it affect ranking?
    Is there anything else I need to do?

    1. Hi Moses,

      I’m unable to tell you how much it will affect your ranking exactly, however to my knowledge Google does provide a small bonus for sites on SSL. If your site is up and running on SSL and you’ve made these changes there’s nothing else you need to do.

      Mark

  40. Hello everyone , i just got my new SSL , but i am finding new error and re-directly issue , i had fix the above task in google webmaster & WA but i more curious to know is there any changes i need to bring in my WordPress account & cpanel , i am afraid of losing my ranking in google with the updated https://arslanenginery dot com , i am really in need of help , please guide me. Thanks in advance .

    Regards

    1. Hi Arbaaz,

      if you have made the changes to Google search console and webmaster and the plugin is active there’s nothing more you have to do in WordPress or Cpanel. Google will know your site is on https:// now, it might take a few days to adapt but you won’t lose any ranking because of it.

      Mark

      1. I really appreciate your quick reply Mr.Mark,

        I just get to know that back linking may get effected by this new SSL as of now my website are showing 3 variants – just got it in gtmetrix.com

  41. Hey there – I just moved my first client’s to SSL today. I’m a bit confused with Google Analytics/Search Console so wanted to follow-up & make sure I did things correctly.

    1) Made all 4 variants in Google Search Console & then grouped them into “a set”
    2) Went into Google Analytics & updated the “default URL” under “Property -> Property Settings” & under “View -> View Settings”. For example, if the website loads as http://www.domain.com, then I made the default URL as https://www.domain.com. Or if the site loads without WWW, then I made the default URL as https://domain.com.

    Did I do everything correctly? Anything I’m missing? I appreciate any feedback you have!

    1. Google encourages users to add the site with both http and https, and with both www and non www, as described in this article. I can’t say if not doing this affects SEO. Removing and adding again shouldn’t make any difference.

  42. Where is this “cogwheel at the bottom, ‘Admin'” that I am supposed to click on? I am using WordPress 4.9.1and I can’t find it on my dashboard. Makes updating my GA settings impossible, given the instructions.

  43. One of those mysteries of life: At the bottom left corner of my dashboard I see “AVH Extended Categories” then “Google Analytics” then “Link Library” then “MetaSlider” then “Collapse menu”. A little to the right it says “Thank you for creating with WordPress”. But no cogwheel. No “Admin”.

    As per admin rights for Google Analytics, I would assume I have those rights. I mean, I am the creator and sole administrator and manager for my website, https://aaagnostica.org, so I assuming GA admin rights would come with that. But, as I am sure you have probably determined by now Mark, I am not that technically savvy.

    Thanks for your response!

    Roger.

    1. Reading your reaction, I suspect you are looking at your wordpress dashboard. If you go to analytics.google.com, you will see the analytics dashboard. Hope that helps!

      1. Aargh. Okay, I am now in Google Analytics and found the cogwheel. I had to register. And now I have a different tracking ID than the one I see on my Google Analytics plugin settings. The one on my plugin is also for the http version of the site while the one on the Google Analytics site is for the https version of my website. Any suggestions? I will quit bugging you after this. I just need to find someone who can help me with all these technical issues….

        1. Hi Roger,

          I’d suggest to use the one that’s on the Google Analytics site. That should track all activity. Entering the code from the Google Analytics site in the plugin should update the tracking code on your website.

          Mark

    1. Hi Alexis,

      when a site moves to https:// this is seen by search engines as a different site then the http:// version, while they both contain the same content. Therefore it’s advised to update the sitemap to use https://. If you use a plugin like Yoast this can be done automatically by disabling and re-enabling the Yoast plugin once.

      Mark

  44. Hi,
    Thank you for this great article.
    I signed up to Cloudflare and got my SSL certificate last night, then downloaded the “Real Simple SSL Plugin” in WordPress. After changing the needed information on Google Analytics and Search Console (exactly how it is explained here), everything was working fine. But now, I’m receiving this when I try to load the page on Firefox:
    Error code: SSL_ERROR_NO_CYPHER_OVERLAP
    It is down for a couple of minutes, then it comes back up. It’s also not letting me login to WordPress while the website is down.
    Why is this happening and what should I do to fix it?
    Thank you!

  45. Hey guys, i started new site and its https by default.

    Now i want to submit it to Google Search Console.

    I know i should add all 4 variations of the site but i’m keep hearing about some redirects.

    I’m not sure why i need those on new site that has originally indexed pages with HTTPS and it’s not moving from https to https.

    So should i just add the 4 variations and chose the preferred one and just leave it there or should i do something more?

    I’m not sure what to do cuz i’m new and i just keep hearing for these 301 or whatever redirects for unknown reason.

    What should i do? Is there any guide?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      you can add the 4 variations, just set https:// as the preferred one. A 301 redirect is added by Really Simple SSL to force all http:// requests to https://. Without it visitors can likely connect to the site over both http:// and https://. The reason it’s a 301 redirect is because a 301 redirect is permanent which is the best for SEO purposes. For more information about redirects see https://really-simple-ssl.com/knowledge-base/avoid-landing-page-redirects/.

      Mark

      1. Thanks for the answer, however why would anyone type “http://mysite in the browser? I still don’t understand why do i need to install this plugin on fresh site that is already indexed and using ssl from the beginning.

        Just adding that preferred version to GC wont work?

  46. First of all great plugin with great explanation..Thank you for that

    I have completed your guide, But I have couple of questions

    1 – I have verified https version of my web site. but during verification I had to replace the google html code in ftp to verify https version. Did I lose the verification for http version of my site?

    2 – I checked the site settings for both http and https to choose preferred domain as http://www.mysite.com or mysite.com, it gives me warning as bleow.

    Part of the process of setting a preferred domain is to verify that you own http://mysite.com/. Please verify http://mysite.com

    3 – The letsencryp SSL is now active on my pages with the help of you plugin. Bu only pages, when I click menus that are created with category links or single post the ssl is not active. What is the reason for that?

    1. Hi Fatih,

      Google states here https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35179?hl=en that removing the verification file from the site can cause the site to lose verification status. Is it possible for you the set https:// as the preferred domain? The http:// domain will have a permanent 301 redirect to https:// anyway, so https:// should become the preferred domain.

      The redirect added by Really Simple SSL should redirect all http:// requests to https://. What redirect option have you enabled in the plugin? We recommend to enable the .htaccess redirect option since it’s the fastest and most reliable. If you can provide me with your site address I might be able to provide you with more information about why the redirect isn’t working.

      Mark

  47. Hi!

    Thanks for the great article. Just to check as i have updated my website to google webmaster with now having both https://www and http://www (my website was previously http://www). Do i need to add site link maps to my https://www on google webmaster? Any other things that i have to be aware when i add the https://www on google webmaster?

    Because i have set my website 301 redirect from http://www to https://www I still awaiting for google webmaster to show the results out for my https://www version. How long will it take to process and see the correct results?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      you can set the https:// domain as the preferred domain in. You can also regenerate the sitemap for https:// and resubmit it to Google. Once that has been done Google should process the change soon.

      Mark

    1. Hi Sarah,

      you can verify the https:// domain, it’s possible the headers/footers method doesn’t work because of caching. In this case you can use for example HTML file verification, this will likely work.

      Mark

    1. Hi Romona,
      Usually running the scan in the pro plugin will show you any issues with the green lock, and if you still run into issues it gives you access to premium support, so you can rest assured we can fix your mixed content problem.

  48. Hey i have recently installed really simple ssl plugin from wordpress and installed free ssl using cloudflare, But i am facing a problem, seeing a red cross line over https;// verion of my site i have changed to http://www.onlinerechargetricks.com to https://www.onlinerechargetricks.com using plugin and cloudflare. I have clicked in red https:// cross and seen the certificate is valid to my old domain which was previously linked to my cloudflare account (But i removed and added this site(onlinerechargetricks), still why its showing certiface for my old domain? i am not able to understand what to do, to install certificate on my new domain.

    1. The canonical URL seems to be set correctly, and the redirect to https is correct as well. Do you have GA and search console configured as described in the article above?

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