How does changing protocol from HTTP to HTTPS affect my Siteimprove data?
By Sean Needham
The purpose of this article is to outline how changing your site URL from the HTTP to the HTTPS protocol can affect your account setup and data in the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform.
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol is more secure and indicates that communications between a user’s browser and your website are encrypted. Implementing secure protocols on your website is important when users are required to enter sensitive information, such as social security numbers or credit card numbers.
When the site protocol is changed from HTTP to HTTPS, the site URL changes accordingly.
e.g., http://www.examplesite.com becomes https://www.examplesite.com.
Most features in the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform will continue to work as per usual. However, areas in the platform where a complete URL match has been made should be reviewed and edited to include the HTTPS version of the URL where necessary.
Below, you will find a summary of aspects of the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform that need to be reviewed when changing your application protocol from HTTP to HTTPS.
What implications does the protocol change have on the Siteimprove Content Suite?
Siteimprove will continue to crawl the HTTPS site due to automatically added aliases.
Normally the Content Suite will behave as it did before the protocol change. However, we suggest that you check Group and Policy matches that contain complete URLs and edit them if necessary.
When creating a Group, you might choose a Group match that contains the protocol, such as, http://www.examplesite.com/mygroup/. If so, this URL match will need to be updated to HTTPS, i.e. https://www.examplesite.com/mygroup/.
However, if you have only made a match containing the group name, e.g. /mygroup/, and the site URL has been indexed correctly to include the HTTPS version of the site, you will not have to edit the group.
Will this affect decisions made in the Accessibility module?
Switching from HTTP to HTTPS will remove decisions made on a specific page for Accessibility.
What implications does the protocol change have on Analytics?
We will continue to track visits to the HTTPS site automatically. Any complete URL matches used within Analytics settings should be reviewed and updated if necessary.
Exact URL matches may have been used in the following areas:
- Groups - Review the group matches and edit if necessary.
- Filters - Review matches on filters that include the Page visits element.
- Behavior Maps - It is necessary to add Behavior Map page URLs again, with the HTTPS protocol.
- Funnels - Funnels that include a complete URL will need to be edited/replicated to reflect the new protocol.
- User Journeys - User Journeys matches should be added with the HTTPS protocol.
- Key Metrics - Key Metrics that include a complete URL will need to be edited/replicated to reflect the new protocol.
- Event tracking – Event tracking will not normally be affected by a protocol change. If events are limited to a specific page then the event tracking code should be reviewed. Siteimprove support can help with this if they have set up the event tracking.
Why might I need to replicate some areas in Analytics instead of just editing the URL match settings?
With analytics, we collect historical data of user behavior. For example, we could have visitor data for both http://www.examplesite.com/mypage from prior to the protocol update and https://www.examplesite.com/mypage from after the update.
So, if you wish to analyze Behavior Map data on a page from before the protocol change (HTTP), you would use the previously added Behavior Map. To analyze Behavior Map data after the protocol update, you will need to add the HTTPS version of the URL again.
How will the application protocol change affect the Response module?
Response is used to measure the up-time and response time of a URL. If the HTTP URL redirects to the HTTPS URL (which is usually the case), then we will continue to monitor the response of your website as normal.
If the previous URL does not redirect, then the URL should be updated within the Response settings of the Siteimprove Platform.
What if my website has a mix of both HTTP and HTTPS URLs?
If a website has a mix of both HTTP and HTTPs URLs, Siteimprove will crawl and collect statistics from both.
In Analytics, page visits can be registered for two version of the same page but with different URLs due to the protocol. Learn more about duplicate pages in Analytics.
For example, http://www.examplesite.com/mypage could have 13 Page views while https://www.examplesite.com/mypage has 174 Page views.
In these cases, we recommend that the full site is moved onto HTTPS at the customers' side to aggregate data.
It is also possible to aggregate data for both HTTP and HTTPS URLs on Siteimprove's end. If you require this then please contact Siteimprove Support to inquire about the possibilities.
How can I change the site URL shown in Siteimprove to match my new website URL?
Please see the article "How do I edit the URL for a site being checked by Siteimprove?"