Reverting From HTTPS to a Non-Ssl HTTP Site: a Guide

by JC Burrows  - August 11, 2021

Are you considering reverting from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site? Before you make any changes, it's important to understand the reasons behind this decision. While HTTPS offers enhanced security and trust for your website, there may be certain circumstances where reverting back to HTTP is necessary. In this guide, we will explore the steps involved in transitioning from HTTPS to HTTP, including assessing the impact on website performance, backing up your SSL certificate, configuring your web server, and updating internal and external links. But that's not all – there are other crucial considerations to keep in mind during this process. So, let's dive in and explore the ins and outs of reverting from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site.

Key Takeaways

  • Compatibility issues with older devices or browsers can arise when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, so it's important to consider the impact on user experience.
  • Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP may have a potential negative impact on SEO and search engine rankings, so it's crucial to assess the consequences before making the switch.
  • The introduction of security risks without encryption is a concern when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, and steps should be taken to mitigate these risks.
  • Updating internal and external links and ensuring a seamless transition from HTTPS to HTTP is vital to maintain a consistent user experience and website navigation.

Understanding the Reasons for Reverting

Understanding the reasons for reverting from HTTPS to HTTP is crucial for making informed decisions about website security and user experience. When exploring potential risks, it is important to consider the impact on search engine optimization (SEO) as well.

One reason to revert from HTTPS to HTTP is to mitigate compatibility issues. While HTTPS is the recommended protocol for secure communication, it may not be compatible with certain older devices or browsers. By reverting to HTTP, you ensure that all users can access your website without any technical difficulties.

Another reason is the potential impact on SEO. Switching from HTTPS to HTTP can have negative consequences for your website's search engine rankings. With the increasing emphasis on secure browsing, search engines favor websites with HTTPS. Reverting to HTTP may result in a decrease in organic traffic and visibility.

However, it is essential to note that reverting to HTTP also introduces security risks. Without the encryption provided by HTTPS, sensitive user information, such as passwords or credit card details, could be intercepted by malicious actors.

Assessing the Impact on Website Performance

To accurately assess the impact on website performance, it is crucial to analyze various factors such as page load speed, server response time, and overall user experience. Evaluating user experience is essential to understanding how the website performs for visitors. This can be done by considering metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rates. By comparing these metrics before and after reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, you can determine if there has been any significant impact on user engagement and satisfaction.

Measuring server response time is another important aspect when evaluating website performance. The time it takes for the server to respond to a user's request directly affects the page load speed. Slow server response times can lead to frustrated users and high bounce rates. By monitoring and analyzing server response times before and after reverting, you can identify any degradation in performance and take appropriate measures to improve it.

Backing up Your SSL Certificate and Related Files

protecting ssl certificate backups

To ensure a smooth transition from HTTPS to HTTP, you need to backup your SSL certificate and related files. This involves exporting the SSL certificate and saving the configuration files that are associated with it. Additionally, it is crucial to store the passwords for the certificate in a secure location. By taking these steps, you can safeguard your SSL certificate and ensure its availability for future use.

Exporting SSL Certificate

You can export your SSL certificate and related files by following these steps. Exporting your SSL certificate is an important step when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. To export your certificate, you need to access your SSL/TLS certificate management tool or the server where the certificate is installed. Look for the option to export the certificate and its private key. Once you have exported the certificate, make sure to securely store it in a safe location. It is also important to export any intermediate or root certificates that are associated with your SSL certificate. These files may be needed when importing the certificate onto another server or troubleshooting any certificate-related issues.

Saving Related Configuration Files

Consider saving your SSL certificate and related files as a backup measure to ensure the security and integrity of your data. The importance of SSL certificates cannot be overstated, as they provide a secure connection between your website and its visitors. However, when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, challenges may arise. It is crucial to save your SSL certificate and related files to avoid any potential data loss or compromise. These files typically include the private key, certificate signing request, and any intermediate certificates. By backing up these files, you can easily restore your SSL certificate if needed. Remember to store these files in a secure location, such as an encrypted drive or cloud storage, and ensure that they are protected with strong passwords.

Storing Certificate Passwords

When it comes to storing certificate passwords and backing up your SSL certificate and related files, taking proactive measures is essential for ensuring the security and integrity of your data. One crucial aspect of this process is securely storing certificate private keys. These keys are used to encrypt and decrypt data transmitted over SSL/TLS connections, and their compromise can lead to serious security breaches. To protect your private keys, consider using a password manager or a hardware security module (HSM). Password managers provide a convenient and encrypted storage solution, while HSMs offer additional physical security. Regularly backing up your SSL certificate and related files is also crucial for disaster recovery and managing SSL/TLS vulnerabilities. Store these backups in a secure location, separate from the server hosting your website.

Configuring Your Web Server for Non-Ssl HTTP

setting up non ssl http server

To configure your web server for non-SSL HTTP, make sure to follow these steps. First, you need to access the configuration file of your web server. This file can usually be found in the /etc/nginx/ directory for Nginx or the /etc/apache2/ directory for Apache. Once you have located the configuration file, open it using a text editor.

Next, you will need to find the section that handles SSL configuration. This section is usually labeled something like "SSL" or "HTTPS". Comment out or remove any lines that pertain to SSL configuration. This will effectively disable SSL on your web server.

After removing the SSL configuration, save the changes to the configuration file and exit the text editor. To apply the changes, you will need to restart your web server. This can typically be done by running the command "sudo service [web server name] restart" in the terminal.

Once the web server has restarted, you should verify that SSL has been successfully disabled. You can do this by accessing your website using HTTP instead of HTTPS. If everything is configured correctly, your website should now load using non-SSL HTTP.

If you encounter any issues during the reverting process or while troubleshooting non-SSL configuration, consult the documentation for your specific web server or seek assistance from online forums or communities dedicated to web server administration.

Updating Internal and External Links

After successfully disabling SSL on your web server, the next step is to update both internal and external links. This is crucial to ensure a seamless transition from HTTPS to HTTP.

First, you need to update the anchor text used in your internal links. Anchor text refers to the clickable words or phrases that link to other pages within your website. Modify the anchor text to reflect the new URLs with HTTP instead of HTTPS. This step is important because it helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your internal links.

Next, you should redirect old HTTPS URLs to their HTTP counterparts. This is done using 301 redirects, which inform search engines that the content has permanently moved to a new location. By implementing these redirects, you are ensuring that visitors who click on old HTTPS URLs will be automatically redirected to the corresponding HTTP URLs.

Additionally, don't forget to update any external links that point to your website. Contact the owners of the external websites and request them to update the URLs from HTTPS to HTTP. This will help maintain a consistent user experience and prevent any potential issues with broken or outdated links.

Monitoring and Testing the Transition Process

transition process monitoring and testing

You can effectively monitor and test the transition process by using various tools and techniques. One important aspect to consider is performance optimization. During the transition, it is crucial to ensure that the website's performance remains intact. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to measure the performance of your HTTP site. These tools provide valuable insights and recommendations to optimize your site's speed and overall performance.

User experience testing is another essential aspect to consider during the transition process. You want to ensure that the user experience on your HTTP site is not compromised. Conducting user testing sessions can help you identify any issues or difficulties users may encounter when accessing your site. You can use tools like UserTesting or Optimal Workshop to gather user feedback and insights.

Additionally, monitoring tools like Google Analytics can help you track the impact of the transition on your website's traffic, bounce rates, and conversions. By closely monitoring these metrics, you can identify any issues that may arise during the transition and take necessary actions to address them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Reverting From HTTPS to a Non-Ssl HTTP Site Affect My Website's Search Engine Ranking?

Reverting from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site can have an impact on your website's search engine ranking. SSL websites are preferred by search engines because they provide a secure and encrypted connection. By reverting to a non-SSL HTTP site, you may lose the benefits that come with SSL, potentially resulting in a lower search engine ranking. It's important to consider the potential impact on website traffic before making this change.

Can I Still Use Http/2 After Reverting From HTTPS to Http?

After reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, you can still use HTTP/2. However, there may be a performance impact compared to using HTTP. HTTP/2 offers several advantages, such as improved page load times and reduced latency. Transitioning from HTTP/2 to HTTP/1.1 has its pros and cons. While HTTP/1.1 is more widely supported, it lacks the performance enhancements of HTTP/2. Consider the trade-offs and decide which protocol best suits your website's needs.

How Can I Ensure That My Website Visitors Are Redirected From the HTTPS Version to the Non-Ssl HTTP Version?

To ensure a smooth transition for your website visitors and set up a redirect from HTTPS to HTTP, you need to configure your web server. Start by creating a redirect rule that captures all incoming requests to the HTTPS version and redirects them to the non-SSL HTTP version. This can be achieved by modifying the server configuration file or using a plugin or tool specific to your web server. By doing this, you will seamlessly redirect your visitors to the non-SSL HTTP version of your site.

Will Reverting From HTTPS to HTTP Affect My Website's User Experience or Functionality?

Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP might impact your website's user experience and functionality. Firstly, website load times may increase as HTTPS offers a more secure and efficient connection. Additionally, users may perceive your website as less trustworthy and secure without the HTTPS padlock icon. This could potentially affect their willingness to share personal information or make online transactions. Consider these factors before deciding to revert to HTTP.

Are There Any Potential Security Risks or Vulnerabilities Associated With Running a Non-Ssl HTTP Site?

There are potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with running a non-SSL HTTP site. Without SSL, your website is more susceptible to attacks like data interception and tampering. This means that sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details, can be easily accessed by hackers. Additionally, non-SSL sites are marked as "Not Secure" by browsers, which can erode user trust. It is crucial to prioritize security and consider the implications of running a non-SSL HTTP site.


In conclusion, reverting from HTTPS to non-SSL HTTP requires careful consideration of website performance and the impact on security. By understanding the reasons for the transition, backing up SSL certificates, and configuring the web server accordingly, you can ensure a smooth process. Updating internal and external links and monitoring the transition is crucial for maintaining a seamless user experience. Embrace this journey of change to unlock new possibilities and elevate your website's performance.

Secrets to Making Your Instagram Reels Go Viral
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may be interested in

What Our Clients Say

Absolutely thrilled with our results! These guys have been a game-changer for our online presence. Within just a few months, we've climbed up the Google ranks and the traffic's booming. Definitely more bang for my buck with the uptick in sales. Big shoutout to the Rank Higher crew – you rock! 🚀🌟

Jake Davidson

Service Pros Online

I've been working with this company to revamp our website, and wow, what a transformation! But the cherry on top? The SEO magic they've worked. We're ranking higher than ever, and I'm seeing a real boost in traffic and sales. Hats off to the team for their hard work and genius touch! If you're looking to spruce up your site and get seen, these are the go-to pros.

Lacey Roberts

Deals Direct Daily