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

by JC Burrows  - October 28, 2021

Are you considering reverting your website from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site? Perhaps you've realized that your website doesn't necessarily require the added security of HTTPS or you want to improve its performance. Whatever the reason may be, making this transition requires careful planning and execution. In this guide, we will walk you through the necessary steps to successfully revert your website, from preparing your site to addressing SEO considerations and dealing with potential issues. So, if you're ready to ensure a seamless transition, let's dive into the details.

Key Takeaways

  • Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP is a complex and time-consuming process that requires careful consideration.
  • Reverting to HTTP results in the loss of security benefits provided by HTTPS, potentially exposing user data.
  • There may be a negative impact on search engine rankings when transitioning from HTTPS to HTTP.
  • It is important to communicate the changes effectively to users and implement additional security measures to mitigate risks.

Reasons for Reverting

reverting to previous version

There are several key reasons why you may consider reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. One reason is the reverting process itself. Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP involves removing the SSL certificate from your website and reconfiguring the server settings. This process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring technical expertise. Another reason is the impact of reverting. When you revert from HTTPS to HTTP, you lose the security benefits that HTTPS provides. This means that any data transmitted between the user's browser and your website will no longer be encrypted, making it vulnerable to interception and tampering. Additionally, reverting may negatively affect your website's search engine rankings. Search engines, like Google, prioritize websites with HTTPS over those with HTTP. Therefore, reverting to HTTP could result in a decrease in organic search traffic and visibility. It's important to carefully consider these factors before deciding to revert from HTTPS to HTTP.

Preparing Your Website

To prepare your website for reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, follow these steps.

First, it is crucial to create a backup of your website. This ensures that you have a copy of all your files and data in case anything goes wrong during the process. Make sure to include both the website files and the database in your backup.

Next, you need to modify your server configuration. This involves making changes to the virtual host configuration file or the .htaccess file, depending on your server setup. You will need to remove any HTTPS-related directives and add the necessary configurations for HTTP. It is important to consult your server documentation or seek assistance from your hosting provider to ensure that the changes are done correctly.

Once the server configuration is updated, you should test the website to ensure that it is functioning properly. Check for any broken links, missing images, or other issues that may have occurred during the transition. It is recommended to perform thorough testing on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility.

Implementing the Changes

adapting to the new

Now that you've prepared your website for the transition from HTTPS to HTTP, it's time to implement the necessary changes. This involves transitioning without SSL, updating internal links, and effectively communicating the changes to your users. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition back to HTTP.

Transitioning Without SSL

You can implement the necessary changes to transition without SSL by following these steps. Before doing so, it is important to understand the disadvantages of SSL and the risks of reverting to a non-SSL HTTP site. SSL provides secure communication between the user's browser and the server, encrypting sensitive data and protecting against data breaches. Reverting to HTTP removes this layer of security, making the website vulnerable to attacks such as man-in-the-middle and data interception. To transition without SSL, start by removing the SSL certificate from the server and updating the website's URLs to use HTTP instead of HTTPS. Additionally, you should update any internal links, external links, and third-party integrations to reflect the change in protocol. Regularly monitor the website for any security vulnerabilities and consider implementing other security measures, such as a web application firewall, to mitigate risks.

Updating Internal Links

To update internal links, remove the 'https://' from the URLs and replace it with 'http://'. This process involves modifying the anchor text and URL structure of your website. Start by identifying all the internal links that contain the 'https://' protocol. Once identified, manually update each URL by removing the 'https://' and replacing it with 'http://'. This step ensures that all internal links are pointing to the non-SSL HTTP version of your site. Additionally, it is important to update the anchor text associated with these links, ensuring that it accurately reflects the new URL structure. By updating both the anchor text and URL structure, you can effectively transition your internal links from HTTPS to HTTP.

Communicating the Changes

To effectively implement the changes, it is crucial to clearly communicate the transition from HTTPS to HTTP. This can be done through effective communication strategies and managing user expectations. Start by informing your users about the reasons behind the transition and the benefits they can expect. Clearly explain the impact this change will have on their browsing experience, such as the loss of SSL encryption. Provide detailed instructions on how to access the new HTTP site and update any bookmarks or saved links. Consider using banners or pop-ups on the HTTPS site to notify users of the upcoming change and redirect them to the HTTP site. Additionally, utilize email notifications, social media posts, and blog updates to reach a wider audience and ensure that users are well-informed about the switch.

Addressing SEO Considerations

optimizing website for search

Consider the impact on your website's search engine optimization (SEO) when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP can have a significant SEO impact on your website. HTTPS has become a best practice for websites due to its security benefits and the positive effect it has on SEO rankings. By switching back to HTTP, you are essentially removing the secure connection and potentially losing the SEO benefits associated with HTTPS.

One of the main SEO considerations when reverting to HTTP is the impact on your website's rankings. Search engines like Google have publicly stated that they consider HTTPS as a ranking signal. This means that websites with HTTPS are more likely to rank higher in search results compared to those without it. By reverting to HTTP, you may see a drop in your search rankings, potentially leading to a decrease in organic traffic and visibility.

In addition to rankings, reverting to HTTP may also affect user trust and confidence. HTTPS provides a secure connection, which reassures users that their personal information is safe. Without this secure connection, users may be hesitant to provide sensitive data, potentially impacting conversions and overall user experience.

Before reverting to HTTP, it is important to evaluate the potential SEO impact and consider alternative solutions if possible. Implementing best practices for SEO, such as optimizing page speed, improving content quality, and building high-quality backlinks, can help mitigate any negative effects of reverting from HTTPS to HTTP.

Dealing With Potential Issues

Now let's address the potential issues you may encounter when reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. One common problem is mixed content, where some resources on your website are still being loaded over HTTPS, causing a security warning for users. To fix this, you'll need to identify and update all internal links and references to ensure they are using HTTP instead of HTTPS. This will help ensure a smooth transition and maintain a secure browsing experience for your visitors.

Troubleshooting Mixed Content

You may encounter potential issues when troubleshooting mixed content during the process of reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. One common issue is fixing insecure resources, which are elements on your website that are still being loaded over HTTPS. These resources, such as images, scripts, or stylesheets, need to be updated to use HTTP instead. Failure to do so can result in browser warnings and a compromised user experience. To fix insecure resources, you will need to identify and update the URLs of these elements to use HTTP instead of HTTPS. Additionally, you may also need to clear your browser cache to ensure that the changes are properly reflected. By addressing these issues, you can successfully resolve mixed content and ensure a smooth transition from HTTPS to HTTP.

Updating Internal Links

Are you experiencing any potential issues when updating internal links during the process of reverting from HTTPS to HTTP? One of the main challenges you may face is updating external links. When your website was using HTTPS, all external links were pointing to the secure version of your site. However, after reverting to HTTP, these links will need to be updated to the non-secure version. It is crucial to ensure that all external links are redirected correctly to avoid broken links and maintain a seamless user experience. Another issue to consider is redirecting old URLs. When transitioning from HTTPS to HTTP, the URLs of your website may change. It is important to set up proper redirects for the old URLs to ensure that visitors and search engines can still access the correct content.

Testing and Monitoring Your Website

website testing and monitoring

To ensure optimal functionality and security, it is essential to thoroughly test and monitor your website during the process of reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. Testing and monitoring your website is crucial to ensure that it performs well and provides a seamless user experience.

Firstly, you need to test your website's performance after reverting from HTTPS to HTTP. This involves checking the loading speed of your web pages and making sure that there are no performance issues. Users expect fast-loading websites, and any delays can negatively impact their experience.

Additionally, it is important to monitor your website continuously to identify any potential issues or vulnerabilities. Regularly checking for broken links, server errors, or any other technical issues will help maintain the overall health of your website.

Furthermore, monitoring user experience is vital during the transition. You should analyze user behavior, such as bounce rates and conversion rates, to understand how the change from HTTPS to HTTP is affecting your visitors. This data will provide valuable insights into any areas that need improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Reverting From HTTPS to HTTP Affect My Website's Search Engine Rankings?

Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP can have an impact on your website's search engine rankings. Without SSL encryption, your website may be seen as less secure by search engines, potentially affecting its ranking. Additionally, reverting to HTTP can lead to performance issues, as HTTPS is designed to optimize website speed. There may also be compatibility issues with certain browsers, as HTTPS is becoming the standard. It's important to consider these factors before making the switch.

How Can I Ensure That My Website's Traffic and User Data Remain Secure After Reverting From HTTPS to Http?

To ensure that your website's traffic and user data remain secure after reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, there are a few steps you can take. First, implement data encryption measures such as SSL/TLS to protect sensitive information. Additionally, follow HTTPS best practices by using strong encryption algorithms and regularly updating security certificates. By doing so, you can maintain the security and integrity of your website's data, providing a safe user experience.

Are There Any Legal Implications or Compliance Requirements to Consider When Reverting From HTTPS to Http?

When reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, it's crucial to consider the legal implications and compliance requirements. By removing SSL encryption, you may expose sensitive user data and potentially violate privacy laws. Additionally, certain industries have specific compliance standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for online payment processors. Failing to meet these requirements can result in legal consequences and damage to your reputation. Therefore, thoroughly assess the legal and compliance aspects before making the switch.

Can I Keep Some Pages on My Website HTTPS While Reverting the Rest to Http?

You can keep some pages on your website as HTTPS while reverting the rest to HTTP. There are pros and cons to this approach. The benefit is that you can maintain the security of certain sensitive pages, such as login or payment pages. However, managing mixed HTTP and HTTPS content can be complex and may cause compatibility issues. It is best to follow industry best practices for managing mixed content and ensure proper redirects and handling of HTTP and HTTPS requests.

How Long Does It Typically Take for Search Engines to Recognize and Update the Changes After Reverting From HTTPS to Http?

After reverting from HTTPS to HTTP, search engines typically recognize and update the changes within a few weeks. However, the impact on website traffic may vary. It is important to consider that search engine indexing can take time, and during this period, your website may experience fluctuations in rankings and traffic. It is advisable to monitor your website's performance and make any necessary adjustments to improve visibility and user experience.


In conclusion, reverting from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site requires careful preparation and implementation. Considerations for SEO and addressing potential issues are crucial in ensuring a smooth transition. Testing and monitoring your website thoroughly is essential to maintain its performance. Remember, a well-executed plan is the key to successfully reverting and avoiding any setbacks along the way. As the saying goes, "Measure twice, cut once."

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