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Guide: Reverting from HTTPS to HTTP | Website Transition

How to Revert Back from HTTPS to a Non-SSL HTTP Site

In the era of online security and encrypted connections, many website owners have transitioned their sites from HTTP to HTTPS, aiming to provide a secure browsing experience for their visitors. However, there might be instances where reverting back to a non-SSL HTTP site becomes necessary. Whether it’s due to compatibility issues, performance concerns, or simply a change in strategy, the process of moving from HTTPS to HTTP requires careful planning and execution. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to revert back from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site smoothly and efficiently.

Assessing the Need for Reversion

Before diving into the technical aspects of reverting back to HTTP, it’s crucial to assess the reasons behind this decision. Conduct a thorough analysis of your website’s requirements, including security needs, performance benchmarks, and compatibility with various platforms and browsers. Identify any specific issues or concerns that necessitate the transition from HTTPS to HTTP.

Backing Up Your Website

As with any significant website change, it’s essential to back up your site’s data and files before proceeding. This ensures that you have a copy of your website’s content, databases, and configurations, mitigating the risk of data loss during the transition process. Utilize reliable backup tools or plugins to create a comprehensive backup of your website’s assets.

Obtaining an SSL Certificate Removal

Since your website is currently secured with an SSL certificate, you’ll need to obtain a certificate removal from your SSL provider. Contact your SSL certificate issuer or hosting provider to request the removal of the SSL certificate associated with your domain. Provide any necessary authentication or verification to facilitate the certificate removal process.

Adjusting Website URLs and Internal Links

Once the SSL certificate has been successfully removed, it’s time to update your website’s URLs and internal links to reflect the change from HTTPS to HTTP. This involves modifying all instances of “https://” in your website’s code, content, and database to “http://”. Pay close attention to internal links, image sources, CSS files, and JavaScript references to ensure consistency across your site.

1. Update URL References:

  • Scan through your website’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to locate any hardcoded HTTPS URLs. These could include links to images, scripts, stylesheets, or external resources.
  • Replace all instances of “https://” with “http://”, ensuring consistency across your site. This step is essential to prevent mixed content warnings and ensure that all resources load properly on the non-SSL HTTP version of your site.

2. Modify Internal Links:

  • Review your website’s navigation menus, footer links, and internal page references to update them from HTTPS to HTTP.
  • Use a reliable find and replace tool or manually update internal links within your content management system (CMS). Be thorough to avoid broken links and maintain a seamless user experience.

3. Update Image Sources:

  • Check all image tags (<img>) within your website’s HTML to replace HTTPS URLs with HTTP equivalents.
  • Verify that all images hosted on your site, including thumbnails, banners, and product photos, are correctly linked using HTTP.

4. Update Canonical Tags:

  • If you’ve implemented canonical tags to specify preferred URLs for duplicate content, ensure that they point to the HTTP version of your pages.
  • Update canonical tags in your website’s HTML to reflect the change from HTTPS to HTTP, helping search engines understand the preferred version of your content.

5. Check Internal Redirects:

  • Review any internal redirects or rewrite rules implemented on your server to ensure they are updated for the HTTP transition.
  • Adjust server configurations or rewrite rules in your .htaccess file to redirect internal traffic from HTTPS URLs to their HTTP counterparts, maintaining link equity and preserving SEO value.

6. Test Links and Functionality:

  • After updating URLs and internal links, perform thorough testing to ensure all website functionalities are intact.
  • Click through internal links to verify that they navigate to the correct HTTP pages without encountering errors or redirects.

7. Monitor for Mixed Content:

  • Keep an eye out for mixed content issues that may arise after transitioning from HTTPS to HTTP.
  • Use browser developer tools or online mixed content scanners to identify any remaining HTTPS resources loading on your HTTP pages and address them promptly.

Redirecting HTTPS Traffic to HTTP

To maintain user experience and SEO integrity, set up proper redirects to direct HTTPS traffic to the corresponding HTTP pages. Implement 301 redirects from HTTPS URLs to their HTTP counterparts using server-side configurations or redirection rules. This ensures that visitors accessing your website via HTTPS are seamlessly redirected to the non-SSL HTTP version without encountering errors or broken links.

Updating External Links and Resources

In addition to internal links, don’t forget to update any external links or resources that may point to your website using HTTPS. Reach out to webmasters, partners, or affiliates who have linked to your site and request them to update the URLs to HTTP. Monitor incoming traffic and referral sources to identify any lingering HTTPS links and address them promptly.

Testing and Monitoring

Once the transition from HTTPS to HTTP is complete, thoroughly test your website’s functionality, accessibility, and performance across different devices and browsers. Conduct comprehensive quality assurance checks to ensure that all elements are functioning correctly and that there are no broken links or errors. Monitor your website’s analytics and performance metrics to assess the impact of the reversion on traffic, rankings, and user engagement.

1. Functionality Testing:

  • Conduct comprehensive testing of your website’s functionality across different devices, browsers, and screen sizes.
  • Verify that all pages load correctly, and essential features such as forms, navigation menus, search functionality, and shopping carts are functioning as expected.
  • Test interactive elements such as buttons, dropdown menus, and sliders to ensure they respond appropriately to user input.

2. Accessibility Testing:

  • Evaluate the accessibility of your website by testing its compatibility with assistive technologies such as screen readers and keyboard navigation.
  • Ensure that all content, including text, images, and multimedia, is accessible to users with disabilities and complies with accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

3. Performance Testing:

  • Measure the performance of your website by conducting speed tests using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom.
  • Evaluate factors such as page load times, server response times, and overall site performance to identify any bottlenecks or areas for improvement.
  • Optimize images, minify CSS and JavaScript files, and leverage browser caching to enhance website speed and performance.

4. Link and Navigation Testing:

  • Verify the integrity of internal and external links by clicking through each one and ensuring they lead to the correct destination.
  • Test website navigation by navigating through menus, categories, and subpages to ensure a seamless browsing experience for users.
  • Check for broken links or 404 errors and fix them promptly to prevent negative user experiences and preserve SEO value.

5. Cross-Browser Testing:

  • Test your website across multiple web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera, to ensure compatibility and consistent rendering.
  • Pay attention to differences in layout, styling, and functionality between browsers and address any discrepancies to provide a uniform experience for all users.

6. Mobile Responsiveness Testing:

  • Verify that your website is responsive and displays correctly on various mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Test for viewport scaling, touch gestures, and mobile-specific features to ensure a user-friendly experience on mobile devices.
  • Address any issues related to responsive design, such as text readability, button size, and content alignment, to optimize the mobile browsing experience.

7. Content Validation:

  • Review all content on your website to ensure accuracy, relevance, and consistency.
  • Check for spelling and grammar errors, outdated information, and formatting inconsistencies, and make necessary updates to maintain content quality.

8. Monitoring and Analytics:

  • Monitor your website’s performance metrics, including traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, and user engagement, using tools like Google Analytics.
  • Set up alerts and notifications to track any significant changes or anomalies in website traffic or performance.
  • Continuously analyze website data to identify trends, opportunities for improvement, and areas where further optimization is needed.


Reverting back from HTTPS to a non-SSL HTTP site requires careful planning, meticulous execution, and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly transition your website while maintaining data integrity, user experience, and SEO effectiveness. Remember to assess the need for reversion, back up your website, obtain SSL certificate removal, adjust URLs and internal links, implement proper redirects, update external links, and continuously test and monitor your website post-transition. With proper preparation and execution, you can successfully revert back to a non-SSL HTTP site and address any specific requirements or concerns that led to this decision.

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