After almost three months of trial, we decided to switch back to all HTTP from HTTPS. When Google announced that those websites that are HTTPS would get a small ranking boost on its search result pages, we jumped right on and switched our pages.
After these months we just couldn’t continue running HTTPS. Don’t get me wrong.. We love the concept of HTTPS Everywhere that Google is trying to push. And I believe it would be a big part of website ranking in the future, but for now, I wouldn’t switch unless AdSense partners and advertisers are fully behind HTTPS.
The primary reason we switched to HTTPS was the hope of getting a ranking boost from Google. We have been trying very hard to recover this blog after Google Panda hit us back in the winter of 2012. Since then, we have not recovered our web traffic to what it was prior to November 2012.
So when Google announced that it would be giving a small ranking boost to websites that are running over HTTPS, we jumped on that news and switched. But the ranking boost we thought we would get by switching didn’t materialize as we had hope.
We may have gained anywhere between two to seven percent of our traffic, but that was just not enough especially since our AdSense revenue had dropped to almost 70%.
When we first noticed our AdSense earnings had dropped to more than 60%, we decided to stay the course hoping that increase in our ranking would increase traffic to our site which will increase our revenue. But the small bounce that we may have gained didn’t help your AdSense revenue at all, so we switched back.
Losing 70% of AdSense revenue wasn’t fun at all. If you’re a blogger or webmaster running advertising on your sites, then you know how important the revenue can be. It helps pay the bills and provides for other means. Without it, it may be difficult to continue blogging and offering valuable tips and tutorials.
- Switching back to HTTP from HTTPS
In switching back HTTPS we had to make the following changes. First make sure your HTTPS site is fully functional and all HTTP traffic are being redirected to HTTPS. With that working, you can then continue below.
Our previous blog on switching to HTTPS can be found here or from the link below.
To switch back to HTTP, open Nginx default site configuration file and make the below changes. There are usually two server blocks in that file. The first block will redirect all non-HTTPS traffic to HTTPS. So in reverting the changes, make the first block to redirect all non-HTTP traffic to HTTP. Change the block as shown below.
listen 443 ssl;
ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;
return 301 http://www.yourdomain.net$request_uri;
The actual server block should continue the settings for HTTP.
try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$args;
The first block will redirect all HTTPS traffic to HTTP. This alone should get your website working on HTTP protocol. If you configured more advanced HTTPS settings for Nginx, go and undo those as well.
Another thing to do is change WordPress URLs to HTTP from HTTPS. You can do that from the database server. Read this post or click the link below to learn how to do that.
Below is the commands to change from HTTPS to HTTP from MySQL or MariaDB database servers
UPDATE wp_options SET option_value="http://www.yourdomain.com" WHERE option_name = "home";
Run the commands below to change the site URL as well
UPDATE wp_options SET option_value="http://www.yourdomain.com" WHERE option_name = "siteurl";
Restart your webserver for the changes to apply.
That’s it! I saved all of our previous HTTPS settings and configuration file for future use. If AdSense is fully compatible and all advertisers and partners are on-board, I will switch again.