BlogHTTPS Migrations & NewsMigrating Large News & Magazine Websites

Migrating Large News & Magazine Websites

Migrating Large News & Magazine Sites To HTTPS

We thought it'd be helpful to detail some of the real-world experiences of larger news sites migrating to HTTPS, such as online newspapers and magazines. We looked specifically at the Guardian's approach and Wired. News sites are monitored for the success of their implementation by Secure The News who share their methodology and rating mechanism.

What Are The Key Benefits For News Sites To Migrate To HTTPS?


Stop ISP's from seeing what pages people are reading, it could reveal a person's perspectives on political, sexual or faith issues.


Prevent malicious 3rd parties tracking what visitors do or from changing your content as it passes along the network or internet.


Google give a ranking boost to sites on HTTPS, plus it helps to decipher referrer traffic which can otherwise classed as direct over HTTP.

Content Authoring Integrity 

Make sure what you think you are publishing is actually being displayed and not maliciously changed on the way.

Leverage Web Advancements

Introduce emerging web technologies such as service workers, web notifications, ‘add to homescreen’ prompts and offline web pages. This is critical to developing relationships with audiences who are either unable to, or choose not to download the app, such as the majority of audiences in South America or India.


Stop network and internet providers injecting ads and profiting from the site's content.


What Issues Affect News Sites Migrating To HTTPS?

News and magazine sites face specific challenges relating to:

Size - Sheer volumes of pages to check and correct.

Revenue - Revenue impacts due to Ad networks not working under HTTPS.

Old Tech - Variation in legacy technology being used for interactive content.

SEO - Ensuring there is no loss of rankings or traffic caused by migrating to HTTPS.


Key Takeaways

Complexity - Large sites have lots of tech to build pages or show ads, you need to identify and handle tech variations plus front and back-end integrations.

Timescales - It is going to take a lot of time and effort to migrate a site, so plan your resourcing and treat it as a high-level project.

Bite-size Chunks - Handle the migration in sections or audiences rather than trying to do the whole thing in one go.

Learn As You Go - Measure and record the issues as you complete each section, then apply what you learnt to the next section.


Learn From Real-world Experience

We strongly recommend you read the Guardian's approach which is packed full of helpful hints and tips.


How We Can Help have created HTTPS migration tools which are now in use on thousands of websites globally, from small businesses to sites with over 8,000,000 pages. Use our HTTPS Checker and HTTPS Reporter apps to handle large scale or unlimited page crawls and real-time CSP violation reporting.


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