How To 301 Redirect HTTPS to HTTPS Old Site to New Site with Apache

apacheIf you are migrating, rebranding, forwarding an old domain to a new one permanently and want to pass all SEO juice along, you will want to do a 301 redirect.

In the past, this was easy. A plane Jane 301 redirect could do anything from forwarding HTTP traffic from one domain name to another, WWW to non-WWW, and handle traffic for HTTP to HTTPS migrations. Unfortunately, that is all useless if you want to redirect HTTPS to HTTPS.

Redirecting HTTPS to HTTPS

Below is how I personally redirected a site recently. Please keep in mind this is all useless if you have IIS or Nginx.

  1. You can’t just simply set up a 301 redirect. HTTPS traffic will not properly redirect unless the source domain has an SSL certificate. And, of course, the destination domain must be HTTPS with a valid SSL cert as well. Depending on your hosting configuration, you may need to purchase a hosting plan instead of an addon domain just for the source HTTPS website. This is especially true if you have Bluehost or GoDaddy.
  2. Configure your .htaccess file.

I honestly have no idea if this is excessive or not, but below is the code I used recently on a client HTTPS to HTTPS 301 redirect:

 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.example.com$
RewriteRule (.*)$ https://www.example2.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example2.com/$1 [L,R]

 

Do HTTPS to HTTPS redirected links work for SEO?

Yes, I don’t see why not. But I will do even better: I am going to follow up on this blog with this unanswered question in detail with concrete answers. Nobody in the SEO world has answered this yet, but you will hear it here first (just like lots of other SEO news, lol). In Google Search Console, if all works well, you should begin to see “intermediate” links in 4-6 weeks AFTER they have been recrawled.

Need help pushing Googlebot along into recrawling links you do not have access to? I have an article for that too.

Len

President at Telapost
I create content and do SEO for law firms, small businesses and companies worldwide. I have been generating traffic online since 1992. I have owned multiple successful companies. I'm an organic eater, nature lover and German Shepherd owner. Feel free to contact me here.
1 Comment
  1. Great information.

    I would just like to add a few more details that worked for my situation that saved me from buying an additional certificate and wasting money. I had to apply 301 redirects from an old domain on a host I was leaving to a new one. Both used HTTPS. I parked the old domain at the new host and I was still dealing with the handshake issue because the old domain did not have the SSL certificate, just my new one. I didn’t realize I had to uninstall the certificate for the new one, park the old domain at the new host, and then reinstall the certificate for it to properly apply to both domains (primary plus parked).

Leave a Reply


SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Strategy varies drastically depending on which vertical you are in, where you are located, and more. CONTACT ME 919.475.1883