I recently moved my site from http://www.example.com to https://www.example.com

Now, due to an issue with the SSL certificate authority I have had to pull it down and reverse it back to http://

Now that this is completed I have an issue. Google has indexed the HTTPS version, and is showing this in the search results - because I have had to uninstall the certificate, I can't do a manual 302 redirect (not 301!) via .htaccess because it won't ever be loaded.

So my question is this - does anyone have any other knowledge about how to recover from this and/or complete a redirect which doesn't rely on the server?

A few points to note:

  • Using Apache with CPanel

  • The non HTTPS version is already registered in Web Master tools

  • Preferably not a 301 redirect because I do plan to go back to HTTPS once the issue is resolved

  • If you build the redirect in the .htaccess, do you still get errors with certificates? Doubt it, but might safe you
    – Martijn
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:02
  • Because the certificate had to be uninstalled, going to https:// returns a "Site not found error" (because its not there) so a .htaccess file is not of any use unfortunately!
    – tim.baker
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:04
  • Thats a bit weird, wether or not you have https, the DNS points to the exact same server... That means you local settings don't catch this :)
    – Martijn
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:05

Method 1: Install a self signed cert

You can give your site a temporary self signed SSL meaning that the site can be accessed via HTTPS and then redirected to HTTP because the site becomes accessible with a self signed, however with a self signed certification peoples browsers are going to first warn about the SSL certification. This warning is unavoidable since its a warning on the clients side.

Method 2: Remove urls from Google

You could remove the URLS from Google using Webmaster tools however this procedure should be a last resort as you could drop in rankings on several pages or more and yes you most likely will return with the rankings you once have you may not. You could also tell Google your site has moved again...

Method 3: Get a working SSL certification

The easiest safest method would be to reissue a proper SSL certification, if your host can't help move host. There is many good hosts that offer Comodo SSL passive under $10 for the year.

  • Whoah, method 1 is extreme! You want to show your users "OMG THIS WEBSITE IS UNSAFE, PLEASE LEAVE" by the browser?
    – Martijn
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:03
  • Yes that's what I feared - both extreme! And agree with 3 - funnily enough (or not!) it is Comodo who have issued this certificate. To be fair it is a joint issue, and I have equal responsibility to resolve it
    – tim.baker
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:06
  • Seems to me method3 is best worth your time :)
    – Martijn
    Oct 17 '14 at 11:07

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