Now Coming at you with SSL

ssl photo
Image by Sean MacEntee

Most of you probably haven’t noticed the change on the site over the last few days. At least I hope not many have, but go ahead and look up in your address bar. Yes, the site is no longer http://, it is now https://.

The same is true for all of my blogs now.

With both Google and WordPress pushing websites to use secure connections, even for non-commercial ventures, I spent some time looking at the various options for getting an SSL certificate. The obvious choice for a site that makes no money was the free certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

The only problem with that, was it was going to require quite a bit of work from me to get that certificate working, since my previous, long-time, web host didn’t really support them, and it was something I was going to have to repeat every 90 days. That doesn’t really jive with my schedule, so I was tempted by the idea of some hosting providers offering one-click support for the Let’s Encrypt certificates.

As it turns out, I also ran into a holiday special being offered by SiteGround, and since they specialize in WordPress and Joomla hosting, I could also get automated WordPress updates, automated backups, and even some basic malware monitoring bundled in. Thinking about my schedule again, those things sounded pretty cool to me. So, over the holidays, I’ve relocated all of my sites to the new host, pointed the DNS to new name servers, and enabled SSL encryption over the entirety of the sites. I believe all traffic should now be redirected via .htaccess to an https:// address, which was no small feat. (So many versions of what to put in the file and where to locate it in the cPanel account were found online before I settled on one per WordPress install.). There are still some pages showing “mixed content” warnings in certain browsers, so I’ll be tracking those down as time allows. Ironically, I think many of those messages are being generated by Creative Commons licenses for images. Anyone know if they offer a link/image/script that supports SSL?

Of course, the other thing that is a bit of a downer, is that now every single blog post is at a new URL, meaning everything got reset back to zero shares. Oh well. Those were interesting to track, and I’ll continue to do so, but I’ll have to live with it. I could always challenge my readers to get those back up… 😉

As with any kind of change like this, I tested out most of the sites, but if you find anything that isn’t working correctly, let me know so I can look into it! Thanks, and have a great 2017!


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