May 27 2018 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Now that our forums are fully upgraded, it's time to start on the secure server aspect of our site. Secure server refers to how a web visitor interacts with our server. With a secure connection, that's done more safely. Most of the time secure servers are done with shop websites which take your credit cards and such. However, Google now wants all sites to be secure, even basic informational sites. They give higher traffic rankings to the secure sites. So it's time for us to be secure.
You've probably seen secure sites when you browse the web. Their URLs start with https:// (with an S) rather than http://. Also, there is usually a green lock symbol next to the URL on your browser bar.
When I finish this change, our website will in general work the same as it always has. All old URLs will still work, they'll just auto-redirect to the https version. Going forward when you create links it'll be good to link to the https one but even if you link to the http one it'll auto-redirect so that's OK too.
The one real change is that, in order for a page to be fully secure and show that green lock, all images shown on the page need to be secure. For those of you who don't use images, there's no change. For those of you who DO use images, you'll want to make sure you use https links for images going forward rather than http. I'll have a script which turns all existing http image references into https references.
Here's the sort of tricky part. If you have used images in the past, please read this.
Let's say you wrote an article on raspberries and you linked to an image of a raspberry on your homepage. And that link was http://lisashea.com/raspberry.jpg. If your homepage does NOT have a secure version available and I then auto-update your link to say https://lisashea.com/raspberry.jpg (with an S) that image will break. That image will not exist.
Those of us who use images will need to figure out, once this is complete, which images are broken and figure out a solution. Maybe we move those to the bellaonline.us server. Maybe I help you get those image servers secure, which will be important for all sorts of reasons anyway. It'll be something for us to work on.
If you don't use images, you're fine. This only involves images.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this part. I know this is a bit confusing. It's important for all websites to become secure. It's a part of the new web. I'm happy to help with that if you have a website of your own and haven't taken that step yet.
So, again, to summarize, the website will go up and down a few times overnight as I do the updates and do testing. I will email everyone when I'm done for you to take a look and see how your images are doing.
Have a great evening!
Lisa Shea, owner
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