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Secure the web - My sites are go!

We are being encouraged to ensure that sites have an SSL Certificate, designated by the https:// web address. Most browsers now show if a site is secure and one imagines that the time will come when non secure sites become unacceptable. Fortunately, my web hosting company,, provides basic SSL certification for all registered domains.

I manage a site for my daughter, which I've just completely updated, while at the same time making sure it was secure, and I have a relatively new site that I created to accompany a book I'm writing, which I again built with security in mind. The main issues arose in respect of this site,, which was built a while ago, without considering the security issue.

Converting to https:// was just a matter of editing the .htaccess file to redirect any calls to the original insecure http:// web address. While this places the site in a secure domain, if you have any links to external sites, which themselves are not secure, then this will render your site insecure to web browsers. My kilburnlad site had quite a few such links. These were easily resolved, by updating to secure links if these existed, or removing the link where no secure option was available. The real problem, however, related to the numerous images on this site. I not only have a large photo gallery section, but my film reviews, golf diary and fishing diary all contain a considerable number of images. These images are 'warehoused' on the server, with a separate link to each within the site code. Unfortunately all of these were absolute links, and when first I created them I set them up as non secure, using the http:// address structure.

To resolve this problem I have had literally to edit every link, a boring job that none the less required precision if none was to be missed. It involved going through every entry in the film reviews and both diaries, all of which are in blog format. And, most demanding of all, editing the link to each image in the gallery, and its associated thumbnail. And because the way that I have structured the gallery, with an overview and separate subject categories, each images is replicated on three different pages.

SSL secure

Today I finished the job, the gallery unsurprisingly proving to be the most challenging, and requiring a bit of debugging to find a few typos in the link addresses. But it all now works and the green padlock proves the point.

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