Website Boo-boos: on SSL Certificates and Leaving *Stuff* to the Experts

website security ssl certificate
Photo credit: Pexels.com

So yesterday, I had quite an experience with my website. I tinkered a bit too much that something happened that required me to contact my hosting provider.

Before that, I was asking a friend of mine about SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates. The one that gives your site the “HTTPS” in the beginning. This is purchased by websites to protect data passing from user to the website. My friend, who’s an SEO specialist, said that Google’s future algorithm will rank sites with SSL certificates higher than those with only “HTTP.”

So I took a look at my blog. When I purchased (and eventually renewed) my subscription, I didn’t get an SSL certificate because I didn’t think I needed it. I mean, I’m not collecting any information from my readers (wait, does email subscription count?) like credit card details. But my SEO friend also said that SSL certificates also protect websites from virus attacks, so I guess that’s the reason why Google wants all websites to have such security.

I researched more about it, also encountering Let’s Encrypt that offers free SSL/TSL certificates. I thought, hey, maybe I can get an SSL certificate for my blog, too. So in the course of my research, I tinkered with my Security Advisor in my account settings. When I checked my URL on the backend, there was a “Switch to HTTPS” button.

Of course, the curious me went on and clicked it. Without any thought.

And that’s when I had a problem accessing my WordPress dashboard. #huhubels I thought I was gonna lose all my data and stuff.

The website was still accessible, though. I just had a problem with going to the dashboard.

And since there was no UNDO button, there was only one course of action for me: contact the hosting provider.

The girl on the other line was kind enough to handle my ticket. And they tried to resolve it while I was on the phone. I requested to have the “Switch to SSL” ticked off. I thought that I can just buy sometime soon.

To my surprise, the lady on the other line told me that they’ll grant me a free SSL encryption from Let’s Encrypt.

It’s not like a premium SSL encryption that attaches “Secure” with a padlock icon before my URL. But it does put the “HTTPS” on my URL. Just that it has limited security, I think.

Website Security SSL Certificate
How my URL is seen on Firefox

I still have to research more about SSL certificates to understand it more. And if I decide to get one, I’ll have to purchase it on my hosting provider’s sister company since my provider currently doesn’t offer one.

Yesterday kinda wracked my nerves, but I’ve learned a big lesson: I should be leaving things like these to experts, LOL! And yeah, look for an UNDO button before doing anything. Haha!

4 Comments

  1. Veeyah | The Indy Miss

    I’m glad you got that all sorted out! I recently just enabled my SSL as well (around a week or so ago), and since I had some technical knowledge on how to do it myself, I went ahead with it. After around 24 hours my site was update to https and I’ve been very relieved to not have encountered anything weird. I haven’t looked into it, but is site PA/DA affected if we change http to https, or whether we decide to add the www or not at the beginning? What do you think? Any experience with it?

    3 weeks ago
    • Michelle

      Where did you purchase your SSL? Not sure if having an SSL certificate will affect PA/DA, but my SEO-knowledgeable friend said that Google will start prioritizing ranking sites that have HTTPS. So having SSL puts your site on the top list of searches.

      3 weeks ago
  2. Jareds_mum

    This is rather timely as I am also contemplating on DIY-ing my way to get that SSL Certificate. Good thing I read your post and in the nick of time. I guess I will contact my hosting provider first before tinkering on my blog to get that https url. Thanks for the reminder, and, good thing you were able to contact your provider sooner and resolved the boo-boo!

    3 weeks ago
    • Michelle

      Yeah, called them when they didn’t respond to my email ticket after 3 hours. 😛 SSL certificates may cost as much as hosting service, but I guess it’s best to get one especially if Google is going to rank websites with SSL higher in searches. 🙂

      3 weeks ago

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