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