For the longest time, I have rebuked the idea that I needed to spend more money on my blogging platform. With the little amount of income my site does generate, much of that revenue is consumed by the expense of running this site. From website security costs to hosting fees and domain registration, I spend much of what I make (through Ad generation and generous donations) just keeping the site going. I do it for the love of my blog supporters, or fans, (if I’ve still got any). I could never see spending much more than what’s coming in – that just wouldn’t make good business sense, although I do run this blog to help keep me occupied. I’ve truely become a stubborn old goat, a term that my real estate secretary used to gibe me with. Only when she called me an old goat, I really wasn’t that old as I was just entering my 50’s. I guess when you have 20 years on anybody, they all consider you to be old.
Over the last couple years, and since YouTube has seemingly stolen much of the blogosphere’s thunder, I have noticed a steady decline in the number of new visitors to my site. I have always just assumed (??) that it was because folks were migrating to YouTube for information. Afterall, most people today would rather watch a video rather than read a newspaper. I’ve laid claim to the idea that intellectual laziness has permeated most peoples lives because everyone is so busy with life’s events. It is much easier to zone-out watching a video than it is to concentrate on literary assimiliation and comprehension. Or so I thought. At least that is what my blog visitation numbers/analyses led me to believe. And while there might be some truth to that as a generalization, it’s not the whole truth.
What I have come to realize is that my website (now 7 years running) has become defunct… security wise. A few years ago my site suffered a hack-attack which caused me to shut down the site. It also prompted me to spend several hundred dollars to recover all the content that I thought was lost. That single event taught me the importance of spending a little more money for backing up all my content. Data protection became a most paramount issue for me. But I didn’t go far enough!
Malware Doesn’t Discriminate.
It doesn’t only infect the popular sites. Because most malware attacks are automated, any site can be targeted equally and, once infected, it can do more than disrupt your site – it can ruin that site’s reputation. Securing my site became like locking your doors at night. You don’t do it because you expect something bad to happen – you do it because if something did happen, it could be devastating. So, I have upgraded my protection there also.
The Nuts and Bolts of it All!
Lately I have been urged by several folks (and pestered by Google) to switch my website to the HTTPS Security Encryption. Some have cited Google’s announcement that HTTPS is now a ranking signal and that failure to switch could mean my site’s ranking will take a hit. Others have honestly told me they won’t visit my site because of the uncertainty of this security. I don’t mean to bogg my readers down with all this technical stuff, but it is just as important for the front-end user of any site to understand as it is to any website operator.
What is HTTPS, and why is it needed? HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol. It’s a protocol that allows communication between different systems. Most commonly, it is used for transferring data from a web server to a browser to view web pages. The problem is that HTTP (note: there is no “S” on the end) data is not encrypted, and it can be intercepted by third parties to gather data being passed between the two systems. This can be addressed by using a secure version called HTTPS, where the “S” stands for secure.
The Importance to YOU and ME!
Without HTTPS, any data passed is insecure. This is especially important for sites where sensitive data is passed across the connection, such as ecommerce sites that accept online card payments, or logins that require users to enter their credentials. It never made much sense to me to spend the extra money because there is no sensitive data being passed between my site and my readers (posts and comments). It is the very reason this site has noticed an upward trend – why visitors are not clicking through to articles and pages (bounceouts). Many users are receiving the message issued by their browser: “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.” This can mean either the security certificate presented by this website was not issued by a trusted certificate authority or there may be no security certificate at all! And Google penalizes sites that are not encrypted (rankings).
So what I have done is kick the stubborn old goat to the curb and spend the extra money it takes to make my site more secure. GoDaddy is hot on the job and you will
soon now notice the HTTPS in the header which means you can have confidence that your browsing experience will be more secure. And hopefully this will help this site with it’s Google ranking, attracting more visitors, who will be encouraged to engage more and leave more comments. And all that should help inspire me to continue publishing!
In retrospect, one good thing about not running a more encrypted and secure site is that I never really had to deal with a bunch of trolls! Maybe they felt insecure, and that scared them all off! Now… who knows what I’ll get?
Thanks for being a loyal reader!
Like this post? Please “SHARE” and help me reach more subscribers.
Would you consider buying me a cup of coffee? Your donations are what help keep this site going.
You can follow me @
#philippines #guam #islandlife #livinginthepacific #samar #expats #expatlife #islandvibes #asianlifestyle