We undertook the task of complying with Google HTTPS-Everywhere on the web standards that are incentivising the move to HTTPS by increasing search rankings for those that comply. The first step in this process was acquiring an SSL certificate for our websites domain name from a provider. We went the cheap route and went with StartSSL using their Level 1 certificate that is good for one year and FREE. The process was not for the faint of heart as it included encryption keys, decryption of public keys, downloading of several certificates and importing them properly into our webhost. As you can see it is just a basic certificate with no verification information, so no green bar in the browser as some other sites have:
If you need to acquire a SSL certificate (especially those with wildcards or extended validation) or looking for help getting your SSL certificate configured on your website, just drop an email and I would be happy to help.
The next step in the process was to change the .htaccess file in the public_html folder on the webserver (this is for Linux hosts and is different for Windows IIS users as they will be editing web.config file). Once this is done the server will start automatically sending people to the same pages you already have on the server but will use https:// instead of http:// to display them. This is universal if you put it in the public_html folder, so be careful. I had some non-relative, absolute links on my pages that were causing issues with displaying them – had to go through each link to my own pages and update them to either be relative or the correct absolute values (this does not apply to any external links). As you can see things are running great now in SSL mode on our site.