Saturday, October 4, 2008

SSL Image Hosting - how sweet it is, and how necessary.

    You read and read, one article after another, while trying to learn how to build a website from scratch. Website developement is a pretty complicated and difficult subject for many, even those with experience. It's especially so for someone that never thought there would be a chance in Hades of getting involved with a computer.

    A few years ago when I sat down at a computer I had trouble trying to keep my eye on where the cursor went. Seriously! I would slide the mouse all over the mousepad so as to catch a movement of that Devilish Dissappearing Device ( the cursor ).
Now, a scant 7 years later I am learning HTML, XML, XHTML, scripts, forms, tags, attributes, values, tables, options, etc., etc.

    Many times the articles you read seem as though the subject matter is something totally in left field. You keep reading though. You know, deep down inside, that at some point it will make sense.
You know what? You're right. When you least expect it your brain takes pieces of what you read - and did not fully comprehend at the time - rearranges all those jigsaw pieces of information - and Voila! a Eureka moment!

    So it was with SSL. For some time now I had a bit of an understanding of the importance of HTTPS: vs HTTP: URL protocol. I knew that SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer ( encryption stuff ). I just kept assuming that the only time I would ever need to have any involvement with HTTPS: is if my website would have LOGIN requirements, processed personal identifying information or gathered financial information such as credit cards.
How incorrect that is.

    Two days ago I was reading articles on someone else's website, someone that apparently is full of information, willing to share it and good enough to be recommended by Paypal on their site to help with code and cart integration problems.
The subject matter was how to use Javascript as a manner of helping with Paypal 'Buy Now' or 'View Cart' button code, how to change button code to suit your needs and shopping cart code in general.

    In reading those articles there was one of those Eureka moments.
    Mention was made about how the 'Custom Paypal Payment Page'( if a header photo [a Logo] is uploaded to Paypal by the account holder from an HTTP: website ) can cause security warnings. It is that HTTP: image hosting location that causes that security warning to popup when a customer on a website presses the Paypal 'Buy Now' button.
    You know what happens when a customer is ready to pay, presses the Paypal button and gets a warning that says, [ "Security Information" This page contains both secure and nonsecure items. Do you want to display the nonsecure items? ]?

Of course you do. Most will click 'NO' and get the heck out of there.
You just lost a sale because of that!
Even if you are the real Diogenes target, you lost that sale.

    So, here I am, waiting for people to buy some of my inexpensive items, and me being the type Diogenes sought, and all along my Logo image that is on my 'Paypal Custom Payment Page' is hosted at my own website, which is not HTTPS:.

    Since May of this year that popup has been thrown in the face of potential customers. If not for that bit of seemingly unimportant information I read on that website (see above) I would still be chasing customers away with that security warning.

    Here is the fix:
Host the Logo photo you are using on Paypal's 'Custom Payment Page' at a website that has a secure server, an HTTPS:.

    If you do a Google search for 'SSL image Hosting' you will find multitudes of sites that will host your photo at an HTTPS:.
Some provide free Logo hosting, some charge a minimal amount.

     I discovered They will host your Logo free at their secure site and the bonus is that you also get a link from them that you can use to see what happens when customers click on one of your Paypal 'Buy' buttons.

   Well, there it is. Hope that helps.


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