Decrypting the SSL Installation Journey – Triumphs, Tribulations, and Traffic Boosts

The Important Quest to Secure Our Blog – The Adventures, Challenges, and Revelations of Installing and Troubleshooting SSL Certificates.

Why some pictures and other element of your site still show as insecure after adding a SSL certificate on your blog

Problems encountered after installing the SSL certificate on the blog. The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate helps encrypt data transmitted between the browser and the website that uses it. Previously, SSL certificates were mainly used by online stores, as users input sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, which can be intercepted.

For some time now, Google has announced that it wants all websites to have SSL, meaning they should no longer be just http:// but https://, in order to enhance internet security.

In theory, a blog doesn’t really need an SSL certificate, except for the administrator’s login section or if there are registered users on the blog. But… Google has stated that SSL is absolutely necessary everywhere and is ready to consider the installation of such a certificate as a ranking factor in the search engine. In simpler terms, if you have SSL, your articles will be positioned higher compared to blogs that do not use Secure Sockets Layer.

As a result, many people hurriedly installed SSL on their blogs, but opinions were divided regarding its usefulness. Some said they didn’t notice an increase in the number of visitors to their blog, or the increase was too small compared to the hassle of installing such a certificate. I will write about the problems I encountered with the installation in this article.

Others claimed that the blog’s traffic significantly improved a few months after installing the SSL certificate.

I saw evidence of this myself about two weeks ago when the person’s traffic increased from dozens of unique visitors per day to several hundred.

At the beginning of last year, I wondered whether to install SSL on my blog or not, and I regret not doing it since then. I was a bit afraid of the unknown, of the problems that would arise after installation, and they did arise. I also thought that this encryption would slow down my blog’s loading speed, but from the tests conducted so far, the differences are insignificant.

After deciding to install SSL on my blog, I contacted the representatives of my hosting company and asked them to assist me with the installation, paying the advertised price on their website: 10 euros. I pay for my hosting via SMS, so I always have credit on my phone, which I transfer to my account. I told them to deduct the amount from my existing credit.

My only condition was to purchase the SSL certificate from elsewhere, specifically from the cheapest source where you can buy such certificates:, a website owned by the reputable web domain registrar, Namecheap. Due to their high sales volume, they can offer the best prices for Secure Sockets Layer certificates.

For the same type of SSL certificate, the cheapest one, Comodo PositiveSSL, my hosting company charges 15 euros for one year, while SSLs charges 15 dollars for three years. This is typical of successful Romanian businesses, where a minimum 50% markup is required, if not more. I can’t afford to waste money, and these minimal strategic investments in my blog are the first ones I’ve made, apart from hosting expenses.

When the hosting company heard about it, they quickly dismissed me, telling me that there could be major issues while installing the SSL certificate and that it would be better to have it installed by the provider from whom I purchased it. As you can see, I’m not mentioning the names of my hosting companies because this article is not an attempt at revenge, but simply a recounting of what happened.

It’s a good thing they refused because I decided to install it myself and learned a few things along the way.

There were no problems with generating and installing the certificate, as they claimed, because I followed the steps carefully and succeeded on the first try. I knew that I had to generate it with “www” otherwise it would only secure http://. I’m good at theory in many situations, but you also need to practice.

I generated the SSL certificate for the blog, installed it, and redirected the website to I used a permanent redirect (301) to avoid any issues with Google. Not all articles have been indexed with https yet, not even the homepage, but that’s next.

Problems arose after I installed the certificate because the domain appeared with https, but not with a green lock icon in the browser’s address bar as it should, instead showing a yellow triangle that warned me that the site’s main page (index) had mixed content, both https and http, meaning the connection was not secure.

This shouldn’t appear on the blog as it can scare off users. However, there are many sites that indicate this, including Google Images when you click on an image that Google loads from a site without SSL.

Even so, I didn’t want it to appear this way because it looks bad.

What’s the point of installing SSL on a blog if it still appears to have insecure content?

To avoid manually checking the blog and seeing what insecure content was being loaded, I used a very helpful site called “Why No Padlock.” There were several ways to do this, but why not use the easiest one?

There were two elements, images, loaded from the old the logo and the favicon.

Great! Let’s change them and load them from https.

I deleted the logo, and when I was about to upload the new one, BANG! Well… a big BANG.

A thunderstorm had just started in Bucharest, and lightning struck the building next to mine, on the other staircase. I got really scared because a lightning strike had never been so close to me before and it caused such a loud noise. It sounded like something exploded next to me.

I was frightened, and I later found out that a neighbor from the other staircase had their computer fried.

At that moment, I only found out that my internet was no longer working. Probably, some switch got burned. I called the technical guys to come and fix it, and they said they would come.

Usually, they come quickly because they are just a few hundred meters away from me, but an hour had passed, and they still hadn’t arrived. I sent a message to the owner of the network, and he replied that they were working on a repair and would come here afterward. After another 20 minutes, they fixed the internet.

Moving past the scare and the lack of internet, I replaced the two “insecure” elements and reloaded the page.

There it is! It’s now appearing with a green lock, the connection is secure! Great!

My joy lasted only a few hours because I visited several articles on the blog and… surprise: they either contained insecure elements and the yellow triangle appeared again, due to small images (jpg, gif) in some posts positioned on the left or right side of the page, or a gray triangle appeared, indicating that some elements on the site were blocked, namely many videos.

In the case of videos, the problem was that before having this WordPress theme on the blog, I had a different theme that didn’t know how to properly embed YouTube videos into the page, causing them to exceed the boundaries unless I resized them using the embed function with width and height.

And there were many videos like that, as well as many images and a few gifs.

I had no choice but to get to work: I went through all the articles on the blog, identified the ones with issues, and made modifications.

You can probably imagine how many hours this took me. And I don’t have a lot of articles like other bloggers. On top of that, I don’t have externally loaded images or other elements like some do because the situation would be even worse. While there might be an automatic solution for my problem that I’m not aware of, I think the other issue still requires manually going through each article.

After many hours of work, all the videos are functioning again because I simply added them with a YouTube link, and the entire blog is now green with HTTPS, meaning you have a secure connection.

Whether all this work will be rewarded in any way remains to be seen. For now, I really don’t know.

I hope this information is useful to you if you want to install SSL on your blog.

What challenges did you encounter when installing an SSL certificate on your blog? Share your experiences and any tips you have for others facing similar issues. I would love to hear your insights and thoughts in the comments section!

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