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Do you collect email addresses? You’re about to start getting an error message.

If your website is not already on HTTPS instead of HTTP, any forms on your website, any and every form, will start showing error messages. Chrome is implementing, and other browsers will surely follow suit.

How do you solve this? Immediately upgrade you hosting so that your site has a security certificate (SSL) and change settings in your site to activate HTTPS.

Here’s a letter I just sent out to my hosting clients. If you’re another of my clients, but aren’t hosted by me, contact me for details on how to fix this. I’ve had hundreds of clients over the years, and as long as you’re in good standing with whichever company we did business through, this offer still applies:

You are receiving this urgent notification as a hosting client of Matlock Web Marketing. As you know, we do not send out newsletters. This is not a newsletter but an URGENT message about something that needs to occur on your site pronto.

A few of you have reported some website users reaching security errors recently, and after some digging, it was finally worked out why. The web browsers are making a critical security change, but for a very small number of users it’s already started. Google TODAY sent a notification of an urgent and important change they’re releasing in OCTOBER 2017 that will affect the way your website must work. Starting in OCTOBER 2017, Chrome web browser is requiring all websites that contain forms to upgrade to SSL and use HTTPS on all pages with forms and form processors. Any website operating the way all sites have up to now will start generating an ERROR for all their visitors. This means any website where the user can interact with you, such as in contact forms, email newsletter subscription forms, etc. must be HTTPS.

For most of you, this means the site must be upgraded right now to both a) HAVE a SECURITY CERTIFICATE (SSL) and b) USE IT on all FORMS and FORM HANDLERS. (Previously, this was only required for shopping cart websites.)

 
What you need to do to avoid error messages starting in OCTOBER 2017 for all users:
 
1. Check your website. Do all forms sit on pages that are SECURE (reached via HTTPS)? If not, that has to be changed right away. What happens if you try to access your site on HTTPS instead? If your website isn’t already set up to route all forms throught HTTPS…
2. CONTACT ME for an HTTPS website upgrade, letting me know you approve the hours to do the work. Estimate stands at starting at three hours per website for some clients, but possibly up to ten for more complicated websites – I can’t know until I start the work to upgrade). Only actual hours worked will by billed. Clients in good standing, if you contact me with go-ahead before September 10th, I’ll give you a significant discount on the hours.
 
3. Provide me with a credit card number so that I can order you a security certificate and get it installed and then do the work of the upgrade. (This is just like a mechanic working on your car. The SSL is the PART and the UPGRADE HOURS are the LABOR to install.) Those of you on premium website software such as Joomla may also have additional cost in PAID PLUGINS required to perform the change. Either the entire site or just the forms will be upgraded to HTTPS, depending on the most economical option for your website.
I apologize for the unexpected expense and any trouble caused. It’s out of my hands, but it is an important shift in web protocol toward a more secure and safe internet.
Best,
Desi Matlock

 

This is big. Hundreds of clients I’ve worked on have HTTP-only websites with contact forms. If you don’t currently pay each year for a security certificate, and can’t reach your site on HTTPS, you’re one of them. And you know that if Google Chrome is making the change, the other browsers are, too.

 

 

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