OK, school is open now.  If you already know what “https” means, you can skip ahead … or, just keep reading and be grateful it’s not happening to you.


If you’re on the internet, look near the top of your screen, and you’ll see the address (URL) of whatever site you’re visiting.  Most likely it begins either with http or https, as in   We’ll spare you the details, but that little “s” indicates something called an SSL Certificate, which tells you — and, critically, Google — that your personal details are safe if you enter them into the site.


We only had http until now, because the site collects no personal information, so there was nothing for hackers to steal.  There still isn’t.  But we came to realize that our Google rankings were slipping, apparently for no reason other than that we didn’t have the certificate.  Google likes that certificate, yes it does.  Even Firefox, the browser we use for ourselves, sometimes flashes a warning about how “unsafe” we are if we continue to our own site.  That’s not good.


So we searched, and found lots of companies or other websites offering “free” certificates.  Oops.  It’s like eBay where the item costs $1 and then shipping is $100 when you know it should only be $10.  Then we asked our own host server company if they could do this, because it’s in their marketing material.  Of course they could — but not cheaply, and here’s the best part:  even if you can source and download this elusive certificate somewhere else, the host server has to install it.  And unless you are hosting your own site … you’ll pay.


To cut this short (we can hear you sigh), there’s an annual fee and an installation fee, and each one is required every year.  So look up at the top of your screen now.  You will see that “httpS” and it means you’re safe(r) and we have done what we can to make you be that way.  But we are going to be watching site performance and Google rankings.  There had better be some improvement!