My travail started last month. It seems that Google is no longer willing to let people take their chances on the web. This isn’t a bad thing, we all want our web experience to be secure, but doing this isn’t cheap or easy.
I thought Mr. Haney was banished to the dark world of ancient TV sitcoms. I was wrong. He is alive and well and working for a popular internet hosting service.
Not wanting to be banished to the Internet’s version of what I assumed was Mr. Haney’s fate, I paid for an SSL certificate to secure my site. Some guy who shall remain anonymous said he would connect my various web properties to my newly acquired bona fids. He said I would have to take some simple and obvious steps to complete the process.
Once the connection was made he assured me that Google and I would both be pleased beyond our wildest expectations. Okay, I may be exaggerating about the Google bit, but I sure didn’t expect to make a career of avoiding the big G’s wrath.
If you are a Baby Boomer, you may remember “Green Acres”. For those of you who haven’t had as many 39th birthdays as me, it was the story of a high-power lawyer and his wife who traded their glamorous big city lives for the dubious pleasure of a rustic farm existence.
Mr. Haney was a peddler who made his rounds of the farms in Hooterville. He was always trying to sell Oliver something he didn’t need. Finally, Oliver would try to buy something just so Mr. Haney would move on.
Just when the deal was almost consummated, Mr. Haney would offer to sell Oliver something else he would need to make the first purchase useful. Once, for instance, he convinced Oliver to buy a rubber plant. Just as Oliver was removing his purchase from the back of Mr. Haney’s truck, Mr. Haney stopped him. “Do you want to buy the pot it is in, too?”
——Me: “Can you tell me what I should do to complete installing this “SSL” thing?”
Tech 1: “Oh don’t worry. It will be obvious when you open your dashboard
——Me: “Hi. Tech 1 told me that it would be obvious how to install my SSL certificate, but I can’t figure out how to do it.”
Tech 2: “We can’t do it for you unless you pay us lots of money.”
Me: “But, the guy who sold it to me said it was installed and would be easy to activate.”
Tech 2: “Sure! Anything is easy if you know what you’re doing!”
——Me:“Look, I was hoping you people could help me. After all, I just laid down $500.00 to buy some stuff you said I needed, and now you won’t tell me how to use it. I don’t think I should have to pay more money to use the product you already sold me, especially since you didn’t tell me it would cost more in the first place.”
Tech 3: “Oh don’t worry. You just need a plugin. “
——Me: I downloaded a plugin like Tech 3 told me, and I still can’t get my SSL certificate to install on my site.”
Tech 4: “Let me check it for you. (after a half hour on hold) It’s connected on our end. Have you downloaded the plugin?”
Me: “Yes, and I’ve followed the directions about 20 times, and am informed that there is no SSL certificate connected with my site.”
Tech 4: “Your site is called “XYZ” right?”
Me: No. The guy who sold me the SSL package suggested that I change the name of my site for SEO purposes. I took his advice, and he told me he would install the SSL certificate for me.”
Tech 4: “So, you wanted the SSL certificate for your NEW site?”————
——Me: I think I finally got the SSL certificate installed. But now, when I go to the site, it says it isn’t secured. In fact, the recommendation is that it is unsafe, and I should not go there!”
Tech 5: “It is working fine here. Maybe you need to clear your browser’s cache.”
——Me: “I cleared my browser’s cache, and it still says my site is unsafe.”
Tech 6: “The problem is on your end. It’s working fine here.”
——Me: “I’m still having trouble accessing my site. Now it’s saying that the certificate doesn’t match the site’s address”
Tech 7: ‘Are you typing “WWW” in front of the name?”
Me: “Yeah. I’m even typing https://www. and it still says I don’t have an SSL certificate.”
Tech 7: That’s the problem. You don’t need to type anything but the site name. “HTTPS://” and “WWW” are not necessary when you’re going to a secure site.”
Me: Don’t — Hang — Up — Until — I — Try — It!” OMG! It Worked! I’m secure. You’re my hero! When’s your birthday? What kind of wine do you like? Can I have your baby?”