We’re happy to announce that our website is now serving 100% secure content on its servers. This has been a very long and arduous process, but we’ve managed to move virtually all of our content to a secure state. We initially got the idea when Google announced that they were going to provide a small improvement to search results if we did this, so initially we opted not to because of the expense and time it would take. After thinking about it awhile though, we thought our users deserved to feel safe on our site, so we went ahead and took the plunge.
We started by moving our entire site to a completely different server with SSL certificates. This took a significant amount of time because we managed the move while the site was still operational. This did drive a small amount of downtime for the site, but we feel that the downtime was worth the effort even though we hated to do it and most certainly lost several positions in Google as we made the migration.
How We Did It
Once the site was moved, we realized that there were a significant amount of internal links that were pointing to non-secure locations. We then made a decision to review every piece of content and test every page to ensure that 100% of the content was, indeed, secure. While most of our non-secure content was pointed toward pictures, we discovered our social icons were also unsecure. This caused us to remove social icons for the time being and point all of our pictures to secure locations on our server. Yes, we could have done a mass find and replace function across our enterprise, but instead, we chose to review each and every page on the site making some minor improvements on the way. Some of those improvements included adding “alt text” to our photos and ensuring that each post had meta descriptions and tags. You see, early on, we didn’t think about these things, but we’ve learned over time that they’re very important to the way search engines catalog our content. We also took the opportunity to review our broken links and make a number of our photos larger to help improve our user’s experience.
Link Building And Content
We’ve never spent much time trying to build links to this site as we believe these actions sort of cheat the search ecosystem. Instead, we simply focus our attention on building good quality content that we think will be of use to our readers. In the future, we’ll be focusing on more target content centered on the Texas niche. In addition, we are shifting at least some of our attention toward producing opinionated content that affect the daily lives of Texans. Our hope is to stimulate thought when it comes to the environment where we live, work, and play. This will most assuredly generate much discussion in the ensuing months to come and we look forward to bringing it to you!
Security In The Future
Our intent is to maintain our secure position now and into the future. We’ll do this by aggressively managing our content and our user base. We’ve seen much spam since beginning this site almost two years ago, and while it’s not only annoying, we feel that it’s an incredible distractor when it comes to producing great content. This is why (for now) we’ve opted to pretty much disallow all comments until we can come up with a way to display secure comments from real people instead of robot generated spam links and comments.
In any case, we just wanted to shout it from the roof tops. OUR SITE IS NOW SECURE!!!