Google, GoDaddy and the HTTPS Conundrum

I like to stay active on this blog, and I love the constant tinkering on WordPress (right from identifying which plugins to install to customizing the theme).

This is one of the main reasons I am able to blog on a regularish basis. Obviously, since it’s a content driven site, the bulk of my traffic comes from Google Search.

So what’s wrong with that

The over dependence on organic search means for the blog to have more visitors, user engagement and comments – I have to try and follow the diktats of the market leader in Search. That’s Google.

I am a fan of most of Google’s work. However, the kind of hold they have on the search market means that publishers who want to be found on search have to work towards being search friendly. Google is all about Do No Evil, and I respect them for that. However, with the recent HTTPS update to their search algorithm, small time publishers are forced to relook at their hosting solutions.

GoDaddy and shared hosting

My site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, 2k-3k visitors a month. For that kind of traffic, a shared hosting plan is perfect. I have been using GoDaddy for quite some time now. Primarily, because most of my domains are within this account.

For the past 8 years or so, I have been using this account, I cannot complain about the service. I know it’s a shared hosting, and it has managed to meet my expectations.

Until now.

GoDaddy and HTTPS

The hosting plan I have is a simple plan and it does not support me having to install a custom SSL certificate. So much so that, even if I wanted to purchase a certificate from GoDaddy – I am not able to do so. Perhaps its a glitch in their interface.

I could get a Lets Encrypt certificate, and that’s what I have done for the 13 Llama Interactive site and for Harshaja’s blog. The problem with this approach is that both these sites are hosted on a DO instance. Where I can easily control the installation of the SSL certificate.

There is no simple option for doing that. GoDaddy support is of no use, and that leads me to a dead end.

Cloudflare can help

This is where a reverse proxy like Cloudflare helped. Atleast all the requests that are going to the site can be sent to an HTTPS version of the site. The lookup itself is done via Cloudflare and I have updated the website settings in my WordPress to serve from the HTTPS endpoint.

However, this kind of kills the wp-admin section. Thankfully through the REST API and Jetpack’s connection to WordPress.com I can still manage to post content.

So what can a publisher do?

At this juncture, I could simply shift my hosting and be done with it. It’s the easiest option. However, what about all those publishers out there who may not have such an option available to them.

There has to be a simpler solution to this mess.

Food for Thought: Part Three

Desperately trying to keep this series to a one a month affair, so that my blog does not look like a link farm … eep! I am even afraid to type that … but I have to say this .. I don’t want my blog to end up being a link farm. There I said it!!

Having said that, there were quite a few articles which I wanted to share this month!

The Top 10 Algorithms in the 20th Century

Computer.org put together this list of algorithms which had the greatest influence in the 20th century. Now, that’s a lot to think about … some of the algorithms which are mentioned, I had studied as a student! I would not say cutting edge, however, they did have a huge impact.

Funny, I did not see the Y2K or the Bubble Sort algorithm (which every green gilled programmer ends up using).

The Ultimate Guide to Leaving Comments On Blogs

I am a big fan of Darren Rowse and the words of actionable wisdom he shares on ProBlogger. Every blogger wants comments on his posts and although I haven’t had much comment love from you folks, I would still prefer genuine comments as opposed to spammy comments from Black Hat SEO agents.

In this post, ProBlogger teaches how to correctly post comments on popular blogs. It’s a great way to get noticed, start interacting with like minded people and get some trickle down traffic on your blog.

Why did Google make an ad for promoting “Search” in India where it has over 97% market share?

In India, Google has a huge 97% market share in search engines. That’s huge! If you have been an internet user in the past month or so, you would have noticed a slew of Ads on Google Search. Warming and touching this Ad reminds us of how we use search and how Google search is now accessible for mobiles.

I am not going to give the answer away, read this article on Medium!

Financing a Start-Up

Starting an organization is difficult. Especially when you have to arrange the financial support to aid your endeavour. This article on Edupristine helps us in finding different ways in which one can raise money to fund their venture.

This article is close to me for personal reasons as well .. not only have I worked with this organization, but also I am trying to start an organization and this article has come of use already!

Deep Learning 101

Step aside Big Data, there is a new buzzword in town … it’s Deep Learning!!

Yes, we already have Neural Networks, and Machine Learning … Deep Learning goes a step further. Do take some time and read this. It’s on the climbing slope of the Hype Cycle right now. If you can talk more about it, it will get you noticed Winking smile

Why I am not canceling class tomorrow

It is not often when students talk in awe of their teachers. I have been fortunate to have met such teachers … some of whom I have already mentioned in the past.

In this case, the university staff were on a strike, but the professor still went on to teach his class and emailed them in advance to come attend that lecture. It’s a heartfelt email where the professor brings the focus on the value one must place on education and how individuals should look at learning.

Mastering a Mammoth

As part of my work, I am also maintaining the corporate blog these days. Sadly, the content management system (CMS) on which the blog is based on is kinda out of date. So much so that it has become virtually impossible to recreate the same environment on my own desktop.

What this means as a software person, I have to make changes and edits on a production platform. Not only does this give me the heeby jeebies, but also it makes the task a bit too tedious. Any one who has worked on an online server knows the PITA (pain-in-the-ass) it is to edit code files online.

Over the past week, I have been trying to handle this mammoth. I so miss my own agile and flexible WP 3.04 platform!!

In fact typing this blog has made me de-stress :-)

One of the great things about working with legacy CMS is that you get to (or rather have to) understand the exact workings of the CMS, you suddenly start seeing a plethora of possibilities and that gives you a sense of fulfillment.

Aside

Google Fonts!

Came across Google Webfonts, decided to try it out on this blog.

Instructions are pretty simple, as long as you are using CSS on your site. Otherwise you will be forced to CSSify your site first before implementing Google’s webfonts.

Include the Google Font definition in your head section, and simply update the “font-family” attribute in your body CSS definition to the desired font family.

Pretty simple and elegant. Trust Google to come up with this.

Predicting Business Cycles

Back in August 2006, I had written a post on Dot Com Bust 2.0, sadly rediff BLOGS has a bad way of storing posts (week-wise instead of it being individual posts) passed away into oblivion.

Revisiting that post was an interesting exercise, an excerpt –

Do we see history repeating itself? A sudden surge in this Dot Com 2.0 demand, people are already teeming in to cash-in on this new opportunity. Do I start off a firm of my own and try to do the same. Is this risk / venture enough to sustain me through the impending bust? During my induction at TechMahindra, there was a fellow from the top management who was wizened enough to predict that the next bust is going to come in the year 2009. We laughed it off back then, I am not laughing now. Maybe, the dot com bust might relapse, and why not? Fortunately, IT in India is not just about web development anymore. We will pass through this. But will my dream of starting off on my own do the same?

Full marks and respect for that top executive.

Aside

WordPress Theme!

wordpress-spanner Created or rather tweaked my first WordPress theme ever. Have taken the Magazine theme and with the help of Angad worked out a flashy new theme for our latest blog at work.

Interesting to note that many people do only this for a living and some of the themes fetching a whopping $200 per piece. Makes me want to learn WordPress as an engine and contribute (eh … loosely using the term here!) to the WP community.