SSL Compliance and Real Estate Brokers/Agents.
If you have been in a hole for the past few years you may not have heard that Google is cracking down on secure websites. This means they want every site to have an SSL certificate – https:// to protect their search users. It started about four years ago. If you collected data they HIGHLY suggested that you get an SSL certificate in place to protect the data being transmitted. This would give your site that nice, comforting HTTPS:// in front. That was four years ago. At least 9 years ago we were also telling you to get your site mobile compliant, as soon as smart phones came out. We saw the writing on the walls. Our branding expert has been making mobile compliant sites for 15 years. But that’s a whole’nother rant.
Back to SSL: If you have a WordPress site or something that you host 100%, this is not difficult. You can purchase a certificate, have it installed – usually automatically with a few clicks and fields filled out. THEN you need to have your website understand that anyone looking for http:// is to be redirected to https://. You also have to update your post code that brings in images, scripts, etc. from your site to be https:// instead. This can be handled with plugins, scripts, mass-replacers, and other simpler switches.
THE PROBLEM: If you are bringing in WIDGETS or third-party content with images and scripts from another site, say, IDX Broker or Diverse Solutions, as an example, they must ALSO be SSL compliant.
IDX Broker allows you to have a custom subdomain so their links and content won’t read: yourname.idxbroker.com – that is nice! search.yourdomain.com is better branding, BUT, even though you set up the subdomain with your domain host to POINT to their system and they recognize it, without having an SSL on their server to include your subdomain.yourdomain.com it will be MIXED CONTENT and will create frightening messages in the browser WARNING people that your site is now not secure. This began our issue.
So we went from a beautiful, secure site to one with warnings when they want to see your listings and search. This makes us look bad.
IF you turn off the https:// in your WRAPPER with the IDX Broker Site, the warnings will not be there, but your beautiful, branded wrapper will not load, either so your site goes from stunning to suck without any way for people to navigate through your site. This is bad too.
Sasha at IDX Broker finally explained the issues. Not as simple as adding a certificate. They are bringing in maps, images from hundreds of MLS systems. Some are compliant, many are not. So even if IDX Broker has their end completed, they’ll be hurt by the content brought in from gathering images and the like from other resources.
We tested in all browsers by not using our own subdomain until they have completed their solution. I updated the plugins associated, deleted cache, updated the map scripts and we are all set. Dust it still settling with all of the browser cached versions, but her site is now https:// – SSL compliant. Ideally, her subdomain will be able to be used by January (fingers crossed).