When you decide to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS in order to make it more secure, you might think that the job is done and you can just move on to other matters. However, this can create an issue called “mixed content” that can end up compromising your security and hurting your website overall. This is a common, and somewhat ironic problem when sites switch to a more secure protocol since it has the effect of making the site less secure.
Fortunately, that is not an issue when we at On The Map Marketing do your site migration for you. We have years of experience both creating sites with the HTTPS protocols and migrating sites to that same protocol. That means we know how to fix mixed content issues so that your site runs as smoothly as silk and is as secure as Fort Knox. So, get in touch with us when you need to migrate your site to a more secure connection.
What is Mixed Content?
In plain terms, mixed content is when a webpage displays both HTTP content and HTTPS content at the same time. This happens when an HTTP webpage has been improperly upgraded to an HTTPS webpage. When the upgrade is done badly, some content will be loaded over the new HTTPS certificate while the rest will be loaded over the old HTTP connection. Basically, mixed content means that a webpage is displaying content from two different sources at once.
Why is Mixed Content Bad?
Quite simply, mixed content makes a webpage less secure. An HTTPS connection makes your webpage much more secure, while an HTTP connection leaves it vulnerable. That means a bad actor could use the unsecured HTTP content to breach your webpage and even take it over completely. To put it another way, it’s like if you locked most of the doors and windows in your home but leave the back door wide open.
Furthermore, browsers may block a webpage that has mixed content, which means that people will not be able to access your site, though in cases like these, that may be for their own good. If a browser does not block a webpage with mixed content, then it may issue a warning to visitors that the page is not secure, which will send them scurrying away to safer pastures. In other words, mixed content is bad because it creates both actual insecurity and the perception of insecurity to a webpage, each of which can have dire consequences.
Why Is an HTTPS Connection Important?
An HTTPS connection provides more security for a webpage and the people who visit that webpage. In fact, some browsers will not load content unless it has an HTTPS connection. That is because HTTPS provides a webpage and its visitors with the following benefits:
Authentication – An HTTPS connection is verification that the site the user is visiting is authentic. Hackers will sometimes redirect visitors to a copy of a webpage in order to access their personal information. That is not possible over an HTTPS connection because it authenticates the website so that the visitor can be sure that they are on the right website rather than a malicious copy.
Data Integrity – With an HTTPS connection, the browser can detect if a hacker is attempting to change any data received by the browser. That means the browser can detect if a hacker is trying to redirect any information or money sent over the internet to a different account. Basically, HTTPS makes it harder for hackers to steal your money or your information.
Secrecy – This means that a bad actor cannot intercept or eavesdrop on any information being sent through your webpage.
How To Find and Fix Mixed Content
In order to find and fix mixed content you will need to do the following:
- Right-click on the suspected webpage and then choose inspect element and then find the tab marked console. Any mixed content will be displayed in red so it is easily identifiable.
- Make a list with the URLs of the pages with the mixed content so that you can find and fix them manually.
- You then need to check if the URL is available on the HTTPS connection by opening a new tab in your browser and entering the affected website by changing the URL to HTTPS instead of HTTP. If the website loads normally, then you can continue, but if it does not, then you can download and host the affected resource directly on your site if you can. You can also download the affected resource from a different host if possible. If neither of those options is available, then you should just leave the affected resource off your site.
- Once the pages have been identified, go to each one and change the URL from HTTP to HTTPS. You will then need to save the source file and then redeploy the updated file.
- Next, check to make sure that the page loads correctly without any errors or warnings.
Avoid Mixed Content If You Can
An HTTPS connection is highly important for the security of your website, especially if monetary transactions take place on it. So, upgrading to an HTTPS connection is vital if it has not already been done. However, it should not be done haphazardly otherwise that will just create even more problems. Take some time to upgrade your website correctly the first time so that you avoid the headache of having to deal with a mixed content warning. If you need any help doing so, then contact us at On The Map Marketing. We will be glad to lend a helping hand.