No missionary I know wants their website branded as “dubious.”
But Google threatens to do just that. First, they announced that a website’s security would factor into into search rankings. Then they declared that their browser may soon warn users that plain http sites should not be trusted.
There’s a lot of confusing, technical work that has to happen to grant your website that “green badge of trust” that goes with the https:// label. Until recently, it’s been more trouble than it’s worth for most ministry website administrators to figure out.
So we found a way to help with the Edify Hub missionary website builder.
Now, every missionary website that uses a .edifyhub.com internet address will automatically be switched into secure mode whenever people visit their site.
How did we do that? Edify Hub purchased what is called a “wildcard certificate” from an organization that every browser already trusts. Along with the financial expense, we also went through a process involving multiple emails, website form submissions, file transfers, and server configurations to prove that Edify Hub’s server is indeed authorized to be the official server for every website that ends in .edifyhub.com.
With these changes, Edify Hub missionary websites now earn an “A” grade for security from SSL Labs. That’s higher than Microsoft, Google, and even many banks!
But that’s still not good enough.
Many missionaries don’t want their website to end with .edifyhub.com. Instead, they have an internet address like www.modernnineveh.com, that suggests something about their ministry. How will they get that green badge of trust on their websites?
Until later this year, the answer isn’t a good one. As of today, they still have to purchase a certificate and go through the same email, website, file transfer, server configuration process that Edify Hub just completed.
But all that changes later this year.
The Internet Security Research Group is building a new approach to website security. They call it LetsEncrypt. With this approach, web servers like Edify Hub’s will be able to automate all of the tedious processes that are currently required to establish trust.
We’re following their work closely, and are already working towards supporting their process while it’s still in its draft phases. Using this new approach, every website created with Edify Hub’s missionary website builder will be able to wear the secure green padlock badge – even when the missionary upgrades with a custom domain name.
The Legal Side
OK, so it looks like we have a way to take care of the tedious technical side of things. That’s great! But these new processes and all of these relationships between different groups still have some legal overhead to protect everyone. After all, there’s a lot that’s being given away for free or nearly free. And trust is a valuable commodity. These organizations don’t want lose their shirts if someone decides to sue them.
In order to earn our spot in this collaboration, Edify Hub now has an official Domain Registration Agreement that will apply whenever a missionary wants to add a custom domain name to their Edify Hub ministry website.
Yes, Google often changes everything.
And Edify Hub aims to keep missionary communication on top of those changes.
Leave a comment and let me know whether you pay attention to the green badge of trust when you’re using the internet. Does it make a difference to you?