SSL at Dreamhost

I have been wanting to secure my websites with SSL/TLS since the day I signed up with Dreamhost, but gave up after realizing I would have had to pay quite a bit extra on top of hosting and domains. Back then I would have needed to buy both static IPs, and the certificates. A few years back we started getting free certificates that were recognized by most browsers, but Dreamhost was still requiring the purchase of a static IP. Next Dreamhost stopped requiring a static IP, and I actually started the process of obtaining a free certificate, but eventually gave up due to the whole process requiring more time than I had available.

When Let’s Encrypt entered the field I got quite excited. I was even prepared to do the work this time around to write the certificate renewal automation myself. But when I finally got the time to do the work, I realized that Dreamhost had actually done all the work for me, and provided really easy setup through their management panel.

The hardest part turned out to be to find and fix all the non-https links. Dreamhost has good wiki pages about secure hosting in general, how Let’s Encrypt works at Dreamhost, how to force SSL everywhere, and how to configure WordPress for SSL. The instructions worked for the most part. Even after going through all the steps for WordPress I found non-https links when viewing the blog, and had to look for them in the templates and so on.

Next I went through my external links and converted many to https links. Of all the domains that I link to and can support SSL, Amazon seems to be the only one that redirects from https to plain http in some cases, or provides mixed environment if you follow an https link. The astore that used to work in an iframe no longer worked like that, and had to become a regular link. Hopefully Amazon fixes their end sooner rather than later.

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