HTTPS protocol can be challenging for forums with an important number of members and messages. Running old forums scripts in HTTPS is often complex because the display of the "Secure" label depend on some conditions. We have to think about advantages and drawkback before secure a forum. To success in the migration of your forum in HTTPS, Forumotion suggest you a guide:
Every forums hosted on Forumotion are secured. Run into HTTPS isn't an obligation. Particularly because SSL certificates don't avoid hacking, pshishing... So, you can choose to create or keep your forum on HTTP, it will run perfectly. But Google Search Engine aim to promote secure website with SSL certificate and drive this protocol as a norm, so migrate from HTTP to HTTPS is an option to take in consideration.
Before creating a free forum and migrate to HTTPS, see the reasons and advantage about this strengthened protection for forums..
An SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is an encryption technology that permits to crypt flux between your browser and Forumotion servers.
To run, an SSL certificate must be installed on hosts servers in order to secure domains and subdomains. By enabling the SSL certificate on your forum, Forumotion allows you to use the secure HTTPS protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). Then, you can browse the different pages in a more secure way.
The difference between HTTP and HTTPS protocols is the data encryption. But be aware, an SSl certificate does not guarantee total security for your members, simply that the data displayed in your browser are those sent by the servers.
Discussion forums require users to register by entering a username and password. On HTTP websites, blogs and forums, gathering these sensitive data may be considerate as potentially non secure by recent browsers. Users can have security warning on pages in HTTP that display a sign-in form:
Anyway, these sensitive data are correctly protected on all Forumotion forums, in HTTP as in HTTPS.Forumotion ensure the security of it's free forums for more than 12 years now. It is not required to have a securely forum by SSL certificate.
Activating the SSL certificate allow only to displays the forum in HTTPS. By securing your Forumotion forum, you offer to your community a more secure space to exchange and discuss. As in RPG forums.
But the real advantage of securing its forum with an SSL certificate is the highlighting of the HTTPS protocol by browsers and search engines.
A secure forum has a secure label in browsers that is seen as a trusted brand by its users. Indeed, a green padlock or a "Secure" label are present in the HTTPS websites and forums address bar. With the generalization of SSL protocol, Internet users are used to navigate on secure sites and are increasingly sensitive to these visual alerts.
To summarize, forum owners are encouraged to secure their site and forum in HTTPS to allow their members to feel safe. Nothing is mandatory but displaying these security warnings can scare some users. One solution is to explain to your community that browsing your HTTP forum is safe. Exactly the same way as before displaying these security alerts.
There are many advantages to create a secure forum with HTTPS. Here is a list of the main positive points that may motivate you to go in a secure forum:
For any existing forums, migration in HTTPS may be complicated by several requirements: forum script age, number of members and messages, way of hosting pictures, scripts, CSS sheets,...
On Forumotion, you can create a free forum and switch it to HTTPS at any time. The feature is available for all Forumotion forums (including forums with a custom domain name). Moreover, new options are available to facilitate the creation of a Forum in HTTPS: choice of the protocol, call popular forum resources in HTTPS and force compatibility of the forum with HTTPS protocol.
It is better toactivate the SSL certificate directly after the forum is created. Indeed, no manual intervention will be necessary because Forumotion is 100% compatible with the HTTPS protocol. The basic resources of your forum are called in HTTPS, which allows obtaining the "Secured" label on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Here are the steps to create a secure forum with SSL certificate:
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