Second Site News #079

23 February 2018

In this issue:

Second Site Version 6.04 Released

This is a maintenance release with several changes and fixes. All Second Site users should update to this release.

See the Change Log for more details.

HTTPS: Secure Sites

One important change in this version has to do with creating sites that are compatible with the HTTPS protocol. When using shared libraries, prior versions of Second Site used an HTTP URL. If the page uses HTTPS URL, any HTTP script referenced by the page won't be loaded. In this version, Second Site will always use HTTPS for shared library scripts.

That change is important because the Chrome browser will soon label all pages loaded with HTTP as "insecure", and all web publishers should be moving towards an all-HTTPS web. While there is virtually no security risk from visiting a Second Site page via HTTP, some visitors may choose to leave the site if they see a security-related warning.

These are the steps involved in publishing your site using HTTPS:

  1. You must acquire and install an SSL certificate for your domain. The Let's Encrypt service provides free SSL certificates, and many web hosting services provide Let's Encrypt certificates automatically. You may also use an SSL certificate from another provider, but those certificates are usually not free.

    If you do not manage your own domain, you should determine if the domain has a certificate by accessing your site using the HTTPS protocol. For example, if your site is on "", go to If that does not work, contact whoever manages the domain and ask when they are planning to install an SSL certificate.

    Let's Encrypt certificates have been installed for all Family History Hosting customers.

  2. You must ensure that your pages do not load assets (scripts, images, css files) via the HTTP protocol, because any assets that are referenced via HTTP will be ignored. As of version 6.04, all the assets managed by Second Site will be loaded properly, so Second Site users have nothing to worry about here. The only exception is when users add HTML to their sites manually, and only when an href= or src= parameter begins with "http:".
  3. You should redirect visitors who use the HTTP protocol to an HTTPS URL. It is beyond the scope of this newsletter to describe the steps involved, but your web hosting service should be able to help you achieve it. This step must only be implemented after step #2; you do not want to redirect visitors to HTTPS pages until you are certain they are working properly.

    Family History Hosting will implement HTTP-to-HTTPS redirection for all customers on June 1st, 2018. That will give customers time to ensure they have completed step #2.

Resubscribe to Second Site News

As of February 19, 2018, the Second Site News mailing list is now managed by Google Groups. Subscriptions to the old list were not moved to the new list.

* I removed subscribers from the old list who I found on the new list, but that process was not 100% accurate because many people used a different address to join the new list. If you received two notifications about SSN #79, sorry!

I announced this issue on the new list and the old list* because many people have not subscribed to the new list yet. However, this is the last issue that will be announced via the old list. If you have not subscribed to the new list, I encourage you to do so.

You can join the list by sending an email message to the list address:

If you are logged in to a Google account when you attempt to join the list, Google Groups will use the email address associated with that Google account. If you'd prefer to use a different email address for Second Site News, you'll have to sign-out of Google and then join the list.

If you have difficulty joining the group, please contact me.

New home:

Second Site has a new home, If you visit the old site, you will be redirected to the new site. If you have bookmarks to the old site, take a moment and update them.


My software products, including Second Site and GedSite, are sold through the FHH Software Sales site. Customer profiles were not transferred from the prior store to the current store, so if you have not purchased Second Site 6 yet and you want to do so now, don't be surprised if your email address is not associated with an existing customer profile on that site. That's normal.


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For purchasing information, see the Purchases page.

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