Hypertext Transmit Protocol (http and https)

A problem for jazznorthwest site.


All web site addresses for pages begin with "http://" or "https://" but itís quite often hidden and you would never know or have any reason to know. The difference is, one is for safe (secure and encrypted), pages, and thatís what the additional Ďsí means. All pages that require financial or personal information to be entered should be safe and this can also be indicated by a padlock in the top left corner of your web browser. An unsafe site may display a padlock with a red line through it. My site does not allow anyone other than me to input information whether it be a comment or highly personal data, so it didnít really matter that it was not "secure".

If you enter a web address without http or https (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk), the browser will automatically assume http:// and add it. However the host server may modify it back to https if it only allows safe (encrypted) access. Try adding http:// before the web address of your bank and if it is visible to you, you will see it changed to https://

e.g. http://santander.co.uk will become https://santander.co.uk

For some unexplained reason, some search engines such as Bing, had my site address when searching for "jazznorthwest" as -
https://jazznorthwest.co.uk.  So those people following that link were getting the safe or encrypted version. Doing the same thing on Google resulted in www.jazznorthwest.co.uk, the unsecured version, but as 99% of people would never know or notice the difference, why should it be a problem?

Well it came to light when Graham Brook sent me a message to ask me to restore the link to his site at Tuesday Jazz & Swing, one of the jazz clubs listed on the jazz club pages. Itís one of the club pages where my page acts as a window to another web site but he said his site wasn't appearing. As I had never altered it and I could access and see it without any problem on my phone or PC, I assumed the problem was at his end and offered various suggestions, but to no avail.

Later, I discovered I had the same problem as Graham when using my Amazon Fire HD tablet, and it was then I discovered the address of my page began with https:// which meant I was looking at my site in encrypted form and it was classed as "secure".  Presumably for the same reason as outlined in the first paragraph, the web site designer for Grahamís site did not apply for a certificate to allow Graham's web site to be made secure. It therefore stands to sense that if my site is secure, it isnít going to allow an insecure website to appear on it, albeit via a window.

So basically if you entered my site via http:// (e.g. a Google link), you could see Grahamís, web site via the Jazz Club page, but if you entered my site via https:// (possibly via a Bing link), you couldnít. On further investigation it also applied to some of the bands listed on the menu page. When I started this site, there were very few bands with their own web sites, but over the years that has changed. Rather than having to check them all to see if they had made any changes, it was easier to display the band's own website through my page (via a window). Some of those band sites were also not classed as secure, and so they failed to appear as well..

To get round that problem Iíve replaced all those pages with windows set to show insecure web sites, with direct links. Also any requests to my site via http, will now be converted to https, so everybody is now in the same boat, each with their own secure lifebelt.


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