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It Takes a Big Person To Admit When They Made a Mistake

Yesterday was the start of one of my biggest mistakes in a long time. The SSL certificate for my company LandlordMax Property Management Software expired yesterday, without my noticing ahead of time. Apparently I was suppose to receive a notification email beforehand, which I assume I received but was missed somehow. In any case, the SSL certificate did expire last night.

Now this might not seem so bad at first glance, it’s just a matter of getting another certificate. Yes it’s still completely safe to purchase LandlordMax from our purchase page, nothing has changed in that respect. What’s happened though is that now we’re not a “trusted” site. We still have the old certificate running (if you look at it, it’s still active, it’s just that it’s expired), all the transactions are still completely encrypted, and so on.

And this is bad news, especially since Internet Explorer 7 has been released. On the older IE 6, and with FireFox, you simply just get a popup message saying the certificate has expired and would you like to continue. Nothing too crazy. But with the latest IE 7, it’s a whole other story. You now get a very negative and scary message rather than a simple popup. Not only that, but the only way to proceed to the purchase page is to click on the option with the red marker that also adds “not recommened” beside it. This is very bad for business, even though we’re still very much just as secure as before!

SSL warning page

So as you can imagine, I quickly pushed the order through last night for a new SSL certificate, but it takes 24 hours to process. Then after that it can take another 24 hours for the certificate to be installed. That means that for up to 2 days our site will be displaying this message to all IE 7 users! This is very bad for business, which will significantly slow down sales. I’ve already noticed a difference today.

So for all of you who are seeing this message on our purchase right now, I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, it’s entirely our fault, I will admit it. We’re working as fast as we can to get this resolved. In the meantime, please rest assured that all your purchases are as safe as they’ve always been, it’s just that we’re waiting to be put back on the “trusted” list to get rid of this nasty message.

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  •     Ian
    · January 8th, 2007  · 2:42 pm  · Permalink

    Perhaps you should add some browser checking to the page and show a ‘store down’ type message to IE 7 users until you’re back live. You could also collest their emails so you could email them when the store is back up.

  •     Steph
    · January 8th, 2007  · 3:00 pm  · Permalink

    Hi Ian,

    We were looking at doing that, but after talking to our host they suggested it would be less than 24 hours… Unfortunately it just came through earlier today.

    The other side is that we get many people coming to our purchase page from outside, which means that those people would still get the link. Yes, it would significantly minimized the people seeing this message, but we went with the decision to hold back because we thought it would be less than 24 hours based on the last discussion we had with our host.

    I have to admit this was the wrong decision on my part, I shouldn’t have put a dependency on anyone but us. You are correct in that what you said would have been the better alternative.

  •     Ian
    · January 8th, 2007  · 3:14 pm  · Permalink

    Well at least it was only a day or so and not a longer term situation.

  •     Steph
    · January 8th, 2007  · 4:16 pm  · Permalink

    Exactly. That and it was only a message, the technology and security were still fully there.

    If had been any longer we would definitely have acted much more aggressively.

  •     FollowSteph.com » LandlordMax SSL Certificate is Fully Operational Again
    · January 8th, 2007  · 9:02 pm  · Permalink

    […] I just wanted to take a minute to let everyone know that our (LandlordMax) SSL certificate is now back up and we’re again a “trusted” website. I again apologize for this inconvenient, and you should no longer see any types of warning messages from any web browser. […]

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