Last week’s post highlighted some of the technical changes facing web designers, bloggers, and those who run web-based businesses. My first look into the changes overwhelmed me, and initial estimates to include encryption for the NicholsNotes family of sites seemed out of reach. Ouch! Was this the end? Would I be making another career change to frying frozen cow parts at the fast food restaurant of my choice?
Those are the moments when I give thanks I married a “glass half-full” kind of girl. Shawn’s optimistic council was to continue the march, investigate the options, and see what solution we might find before I panicked and shredded files. And of course she prayed. She does that a lot. I took a long walk and did some praying myself.
With unlimited cash anyone could buy a solution to a great number of problems, but most of us need realistic plans that match our real world budgets.
Does God, with all He has to do in running the universe, really care about my needs? Can He hear my prayers? Will He move obstacles? According to His Word the answers are, “Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Since my teens I have loved these two encouragers from Paul’s writing. And since my teens I have needed often reminders of the words.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NASB
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NASB
As I prayed I researched options and compiled lists. I crossed off items and started new lists. My desk filled with scraps of paper, and each time I seemed to have a plan the parameters disappeared into the vapor of disappointment. Through the process I realized that the primary issue was that my hosting company could not support the encryption I needed for three sites without a large cash outlay. With the differing answers I received from multiple consultations with their technical people and in reading their how-to documents I had little confidence their solution would work.
It turns out that Google is a big player in an initiative called Let’sEncrypt and as the Google search algorithm begins in July to penalize non-encrypted sites, Google is also providing a no cost encryption solution to those who make the effort to implement it. I learned that many web hosting companies already provide this free encryption automatically to sites they host…just not my hosting company.
NicholsNotes is now coming to you live from a fresh install at a new hosting service, A2 Hosting. The technical staff at A2 Hosting did much of the heavy lifting by transferring the website files for me. (Plug – If you’re in the market for a hosting service these folks are worth a look.)
In one week I’ve learned about domain names and how long it takes for a website relocation to trickle through all the servers scattered across the globe. I’ve corrupted SQL databases and learned to pronounce the name as squeal! I did much of that. I tunneled into PHP, the code behind the sites, deeper than I wanted to drill and changed files like I knew what I was doing.
The syntax of PHP reminds me of comic pages from the newspapers. When the author of a comic strip needs a character to burst forth with inappropriate language he uses symbols to make the point. If one can read those symbols one can probably get a handle on PHP.
I tossed virtual junk as one would do with material junk in preparation for a physical move from one home to another. And I held my breath that nothing valuable was jettisoned.
In the end the victory was sweet. The sites are functional and encrypted. Note the green padlocks.
The amazing part, and I am giving God the credit for doing a God-thing in direct answer to heart-felt prayers, is the refund from my previous hosting vendor covered three years of encrypted service with A2 Hosting and I had $64.73 left over. The technical challenges were solved with a positive cash flow! Now that’s reason to let fly with a good old Bapticostal, “Hallelujah!”
The relocation is complete. The people can rejoice.
And peace has returned to my study.
John W Nichols