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llane2
Community Participant

Using Lunarpages? Shared SSL is gone.

Just letting folks know that if you have webpages and images on Lunarpages shared servers, and have been using their shared SSL URLs to get Canvas to embed materials (asJames Jones  explains so well here) that won't happen anymore. I discovered this the hard way, when all my images and embedded pages disappeared yesterday. They suddenly want me to pay $109/year for a dedicated SSL. I have spent most of yesterday and today changing URLs in Canvas and figuring out how, when, and where to move 19 years of web files.

As far as I know, Bluehost, Reclaim, and other hosts still offer free shared SSL, but just to let folks know that suddenly, with no warning or notification, Lunarpages doesn't anymore. 

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8 Replies
stuart_ryan
Community Coach
Community Coach

That is a great heads up thank you lisahistory, never good when a provider changes things like that, but nice work for sharing it out with the community!

Cheers,
Stuart

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Hi  @llane2 , I noticed that Tim Owens published a blog post just yesterday about how they are deploying SSL across-the-board at Reclaim Hosting; he's also such a great guy about helping people in general — he might have some ideas about how you could deploy some system like this yourself at Lunarpages. I don't know if that is possible or not, but Reclaim has been doing this SSL as soon as it became feasible; at first it was directory by directory, and they have ramped it on up, and TIm is very aware of its importance to educators.

Here's the blog post with lots of details about their strategy for SSL as it has evolved:

SSL Everywhere (Again) 

You might know him already at Twitter:

Tim Owens (@timmmmyboy) | Twitter 

Reclaim runs our Domains project at OU; we as faculty pay $12/year for a domain of our own and hosting; the regular fee at Reclaim is $50/year; SSL is part of the package. They provide incredible support and if you did want to migrate, they will do that knowing how crucial those materials are for your work.

I do all my image hosting and Canvas widget development in the domain I have with Reclaim; as soon as they announced the HTTPS I knew that was what I needed. I still have my old mythfolklore.net at another provider, and like yours, that other provider still does not have automatic SSL like Reclaim does. I have kept it, though, because I was thinking it might be important for me to have a provider totally separate from my employment position in every way (yes, it sometimes helps to be a little paranoid).

P.S. And not only is https good for displaying content in Canvas, it is the key to being able to share content with others too; that's how I am able to run the Canvas Widget Warehouse. All the scripts and all the media are https, thanks to Reclaim Hosting:

Homepage: Laura's Widget Warehouse 

screenshot of widget warehouse

llane2
Community Participant

Hi laurakgibbs Yes, I know Tim and the guys at Reclaim, and that will be where I go as soon as I make the time to clean out my files - the move will be very

time-consuming, with multiple blogs and databases and files. I hope to migrate in May.

SSL is indeed necessary for anything cool, and certification must be provided by the host, and as I noted, Bluehost and Reclaim provide it free. Lunarpages' sudden lack of support for this is shocking.

Lisa

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

The https/mixed-content thing was killing me at D2L (D2L started enforcing it really strictly very early on): I couldn't even use my blog for announcements anymore, but Blogger then offered https (they did that way before WordPress.com did, but WordPress now does also) so I only had to go one semester without my blog inside D2L... but all my widgets were hosed because I was hosting them myself. Being able to get the Let's Encrypt SSL without having to buy my own certificate was so great. At first with Reclaim, you had to do it directory by directory, but now it is even easier. 

It is very disappointing that your school is not able to give you some support here. I know schools don't want to be in the business of web hosting (and they should probably not be!), but I really do think every school needs to be encouraging their faculty to work with real digital content, and inside-the-LMS is not the way to do that. We all need Reclaim!

llane2
Community Participant

Oh, no blame goes to my college! When I emailed in distress, our wonderful folks immediately replied that we have SSL in all our home folders. We're just talking too many dependent files to move, 19 years of housecleaning needed, added to the same desire to keep my files off-site. 

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Aha, got it! It is the media files that are the big thing for me too... and what makes it such a pain to move since of course I have been using image-files-by-URL (my own URLs) since the dawn of time...

llane2
Community Participant

UPDATE: After numerous communications with Lunarpages, they've provided SSL using a different URL. What now works is the old-fashioned method: adding an "s" to the "http" of the standard URL. While bizarre that they did not tell me this until several days into the conversation (which began with them telling me SSL is gone and I'd have to pay), it seems to work, although they indicate it somehow isn't "true" SSL since I haven't changed the .htaccess files to ensure that. I am not sure whether it was coincidental that my account was moved to one of the servers providing SSL when they updated, or whether they did that due to my complaint. At any rate, it now works for me, so if you have Lunarpages you could try the "s" and see if it works, or ask them for if free SSL is available for your server, and hope you get a good reply.

That said, since Luanrpages didn't  inform users in advance, and then told me about the "s" and my brand new SSL certificate after I'd spent three days updating all my URLs, I will change to Reclaim in summer. But I am grateful to Lunarpages for fixing the problem for this term.