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I write articles for multiple online blogs, and I host the images embedded in these articles on my personal website.

I would like to implement SSL on my website, because one of the websites hosting these articles switched to HTTPS links and the images are broken, which looks very unprofessional.

Unfortunately, a different website that also is using my images is using HTTP links still, and I am unable to switch them to using HTTPS.

I have seen websites where both the HTTP and HTTPS version of an image work, but how is this accomplished? Will the HTTP URL still work for the embedded images after the switch, or will it be broken as well unless I implement something special?

I have been unable to find any information about this at all, so I'm hoping someone here is able to help. I have not purchased the SSL certificate yet, but will be doing so through Dotster (my hosting provider) once I can guarantee nothing will break.

Thank you!

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For HTTPS Websites - once it loads an HTTP content, the green secure padlock icon will turn gray (for Chrome). The icon will likewise change in other web browser to indicate that the website is not fully secure. This is called Mixed Content. But the website should run and all images should appear normally. I personally do not recommend this. An HTTPS Website should only use HTTPS content.

For HTTP Websites - it's okay to load HTTPS content, like images. It will not break the HTTP website.

Your Image Source - Your website can serve both HTTP and HTTPS versions of your images. Simply (1) Do not force redirect your website from HTTP to HTTPS; and (2) Do not enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).

  • It's also possible to do conditional redirection: It would be a good idea to redirect the site to HTTPS, but exclude images by file extension to allow them to be used on external HTTP sites. – Esa Jokinen Jun 21 '17 at 5:36
  • Thanks so much! This was exactly the information I needed. As of today I have purchased the SSL certificate and am working on my redirects. – zylixia Jun 21 '17 at 23:42
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The short answer is yes; it's what's known as mixed content and you'll need to make sure all linked/third-party images have the same content (https) as your site or your end users will see mixed content warnings.

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You can host both HTTP and HTTPS versions of the images (along with any other content) by configuring your web server appropriately. You may either set up two web sites; both with the same server name and root directory, one served via HTTP and the other served via HTTPS; or you can set up a single web site with both HTTP and HTTPS. It all depends on the web server that you are using, and what it offers.

If your web site is hosted for you, as opposed to being hosted on one of your servers, ask your web site hosting company for advice on this as they will know what web server they use.

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