Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Finding mixed / insecure website content using Scrutiny

It's been a while since some browsers have been warning that a page is insecure. I read recently that Google Chrome will start blocking HTTP resources in HTTPS pages.

If you've not yet migrated your website to https:// then you're probably thinking about doing it now.

Once the certificate is installed (which I won't go into) then you must weed out links to your http:// pages and pages that have 'mixed' or 'insecure' content, ie references to images, css, js and other files which are http://.

Scrutiny makes it easy to find these.

If you're not a Mac user or you'd simply like me to do it for you, I'm able to supply a mixed content report for a modest one-off price. It will list

  • pages with links to internal http: pages
  • pages which use resources (images, style sheets, etc) which are http
  • https:// pages which have a canonical which is http://
  • https:// urls which redirect to a http:// url


If you're interested in using Scrutiny to do this yourself, read on.

1. Find links to http pages and pages with insecure content.

First you have to give Scrutiny your https:// address as your starting url, and make sure that these two boxes are ticked in your site-specific settings,

and these two as well,

After running a scan, Scrutiny will offer to show you these issues,

You'll have to fix-and-rescan until there's nothing reported. (When you make certain fixes, that may reveal new pages to Scrutiny for testing).

2. Fix broken links and images

Once those are fixed, there may be some broken links and broken images to fix too (I was copying stuff onto a new server and trying to only copy what was needed. There are inevitably things that you miss...) Scrutiny will report these and make them easy to find.

3. Submit to Google.

Scrutiny can also generate the xml sitemap for you, listing your new pages (and images and pdf files too if you want).

Apparently Google treats the https:// version of your site as a separate 'property' in its Search Console (was Google Webmaster Tools). So you'll have to add the https:// site as a new property and upload the new sitemap.

4. Redirect

As part of the migration process, Google recommends that you then "Redirect your users and search engines to the HTTPS page or resource with server-side 301 HTTP redirects"  (full article here)





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