In the last week, a rash of expired certificates has struck the Thesis-using/Thesis-promoting community. Find out why, how to fix it, and how to continue promoting Thesis without these error messages.
I noticed the first one 5 days ago. As I was visiting a friend’s site, this error message jumped out at me:
Because it’s not the best screen grab, I transcribed it. It reads:
diythemes.com:443 uses an invalid security certificate
The certificate expired on 1/15/2010 3:55 PM.
(Error code: sec_error_expired_certificate)
This could be a problem with the server’s configuration or it could be someone trying to impersonate the server.
If you you have connected to this server successfully in the past the error may be temporary and you can try again later.
I was surprised, but I recognized DIY Themes as being the Thesis theme site he was running and knew it was safe to keep browsing his site. Further investigation and discussions brought to light the fact that he was running the DIY Themes Thesis affiliate program.
Brian Clark had recently announced on Copyblogger that the Thesis affiliate program was moving to ShareASale. DIY Themes promised that the old links would still work for another 60 days, after which you had to be on the new affiliate program. Yet somehow, the people running DIY Themes had let their security certificate expire and it was throwing errors on every site using DIY Themes affiliate code!
How to Fix the DIY Themes Expired Certificate Error
Step 1. Take down all Thesis ads on your site. Text links (unless you’re using redirects you’ve created), banner ads, everything. Check individual posts too.
Why take it all down first? Because this error is the kind of thing that scares away readers. And it’s not good advertising for the product when your readers are getting warnings about it.
Step 2. Go to ShareASale and sign up. Then sign up for the Thesis affiliate program.
Step 3. Replace the banners and links using the code from ShareASale. If you’re feeling nervous, consider uploading all banner ads to your site and linking to them on your site. You can use a plugin like GoCodes to create a simple redirect for links. Of course, the ShareASale code isn’t throwing errors, but these tools give you more control over the ads on your site.
I’m very surprised that as of the time I’m writing this, January 25th, the certificate has been expired for 10 days and has been throwing these errors for at least 5 (when I first noticed) and the DIY Themes crew hasn’t renewed it yet. I hope it’ll be fixed soon, but since the program is ending you might as well sign up with the new place.
Edited to add: Brian Clark noted below that the problem had been addressed over the weekend. I still saw it on at least one site this morning, but perhaps the change is taking effect. If you’re seeing it on your site still, consider contacting DIY themes…or just follow the instructions, since you’ll need to do that anyway.