All About HTTPS

What is HTTPS? Why should I use it?

HTTPS is a means of securely transferring information over a network using an encrypted connection. The primary use of HTTPS on the internet is to verify the authenticity of a website and to protect the data being transferred between the client and server.

There are at least three compelling reasons that you should consider using HTTPS:

  1. It protects your privacy by ensuring that the information you send over the internet is not easy to intercept and use for nefarious purposes (e.g. identity theft).

  2. It is now factored into some market-leading search engines' organic ranking algorithms. Failing to switch to HTTPS may affect your site's ranking and thus, its traffic. 

  3. It's free! Check out Let's Encrypt to learn more and get started with HTTPS. 

Does AvantLink support HTTPS?

Yes, all of our tools are fully HTTPS compliant, aside from the two exceptions listed below. Our 2.0 Platform will be 100% HTTPS compliant.

Why aren't my PCW and PAW tools displaying?

Publishers using our Product Ad Widget (PAW) and Product Content Widget (PCW) may notice that those tools no longer load properly (or at all) after updating to HTTPS. This is a known issue that stems from hardcoded HTTP requests in some of the code libraries that these tools depend on. Originally, these tools were designed for HTTP, not HTTPS, since at the time HTTPS had a significant (negative) impact on performance. In the recent past users would get "Allow Insecure Content?" pop-ups, but still be able to load the tools. Now, however, as the web continues to migrate towards HTTPS as standard, those insecure requests throw console errors or are just silently dropped.

We are working on updating the Product Widgets as part of our Affiliate Tools 2.0; these tools are slated to be revamped and fully HTTPS compliant with the release of our 2.0 platform. In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to implement similar functionality:

  1. If you recently upgraded to HTTPS, look for any 'avantlink' links and tools on your site, and update those all to HTTPS. This will help ensure that any referrals to HTTPS merchant sites will not be dropped.
  2. To replicate the functionality of the PAW and PCW, we strongly recommend using our Product Search API, since it is very flexible and supports HTTPS. More information on that (including code samples) can be found here: http://classic.avantlink.com/api.php?help=1&module=ProductSearch
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