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Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Rockstar

 

Security measures in Seller Descriptions

 

In the summer update, eBay advised sellers with media embedded in their descriptions (photos, background images, videos, stylesheets) to move that content to secure servers (from http to https).

http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2017summer/listing-policy-updates.html

 

The purpose of the move is to comply with new security measures soon to be implemented in new browsers, as explained here:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/A-Respectfully-Asked-Question/m-p/27331739#M1020020

 

Sellers with description photos and graphics hosted on free services or on their own websites may be most affected, and both eBay and third-party services will have some tools available to help sellers locate and repair listings with those issues. 

 

NOTE: The security issue does not apply to links opening other pages, but sellers will still need to make sure that all external links point to eBay pages or to approved video or freight sites:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-links.html#what

Links that do not comply with eBay's links policy are a separate issue.

 

 

Different options for tackling non-secure embedded media:

 

1) Remove it:  One option is to begin removing the embedded content from listings, but many sellers do not want to strip their pages; and embedded HTML5 videos do help sell product, so sellers would want to keep those. However, if the embedded media carries no meaning (like background images in a template), removal may be the simplest choice.

 

2) Change the protocol: If the media is hosted on an outside service and that service offers a secure option, the seller may only need to change the protocol from http to https in the description (photobucket supports this). However, simply changing from http to https does not create a secure connection if the site does not yet support it.  Instead the URL may lead to a dead end. So check with your provider.

 

3) Upgrade self-hosting site to SSL: Sellers who already delivering media from their own website could upgrade their site to SSL security by properly installing an SSL certificate, and then revising their media URLs from http to https using eBay's Bulk Edit And Replace (BEAR) tool.

 

4) Acquire a web hosting site: Sellers without a website could acquire one that is ready to roll with SSL and https and move their media content to that website. Then revise all listings (through BEAR or the Bulk Active Content Editor) to point to the new server.

 

5) Third party help: Sellers could employ a third-party listing service to temporarily or permanently rehost those graphics on a secure server as part of a service subscription.

 

6) Do Nothing: Sellers could leave the mixed content in their listings and take what comes. eBay's solution (to prevent the new browsers from blocking display of the description) will be to open the description in a separate window, the way it currently handles mobile viewing. Descriptions with secure content, on the other hand, would continue to display within the main page.

 

As these issues roll out, we'll be happy to provide find/replace guidance on this forum for updating item descriptions.

 

 


8,008 Views
Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Aug 22, 2017 7:05:05 PM
Rockstar

So I upgraded my server to SSL

 

I recently had two of my websites upgraded with the freeware LetsEncrypt SSL certificate. Fortunately, because I am clueless regarding hosting issues, my local hosting service installed the certificates on those two accounts, but, to do so, was forced to move those sites to a newer server with inherent migration issues. So, adding the encryption added only a few bumps, but I am still tracking down issues from the migration.  In the end though, it will be good to have the SSL on those sites because that is the wave of the future.

 

Set up a NEW Secure Website for eBay Hosting

 

With that in mind, I wanted to find a simpler solution for those who might have abandoned Photobucket due to costs, or who will no longer be able to use other free hosting options, or who just need a hosting site so they can bulk upload listing photos to eBay using File Exchange or one of eBay's APIs.

 

Since one of my many websites is hosted on GoDaddy, I started there, and they may have a cost-effective solution for smaller sellers who want to continue hosting their own media on a secure server (approx $100-150 annually) as outlined below. 

 

This is not a sales pitch, and is the result of a long phone conversation I had with a very helpful GoDaddy support person. I encourage you to check with other hosting companies who may have comparable or better plans, and this outline will give you a general idea of how to proceed.

 

There is one caveat I advise for any hosting plan (particularly from small providers and designers): Make sure the domain name is registered to YOU so that, should you decide to change to a new hosting service or a new domain name registrar, you will be in control of the transfer. Do not allow the hosting service to own your domain name or prevent transfer to another service.

 

I chose this bare-bones plan for basic eBay sellers:

 

  1. Hosting through GoDaddy:
    Sign up for an account prior to loading the cart so that a sales rep can help you through checkout should you have questions or issues along the way.

  2. Find a domain name that is available:
    https://www.godaddy.com/domains/domain-name-search
    They offer free domain name registration for each prepaid hosting year  (normal fee thereafter is around $15 annually). The name belongs to you and is transferrable. Add the domain name to your cart before you add hosting to your cart so that it will be included as "free" .

  3. You may be asked if you want to hide your public registration info. Private registration is entirely optional at $7.99 annually (I use it on all my domains because who needs to be flooded with spam).
    https://www.godaddy.com/domainaddon/private-registration.aspx

  4. Add cPanel hosting on a Linux server to cart:
    Select economy cPanel hosting at $59.88 per year (on sale at $41.88)
    https://www.godaddy.com/hosting/web-hosting
    Linux is the most popular platform and freeware abounds (Windows is the other option). cPanel hosting will also allow you to use FTP to bulk upload your content, which is faster than the one-file-at-a-time option in the control panel. There is no "site builder" in this plan because you don't need a webpage for media hosting. If you want to create some sort of web presence, check with support for options, but don't give up FTP if you plan to upload a lot of photos regularly.

  5. Add a basic SSL certificate to cart for $69.99 per year (on sale at $55.99).
    https://www.godaddy.com/web-security/ssl-certificate

  6. Proceed to checkout

 

GoDaddy telephone support can walk you through both the purchase and the setup if you need help.

 

When your hosting is launched, you will install your SSL certificate on your site by clicking the security option in the cPanel (your site management page), apply the domain name, and click the button.  Then the entire site will be SSL secured and visitors can access through http or https, as http will automatically redirect to https.


On your server, you can create folders and upload photos one at a time using the cPanel user interface, but it is a whole lot easier to bulk upload over FTP using FileZilla --dropping those images into a "photos" folder that you create in the "public_html" folder on your server.

You do not need a web page or landing page to use your webspace, but if you want, you can upload your eBay template as your landing page or you can upload a simple redirect that will point visitors back to your eBay store or eBay listings.  One seller I know has made a simple page with eBay store banner followed by an eBay widget that they made on the eBay Partner Network that displays their active eBay listings in a clickable gallery.

You can have several eBay seller IDs and host all those photos, stylesheets, and videos on the same website.
     
When you are ready to add eCommerce or a simple website page, your designer can either work with the site you have or you can upgrade through GoDaddy to add more features or to change platforms. You will not be locked into anything that won't work, as there is always an upgrade path.


7,996 Views
Message 2 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Aug 24, 2017 2:54:43 PM
Community Team
Community Team

@shipscript wrote:

 

Security measures in Seller Descriptions

 

In the summer update, eBay advised sellers with media embedded in their descriptions (photos, background images, videos, stylesheets) to move that content to secure servers (from http to https).

http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2017summer/listing-policy-updates.html

 

The purpose of the move is to comply with new security measures soon to be implemented in new browsers, as explained here:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/A-Respectfully-Asked-Question/m-p/27331739#M1020020

 

Sellers with description photos and graphics hosted on free services or on their own websites may be most affected, and both eBay and third-party services will have some tools available to help sellers locate and repair listings with those issues. 

 

NOTE: The security issue does not apply to links opening other pages, but sellers will still need to make sure that all external links point to eBay pages or to approved video or freight sites:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-links.html#what

Links that do not comply with eBay's links policy are a separate issue.

 

 

Different options for tackling non-secure embedded media:

 

1) Remove it:  One option is to begin removing the embedded content from listings, but many sellers do not want to strip their pages; and embedded HTML5 videos do help sell product, so sellers would want to keep those. However, if the embedded media carries no meaning (like background images in a template), removal may be the simplest choice.

 

2) Change the protocol: If the media is hosted on an outside service and that service offers a secure option, the seller may only need to change the protocol from http to https in the description (photobucket supports this). However, simply changing from http to https does not create a secure connection if the site does not yet support it.  Instead the URL may lead to a dead end. So check with your provider.

 

3) Upgrade self-hosting site to SSL: Sellers who already delivering media from their own website could upgrade their site to SSL security by properly installing an SSL certificate, and then revising their media URLs from http to https using eBay's Bulk Edit And Replace (BEAR) tool.

 

4) Acquire a web hosting site: Sellers without a website could acquire one that is ready to roll with SSL and https and move their media content to that website. Then revise all listings (through BEAR or the Bulk Active Content Editor) to point to the new server.

 

5) Third party help: Sellers could employ a third-party listing service to temporarily or permanently rehost those graphics on a secure server as part of a service subscription.

 

6) Do Nothing: Sellers could leave the mixed content in their listings and take what comes. eBay's solution (to prevent the new browsers from blocking display of the description) will be to open the description in a separate window, the way it currently handles mobile viewing. Descriptions with secure content, on the other hand, would continue to display within the main page.

 

As these issues roll out, we'll be happy to provide find/replace guidance on this forum for updating item descriptions. 


Hey @shipscript, thank you so much for sharing all these recommendations! I've pinned the post to the top of the board so the resources and advice you have shared don't get lost in the shuffle. We appreciate all the great work you do heart eyes

If any members response helped, please give it a Helpful. If you are the author of a thread and one member's response resolved your question, please click 'Accept as Solution.' More on Accepted Solutions.

7,950 Views
Message 3 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Aug 29, 2017 8:47:52 AM
Rockstar

Several members have asked if the URL in eBay's mobile summary tags should be revised to https, and the answer is that you do not have to edit this one. It is fine as is.

 

http://pages.ebay.com/sell/itemdescription/customizeyoursummary.html

<div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="Product">
<span property="description">
...selected description summary...
</span></div> 

 

 


7,897 Views
Message 4 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 1, 2017 7:00:32 PM
markerman1971
Thrill-Seeker

Yo @shipscript you helped me out a month ago and I am forever grateful.  I don't know why but a few years back I decided it would be a good idea to have an image server.  I just looked it up and my image server host charges $25 a year for a SSL.  What's the over under on how much this will negatively effect my sales?  Lot of script changes this year.  It's been a pain.

7,812 Views
Message 5 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 1, 2017 7:23:41 PM
Rockstar

@markerman1971

 

$25 is a very reasonable price for SSL, and I suspect prices will continue to fall.

 

The penalty for leaving your photos as-is instead of adding SSL to your server is that the discription will be one-click-away, just as on a mobile device.  I really don't know what the impact on sales will be as it is not clear whether buyers will know to click. Additionally, if your description is one-click-away, you'll want to make sure you have added a "mobile summary" to each listing to display on the main page, or else eBay will pick some random text to display in the summary.

 

Yes, there are lots of changes this year and sellers should be just about worn out. I hope we are nearing the end of the major changes.

 


7,804 Views
Message 6 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 1, 2017 8:38:19 PM
markerman1971
Thrill-Seeker

Hi @shipscript I have so many questions I don't know where to start.

 

1) what do you mean "mobile summary"

2) is there any point at having a image host? I feel like I made a foolish decision by getting one a couple years ago.

3) at this point, with over 1600 listings - is there any way for me to move the images to Ebay's server and get rid of my image server so I can save some $

4) if not, can I batch edit all my listings and change it to https after I get the ssl certificate from my image host.

5) another bad decision of mine was trying to jazz up my listings a few years back by using garage sale for Mac. I've had to edit every darn listing I made with it in the past year. It's a great tool, and I'm a believer in having all templates backed up - but it has been a pain in the rump this year.

 

I don't know why eBay only gave us a 30 day heads up on this. Just another thing to keep me from sourcing, listing, and packing.

 

Thank you kindly for all your wonderful help. you are a godsend and a true asset to the ebay community.

7,790 Views
Message 7 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 1, 2017 9:38:13 PM
Rockstar

@markerman1971

 

1.   Mobile summary: 
http://pages.ebay.com/sell/itemdescription/customizeyoursummary.html

 

2.  If you want to host your own template graphics, videos, or images down in the description, then a web host would be useful. If you have no need for those resources, then the web host is not needed.

 

3.  If you abandon template graphics and host your product images on eBay, it would be possible to capture the URL for those eBay-hosted images during the listing process. The URLs within the listing form are displayed as thumbnails, but each eBay image has it's own master image name with a slightly different numerical suffix at the end to indicate size, making it easy to construct the URL for just the right size. I can explain that later.

 

4.  You can easily batch edit your listings to change the http to https for images hosted on your server.  You can use eBay's BEAR tool or the Bulk Active Content Editor.

 

5.  No one, not even eBay, can predict some of the changes that come at us.  In many cases, "simple" third party templates can be mitigated with an added stylesheet.

 

eBay has been mentioning these coming changes for about a year, so the astute seller, designer, or programmer would have had plenty of time to prepare. But, without the full picture (because even eBay sometimes doesn't have a clear gameplan for coping with the industry changes) it is easy to do nothing for lack of concrete guidance.

 

 


7,780 Views
Message 8 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 9, 2017 11:00:35 AM
markerman1971
Thrill-Seeker

Yo @shipscript - hope you are having a great weekend.  We're in the process of selling our home and buying another one - so it's been kind of crazy.

 

Ok - so I got my SSL cert from my image host - it turned out to be $40 for the year.

 

Now I assum I have to use the BEAR feature to search and replace http:/ with https:/ ?

7,606 Views
Message 9 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 9, 2017 1:59:11 PM
Rockstar

@markerman1971

 

First, make sure that images hosted on your server can be reached using the https protocol. Once you verify that, you can use BEAR to change the protocol on all of your images from http to https.

 

If you have other externally hosted images, make sure they also support the change in protocol. I see that your Garage Sale listings pull eBay photos into the description, and those will safely support the change to https.

 

However, Garage Sale is also including a disallowed external credit link back to their site. You'll need to remove those entirely. So I recommend that you first remove the Garage Sale links and then deal with the https protocol.

 

You can make all the changes within BEAR or within the Bulk Active Content Editor.

 

To use BEAR:

First find

href="http://www.iwascoding.com/GarageSale/" 

and replace with nothing.

You'll need to run at least nine 200-item batches in order to cover all 1627 items

 

When that job is done, then find

http://

and replace with

https://

You'll need to run at least nine 200-item batches in order to cover all 1627 items

 

To use the Bulk Active Content Editor with File Exchange:

On the scan settings tab, populate the first two custom find/replace fields as follows:

1) Starts with

href="http://www.iwascoding.com/GarageSale/" 

Ends with

leave empty

Replacement

leave empty

 

2) Starts with

http://

Ends with

leave empty

Replacement

https://

And I would also recommend that you checkmark the "File Exchange" custom option box so that the File Exchange logo is hidden.

After you run the scan, you would transfer the results file to File Exchange to bulk repair your listings in one pass.

 


7,601 Views
Message 10 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 9, 2017 2:21:55 PM
markerman1971
Thrill-Seeker

@shipscript you are the best.  Still ironing out the details with the SSL Certificate but moving forward.  Thanks again so much for your help!

7,588 Views
Message 11 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Sep 16, 2017 7:24:19 AM
markerman1971
Thrill-Seeker

@shipscript all done. Thanks again, you are a life saver!

7,353 Views
Message 12 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Oct 20, 2017 8:25:22 AM
sadiedog5
Rising Star

I am not a computer tech - I am told I have nonsecure HTTP content, whatever that means.  I would fix it if I knew how.  I'd like an answer in "english", not computer jibberish.

6,048 Views
Message 13 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Oct 20, 2017 9:57:03 AM
Rockstar

@sadiedog5

 

The Square Trade seal that appears twice at the bottom of your listings links to a non-ebay page. Additionally, they have some sort of hidden icon that is not delivered from a secure connection.  To fix the problem, you will need to remove the entire thing.

 

When you revise your listings, place your cursor immediately next to the last character in your description and highlight everything to the end so that both Square Trades are selected and so that the tiny hidden text below it is also selected. Then delete that code.

 


6,034 Views
Message 14 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Oct 21, 2017 10:26:15 AM
akibashipping
Adventurer

@shipscript

Hi,

I saw your post in August,
I understood about eBay's mobile summary tags. Thank you.
However, I saw the following site now, the description of ebay has been changed.

http://pages.ebay.com/sell/itemdescription/customizeyoursummary.html
Do you know anything detailed?

5,952 Views
Message 15 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Oct 21, 2017 12:31:12 PM
Rockstar

@akibashipping

 

eBay changed the URL in the mobile summary to point to https: instead of http: but I doubt that it is required.

 

<div vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="Product">
<span property="description">
...content...
</span>
</div>

When I performed security tests last August, the browsers did not raise a security alert with http in that vocab position because it is merely a reference to a standard and is not actually used within the description. I think eBay has changed the URL to avoid a flood of questions, not because it was required.  If anyone else has seen a security alert on that attribute, I am all ears, but so far, I've seen none. Here is a test using the older http instead of the newer https in that attribute.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/222687460629

 


5,944 Views
Message 16 of 17

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

Re: Move description graphics to a secure server (https)

in reply to Nov 14, 2017 4:14:20 PM
rpalma
Adventurer

I did something similar with ixwebhosting.

They are cheaper. Their base hosting package is currently on sale for $70 for 3 years.
First year domain registration is free.
Shared ssl is free.

When I used them in the past for something else, the technical support would basically do things for you if to you could describe what you are trying to do.

Because I have done some things like this before, I was able to upload a sample picture onto secure space in my new domain in about half an hour.

If you had an existing directory structure for your image hosting, you can duplicate it and only change the domain part of the link which will simplify the updates to existing listings.
3,665 Views
Message 17 of 17