Knowledge base | Dockwa

How to setup free SSL (https) on your website to take Dockwa reservations

The Dockwa marina reservation form enables your customers to make a reservation at your marina right from your website. This reservation includes their contact information, boat information, and payment details which will be collected and charged, right through the reservation form.

Because the form takes a credit card, you must make sure that you're website meets the proper security standards (read more on PCI compliance here).  This means that traffic between your website and Dockwa to take reservations must by encrypted.

Making your website secure has many other benefits as well, including helping you in Google search results, which will drive more traffic to your website.  

This process of making your website secure is free and easy to do yourself, but you can also ask for help!  Feel free to get in touch with us to schedule a call and we'll walk you through it in person.

The process involves creating a Cloud Flare account, which will provide a proxy layer for your website, enable you to serve static assets quickly via a CNS, and protect against security threats like DDOS attacks.

**Please Note: Before going through this process, please consult your IT or website provider.

Here's what to do:

1. Create an account in Cloud Flare - Visit the Cloud Flare website here and enter your information to create an account. 

2. Add your website to Cloud Flare - On the next screen, you'll be prompted to add your website address.  When you do this, please make sure you only add your "base domain," which means that you should only enter "websitename.com" and not "www.websitename.com."  Click "Scan DNS Records" to continue to the next screen.

3. On the next screen ... you'll see a video, which you can watch as an introduction to Cloud Flare, and let the process finish of scanning your DNS records.  Once complete, click "Continue" and then have a quick look at your DNS records to make sure that you don't see anything eroneous. Simply click "Continue" on this screen to move on.

4. Choose the "Free Website" plan - Simply choose this plan and click "Continue"

5. Access your new Cloud Flare Nameservers - On the next screen in Cloud Flare, you'll be prompted to change your nameservers.  To do this you need to login to the service where you purachased your domain name.  This is typically a service like GoDaddy, Network Solutions or Namecheap.  NOTE: it is likely NOT your website hosting provider.

6. Login to your Domain Name Provider and point your nameservers to Cloud Flare - Once you login to your domain name provider, find the place where you can manage your domain names.  For instance, in GoDaddy, this is under "All Domains" and then click on the domain name in question.

7. Change your nameservers - Find the "Nameservers" menu item and click on "Edit".  Copy and paste the Cloud Flare nameservers into your settings in your domain name provider.  The Cloud Flare instructions are fairly clear on how to edit this area of your DNS settings - follow them and make sure that you save your settings.

Once you save your settings in your DNS provider, go back into Cloud Flare and click on "Continue" and then "Recheck Nameservers".  The secure nature of your website will take some time to propegate -- sometimes up to a full day.  

To check whether your website is secure, please check out your website using "https://" -- for example "https://dockwa.com" in your web browser.

Once you can confirm that your website security is live (as denoted by a green "lock" icon in your browser), as seen here:


If you've waited on this process to complete for more than a day and still don't see the green "https" lock on your page:

You may have have some website "assets" (images, css, javascript files) that are hard coded as "http" and not "https".  The easiest way to see this is to look at your website page source code.  In most browsers, you can do this by clicking on "View -> View Source", or Ctrl-U/CMD-U. You're likely going to need to actually make these links "https" and not "http".  Simply changing this should enable SSL for you