Domains, URLs and SSL on WordCamp.org

One of the things we would like to have for WordCamp.org is SSL everywhere. This is something that WordPress Community team members, along with many WordCamp organizers, have been talking about for years, and now we finally have the resources to actually make it happen. Unfortunately the URL structure we came up years ago doesn’t really allow us to easily enable SSL, without having to deal with wildcard certificates for every city that hosts a WordCamp, which is also not scalable as we grow.

To address that, we would like to change WordCamp website URLs structure from year.city.wordcamp.org to city.wordcamp.org/year which will allow us to use a single wildcard certificate to cover all current and any future WordCamp cities. We came up with a little roadmap for this change that we hope to start rolling out very soon:

  1. Convert one or two past WordCamps to the new URL structure
  2. Have a couple WordCamps in new cities adopt the new structure from the start
  3. With the help of community volunteers convert and test all past and scheduled WordCamps to the new URL structure
  4. Enable the wildcard SSL certificate for the whole network
  5. When we’re confident enough, disable HTTP entirely and redirect all requests to HTTPS

Converting a WordCamp site to the new structure also means redirecting all existing URLs to their new location, so things like direct links to announcements, speaker bios, schedules, video wrap-ups and everything else will continue to work, probably including hot-linked media as well.

At the final stage of this project we would also like to finally create landing sites for each city, with a list of past and scheduled events. These will live on the main city.wordcamp.org domain and they will be single-page sites. We’re working on creating the initial structure for such sites and we’ll give WordCamp organizers an opportunity to further personalize them with banners and/or logos.

We haven’t set a date for all these changes yet, but as mentioned, we’d like to push them out very soon. If you have any feedback, questions or concerns, please leave a comment. If you’re a WordCamp organizer and would like to help out with this roadmap, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We hang out in #community on Slack.

#wordcamp-org, #wordcamps