Properly Implementing SSL for Hosted SmarterTrack

Beginning with Google Chrome version 80, Google changed how the browser handles third-party cookies. This change could impact the accessibility of a SmarterTrack site and the Live Chat and Who’s On features. This is because both features require JavaScript code to be implemented on a website, or on multiple websites, for Live Chat and Who’s On to work. It’s this code that can be impacted with Chrome’s changes, especially when utilizing SmarterTrack’s multiple Brand support across multiple different domains.

Regardless of the changes made by Chrome, using SSL for your SmarterTrack portal and site, and all your external websites, is considered a best practice. Properly implementing SSL for the SmarterTrack installation, the domains being referenced, and the scripts generated by SmarterTrack are also considered best practices.  

Problems That Can Occur Without SSL
  • If you have added SmarterTrack's live chat widget to your company website(s), the widget may not be visible to visitors accessing your site.
  • If you utilize SmarterTrack's Who's On feature to pull visitor data from your company website(s), Who's On data may not be returned properly to SmarterTrack.
As you probably know, cookies are small text files that contain information about your use of a website. These files can be used by advertisers and analytics firms to track users as they travel around the web, which can be troubling for some users. As such, the intent with this change, and future updates to Chrome and other browsers, is to protect user privacy by implementing changes to how third-party cookies are handled. Therefore, taking the steps outlined in this article will help ensure your site is accessible and working as expected, regardless of the browsers used to access your websites and SmarterTrack installations.

Steps to Take to Implement SSL Successfully
  1. Make sure you have any necessary Hostnames set up, especially when you’re using custom domain names for your SmarterTrack site(s).
  2. By default, domains offer SSL for free. You simply need to use for your links. 
  3. When you want to use a custom domain, and create host headers for those domains, SmarterTools creates a custom Let's Encrypt SSL certificate for those domains and sets up the proper bindings on the server for their use. These certificates are always valid, always updated and will automatically renew so you don't have to worry about managing your own SSL certificates.  
  4. Ensure that the Live chat and Who's On JavaScript code used for any website integration supports HTTPS.   
  5. See our help documentation to see how to force SmarterTrack traffic over HTTPS.
With these changes to how you’ve set up your websites, and your SmarterTrack installation, you’ll be following best practices, your sites and SmarterTrack will interact properly, and you’ll be covered as browser manufacturers begin implementing more and more changes to protect user privacy.