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      How to Fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR (7 Ways)


      Making sure your website data is transmitted through a secure connection is important for various reasons. However, you may sometimes run into an issue indicating a problem with the connection, such as the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

      While this message can be frustrating and concerning, it’s relatively common, particularly in Google Chrome. There are a handful of different causes, but you can use straightforward methods to fix them.

      In this post, we’ll explain what the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL error means and some common causes. Then we’ll walk you through some potential solutions you can take to resolve it. Let’s jump in!

      What the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR Means

      The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol is a website security measure that protects data from being intercepted and read by someone other than the intended recipient. Many sites use this protocol to protect their users’ personal information.

      The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is a problem with the encryption protocol that prevents data from being transmitted securely. The message can display when you’re trying to visit a website using the HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). It combines the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with the SSL/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

      While this error can occur in most major web browsers, it’s often seen in Chrome:

      The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Google Chrome

      This common issue can happen when a user is trying to visit your website. It can also occur when the user attempts to enter data on a site.

      Common Causes of the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

      There are a handful of reasons you might be seeing this error message. It is often caused by an expired or missing SSL certificate. It might also come from a mismatch in the server’s and client’s encryption protocols.

      This error can also happen if the website’s certificate has been revoked. Perhaps it was compromised, the owner no longer wants to use it, or they have simply not renewed their certificate yet.

      Other potential causes include incorrect system clock settings, firewall and antivirus settings, and misconfigured protocol settings and versions. You may not be able to identify the precise reason behind the issue until you start trying to resolve it.

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      How to Fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR (7 Potential Solutions)

      Now that we understand more about this error and its potential causes, let’s discuss how you can resolve it. Here are seven solutions you can use to fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR!

      1. Clear Your Browser Cache and SSL State

      The first solution you can try is to clear your browser cache. A cache is a saved copy of data from a site. It typically includes all the website’s content, including images, HTML files, and videos.

      When you request the same website or page for a second time, the computer can save time by retrieving it from the local cache instead of requesting it again from the server. The local cache can be accessed and controlled from your browser.

      To clear your cache in Google Chrome, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of your browser window. Then select More tools > Clear browsing data:

      Clearing browser cache in Google Chrome

      Tick the necessary boxes and click on Clear data. Now refresh and reload your browser and try accessing the site again.

      If this doesn’t work, you can also try clearing your SSL state. The SSL state is a way for Chrome to determine if a website uses HTTPS. The SSL state will turn green if the website is using an HTTPS connection and a red X if it’s not.

      To clear the state, just navigate to your start menu and then go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. Next, select Internet Options to open the Internet Properties panel.

      Under Content, click on the Clear SSL State button:

      The option to clear SSL slate in Windows

      When you’re done, you should see a success message letting you know the SSL cache was successfully cleared. You can then restart Chrome to see if the error message is still there.

      2. Check Your System Clock

      Incorrect date or timezone settings can sometimes interfere with the website you’re trying to visit and result in the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Therefore, your next step is verifying that your system is using the correct date and time.

      You can do this by clicking on the time in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. This will open your date and time settings:

      Date and time settings in Chrome

      Verify the current timezone, time, and date are correct. It’s also essential to ensure you’re not using the 24-hour clock or military time format. Then you can try reloading the page to see if this has fixed the issue.

      3. Disable Third-Party Browser Extensions And Antivirus Software

      Using browser extensions can be an excellent way to extend your browser’s features. However, sometimes these extensions can cause problems with protocol settings.

      To identify any potential extensions that could be throwing errors, visit your extensions page by navigating to your Chrome menu and clicking on More tools > Extensions:

      The Chrome Extensions page

      Disable all of your extensions. Then revisit the website showing the error message. If it’s gone, you can assume that an extension is to blame.

      The next step is to activate each extension and reload the site between activations. Once you’ve identified the culprit, you can look for an alternative. It’s also a good idea to temporarily disable any antivirus software or firewalls you have installed.

      4. Check Your SSL Certificate

      If you’re still seeing the error message, the next solution is to check your SSL certificate. As we mentioned, it’s possible that a revoked, missing, or expired certificate can cause the error message. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the one you’re using is valid.

      You can use an online SSL checker to verify the validity of your certificate. A popular option is Qualys SSL Labs:

      The Qualys SSL server test tool

      You can enter your domain name and then click on Submit. When it’s done scanning, you’ll see a report with detailed information about your SSL certificate, including its associated domain, port, protocol, and hostname.

      5. Disable the QUIC Protocol

      QUIC is a new internet protocol initially developed by Google for its Chrome browser. It is an alternative to the HTTP protocol and aims to improve performance.

      QUIC is enabled by default in the latest versions of Chrome, but you can disable it from the settings panel. Disabling QUIC will cause the browser to use HTTP instead, which can be helpful for people who are experiencing connection issues.

      To disable QUIC in Chrome, go to chrome://flags/#enable-quic:

      The QUIC Protocol settings in Chrome

      Next to Experimental QUIC Protocol, click on the dropdown menu and select Disabled. At the bottom of the page, click on the Restart button. Now head back to the website you’re trying to load and see if the protocol error is still displaying.

      6. Enable All SSL/TLS Versions

      Another method you can try is activating all SSL/TLS versions. This will cause sites with outdated or insecure protocols to load. While this method isn’t typically recommended, it can help you identify the source of the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

      To enable all SSL/TLS versions, navigate to Advanced Settings in Chrome, then click on System. Next, select Open proxy settings and go to the Advanced tab:

      The SSL/TLS security settings in Windows

      Click on the boxes of all the TLS/SSL versions. When you’re done, reload your browser and see if you can access the website.

      7. Change Your Internet Security and Privacy Level

      If your internet security and privacy levels are too high, they can restrict your access to certain websites. You can adjust your setting levels to see if they’re causing the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

      To do this, type “Internet Options” into the search bar of your device, then hit your Enter key. In the Internet Properties window that opens, select the Security tab, then use the slider to set it to the medium level:

      The security level in Windows

      When you’re done, click on the OK button. Reload your browser, then try revisiting the website.

      Summary

      Encountering error messages when you’re trying to access a website can be incredibly frustrating. One of the most common ones you may see while using Chrome is ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Fortunately, you can use a handful of solutions to fix it.

      As we discussed in this post, this error can be caused by several different things. The most likely culprits are incorrect cache settings, old or expired certificates, and incorrect protocol or system settings. By clearing your cache, checking your SSL certificate, and updating your protocol and privacy setting, you should be able to resolve this issue in no time.

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      3 Easy Ways to Optimize Images for Web


      Visual content can help make your site more engaging and enhance the user experience. However, poorly optimized images can wreak havoc on your website’s performance and even harm your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings.

      Optimizing images for web can help you improve your page load times and cut down on file bloat. This task may sound a little tedious, but with the right tools, you can simplify the process and boost your site’s performance in no time.

      In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of image optimization and its impact on your website. Then, we’ll suggest three easy methods for optimizing photos. Let’s dive in!

      The Importance of Image Optimization

      Image optimization is the process of reducing image file sizes to minimize load times. It typically involves compressing images while preserving their quality.

      Search engines take several factors into consideration when ranking the quality of a website. This includes a site’s Core Web Vitals score.

      Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that are used by Google to measure a site’s performance. One of the most important metrics is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):

      Core Web Vitals LCP report

      LCP measures the time it takes for the largest element on the page to load. This element is usually a hero image.

      Large image files can lead to a poor LCP score. They can also result in high bounce rates, which can have a negative impact on your conversions. Therefore, optimizing images is one of the most effective ways to improve your site’s performance and boost your SEO.

       

      Different Image File Types

      If you use images on your website, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different file types and when to use them. There are three main types of image formats:

      • JPEG: This file type helps you reduce the image size while retaining decent image quality, and it’s best suited for simple designs and lower-quality images.
      • PNG: PNG images tend to have better quality than JPEGs, and should ideally be used for photographs that contain a lot of detail.
      • GIF: This format uses a low number of colors, so it’s ideal for plain graphics like logos and icons.

      There are other image formats you might use, including vector graphics. This type of image file can be resized without losing its quality. The downside is that vector graphics are not as widely supported as other image types.

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      3 Easy Ways to Optimize Images for the Web

      Fortunately, image optimization doesn’t require technical knowledge. There are a number of tools and best practices that can help you resize, compress, and convert images to the optimal conditions for the web. Let’s take a close look at a few different methods.

      1. Resize and Crop Images with a Photo Editing Tool

      Original images may be much larger than needed for the web. One of the easiest steps you can take to optimize images is to resize or crop them. You can do this with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

      For example, you might take a screenshot to show how something works, but only need to show a small part of the screen. You can crop out all of the unnecessary areas from the screenshot using the default photo editor on your Operating System (OS). This will help you reduce the file size of the image while enabling your audience to focus on what is important.

      If you use Windows, you can easily crop and resize images in Microsoft Photos. To get started, open your image in the Photos app, then click on the first icon in the top menu:

      edit image

      You can then use the drag handles to crop your image:

      cropping images for web

      If you want to resize the image, click on the three-dot icon in the main menu and select Resize:

      resize website image

      This will launch a window where you can select a different file size, or set your own custom dimensions:

       

      resize image

      If you click on Define custom dimensions, you can change the width and height of the image. You can also control its quality from the available slider. For instance, if you want to compress your image to reduce its size, you can set the quality to 50%:

      resize images

      You can then click on Save resized copy. We recommend that you choose a different name for the resized image to avoid overriding the original one.

      2. Use an Online Compression Tool

      Another way to resize photos is to use an online compression tool. This can help you to significantly reduce the image file size without any noticeable changes in quality.

      Some optimization tools enable you to compress images in bulk. This can help you save a lot of time.

      Let’s look at two powerful image compression tools that you can use.

      TinyPNG

      TinyPNG

      TinyPNG is a user-friendly web app that enables you to compress up to 20 images at a time. It is free to use and supports WebP, JPEG, and PNG file types.

      With TinyPNG, you can reduce file sizes while retaining image quality. The result is optimized images that take up less server space and load faster.

      To optimize an image with TinyPNG, simply upload your image files into the box at the top of the page and wait for the compression process to complete:

      TinyPNG

      You can then review the results and download your optimized images. For raw images, you can expect reductions in the range of 40%-70%.

      Kraken.io

      Kraken.io Image Optimization tool

       

      Kraken.io is another online image optimizer that you can use. Like TinyPNG, it’s free (with a premium option) and lets you compress images in bulk. However, it offers more compression options than TinyPNG:

      Kraken.io optimize images for web

      For example, you can choose from three optimization modes, including lossy and lossless. With lossy compression, you can make your image file significantly smaller by removing large amounts of data from your image.

      Meanwhile, lossless compression reduces your file size without removing any data from the image. Therefore, this method is ideal for high-quality images.

      Kraken.io gives you more control over how your images are compressed. You can choose to prioritize image quality over file size or vice versa.

      To optimize an image with Kraken.io, simply upload the images you want to compress, select an optimization method, and choose a download option. For instance, you can download each file individually, download multiple files together in a .zip file or to Dropbox, or share them straight to Facebook and Twitter:

      download optimized images via Kraken.io

      The free version of Kraken.io gives you a lot of options. The major downside is that you are limited to uploading 1MB files. Kraken.io PRO lifts this limitation and adds more settings.

      3. Install a WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

      If you have a WordPress site, there are several image optimization plugins that you can use. These are designed to help you compress WordPress images and make your site load faster.

      Additionally, these plugins enable you to optimize your image right from your WordPress dashboard. Some of them will automatically compress any images that you upload to your site.

      Let’s look at some popular image optimization plugins for WordPress sites.

      Smush

      Smush plugin for image optimization

      Smush is a popular WordPress image optimizer with over a million active installations and a five-star rating. It helps you improve your page load times by compressing and resizing your images.

      For example, the Bulk Smush feature detects images on your site that can be optimized and enables you to compress them in bulk:

      Bulk Smush optimize images for web

      You can also activate lazy loading to make your web pages load even faster:

      lazy load images

      Typically, your media files are loaded all at once, resulting in slower page speeds. With lazy loading, your images will load as users scroll down this page. This can make your content load faster.

      If you upgrade to Smush Pro, you’ll get access to more features, including the option to automatically serve images in Next-Gen WebP format. Plans start at $7.50 per month.

      ShortPixel Image Optimizer

      ShortPixel

      ShortPixel automatically shrinks image file sizes to help boost your site’s performance. However, it converts PNG images to JPEGs. While this can help you achieve faster load times, it may also reduce the quality of your content.

      With ShortPixel, you can choose from different compressions methods, including lossy and lossless:

      ShortPixel image compression settings

      You can also compress your thumbnails and create a backup of your original images. For more options, you can upgrade to the premium version, which starts at $3.99 per month.

      Jetpack

      Jetpack for WordPress

      While Jetpack isn’t an image optimization plugin, its Site Accelerator feature includes an option for optimizing images and hosting them on a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a network of servers designed to serve content from the device that’s closest to the user’s geographic location, thus improving page load times.

      You can find these image optimization options under the plugin’s Performance & speed settings:

      Enable Site Accelerator settings in Jetpack

      These features are available for free with Jetpack Boost. The plugin comes with other tools that help you enhance your site’s performance.

      Speed Up Your Site with Optimized Images

      Poorly optimized images can have a negative impact on your site’s performance. Fortunately,  you can speed up your site and improve SEO rankings simply by resizing and compressing your images.

      To recap, here are three easy ways to optimize images for the web:

      1. Resize and crop images using a program like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Photos.
      2. Use an online compression tool like TinyPNG or Kraken.io.
      3. Install a WordPress optimization plugin like Smush Pro, Short Pixel, or Jetpack Boost.

      You can also improve the performance of your site by choosing a powerful hosting plan. Our DreamPress managed WordPress hosting offers a fast and reliable service with 24/7 support. Check out our plans today!

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      7 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Email List


      If you’ve just started a small online business, you may already know that modern marketing isn’t just about social media. Email marketing campaigns can play a key role in your overall strategy. However, it’s hard to make much progress if your email list isn’t very long.

      Fortunately, there are lots of simple and inexpensive ways to grow your email list. All this requires is your time, dedication, and a few simple strategies.

      In this post, we’ll explore why email marketing is a great way to grow your business. Then we’ll cover seven powerful ways to grow your email list. Let’s get started!

      Why Email Marketing Is an Effective Way to Grow Your Business

      To succeed, you have to cover all your bases. That’s why any ambitious content marketing strategy should be comprehensive. Some people may forget about email marketing because we spend so much of our time using newer forms of communication, such as social media and messaging platforms.

      However, 4 billion people still use email worldwide. Additionally, the number of emails people send on a daily basis continues to grow every year. Therefore, email marketing remains a highly effective form of lead generation, even in 2022.

      Email is also highly targeted, and when you’re organizing your inbox, you have to address every single message. When there’s such a big audience at stake, neglecting this platform would mean missing out on a significant opportunity.

      The Mailchimp marketing platform’s home page.

      With the rise of newsletters and the continued importance of email, there are now plenty of popular tools like ConvertKit and Mailchimp to help you manage your campaigns.

      These tools offer an all-in-one solution so you can effectively reach your audience. They’re a great place to start – however, you’ll need more than just a dedicated tool. Let’s dive in.

      7 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Email List

      Your email marketing campaigns are only as strong as your email list. Let’s cover some worthwhile ways that you can get more leads and grow your base of subscribers.

      1. Add an Opt-In Form to Your Website

      An opt-in form is a simple element that prompts website visitors to sign-up to receive emails from your business. Usually, an email address is the only personal information requested. This is an easy way to convert readers to subscribers fast, and it’s at the top of our list because it requires minimal effort on your end.

      Reebok’s opt-in form

      Some opt-in forms are more subtle, and others are more attention-grabbing. A few common types include popup forms, exit-intent forms, and bar forms. It’s important to choose your design carefully, and base it on your product and your overall marketing style.

      The timing and presentation of these forms are essential if you want to maximize sign-ups. If you’re not sure where to start, try using opt-in forms on your most popular pages:

      If you’re using WordPress, you can easily create and manage opt-in forms by downloading and installing a plugin like OptinMonster or Convert Pro. Either one will enable you to choose from a wide variety of opt-in form templates and designs, which you can further customize to meet your specific needs.

      Hey look, it’s one of those email opt-in forms!

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      2. Host a Giveaway

      There’s nothing like a giveaway to get people excited. People will always love free stuff, so it’s a great way to incentivize readers and followers to sign-up for your email list. If you’re lucky, most won’t even think twice about offering up their email address. When done well, you can see massive growth in your email list in a very short time.

      You can offer up your own products, but if this would cause undue stress on your product pipeline, then you don’t necessarily have to. Another option is to conduct a sponsored event with one or even multiple brands:

      An Instagram holiday giveaway

      For example, a farm-to-table restaurant may partner with a variety of brands or supermarkets that offer organic goods. A small jewelry business might pair with a high-end sunglasses company.

      Of course, be mindful of your partnerships. They must make sense for your business and offer quality products. If you accept a sponsorship deal with a subpar or irrelevant product, this might be off-putting to your audience.

      While you should always be cautious, giveaways can be a gold mine. They are an especially useful opportunity for anyone who already has a strong social media presence:

      If you’re not sure how to run an online giveaway, you can use a free WordPress plugin like RafflePress:

      The RafflePress WordPress plugin

      This solution offers an intuitive giveaway builder that lets you start by choosing a template for your giveaway. Then, you can take advantage of promotional and marketing tools to maximize the number of participants.

      3. Offer Content Upgrades

      Content upgrades are another type of ‘freebie’ you can offer. There are plenty of different types, but some common options are ebooks, workbooks, printables, and guides:

      Free content upgrade: a workbook when you sign up for the email list

      It’s important to remember that these content bonuses should be exclusive. The only way to get them should be by signing up for your email list.

      As with any other strategy you use, it’s best to opt for something that’s relevant to your brand. Here, a food influencer with a cookbook offers recipe box functionality, but also a free recipe download upon sign up:

      A free content upgrade on a recipe website

      Notice how this offer is paired with catchy and irresistible copywriting: “5 Secrets to Super Simple Meals”.

      Don’t forget that you can always combine the strategies on this list to increase their effectiveness. As in the example above, you may consider offering your site’s visitors an opt-in form upon entry, but also dangle a freebie in the navigation bar. The more opportunities visitors have to sign up, the more likely they are to do so.

      4. Organize a Webinar

      A webinar is a workshop, seminar, or presentation that you conduct online using video conferencing software. Most of us have attended one at some point, but if you haven’t, you can still host one without much difficulty.

      For most, a webinar means moving your content to a different medium. It’s cheap and easy, but production may take a good amount of time:

      A webinar sign-up tweet

      This method is well suited to bloggers and influencers who have already monetized their ideas, but any expertise you have to offer will do. If you’re wondering how to host a webinar, you should start by choosing a topic. Then, be sure to nail down the logistical details, spend plenty of time preparing, and of course, promote your webinar.

      This is a great way to get lots of new email addresses, but you want to be thorough so that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Remember to make the most of the opportunity. If you host your webinar on a popular social media platform such as Instagram or YouTube, you can boost your engagement as well.

      Additionally, a webinar can provide you with social credibility. Since the time commitment from viewers is significant, this is not only a great way to get emails, but it may potentially lead to long-lasting and loyal customers.

      5. Create an Email Course

      An email course is similar to a traditional online class, but it arrives in your inbox. Typically, an email course is automated and has a short time frame of a few days or a few weeks. It should be easily digestible for participants:

      A five-day email course advertised in an Instagram post

      Email courses are usually self-paced, but individual classes arrive on a set schedule. They don’t require any follow-up or feedback from the instructor. So you don’t have to worry about grading your students. This is also a great way to repurpose old content.

      For example, if you already have a thorough how-to guide on your blog, you can simply expand on that and make it a three-day email course. If you’re using an email marketing service, many of them will already have this process streamlined for you:

      The Mailchimp email course workflow

      The beauty of this type, of course, is that you can re-use it or revamp it whenever your email list needs a boost. You can even promote your products in the course! As always, however, you should make sure that the content of the course is truly useful to the participants.

      6. Give a Welcome Discount

      Another way to get people on your email list is by offering a generous one-time discount. This can be especially effective because it also incentivizes users to buy your product right away:

      The Reebok sign-up form offering a discount

      This can be a more costly strategy than most of the methods on this list. However, if your budget allows for it, you can be sure that many customers will find this offer difficult to resist.

      Typically, an online store will offer somewhere between 10 and 25 percent off of an initial purchase when you sign up for its email list. When you use an eCommerce solution such as WooCommerce, creating discount codes is a breeze.

      7. Start an Email Newsletter

      In the past few years, email newsletters have become wildly popular. They are emerging as a new form of media consumption, but also as a new form of marketing. When you’re producing a quality newsletter, you’re sure to get more email addresses for your list:

      A newsletter sign-up form

      Many newsletters are some combination of quality long-form content blended with product promotion via recommendations and favorites lists. They can also be combined well with affiliate marketing.

      The beauty of the email newsletter is that anyone can do it, from the biggest corporations to the humblest solopreneurs. The only catch is that it’s a long-term obligation. Newsletters typically go out weekly or monthly, so you would need to commit to a regular schedule.

      The majority of the popular email marketing services can offer you step-by-step guidance on how to create a newsletter. However, before you embark on this journey, you should make sure you have a clear goal, and always prioritize quality over quantity.

      Grow Your Business with Email Marketing

      We know that getting a respectable email list together may seem challenging. No one wants to launch an email marketing campaign with just a few people to contact.

      Fortunately, you can make sure that all your hard work gets the viewers it deserves. Just remember to focus on growing your email list with the following strategies before you launch:

      1. Add opt-in forms. Encourage website visitors to sign up for your email list on popular pages, using tools like OptinMonster or Convert Pro.
      2. Host a giveaway. Offer free products or sponsored products to incentivize people to share their email addresses. WordPress plugins like RafflePress make this simple.
      3. Offer content upgrades. Give people quality exclusive content in the form of ebooks, printables, guides, and so much more. You can pair this with opt-in forms to maximize sign-ups.
      4. Organize a webinar. Use your expertise to host a webinar and offer participants valuable knowledge.
      5. Create an email course. Repurpose old pillar content and provide your audience with a practical, short-term course. Use a popular tool like Mailchimp (or any email marketing service) to streamline the process.
      6. Give a discount. Offer people a generous one-time discount for users who sign up for your email list. You can create discount codes in an eCommerce platform such as WooCommerce.
      7. Start an email newsletter. Commit for the long haul and lure users with the promise of quality, regular content. Your preferred email marketing platform should be able to help you get started.

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