Misterious "Bad Certificate" error when you click on certain inner links

One of my clients, who have serious Joomla background complained recently, that on his brand new Joomla site when he clicked on one of menu items his browser raised the well known "Bad Certificate" error. The site obviously worked well, but for some reason the link to that inner page was created using the https:// prefix.

Obviously, he had no valid security certificate in place - as many sides does not have these days, but the menu entry being an inner, Joomla generated link he (and myself, for some... 5 minutes approx) was dazzled, what might happened?

The explanation - and the solution for the problem - is simple. Since Joomla 1.7 we have some extra possibilities in Joomla menu item management screen. Open any menu link in your menu editor, and look for the Metadata Options section.

You will see, that here is a fourth entry above the three original ones (Meta Description, Meta Keywords and Robots), called Security, with 3 available options: Ignore (this is the default), On and Off. These are there to override eventually the site-wide settings, and enforce use of secure or non-secure URL for the target page. 

  • Ignore (the default) basically does nothing - clicking on the given menu item has no overriding effect on the previous behaviour. So if you browsed the site by the secure URL for example (https://) , the new page will be opened using the same protocol.
  • On enforces using the secure URL - the one with https:// - regardless the previously used one
  • Off enforces the use of non-secure, faster http:// protocol to display your page.

My client hat this setting on On and switching the setting to Ignore solved the problem.

So, what you can do? If you can afford, buy and install a security certificate, first of all. This way you will avoid these kind of errors - but more important, you will increase your site's security and credibility - and indirectly, your SEO rankings too. If you can't do that, simply check your menu items settings if you see this error.

Is that simple Wink!

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