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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Whom Should I Hate This Week?

Today you get a mercifully short story.

Google Checkout has officially crossed the line from nuisance to persistent problem. I can receive and process GC orders, but Sunshop is not quite playing along. The “callback API” is the last step in the process. Google uses that to call Sunshop, update my transaction list, and adjust my database. Without that callback working, I have to debit my database manually and the sale never appears in Sunshop at all.

The GC error message implicates a security problem. Turnkey’s support guy opined that there is a problem with my chained SSL security certificate. GoDaddy, the certificate provider, says that my site design is to blame – mixing secure and non-secure items on the same page breaks their seal. My developer says that my certificate is not a chain and is installed just fine…but because Google isn’t trying to load a page, GoDaddy’s explanation makes no sense. He did not offer a theory of his own.


GC had the same parcel post rate lookup bug that has been in every Sunshop build for years, so I notified them about it. They were grateful, and fixed it. I asked them why they don’t offer First Class parcel rates. They had not heard of that, said they’d add it, and were grateful again. I asked this twice-grateful contact in Google’s tech support for help with my callback problem. He says that my chain certificate is, in fact, not properly installed. I installed the “intermediate” certificate without installing the “root” certificate. I need a “GoDaddy Class 2 CA”. Yeah...of course I do. Back to GoDaddy again.

They punted me to another support department. I begged them: Please send me this root certificate thingie, and clear instructions on what to do with the gorram thing. Just minutes ago they replied that “the intermediate certificate is not installed correctly”. Damn. That was the one and only thing that I thought I had done right. Now what? Do I go ahead and reinstall it? Run it past my Google buddy first? The odds are high that I'm going to screw up whatever's working right currently. Will I finally be forced to beg for MochaHost’s cooperation? That went very poorly the last time I tried it.

My hunch says that before this is all over, I am either going to end up either buying a new SSL certificate from somebody else, or moving to a new web host. My server performance has been marginal lately anyway.

I don’t even know how to tag today’s post. I certainly hate somebody for all of this, but whom? I think this deserves a new label.

March Sales Update

Cap sales came roaring back last weekend – what a relief after an eerie several-days silence. The prospect of my best-ever seller petering out emphasized the importance of finding the Next Big Thing, and soon. Maybe I’ll get lucky at this weekend’s Boston Gift Show (a.k.a. Cavalcade of Crap).

March delivered some very happy statistics. With a day and a half left to go, I've already exceeded LY by 118% and beaten plan by 25%. Year-over-year gross sales are up 105%, gross profit is up 94%, my personal paycheck is +91%, and the bottom-line profit is +216%. (Usual disclaimer: the dollars behind these percentages border on trivial, and the year will come down to November and December, as always. But still.) Next year I can raise my payroll percentage another half point. Yay, me.


  1. Odd. Your cert looks fine from here. Is there a chance that the google callback is referring to a domain other than www.curiocityonline.com? Maybe curiocityonline.com instead?

  2. Have you tried following the instructions here: https://certs.godaddy.com/InstallationInstructions_alt.go

    I'm pretty sure you don't need to install the root cert on your server. In fact, I think you having the root cert would lead to some issues for godaddy.

    What's likely happened is that you have your certificate installed but not the intermediary certificates. Browsers don't care, but google does.

  3. The day after I made this post, GoDaddy sent instructions for installing their intermediate certificate. I asked my web host to comply, and a few hours later Google Checkout successfully updated my shopping cart. Thanks a lot for you input, Chris. It was difficult sorting out the contradictory opinions from Google, my developer, GoDaddy, and Turnkey.


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