HTTPS and Your Website

If your community is not running its using HTTPS instead of HTTP, you should consider the upgrade, especially if you are hosting your site through STC. The STC web host offers free HTTPS through a free SSL certificate system.

Generate a New SSL

  1. Sign in to your cPanel Account, which can be found at .
  2. Perform a search for the topic SSL.
  3. Click on the icon labeled, SSL/TLS Status.
  4. Click on the icon labeled, Run AutoSSL.
  5. Once you click on the icon an SSL certificate will be generated by LetsEncrypt.
    1. This step may take up to 15 minutes to complete.
    2. Once the process is complete you will see no errors in the certificate status.
  6. The path for this action is Cpanel > SSL/TLS status > Run autoSSL.

Activate HTTPS in WordPress

Once you have your SSL certificate, you must tell WordPress to use HTTPS when rendering your website.

  1. Sign into WordPress
  2. Navigate to Settings > General.
  3. In the WordPress Address (URL) field, change the URL to be https://.
  4. In the Site Address (URL) field, change the URL to be https://.
  5. Click Save Changes.

SSL Is Not AutoRenewing

Sometimes an SSL gets stuck when auto-renewing. In that situation, navigate to SSL/TLS and delete the keys. Then generate new SSL certificates in SSL/TLS Status as described above.

Other References

In the STC Spotlight – Back from Break!

In May, we introduced our new blog feature “In the STC Spotlight”, where we profile either an individual or community within STC. In our first spotlight, we profiled STC Director Alisa Bonsignore. In our next article, we shine the spotlight upon Kirsty Taylor, STC Secretary.

What made you decide to become a Board member?
Being from Australia, Kirsty brings international perspective. “I decided to nominate to be considered for the Board elections so that I could hopefully provide a unique view point as a member outside North America, whose professional technical communication career has always been in Australia, even though the companies I’ve worked for have all been multinational.”

What do you enjoy most about being on the Board?
“Understanding more about the guts of the Society, and working with my fellow board members to create a strategy for our Society’s future.”

More About Kirsty
Kirsty is the Manager of Product Internationalisation for RPMGlobal, a company that creates software for the global mining industry. She works with product managers and the development teams to ensure her company’s software and content are internationalized and ready to be translated into their key languages.

In her spare time, Kirsty enjoys reading, knitting, “endlessly scrolling through items on [her] iPad, introducing as many Aussie slang terms to as many bemused foreigners as possible”, travelling, eating cupcakes, and singing loudly to John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice”, any Beyoncé song, and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” while in her car.

“When I combined my love of travel with singing at a Karaoke shop in Tokyo,” Kirsty explains, “I discovered my singing sounds a lot better in my head or when I’m alone in my car than it does with a microphone.”

Kirsty lives in Brisbane, Queensland with her husband and their daughter. “We do not yet have any pet Drop Bears,” Kirsty comments, “though we have a number of possums who roam our backyard at night and eat many of the herbs and veggies that I try to grow. Also – google Australian possums. There’s good reason Dame Edna Everage used “possum” as a term of endearment. Aussie possums are not related to American opossums.”

“Like 80% of the Australian population, I live on the east coast, specifically in Brisbane (pronounced Briz-bunn, not Bris-bain), which is the capital city of Queensland. Queensland is the sunshine state, and we mostly enjoy a sub-tropical climate, but perhaps not so much in mid-summer when it’s too hot to think, and it’s so hot and humid your eyeballs feel like they’re sweating.”

Interesting fact about Kirsty
She was born in a small outback town in Queensland, where researchers for the first Jurassic Park movie studied how dinosaurs stampeded; in the 1970s, a set of dinosaur stampede tracks were found about 100km outside of the town.

Revised Community Resources Available

The Community Affairs Committee (CAC) is happy to announce that several community resources have been updated and are now available.

The Community Planning Calendar has been updated and appears on the CAC website under Leadership Resources > Community Planning Calendar. This calendar offers a general guideline as to what communities should be doing throughout the year. General dates for completing applications are included, along with participating in Society-level communities. Additionally, the calendar on the CAC website has been updated to reflect some of the tasks and deadlines on the Community Planning Calendar.

Additionally, the Leadership Resources page on has been reviewed, reorganized, and revitalized. As part of the review process, documents were edited and then combined into the Community Handbook. Outdated links were removed and updated templates were added. References to the CAC Leadership Program and the CAC webinars were changed to point to the CAC website where they will be maintained going forward.

BONUS FEATURE: Demystifying the STC Board

When you hear the term “STC Board”, what comes to mind? A group of mysterious beings sitting around a leather-covered table and shrouded in smoke from afar? STC Director Alisa Bonsignore explains what the Board does.

What the STC Board Does

“In addition to the decision-making and guidance that the board provides as a group, the Directors also serve as liaisons to committees and task forces,” Alisa explains. “We have monthly board meetings online, and two face-to-face meetings: at Summit and a two-day intensive face-to-face meeting at STC headquarters in suburban DC.”

The Board also discusses and debates various topics via email, as well as reviews documents and financials. “It requires a significant amount of engagement, research, and general awareness of the industry as well as trends within the nonprofit space,” Alisa explains. “We’re in an interesting time for membership associations. The model that worked for the Society at its founding 65 years ago is not a model that makes sense today.”

Evolution of STC to Serve its Members

Alisa addresses how STC continues to evolve and serve its members. “In the past year, I’ve been part of a team of committed volunteers who have been looking outside the box to develop new market-driven, innovative approaches that empower our members and give them the resources needed to succeed.” Alisa says. “It’s been incredibly exciting to explore new possibilities that can carry the Society into the future.”

People – Heart of the Matter

Alisa reflects further about an important aspect of serving on the Board – the people who comprise STC at all levels. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, and for the broader connections that I’ve made through involvement with committees and communities. STC brings together such an interesting, engaged, and intelligent group of people from a wide range of industries and experiences. That intellectual diversity makes STC vibrant and interesting. The Board is a reflection of that, and I admire the way we work together to approach challenges as a team.”

Misconception #1:  Unapproachable Board

Alisa also addresses a common misconception that the Board seems unapproachable and distant from the members they represent. “I think there’s a misconception that the board is closed-off and not open to suggestions,” Alisa says. “That’s absolutely untrue. I think this stems from people coming to us with ideas or projects that are very near and dear to their hearts, and they become discouraged or offended when we don’t implement them. Oftentimes, these are great ideas!”

Alisa explains why not all ideas are considered. “In an organization like STC, every project requires money and volunteers. We don’t have an abundance of either, and that limits the type and number of projects that we can implement in any given year. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea!” Alisa explains what members could do to increase their chances of ideas becoming realities. “The best approach is to come to us with not only an idea, but also a leader or team, and ideas for funding.”

Misconception #2:  Lucrative Service

Alisa also addresses another misconception that serving on the board is somehow lucrative. “This is not the case at all,” Alisa says. “While we are eligible to receive a small stipend for Summit and the face-to-face meeting in DC, it doesn’t come close to covering the expenses for either — and some of us don’t feel comfortable taking the stipend at all. In reality, Board service requires a great deal of personal time and personal expense, more than I really anticipated before my first year of service.”

“I think that’s the important thing to know about Board service: it’s not about what you get from being on the Board, it’s about what you think you can give'” Alisa reflects. “It’s absolutely critical to understand that you’re one of nine people, and there isn’t room for personal agendas. This is about doing what’s right for the Society within the constraints that we have around budget, staff, and volunteers. While healthy debate is encouraged, at the end of the day we all have to be working together to row the boat in the same direction.”