Mozilla back in Firefox 14 introduced a change to the browser's address bar, or more precisely to the information displayed therein. If you are not yet on the Firefox Aurora channel, which happens to be Firefox 14 at the time of writing, you have probably not come into contact with the change yet.
The two core changes introduced in Firefox 14 are the removal of the favicon from the address bar of the browser, and a change to how certificates are displayed in the browser. The favicons have been removed in an attempt to protect Firefox users from sites that try to look legit by using the secure site icon as their favicon.
The second change modified the way secure sites were displayed in the browser's address bar. Instead of going overboard with colors, the designers decided to only use colors for SSL certificates with extended validation. What made matters worse, at least from a visibility point of view was that the same icon was used for regular and mixed content sites. A mixed content site is a site that is loading contents from secure and regular sites.
Mozilla has changed this behavior in the latest nighly versions of Firefox. Mixed content sites are now being highlighted with their own icon, a yellow triangle with a white exclamation point.
Regular websites are still displayed with the globe icon in front. It is not really clear why there needs to be an icon in front of regular sites, as the icon's only purpose is to provide users with a two-click shortcut to the site's information panel. If the developers want to be consistent with the removal of the http:// protocol from the address bar, they should consider removing the globe as well.
SSL certificates with extended validation are displayed in a green font and padlock icon, which makes sites using these distinguishable from the rest.
Websites using SSL certifications without extended validation are visualized with a gray closed padlock icon.
What's your take on this change, and the visibility change introduced in Firefox 14?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.