Hey guys. Just thought I'd drop in and give a quick explanation on a couple of things.
Regarding the padlock issue,
A padlock and https shows that a site has been secured with a digitally signed security certificate. This means that when your device connects, the data sent back and forth between the device and the server are encrypted. This is done so that as your data passes over the internet it can't be used if its intercepted. The padlock does NOT mean that the server itself, the software ruining on it, or the method is data storage is secure - that is a risk you take with any site you visit.
It is correct that this site does not have a security certificate, however the only time it asks for any financial details is when you are processing your membership fees, and that is actially not done on this site at all. In fact you are taken to the paypal website (which is secure) and afterwards returned back here.
As mentioned by mettersl, google does give higher search rankings to secured sites, so yes - it is a good idea to consider that in the future.
A more pressing issue however is the software that the site runs on. phpBB in itself is a fine piece of software, however updates and security fixes for it are very few and far between. The plugins that give the software extra abilities such as the galleries, downloads, email notifications and membership are frequently abandoned by their developers and generally take hours to get working again after an update (if they are capable of working with the new phpBB version).
As many of you know, the membership module is and has been buggy from day 1, meaning that membership status has to be manually updated - something that Vince checks and updates at least twice a day.
Vince and I have developed an update plan for the site that would involve moving the site from the current software to a new platform that would allow for not only easier updates, but much better integration wuth social media, and include a heap of new features.
While we don't mind lending our time to help keep the site up and running, we (or at least I) are concerned however that a lack of community here would mean that all that work would be wasted and the time better used on other projects.
Should there be genuine interest to getting this site updated however, I personally would love to go ahead with it.
I am currently going away for a couple of weeks, so if you'd like more info or to check out the test site, let us know. Vince has the details and should be able to let you preview it.
I look forward to hearing some feedback when i return.