Beacon Buddy

Firefox’s Site Identity Button

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A client recently asked me why their e-commerce site displayed the message “This site does not provide identifying information” when clicking on or mousing over the “site identity” button in the address bar in Firefox.

Site Identity ButtonLocation of site identity button in Firefox

Message displayed by non-secure site Message displayed after clicking on site identity button (non-secure page)

This button is actually used by Firefox to check the security level of the page (  The color and message displayed is directly related to the SSL certificate state of the page (secure/encrypted vs. non-secure) and, in fact, displays an entirely different message on secure check-out related pages:

Message displayed by SSL secured site Message displayed after clicking on site identity button (secure page)

Though you can turn off this functionality on your own browser (, it is not possible to change the setting on the web site itself, since it is a security feature for Firefox.


  1. anonymoose
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    The Site Identity bar is a bit annoying to me, so I turned it off:

    Enter about:config in the address bar.



    so that the value is 0.

    now the site name will not display alongside the favicon.

  2. Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    (for some reason tabbing from one comment field to the next is repositioning this website, but anywho…)

    the browser.identity.ssl_domain_display = 0 setting no longer seems to work as of at least 14.0.1

  3. Posted August 27, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Interesting! Thanks for the comment – we’ll have to check it out asap!

  4. Posted March 14, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    We are trying to customize our website identity in the browser cause we think it would be aawesome to have something like “This site was awesomely created by Cohesive Web Design”. Is that possible with the site identity functionality or would we have to have an SSL Certificate and it would only display the basic information there?

  5. Posted March 18, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    We haven’t tried to customize the text in this feature to date, but it would be pretty neat if you did! My guess is that it is controlled by the browser and security settings in FireFox and not open for customization, but who knows? If you figure it out, please share with everyone!