Last week, Shopify announced that it will be rolling out free SSL certificates for all 200,000+ of its online stores. This is truly a revolutionary play by Shopify and sets a precedent for website owners all over the world.
What is SSL Encryption?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In layman's terms, SSL takes your data (such as credit card information and passwords) and turns it into data that only you and the intended recipient can decrypt. SSL certificates can also provide you information about the authenticity regarding the identity of a person, business or website. You can view this information by clicking on the browser's padlock symbol.
Is SSL Good for SEO and How Will It Effect My Store?
Yes, Google loves SSL! Google understands that security is important to its users and on August 6th 2014 Google announced that HTTPS will become a ranking signal. This means that if your website is SSL encrypted, you have a chance to rank higher than websites that aren't.
How do I know That a Website is SSL Secure?
- The URL will display 'https://' instead of 'http://':[!(https://cdn.eastsideco.com/media/blog/sb-1.jpg)](https://eastsideco.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/sb-1.jpg)
- You'll notice a padlock symbol in the URL:(The padlock may look different depending on what browser you're using)
- Check that the certificate is valid. Even if the website is displaying "https://" and a padlock symbol, the certificate may still have expired. If you are using Google Chrome you can check the expiration date by:
- Clicking the padlock
- Clicking details
- Clicking view certificate
How Do I Encrypt my Shopify Store?
To activate your certificates:
- Login to your Shopify admin panel
- Click 'Online Store' and then 'Domains'
- Click 'Activate SSL certificates'
If your activation is successful, you'll see a confirmation on the Domains page in your Shopify admin:
Shopify will automatically redirect all of your old URLs to the HTTPS version so you don't have to.
Update your Sitemap
Once your activation is successful, you will want to update your sitemap as soon as possible. If you're using Google Search Console to manage your website, you can follow the below steps:
- Login to Webmaster Tools
- Click on the domain you want to update
- Click Crawl, and then click Sitemaps
- Click ADD/TEST SITEMAP
- Enter your domain's new HTTPS sitemap (for example: https://www.your-shopify-domain.com/sitemap.xml)
- Remove your domain's HTTP sitemap from its profile
By updating your sitemap, you're alerting search engines to your change which means that they will reindex your new URLs even quicker. ConclusionTo conclude, SSL encryption protects your customers, helps build trust and improves your website's SEO.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you would like some help with SSL encryption or would like some more information, please contact our SEO specialist, Luke on: firstname.lastname@example.org