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. Not only that, but Shopify Plus merchants will be able to take advantage of Extended Validation SSL certificates.

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.

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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?

  1. The URL will display 'https://' instead of 'http://'
  2. You'll notice a padlock symbol in the URL:shopify security padlock icon(The padlock may look different depending on what browser you're using)
  3. 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:
    1. Clicking the padlock
    2. Clicking details
    3. Clicking 'view certificate'

How Do I Encrypt my Shopify Store?

Shopify is rolling out the certificates gradually so they may not be available to you right away. Once your website is eligible, you'll receive a notification in your Shopify dashboard:

To activate your certificates:

  1. Login to your Shopify admin panel
  2. Click 'Online Store' and then 'Domains'
  3. Click 'Activate SSL certificates'

activate ssl certificate icon

If your activation is successful, you'll see a confirmation on the Domains page in your Shopify admin: ssl certificate status

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:

  1. Login to Webmaster Tools
  2. Click on the domain you want to update
  3. Click Crawl, and then click Sitemaps
  4. Click ADD/TEST SITEMAP
  5. Enter your domain's new HTTPS sitemap (for example: https:// www.your-shopify-domain.com/sitemap.xml)
  6. 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.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates on Shopify Plus

For those merchants on Shopify Plus, there is an additional layer of security available: Extended Validation SSL Certificates (also known as EV SSL). This only takes a couple of minutes to set up and if you're on the Shopify Plus platform, we'd really recommend you taking the time to do this. As well as the extra security, it helps build credibility and trust, reducing cart abandonment and increasing conversions. The accreditation will appear in the URL field of all major browsers as a green lock, green text, or 'Secure' message.

How to add EV SSL to your Shopify Plus Store

You can order your EV certificate from the Domains page of your store's admin. Simply fill out the form and order your certificate. (The badge text will always need to include your legal business name.)

Globalsign will get in touch with the Approver to fill out 2 further forms - one to verify company info, and one to confirm authority to sign on behalf of the company.

Finally the company name will be checked against a database before the merchant is confirmed through a phone call or letter. And that's it! Your Shopify Plus store will now have an extended validation SSL certificate.

Conclusion

To 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 more information on SSL encryption or would like to discuss how Eastside Co can help grow your Shopify store, whether it's design, development or marketing, get in touch for a chat!


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