Shopify has partnered with Let’s Encrypt to offer free automated SSL certificates to its customers at no extra cost. This is not surprising, considering Shopify are one of the primary sponsors of the Let’s Encrypt scheme.
Encryption is one of the most important things for online stores. Whether it is your personal data, such as delivery addresses, or something altogether more sensitive, such as credit card details, ensuring customer data is secure is of utmost importance. Historically, Shopify has always had your back, by forcing encryption of sensitive areas of your website, but now they want their customers to go further and encrypt the entirety of their website.
Today, we’re pushing for a safer, more secure internet by ensuring all pages, content, data … everything, on all 200,000+ online stores powered by Shopify can be accessed using SSL encryption. Not only will this ensure that no data could be intercepted as it goes over the network, but it will also help merchants build customer trust. This is the right thing for e-commerce in 2016.
Encryption of your whole website is voluntary, and with their Let’s Encrypt partnership SSL certificates cost nothing. With there being many benefits for implementing SSL, especially on an online store, we would recommend it. Firstly, having encryption provides confidence for your customers, making it more likely that they will proceed with a purchase. Secondly, HTTPS websites now get a ranking boost in Google, giving more visibility in the search engines.
How to implement free encryption at Shopify
The new SSL certificates are currently being rolled out gradually to existing stores. As such some customers will find it unavailable.
For those where free encryption is available, the whole process of configuring an SSL certificate at Shopify is automated. To activate the certificate follow these instructions:
- Within the Shopify Admin area, click “Online Store” in the left-hand menu, and then select “Domains.”
- In the SSL Certificates section, click “Activate SSL Certificates” as shown in the screenshot below:
- The redirection of your Store to HTTPS may take a couple of hours, so be patient. Once successful you will see the following confirmation:
As you can see, the whole process is incredibly simple. You will, however, still need to check for any errors, update your sitemap, and update your Webmaster Tools domain. Shopify has provided some helpful advice on how to do this here.
Shopify is just one of a vast number of companies promoting Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates
Shopify is just one of many now implementing free encryption from Let’s Encrypt. Just a few weeks ago, we reported on the implementation by DreamHost, and that article provides a more in-depth look at Let’s Encrypt, including several reasons why you may want to choose a premium SSL certificate over a free one. This include:
- No EV SSL certificates (green bar)
- No Wildcard SSL certificates are available at present
- No Direct Support
- No website Seals, or Warranties
That being said, this whole scheme is likely to increase the number of websites using encryption significantly, and because the technology is based on an open protocol and developed by many different corporations, it is beyond the control of any one company.
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.