Managing domain names within Shopify is not hard if you understand the basic concept of how domains work. In this two-part series, we aim to help you make the most of utilizing multiple domains in order to maximize the reach of your online store. In part 1, we looked at adding additional domains underneath the primary domain you currently own; in this second part, we will discuss securing your domains with SSL certificates.
SSL is an acronym that stands for ‘secure sockets layer’. It is a form of data encryption that provides a secure link between browser and internet server. SSL is used on millions of websites around the world. You will know you are on a site secured by SSL if you see ‘https’ instead of the standard ‘http’ in the address bar.
Websites Hosted by Shopify
If your online store is hosted by Shopify, you will be pleased to know that enabling SSL encryption is incredibly easy. Access to SSL is activated by default on all eligible Shopify accounts. It is simply a matter of you going into your administrative settings and enabling security on individual domains and pages.
If your online store is already eligible for SSL certificates by default, there should be a notification that routinely appears on your HOME screen. Just click the ‘Get Started’ button on the screen and follow the instructions. If you do not see such a message, no worries. From your Shopify admin, navigate to Online Stores > Domains.
Next, look for the ‘SSL certificates’ section and click on ‘Activate SSL certificates’. You should then get a confirmation screen letting you know that encryption has been activated on all of your eligible pages. If any of your pages fail to be secured, you will likely have to update them manually. This may be due to external content on those pages that cannot be encrypted automatically. In such a case, simply go to the page in question and change any external links so that they use ‘https’ instead of ‘http’.
Externally Hosted Websites
A Shopify website hosted by a company other than Shopify can still utilize SSL encryption. The only difference is that it must be activated directly through the provider rather than the Shopify admin interface. This can be done in one of two ways.
First, you can contact your web host provider and request they activate SSL certificates on all of your eligible domains. The process usually only takes a minute or two. You will probably have to pay for the extra service, but it is minimal under most shared hosting plans.
As an alternative, some providers let customers implement SSL through the administration panel (usually cPanel). If you don’t know how to use your administration panel, you’re better off making the phone call.
Once SSL encryption is activated, you’ll have to go through all of the links on your website and change the ‘http’ addresses to ‘https’. Once that’s done, you are all set.