The Shopify SSL Unavailable issue can lose your customers’ trust and credibility for your online store. This is why it’s very important to understand how an SSL Certificate works and gets unavailable at times. In this article, you are going to have a know-how of an SSL Certificate and the information it contains. You will also know why your website or Shopify store needs the certificate anyway. Brace yourself and get ready to fix Shopify SSL unavailable issues the right way.
What is SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is a global security certificate to encrypt communication between a web browser and an origin server. SSL stands for secure sockets layer. It’s a protocol for web browsers and servers to authenticate, encrypt, and decrypt the data. An SSL certificate moves the websites or your web stores from Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). It makes sure the website or your Shopify store is secure and safe.
SSL certificate combines:
- A domain name or origin server
- The identity and location of a company (Shopify store in this case)
Every company installs its SSL certificate on its origin server for secure browsing. Apart from the locked lock, the green bar also appears on some browsers to show the HTTPS.
What Information Does the SSL Certificate Contain?
An SSL certificate contains the website’s public key and all its information. When you visit the site with an SSL certificate, the file gets the public key and verify the origin servers. Apart from the public key, there is a private key that is secure and safe. SSL certificates contain information like:
- The domain name and the certificate owner
- Associated sub-domains
- The person, company, or device related to the website, store, or blog
- Which authority issued the certificate
- The digital signature of the issuing authority
- Issue and expiry dates for the SSL certificate
- The public key (with secrete private key)
The public and private keys are a group of characters used for data communication. It can encrypt and decrypt the information about the website or in this case, your Shopify store.
Why Does Website Need an SSL Certificate?
A website or your Shopify store needs an SSL certificate to keep its data secure and show transparency. It verifies the ownership of the website and confirms the identity of the origin server. An SSL certificate is a must for every website because it prevents fake version of the site. It’s a wonderful tool to build trust among the users of the site. The public and private keys encrypt all the information sent over the internet. After the browsers get the public key of the site, only then they can get the information and open it.
All the websites having an HTTPS are those whose traffic is encrypted by SSL/TLS. You might not notice whether the site is HTTPS or not. But, most of the browsers have started tagging these sites as ‘not secure’. If you use Google Chrome to access the site, there appears a locked lock just before the URL if has an HTTPS. It means the site has an SSL certificate. And if your Shopify store has an SSL certificate, your customers trust you more. And they will buy more from you, increasing your profitability.
What Does SSL Unavailable Mean on Shopify?
SSL unavailable on Shopify means there is no secure link between a browser and an origin server. When you add your domain to your Shopify account, the system creates an SSL certificate automatically. The process can take two full days maximum. During these 48 hours, you might have an SSL Unavailable error. When you visit your online Shopify store, you get a notification saying your connection is not private or secure. The browser lets you know that there exists a problem connecting securely to the website. Most of the time, the SSL becomes available after 48 hours.
What if Shopify SSL Unavailable Error Persists Even After 48 Hours?
Even after 48 hours, you keep experiencing the SSL unavailable problem. What do then? All you need to do is troubleshooting. It may contain one or more processes to configure. There are a few common issues you might have:
- Your record settings are not properly configured
- The A record does not point to Shopify
- The domain has more than one A record
- Either you use AAAA or CAA record
We will discuss it in more detail in the upcoming sections of this article here. If nothing works, the last resort for you is going for Shopify Support.
Why is Shopify SSL Unavailable on My Domain?
If your store displays the content that is hosted somewhere else, you need to verify it. To do so, you go to the ‘Domains’ section of the Shopify admin panel. Otherwise, Shopify invalidates your SSL certificate even if you have it. To avoid the problem, host all your content on Shopify only. Or you can host it somewhere else where the server publishes the content over HTTPS. The content may be photos, videos, or web fonts. You must make sure everything is published over the HTTPS.
To avoid the SSL unavailable error, you should never ever use the CAA records. And if the records are necessary, you should add certificates to them from below given authorities:
These are the certificate authorities recommend by Shopify Help Center. But, what are the CAA records anyway? The CAA is a certification authority authorization. We use these records to show which certificate authorities can issue certificates for a domain. Adding a CAA record lets you save from an unauthorized SSL certificate for your domain. Now the question arises; why do we suggest you not use it then? You don’t need to use the CAA record because Shopify has its system of providing you with an SSL. Again, you can use the CAA record but you should add above-given certificates authorities to the record.
How to Fix Shopify SSL Unavailable Issue
There are a few methods to fix Shopify SSL unavailable issue. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Point Your A Record to Shopify
You need to go to your Shopify admin panel where you hover over to ‘online store’. Then you need to click on ‘Domains’ and follow the below-given procedure:
- Choose ‘connect existing domain’ now.
- Type the domain name of your online store now. For example, it could be something like YourStoreName.Com
- Go to the next section now.
- Set up your existing domain to point to Shopify
If you got your domain name from a third-party registrar like NameCheap, you will have to edit the DNS settings. Direct your A record to Shopify’s IP address which is 18.104.22.168. And direct your CNAME to shops.myshopify.com. Changing these settings might affect some features like email forwarding. Reach out to your domain name provider and see if these changes exist.
You would want to delete the A record if it’s already connected to your domain name. To do so, you need to:
- Log in to the account for your domain name
- Find your domain admin area or DNS configuration
- Click on ‘Edit your A record’
- Direct your A record to Shopify’s IP address by selecting @ symbol or A record.
- Save it and find the CNAME record in your DNS settings now
- Direct your www CNAME to shops.myshopify.com and click on ‘Save’
Confirm if there is a connection between your domain name and your store by click on ‘Verify connection’ in your Shopify admin panel. We already told you that it takes up to 48 hours to point your domain name to your online Shopify store. So, wait and see if everything goes hassle-free. If you have any questions or confusion, ask your domain name provider or Shopify Support.
Edit Your DNS Settings
DNS is the Domain Name System used to name several computers, services, or other resources connected on the internet. You need to edit the DNS settings so you don’t have to face Shopify SSL unavailable issue. You need to go to the ‘Domains’ section of the admin panel and change the relevant settings given below:
- SRV Record
- CNAME Record
- A Record
- MX Record
- TXT Record
- AAA Record
Shopify automatically configures the settings for A Record and CNAME Record. You need to include MX, SRV, AAA, and TXT if needed. You need to configure these settings if you have the domain registered by the third-party company. The change in DNS settings is a must if you direct a subdomain to another website.
You must know if you remove the A record or CNAME record, your domain name does not remain connected to Shopify. Of course, your customers cannot find your online store at your domain name. And that’s a big problem without a question. We have got a solution for you.
- Go to ‘Domains’ from ‘Online Store’ in the Shopify admin panel
- Choose the name of the domain you want to change in the ‘Shopify-managed domain’
- Hover over to DNS settings now
- To add a new record in the DNS, add custom records and choose the type of the record.
- Click on ‘Actions’ and ‘Edit’ to change a current record
- Click on ‘Actions’ and ‘Remove’ to delete a record
Notify Search Engines About the Change in Domain
Intelligent search engines like Google crawls and indexes the webs to their servers. Update your domain’s sitemap to notify search engines about the URLs change from HTTP to HTTPS. In this example, we will only notify Google for the update. Depending on the method, the updating process may change. We are going to update the information from Google Search Console. By the way, you need to verify your domain first if you have never tried the Console before. Let’s get to know what steps you need to take now:
- Log in to your Google Search Console
- Enter your domain with HTTPS and click on ‘Add Property’
- Choose the SSL-encrypted domain name
- Crawl and then choose ‘Sitemaps’
- Add or test the sitemap
- Enter your store’s new sitemap
- Remove the HTTP sitemap on the profile
Yes, it’s that easy. You need not worry about it if you are not comfortable with using the webmaster’s tools.
Concluding the Solution
You need to bookmark this article to keep a track on fixing the Shopify SSL unavailable issue quickly. We hope you would like to come back and see what you need to do. SSL Certificate is a very important part of your online presence. You need it to build credibility among your visitors and customers. Browsers also recognize you well if you have an SSL certificate. That’s why we have broken the process into practical parts so you can easily fix the issue. But, if you think it’s not your pie, consult with the Shopify Support team.