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What Does SSL Pending Mean On Shopify?

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
March 8, 2022
Table of Contents

    Did you know that there are 2,200 cyberattacks per day and over 800,000 people are hacked annually? As a Shopify store owner, you definitely do not want people being hacked on your website. The data breaches happen for multiple reasons, one of which is the topic of this article – Secure Socket Layer. This might sound like a vague and complicated term to you. However, if you want to decrease the risks of your Shopify store becoming one of the thousands of websites that experiences a data breach every year then keep on reading.

    What is an SSL Certificate?

    SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Simply put, it is a secure protocol used to keep your internet connection secure and protect any sensitive personal data from criminals while it transfers between the internet and your computer. SSL creates an encrypted link between a web browser and a web server, thus it authenticates a website’s identity. 

    Nowadays all businesses that have websites need to get SSL certificates to make sure that online transactions and customer information on their website are private and secure. Every website that has an SSL certificate, has a padlock icon in the address bar or the acronym HTTPS so that the visitor can be sure that their personal data is not at risk. 

    In other words, if you want to have a high reputation and prevent your website from outside interference, just get an SSL certificate when you are setting up your Shopify domain name.

    How do I enable SSL on Shopify?

    It does not take much effort to add an SSL certificate to your Shopify store. When you create a new online store on Shopify, you will automatically receive an SSL (also known as a TLS – Transport Layer Security) certificate across each URL for free, after your domain has been properly related to your Shopify store.

    Then you should update all the URLs on your website to the HTTPS:// version. To do this you should:

    1. Choose which URLs redirects you want to update.

    2. Click on the Edit redirect button

    3. Make the necessary changes

    4. Click on the Save button.

    This is a simple process and the updates happen pretty fast. Normally, they do not take more than 48 hours.

    If you do not see a padlock icon in the address bar after all these steps are done, that means that your SSL encryption failed. Then you will get a warning that says “SSL Pending” or “SSL Unavailable.” This error may happen for a number of reasons, such as:

    • domain misconfiguration;

    • content errors;

    • site refresh delays.

    What does SSL pending mean on Shopify?

    You may see an SSL pending error message when generating your  Shopify website certificate. You can receive this red error message even when the processing of the certificate is not over, which is a very common thing. 

    The SSL pending message on Shopify means that your certificate is not ready yet. This status shows that your website is not protected from online hackers, but it is still possible to have access to it. 

    The SSL pending shows that you applied for an SSL certificate, but Shopify has not verified that your content and server completely follow the encryption protocol. During this pending time, you will only be able to visit your website domain through the HTTP:// version. 

    In the next paragraph, we will discuss a few steps that will help you solve this problem.

    How to fix the Pending or Unavailable Certificates

    Besides the pending SSL status, there is another issue that you can stumble upon while getting an SSL certificate. It is the SSL unavailable error which literally means what it says — SSL cannot be available on your website. But do not worry, even in this situation you can still use Shopify free encryption. 

    Basically, it means that Shopify cannot provide you with a certificate, as there are some configurations or content on your website that are not secure enough.

    To solve similar issues you simply need to take the following steps:

    1. Wait for 48 Hours: If you are sure that the content of your website follows the encryption protocol requirements, but you still come across these problems, just try to wait 48 hours. Generally, it takes about 2 days to install HTTPS:// encryption on your website. 

      The reason for this wait after changing configurations on your web server or custom domain is that your SSL certificates require time to be re-verified or renewed.

    2. Set Up your Domain Record: Usually online store owners create their custom domain through Shopify, which automatically adds their custom domain to the Shopify admin panel. Then the panel takes care of the configurations itself.
      But if your custom domain is not created through Shopify then you should add your custom domain by yourself.
      Make sure to check if your A record is pointing at Shopify’s correct IP address, which is 23.227.38.65. Note, that you cannot use more than one A record for a single domain. On Shopify any extra A record entry will cause the SSL Unavailable error. It is important that along with the correct IP address your CNAME entries are shops.myshopify.com. 

    3. Use IPv4 Instead of IPv6: One of the reasons that can cause unsuccessful HTTPS:// encryption in your Shopify URL address is using IPv6 (AAAA) record, which is irrelevant to Shopify’s web hosting properties. Use IPv4 A record type to have success in getting your desirable SSL certificate.

    4. Do Not Use CAA Record: On Shopify, it is not recommended to use CAA Records, as they can obstruct the process of getting a secure HTTPS:// address for your website. Still, if you have to apply for CAA records, include certificate authorities for each of the following sites in each record

      • letsencrypt.org, 

      • digicert.com, and 

      • globalsign.com 

    These mentioned authorities are meant to verify that a given HTTPS:// URL has not been removed and is still valid. 

    Now, let us have a look at the steps that help to fix SSL pending error, which is different from the unavailable SSL error. Here are three main steps you should follow:

    Step one:

    Correct your name records. If you are convinced that all aspects of your website’s DNS configuration are correct, but you still have SSL pending error then pay attention to your A records. They should directly point at 23.227.38.65, which is Shopify’s IP address.

    Step two:

    Set up CNAME Records. Your Shopify Specific CNAME record should look like this: shops. myshopify.com  and it should always point to a domain name, and not to an IP address. 

    Step three: 

    Do not overload Shopify to fix the problem with too many support requests. It often takes Shopify 48 hours to configure an HTTPS:// address. If you make interventions throughout this process then the processing will take two additional days. So all you can do is patiently wait to get your secure website sooner than later.

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    What are the Benefits of Having an SSL Certificate on your Shopify Store

    Finally, let’s look into the benefits that an SSL certificate gives to Shopify online store owners. 

    As mentioned above, an SSL certificate is meant to build trust and secure server-client communication. When visitors see the padlock in the address line it gives them the confidence that their personal data will not be at risk of being stolen and modified by criminals. Besides, it makes your website authentic and affirms your identity.

    We hope that this article helped you understand what does SSL pending mean on Shopify.

    FAQs about pending SSL on Shopify

    Does Shopify provide free SSL Certificates?

    Yes, Shopify provides free SSL certificate. This way they ensure that every online shopper on this platform is protected from information theft. With just a few clicks you can turn your website HTTP:// URL version to secure and trustworthy HTTPS://.

    How long does “SSL Pending” take on Shopify?

    “SSL Pending” takes 48 hours on Shopify. As we have already discussed above, this time is meant for checking whether all the domain configurations and website content fit the parameters that Shopify encryption protocol requests.

    How to update SSL certificate in Shopify?

    To update SSL certificate in Shopify, there is no need to update or renew your existing SSL certificate. If there is a need, the platform will automatically add a new certificate to your custom domain. This process will not take longer than 48 hours.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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