Seeing an 'SSL pending' error message on your Shopify store? Don't worry! We've got you covered.

When you see an 'SSL pending' error, it means Shopify is yet to verify your SSL certificate.

But how do you fix it, and how long does it take to resolve it?

We’ll explain all that and more.

But first, let’s understand what an SSL certificate is.

What is an SSL certificate?

Explanation of what an SSL certificate is

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority which verifies your online store's identity and creates a secure connection between your store and a visitor's web browser.

It does this by encrypting the data transmitted to and from your Shopify store. This helps protect the data against eavesdropping and other attacks.

Here’s an analogy to explain how an SSL certificate works:

You can think of an SSL certificate as a digital ID card. It helps confirm that a website is what it says it is and not an imposter site trying to trick visitors.

So what exactly is 'SSL' in the SSL certificate?

Well, SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is essentially an encryption-based security protocol designed to secure communication over the internet.

Third-party organizations called Certificate Authorities (CAs) are vetted and approved by web browsers to issue these certificates.

When a user visits your online store, your web browser scans your site to see if the certificate is valid and issued by a trusted CA.

If everything checks out, the browser will display a padlock icon in the address bar to show that the connection is secure.

You can click the padlock icon to see a 'Connection secure' message. Alternatively, you can check whether the website's URL starts with 'HTTPS.' The 'S' in 'HTTPS' stands for 'secure,' which indicates the website has an SSL certificate.

Let's take Do Dropshipping's website, for example. You can see the lock icon as well as HTTPS:

Padlock icon and https in the address bar

All online stores have SSL certificates to ensure that customer information and online transactions on the store are private and secure.

Does Shopify provide free SSL Certificates?

Shopify provides free SSL certificates for all Shopify store owners. This means that your customer's sensitive information is always protected when they're making a purchase from your Shopify store.

You can turn your online store's 'HTTP:// URL' version to a more trustworthy 'HTTPS://' in a few clicks.

How do I enable SSL on Shopify?

Shopify automatically issues a free SSL certificate once you connect your domain name to the store.

An SSL certificate, also known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate, is issued automatically when you buy a custom domain through Shopify.

A persona shopping with buyer protection

If you have bought a custom domain from a third-party domain registrar such as GoDaddy, Google Domains, or Name Cheap, you need to connect it manually to your online store.

Follow these steps to connect your domain to your Shopify website:

  1. Go to the Shopify admin and click 'Settings' on the bottom left side of your screen.
  2. Click 'Domains' from the left side panel.
  3. Click 'Connect existing domains' on the top right.
  4. Enter the domain in the text box and click 'Next.'
  5. Click 'Connect automatically.'
  6. A pop-up will take you to your domain provider's website. If you're not signed in to your domain provider, then you need to log in.
  7. Click 'Connect' and then 'Close' to finish.

The process should be the same for most domain providers, but you can check with your provider for the exact steps.

It usually takes 48 hours for the SSL certificate to be issued. After that, you should see the domain status as 'Connected' on the Shopify Domains page.

What does 'SSL pending' mean on Shopify?

'SSL pending' on Shopify means that your SSL certificate is activated for your online store, but Shopify hasn't authenticated it.

When you connect a domain from a third-party domain registrar to your Shopify store, it takes up to 48 hours for your SSL certificate to be reverified, reissued, or renewed. That depends on the type of change you make to your domain configuration.

You'll likely see an 'SSL pending' error message when you check the status of your domain.

How do you fix the 'pending SSL Certificate' on your Shopify store?

Person sitting next to a laptop

It can be stressful when you see a 'pending SSL certificate' or an 'SSL pending' message on your Shopify store.

But you don't need to worry about it since there's a solution for every domain status error you receive!

Here are the following steps you need to take to solve the 'pending SSL certificate' on your Shopify store:

1. Wait for 48 hours

It generally takes a few seconds to issue an SSL certificate. But it can take up to 48 hours for your updated DNS records to reflect globally.

So sit back and relax for two days after you've connected a domain to your store.

Any changes you make to your domain or web server, your SSL certificates need to be renewed and reverified.

2. Check your Address Records

Address Record, or A record, points your domain name to Shopify’s server IP address. So you need to check if your A record is pointing to Shopify’s IP address which is 23.227.38.65.

Go to your domain name registrar and find the 'Edit DNS' option. Then verify if the A record value matches Shopify’s IP address.

Also, ensure that there’s only one A record of your domain. Any extra A record will result in the 'SSL Unavailable' error message.

3. Check your CNAME Records

A Canonical Name record, or CNAME record, indicates that a domain name is an alias or nickname for another domain name.

You’ll find the CNAME record below or above the Address record. Check if the CNAME points to Shopify-specific CNAME, which is shops.myshopify.com.

4. Ask for help

If you've taken all the steps and waited for at least two days after connecting the domain, yet nothing works, you can ask for help.

Contact your third-party domain registrar admin support or Shopify customer service to resolve this issue.

How long does 'SSL pending' take on Shopify?

'SSL pending' can take up to 48 hours to resolve on Shopify.

During this time, Shopify waits for the DNS records for your domain name to update globally. Once it updates, the 'SSL pending' error will be fixed.

FAQ about Shopify SSL certificates

Do you have any more questions about SSL certificates? If so, check out these FAQs below:

Is SSL required for Shopify?

Your Shopify store requires an SSL certificate to provide your customers with a safe and secure checkout experience. Besides, most web browsers flag websites without SSL certificates which deters customers from using your store.

Is Shopify SSL legally required?

You legally need an SSL certificate for your Shopify store if you ask for customers' personal information such as name, address, and card details.

If your online shop processes payments and stores any payment data, your business must comply with the PCI DSS requirements, which require SSL certificates.

Taking action

Reading and absorbing information and knowledge is great (definitely if it’s free!), but do you know what’s even better?

Taking action!

So, to help you with taking action with what you have learned in this article, take a look at the bullet points:

  • Wait for two days after connecting your domain to your Shopify store.
  • If the 'SSL pending' error persists, check your Address Records and CNAME Records.
  • If nothing works, contact Shopify customer service or your third-party domain registrar support team for help.

Conclusion

If you see the 'SSL pending' message on your Shopify store, it means that your SSL certificate is in the process of being issued.

This can take a few hours to two days, so be patient and check back later. Once your SSL certificate is issued, your store will be secure and accessible over HTTPS.

If the SSL certificate is not activated within two to three days, check the A records and CNAME records before you contact the Shopify team for help.

Want to learn more about Shopify?

Ready to move your Shopify store to the next level? Check out the articles below:

Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth How to Start a Shopify Store: The Definitive Guide here.

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