Installing an SSL

What's an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a certificate that verifies that a secure webpage (such as a checkout page) is properly encrypted. SSL Certificates are issued by a trusted 3rd party called the Certificate Authority (CA). When you purchase an SSL, you are given two certificates: the actual SSL certificate, and the CA or Intermediate certificate.

All Bigcommerce stores are on a shared SSL by default. This means that any secure pages on a Bigcommerce store have been verified as encrypted. However, it is advisable for stores using their own domain name to purchase a private SSL. This will prevent the URL from changing from www.domain.com to domain.mybigcommerce.com when going to a secure page.

How do I purchase/install an SSL certificate from Bigcommerce?

1. In your Bigcommerce control panel, go to Setup & ToolsAdvanced ToolsSSL Certificate.

If you do not see SSL Certificate listed in the Setup & Tools menu, you are likely not logged in as the store owner. Confirm this by clicking the Users link in the upper right hand corner of the screen. See What is my support PIN and where do I find it? for more information.

2. If you do not already have a private SSL, click View SSL Certificate Options. If you are renewing an expired SSL, click Click here to purchase or renew an SSL from Bigcommerce.

3. Select I'd like to purchase an SSL certificate from Bigcommerce. Complete the purchase of your SSL certificate.

The I'd like to purchase an SSL link.

4. On Step 4: Certificate Details, you will be asked to choose an approver email from a drop-down list of email addresses that have been preselected by your domain registrar. Be sure to select an email account that is already set up. If none of the provided emails have been set up, you may wish to either create and set it up or have it forward to an existing email account.

The SSL approver email drop down.

If you are in the United States, abbreviate your state in the Contact Details. If you are outside of the United States, do not abbreviate.

4. Within a few minutes, you will receive an Approval email. Click the link it contains to approve your purchase of the SSL. You will receive a second email containing the actual certificate. Copy this certificate, including the lines that contain BEGIN CERTIFICATE and END CERTIFICATE.

The SSL certificate code.

5. In the Bigcommerce control panel, go back to Setup & ToolsAdvanced Tools › SSL Certificate. Paste your SSL Certificate into the empty area, then Save.

6. Your SSL will take approximately 15 minutes to take effect. After this, you can use the tools listed below to check it.

How do I install an SSL from a 3rd party?

If you are using a 3rd party for an SSL, you will need to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) in Bigcommerce, which will give the SSL provider the necessary information to create a working SSL.

Generating a CSR

1. Before you generate the SSL from your provider, go to Setup & ToolsAdvanced ToolsSSL Certificate.

2. If you do not have a private SSL already installed, click View SSL Certificate Options. If you do, click Purchase another SSL certificate.

The View SSL Certificate Options button.

3. Select I have my own SSL that I'd like to install, then Continue.

The I have my own SSL link.

4. Select I need a CSR to generate my SSL certificate, then Continue.

The Generate CSR link.

5. Fill out the CSR details, then click Continue.

The CSR details page.

6. Your CSR will be displayed on the following page. You will need to copy this (and/or keep this window open) to submit when you generate the SSL.

The CSR code.

Generating the SSL with your 3rd Party Provider

1. You will need to provide the CSR generated in the previous step.

2. Use the following settings when downloading your SSL certificate:

  • Server type - Apache or Apache Mod
  • Hash - SHA2

3. You will receive 2 files, the SSL itself and a bundle containing the intermediate certificate. If you received them in a zipped file, extract them before proceeding.

4. Open the certificates using a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit. (You may need to open these programs first, then navigate to your certificate files.) Copy the SSL certificate, including the lines that contain BEGIN CERTIFICATE and END CERTIFICATE.

The SSL Certificate code.

5. In the Bigcommerce control panel, go back to Setup & Tools › Advanced Tools › SSL Certificate. Paste your SSL Certificate into the top area. Then copy and paste your bundle/intermediate certificate at the bottom. Save.

The Edit Certificate Link.

6. Your SSL will take approximately 15 minutes to take effect. After this, you can use the tools listed below to check it.

How do I know my SSL is working?

You can check your SSL using the following tools:

For more guidance on troubleshooting SSL-related errors, see our SSL troubleshooting guide.

Was this article helpful?