How to Use SSL to Secure Your Zippy Courses Custom Domain

If you've already added a custom domain to your Zippy Courses site, you may want to consider adding SSL to your site as well. When your domain has SSL added, a green lock icon will appear on all pages of your site:

This reassures your students that their connection to your site is secure and that any potentially sensitive information (such as credit card information) is safe. Zippy Courses will automatically secure all checkout pages on your site, and if you use the default Zippy Courses subdomain which comes with your Zippy Courses site, all of your site pages are already secured. If you're using a custom domain, though, and want to add this same security icon to all pages on your site, you will need to enable SSL.

The easiest way to add SSL to your site is to route your DNS through Cloudflare. Cloudflare provides a variety of under-the-hood services for your domain name, including the ability to add SSL.

Creating a Cloudflare Account

Cloudflare is a free service, and you can sign up without providing a credit card. Click here to go to Cloudflare and create an account. After you enter an email address and password, you will be prompted to add your website.

Enter your domain name into the "Add a website" field, and click Scan DNS Records. This process will take about 60 seconds. Once the process is complete, you'll be sent to a page that will verify that the DNS records are correct.

Check the IP address under the listing labeled Points To. If this domain is not already set to point to Zippy Courses, change the Value for your domain to the following IP address:

52.36.15.88

Then click Continue to select a plan. For most Zippy Courses sites, we recommend the Free plan.


Select your plan, and click Continue. Now, you will need to update your site's nameservers. You will see two Cloudflare nameservers listed on the page:

 

Make a note of the values under the Change Nameservers to: heading. You will need to add these to your DNS.

Forward your DNS to Cloudflare

The exact steps for updating your nameservers will depend on your web host. Below are guides from several popular domain name providers and web hosts:

When prompted to enter your nameservers, enter the nameservers listed by Cloudflare.

Once you've changed your nameservers, it may take up to 24 hours for the changes to be reflected in Cloudflare. Your site will remain active during this time, and once the changes have propagated, your Zippy Courses domain should be manageable in Cloudflare.

Enable SSL In Cloudflare

Once your domain is connected to Cloudflare, it only takes  a few clicks to enable SSL. Log in to Cloudflare, and click on your domain name. Then, click on the Crypto tab.

If the SSL setting is off, change it to Flexible. It may take up to 24 hours for the new certificate to be issued, but once the certificate is active, you should now see Active Certificate displayed below your SSL setting:

If you type your domain into your URL bar, with "https://" before the domain name, you should now see a green lock indicating that communication with your site is secure.

Verify (or Re-verify) Your Domain in Zippy Courses

Even after enabling SSL in Cloudflare, Zippy Courses will continue to direct your students to the http version of your site until you verify that the domain has been secured. To do so, log in to your Zippy Courses Admin Dashboard, click on Settings, then scroll down to the Domain Settings. You should see a message similar to the one below:

Click Verify Now to have Zippy Courses verify that SSL is working on your site. Once Zippy Courses does so, you will see a confirmation message:

And you're all set! The links in your site's homepage and elsewhere will now direct students to the secure versions of your pages.