I spoke to someone recently who needed help with their Shopify store. They had started their site over a year ago and hadn’t made it public for a variety of reasons.
They said that it didn’t look right and they wanted to get more products up before they made it public. I get it! We’ve all been there. I want things to look perfect before I show it to the world.
When I told them the impact of leaving the password on, they were shocked.
So I want to share with you a nugget of advice when your working on your website.
When the password is on, meaning you can only view the website through the password, you’re hiding it from everyone. Makes sense! This is why the password is there in the first place.
What many don’t realize is that requiring a password to view the content, also prevents search engines like Google from looking at your pages. Google doesn’t know your password.
Organic traffic, free traffic, comes from search engines and you’re saying “Nope! I don’t want you to look!”
What you forget though is that no one knows you exist yet. It’s not like you’re going to remove the password and magically people are going to find you. This takes time and a lot of work.
If you take away nothing else from this article, take away this. Once you’ve got something on your site that tells people who you are and what you do, even if it’s not perfect, remove the password.
Make it live! Then continue to improve. As long as people can do basic functionality (eg: contact you or make a simple purchase), make it live!
Search engines will begin to look at what you have and start to index your pages. They will start to show your content in search results, but this takes a while. Sometimes 6-12 months.
So if you are working on your site, have basic functionality, and expect to have it ready soon, turn off the password. The exception is if you have a big launch or something. That’s not the majority of folks though.
On the flip side, if you’re going on vacation for 2 weeks and won’t be able to process orders, don’t turn on your password. Turning on the password tells Google, that you’re no longer active and that they shouldn’t share your information in search results.
By turning on your password, you’re resetting your SEO. Don’t do that!
Instead of turning on your password, communicate upfront with your customers that orders are being shipped after X date. Leave your site on and allow the money to keep rolling in while you take the much-needed vacation. Your site will still be there, Google will know you’re still there, and you won’t lose your hard work on SEO.
If you’re concerned about SEO issues like this while making edits to your website, you might consider buying my Website Rescues. I update themes while your site is live, making minor tweaks on your Shopify site that have a major impact on conversions.