Putting a password on your Shopify website is hurting your business.
While it may seem tempting to put up a password to get your site ready with new products, collections, or updates to themes and apps, it comes with some serious drawbacks that you are probably overlooking.
1) It wrecks your SEO efforts.
If your goal is for people to discover your website with a search, then putting a password up is in direct conflict with that. Putting up a password page hides all of the content on your store behind that page. That stops more than customers from going to your website, it also blocks search engines from crawling your site. You’re effectively hiding your website from the internet, and the longer you do so the more it hurts you.
2) It hurts your sales.
This is a pretty obvious downside. But when your website is blocked with a password, customers cannot buy your products or services. The longer the downtime, the greater the revenue loss. Many times your website is being discovered through a search engine, and the potential customer is in a buying mindset. After all, they are searching for something specific and now they are looking at your store to answer that question or need. If they hit a password page instead… goodbye impulse buy.
3) It hurts your integrations.
Apps and sales channels need to talk to your website. The moment you put a password up, it interrupts that integration. Sales channels like Facebook and Google will become de-synchronized and you’ll get error messages stating that products are failing to upload properly. Almost every website I work on has this issue, and 9 times out of 10 it’s because the owner keeps locking down the site.
4) There is almost always a better way to accomplish whatever you’re trying to do
Whether it’s adding products for a drop, updating your theme, or adding new apps - you can probably do it without using a password.
If you’re adding products for a drop, try using the schedule feature to make the products appear at a future date and time automatically.
If you’re updating the theme, try duplicating your current theme and making the necessary changes on a backup. Then publish that theme when you’re ready so there’s never any downtime or interruption to your website.
I don’t know what the small shop obsession is with password pages, but in reality it needs to be treated as a last resort and not the immediate go-to option.
Think to yourself: “is there a way I can accomplish what I need to without placing a password on my store?”
Because there probably is.
BUT…. if you absolutely have to password protect your website, here are some things you should do to minimize the damage:
1) Keep it short.
The less time your website is locked, the less damaging it is.
2) Explain the reason for your password page and manage expectations
Ever see websites that are down for scheduled maintenance? Yeah, sure you have. How did you know? Because they flat out tell you. So whatever you’re putting a password up for, explain that on the password page and give an estimated time when you’ll be open again. Something like “closed as we get ready for our drop, be back soon!” is a useless statement that doesn’t set expectations for those customers. Be specific.
3) Continue to capture leads.
Enable your email signup sections, and have your social media pages displayed on the password page so you can hopefully salvage some of those potential customers that visited your website.
4) Check your integrations immediately after you reopen.
Make sure those sales channels are fully working, those ad accounts are connected, and those apps are working as intended after you reopen. Find those integration issues and fix them immediately before it costs you money.