Shopify Store Development: The Complete Guide [Steps + FAQs]

Development stores are free Shopify accounts that allow you to experiment with various apps, themes, and website functionality, as well as set up client accounts. Shopify partners enjoy unlimited access to development stores, which allows them to easily test the themes and apps they create.

Follow these steps to create a development store in Shopify.

How to Set Up A Shopify Store: Step-by-Step 

Step 1: Create a Shopify Account

To get started, navigate to the Shopify website and proceed with the necessary steps to register for a 14-day free trial. After the trial period, you will have the flexibility to select a subscription plan that suits your needs.

  • Visit the Shopify website and click on the Sign-up button.
  • Enter your email address and click on the “Start free trial” button.
  • Choose the “I’m just starting” option to indicate you are creating a new store.
  • Select the places where you plan to sell your products.
  • Provide a name for your store and click “Next”.
  • Select your country or region for default shipping rates and app recommendations.
  • Choose to continue with your email or Facebook account.
  • Set a secure password for your Shopify account.
  • Click the “Create Shopify account” button to complete the 14-day free trial setup.

Step 2: Choose and Customize Your Theme

Explore different Shopify themes and their demos to find the one that suits your store’s aesthetic and functionality.

  • Check out previews and reviews from other users to get an idea of how the theme performs.
  • Go to your Shopify admin panel and navigate to the “Online Store” section, then click on “Free Themes”.
  • Click the “Add” button to add the chosen theme to your store.

Test and Preview Changes

  • Use the theme customization options to make changes and personalize the appearance of your store.
  • Access the customization options by clicking the “Customize” button under the Themes section.
  • Preview the changes to see how they will look on your store before publishing them.

You can only have one published theme at a time, but you can have multiple themes in your account depending on your Shopify plan.

Explore Theme Customization Options

  • You can find various options to modify your theme within the customization panel.
  • View the theme’s documentation for guidance on how to customize specific elements. 
  • Edit code, change text, upload images, and access additional features provided by the theme.
  • Benefit from the built-in customization features to align the theme with your brand identity.

Consider Professional Assistance

  • If you need extensive changes that require HTML or CSS coding, and you lack coding skills, consider reaching out to Shopify Experts.

Step 3: Adding Products to Your Shopify Store

You can now add products that showcase your inventory and attract customers. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Organize your products into logical categories and collections for easy navigation.
  • Use accurate and concise titles that clearly describe the product.
  • Write compelling and informative product descriptions, highlighting key features and benefits.
  • Set competitive pricing based on market research and competitor analysis.
  • Provide variant options for products with different sizes, colors, or variations.

High-Quality Images

  • Product Photography: Invest in high-quality product photography to showcase your products in the best possible light. Use professional equipment or hire a photographer if needed. Ensure the images accurately represent the product’s appearance, features, and details.
  • Multiple Views and Angles: Include multiple images that showcase different views and angles of the product. This allows customers to get detailed information about the item for purchase decision-making.
  • Zoom and Product Details: Enable zoom functionality on your product images to allow visitors to examine product details more closely. It helps them visualize the product’s texture, design, and other essential features.

Comprehensive Product Descriptions

  • Detailed Specifications: Include relevant product specifications, such as dimensions, materials used, weight, or technical details. This information helps customers make informed purchasing decisions and reduces the likelihood of returns or dissatisfaction.
  • Highlight Unique Features: If your product offers unique features or benefits, ensure they are clearly mentioned in the description. Explain how these features solve customer problems or enhance their experience.
  • Clear and Easy-to-Read Formatting: Use bullet points, subheadings, and paragraphs to break up text and improve readability. Avoid long blocks of text that may overwhelm or discourage potential customers from reading the entire description.

Step 4: Set Up Collections in Shopify

  • Access the Shopify admin panel and locate the left side panel.
  • Click on the “Products” tab to expand the options.
  • Select the “Collections” option to manage your product categories.
  • Click on the “Create Collection” button in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Provide basic details about the collection, including a title and description.
  • Choose whether to add products to the collection automatically or manually.
  • Explore other sections to enhance the collection, such as SEO listing preview, availability, and image selection.
  • Once you have added the necessary details, click the “Save” button to create the collection.
  • The newly created collection will open, allowing you to further customize it.
  • In the products section, click on the “Browse” button.
  • Review your product inventory and select the relevant products for the collection.
  • Click on the “Add” button to include the selected products in the collection.

You can effectively categorize your products into collections, providing customers with a better user experience and making it easier to find the products they are interested in.

Step 5: Arranging and Creating Pages in Shopify

  • Go to the “Online Store” channel in the left panel of the Shopify backend and click on “Pages.”
  • Click on the “Add page” button in the top right corner.
  • Enter the title and content for your store’s page.
  • Edit the website SEO, select visibility, choose a theme template, and click the “Save” button to create the page.

Adding Pages to Navigations

  1. Go to the “Online Store” channel in the left panel of your admin panel and click on “Navigation.”
  2. Add a new menu or click on the default menu titles to add your pages.
  3. In the menu item section, click on “Add menu item.”
  4. Enter the desired name to display in the navigation for your page and click on the search link bar.
  5. Select the pages option from the dropdown list.
  6. Choose the pages you want to show in the navigations.
  7. Click the “Add” button at the bottom right corner of the window.
  8. Your pages will be listed in the menu items section, indicating that they have been added to the navigations.

Step 6: Shipping. Payments and More

It’s essential to configure detailed settings related to shipping, payments, and more. These settings can be accessed in the Shopify backend under the “Settings” option. Let’s explore these configurations:

Configuring Settings

A. General: Fill in general information about your business.

B. Locations: Set up locations to manage inventory, fulfill orders, and sell products

C. Shipping: Choose delivery methods and set up shipping zones and rates.

  • Shopify Shipping: Purchase shipping labels with discounted rates and drop off packages at any post office.
  • Consider shipping costs, product weight, and packaging when deciding on shipping rates.
  • Offer free shipping based on fixed price, weight, or discount codes.
  • Higher plans allow displaying calculated rates from carriers at checkout.

D. Checkout: Customize the appearance and layout of the checkout page in theme settings.

  • Allow customers to create accounts for faster checkout and pre-filled information.

E. Receiving Payments: Enable payment options for customer convenience.

  • Consider location, transaction fees, accepted card types, and offsite/onsite checkout when choosing payment gateways.
  • Shopify Payments or 100+ third-party providers for credit card payments.
  • Best options like PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Apple Pay for non-credit card transactions.
  • Accelerated checkout buttons are available from some payment providers.
  • Choose store currency in Settings -> General -> Standards and formats -> Change formatting.

F. Taxes: Shopify handles common tax calculations and allows customization.

  • Confirm or modify default tax rates.
  • Generate reports for accounting and tax filing purposes.

Step 7: Test Your Store System 

It is highly recommended that you test your store before accepting orders to ensure that all settings related to order processing, inventory, shipping, notifications, and taxes are working. Shopify provides a “Bogus” gateway specifically for testing purposes. Here’s how you can test your store:

  • Go to Settings -> Payment Providers and deactivate any enabled payment providers.
  • Proceed to Accept credit cards -> Add a provider -> Third-party credit card provider -> Provider -> Other -> Bogus Gateway -> Continue, and activate the gateway.
  • Now, visit your store as a regular customer and place an order to confirm that everything is set up correctly.

To perform a more realistic test, you can use genuine credit card numbers and verify if the funds transfer successfully. 

Remember to cancel the order immediately to avoid transaction fees and obtain a refund. 

Step 8: Launch Your Store

You are just one step away from making your Shopify store live. To ensure that visitors and search engines can find your store, you need to set a domain name. 

Shopify provides a default domain name, but you also have the option to purchase and add a custom domain name. 

Follow these final steps to complete the process:

  • In your Shopify admin panel, navigate to “Settings” on the left side and click on the “Domains” tab.
  • Click the “Buy new domain” button to purchase a custom domain name.
  • Enter your desired custom domain name in the provided text box.
  • A list of available domain extensions and their prices will be displayed.
  • Click “Buy” next to the desired domain and proceed to confirm your subscription.
  • If you want to connect your existing domain to Shopify, click the “Connect existing domain” button, enter your old domain name, and click “Next”.
  • Enter your desired domain name in the text box and click the “Add domain” button. 

Please note that domain name changes can only be made once, so choose carefully.

Congratulations! Your Shopify store is now officially ready to go live.

You have successfully completed the process of setting up and launching your Shopify store.

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Hiring Expert Shopify Developers for Your Store

Even though you can follow the above steps and manually create a Shopify store, hiring a Shopify developer is still a valuable option for store owners who want to streamline their store development process. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or on a limited budget, you can still benefit from the expertise of a Shopify developer. They can assist you in various aspects of your store development, including:

  • Efficient Store Setup: A Shopify developer can quickly set up your store, ensuring all necessary configurations are in place.
  • Customization to Suit Your Business: Developers can customize your Shopify store to align with your specific business needs, incorporating branding elements and desired functionalities.
  • Mobile-Responsive Design: Shopify developers can create a mobile-responsive storefront that offers a seamless browsing experience across different devices, enhancing customer engagement.
  • Addressing Challenges: Developers have the knowledge and expertise to tackle any challenges that may arise during the store development process. They can provide effective solutions and optimize your store’s performance.
  • SEO Optimization: Shopify developers can optimize your store for search engines, ensuring that it is properly structured for better visibility and organic traffic.
  • Time Savings: By hiring a developer, you can free up your time to focus on other essential aspects of your business, such as strategizing and growing your brand.

In addition to hiring a Shopify developer, you can also consider Shopify agencies to assist with day-to-day tasks, further streamlining your store management process.

By seeking professional assistance, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient development journey for your Shopify store, leading to a well-crafted and successful online business.

11 Shopify Development Service Companies and Agencies

Here are some notable Shopify development service companies, known for their expertise in providing top-tier Shopify development services:

1. Liquify

With over 10 years of partnership with Shopify, Liquify is a recognized Shopify expert agency. They offer top-tier web design and 1. development solutions for both Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants, catering to custom theme development, branding, audits, and Shopify Plus support.

2. Klizer

Klizer has over 18 years of extensive experience in eCommerce website development and design, establishing a proven track record of delivering profitable and effective online store solutions. Their expertise covers the entire spectrum of eCommerce websites, encompassing development, design, and digital growth strategies.

3. Eastside Co

Renowned as a world-class Shopify Experts and Shopify Plus partner, Eastside Co has an impressive portfolio working with major brands like Nike and Unilever. Their comprehensive ecommerce services range from Shopify web design and app development to digital marketing solutions such as SEO, PPC, email marketing, and content marketing.

4. WhiteCap SEO

WhiteCap SEO specializes in cutting-edge SEO strategies tailored for Shopify merchants. As a trusted US-based Shopify Expert, they have a track record of significantly increasing organic traffic for businesses, including established companies like Custom Ink and Bucketfeet.

5. ZAGO Sweden

ZAGO Sweden is a certified Shopify Plus agency with expertise in graphic design, Shopify store setup, development, and marketing. They have partnered with renowned Shopify platforms such as Storetasker, and Yotpo, offering comprehensive Shopify services for leading brands in Europe and globally.

6. JumpStart

With years of experience, JumpStart is a Shopify development service provider focused on assisting Shopify Plus merchants. They excel in ecommerce strategy, UX design, custom development, integrations, and seamless store migration. JumpStart is recognized as one of the leading Shopify agencies in Asia.

7. Pivofy

Pivofy is a popular Shopify service agency specializing in sales-oriented web development solutions. They help merchants migrate to Shopify and offer a range of services, including custom theme development, integrations, and store optimization.

8. IT-Geeks

IT-Geeks is a Shopify Expert agency offering diverse services such as web design, development, digital marketing consultancy, and mobile application development. With extensive experience, they cater to the needs of Shopify merchants in various aspects of their online business.

9. Hextom

As a certified Shopify Expert, Hextom has assisted over 40,000 Shopify merchants with their app building, customization, store setup, and custom theme requirements. Their expertise lies in providing tailored solutions to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of Shopify stores.

10. Expert Village Media

Expert Village Media is an early Shopify Experts partner, known for creating public Shopify apps and delivering web design and store development services. With a vast client base of over 20,000 Shopify merchants, they bring valuable expertise to the Shopify ecosystem.

11. Corra

Corra is a reputable ecommerce agency serving the US and UK-based Shopify merchants. Their services encompass CX strategy, design, back-end integrations, and custom store development. With a strong track record, Corra has worked with notable clients like Faherty, Totes, and International Military Antiques.

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How to transfer ownership of a Shopify Development Store? 

To transfer ownership of a Shopify development store, follow these simple steps. 

  • Begin by logging into your Shopify Partner dashboard and navigating to the “Stores” page. 
  • Find the development store you wish to transfer and click the “Actions” option. 
  • From the dropdown menu, choose “Transfer Ownership.”
  • This action will open a new window where you’ll see a list of eligible owners to transfer the store’s ownership. 
  • If your client doesn’t have an account yet, you can create one before proceeding with the transfer. 
  • After selecting the new owner, initiate the transfer. 
  • The chosen person will then receive an email with instructions on how to set up their store and make it live.

8 Common Types of Shopify Development Services

  1. Shopify Theme Development and Customization: Customizing and creating unique themes for your Shopify store, ensuring a visually appealing and cohesive brand experience.
  2. Shopify Store Setup and Customization: Assisting with the initial setup and configuration of your Shopify store, including customizing layouts, menus, and settings.
  3. Shopify App Development and Customization: Building custom apps or modifying existing ones to add specific functionalities and features to enhance your store’s performance.
  4. Shopify Migration: Seamlessly transferring your online store from another platform to Shopify, ensuring all data, products, and customer information are successfully migrated.
  5. Shopify Store Updating and Maintenance: Ongoing support and maintenance services to keep your store up to date with the latest features, security patches, and performance optimizations.
  6. Shopify SEO Service: Optimize your Shopify store to improve search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and drive more potential customers to your online store.
  7. PSD to Shopify Theme Conversion: Converting your Photoshop design files (PSD) into fully functional and responsive Shopify themes, ensuring pixel-perfect design implementation.
  8. Shopify Plus Enterprise Services: Serving larger-scale businesses by offering specialized services, including advanced customization, scalability, and dedicated support for Shopify Plus merchants.

Importance of Shopify Development Stores

  • Shopify development stores play a crucial role for developers as it permits them to test their app and theme creations while serving as a portfolio to showcase their work to potential clients. 
  • They provide a convenient platform for creating Shopify websites for clients.
  • When working on a client’s project, you will create a development store specifically for them. 
  • Once the project is complete, you can transfer ownership of the development store to your client. This transfer enables them to choose the appropriate Shopify plan for their business.
  • Additionally, these development stores serve as a valuable tool for displaying your expertise and attracting new clients. 
  • They provide a means to exhibit your project management skills, demonstrate creativity, and showcase any custom Shopify apps you have developed.

The revised explanation emphasizes the significance of Shopify development stores for developers in testing, portfolio showcasing, client projects, and attracting new business opportunities.

Streamline Your Shopify Store Development Process for Optimal Results

When it comes to Shopify store development, leveraging the power of the Shopify platform is key. With its user-friendly interface and features, Shopify enables businesses to easily develop online stores. 

  • Whether you’re starting from scratch or migrating from another platform, Shopify offers a development environment that allows for early access and customization. 
  • With the Advanced Shopify plan, you can handle even complex cases and store data effectively. 
  • The platform’s unlimited development stores feature is a great way to test different approaches and forms, ensuring that you achieve the best results. 
  • By streamlining the testing process, utilizing back-end solutions, and collaborating with a dedicated project manager, you can save time and create a high-level ecommerce business that stands out from the competition.


What is Shopify and why is it a popular choice among business owners?

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms that allow businesses to create online stores and sell products. It is popular due to its user-friendly interface, customizable themes, and extensive range of features. Common alternatives include BigCommerce and Adobe Commerce.

How does Shopify help in improving conversion rates?

  • Shopify offers a smooth and streamlined checkout process, ensuring a seamless experience for customers. 
  • With mobile responsiveness built-in, your online store will look great and function flawlessly on any device.
  • Additionally, Shopify provides a range of powerful marketing tools to help you optimize your conversion rates and drive sales growth.

Can I create a development store for testing purposes?

Yes, Shopify allows you to create unlimited development stores, which serve as an ideal test environment to experiment with designs, functionalities, and new features.

What is the Shopify Partner account and how does it benefit developers?

A Shopify Partner account is for web developers and agencies working with Shopify. It provides access to developer previews, advanced features, support services, and the ability to create development stores for client projects.

Are there any time limits or restrictions for development stores?

Development stores have no time limits and offer complete control for testing and building Shopify sites. It is an excellent way to showcase creative theme designs and test new methodologies.

Can you test orders and payment processing on your development store?

Yes, you can simulate test orders and payment processing to ensure that your store’s checkout and payment systems working properly.

How much can one invest in Shopify development?

The cost of Shopify development can vary depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the project. On average, Shopify website design projects typically fall within the range of $10,000 to $20,000. However, more extensive and intricate projects can have a higher price tag, reaching up to $100,000. 

What factors influence the pricing for Shopify store development? 

Factors that contribute to the overall pricing include: 

  • The scope of the project,
  • Customizations required, 
  • The number of pages and templates required (such as product pages, category pages, and blog pages), 
  • Any additional functionalities or integrations desired for the Shopify ecommerce store. 

It’s essential to consult with a Shopify development expert to get a precise estimation of your specific project needs.

How can one add custom functionality or integrations to their Shopify store?

Shopify offers a wide range of add-ons and integrations through the Shopify App Store. These extensions provide additional features and functionalities to enhance your store’s capabilities.

What are the advantages of hiring an expert developer for Shopify store development?

Hiring an expert developer ensures that your store is built efficiently and tailored to your specific requirements. They have the technical knowledge and experience to create custom solutions and provide ongoing support.

How is Shopify suitable for mobile app development?

Shopify provides a mobile app development platform, allowing you to create native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. This enables you to reach visitors through mobile devices.

Is there any initial step before the steps to create for Shopify Store?

The first step is to set up a Shopify development store account, which allows you to explore and familiarize yourself with the Shopify platform features and functionalities.

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