If you’re interested in using the eCommerce platform Shopify, you’re likely wondering about Shopify development stores. Shopify development stores are an essential part of Shopify app development and theme creation. If you want to create a development store or use a development store to test your ideas, we’re here to help.
In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about Shopify development stores. We’ll explain what a Shopify development store is, why they are important to web and mobile app development, and how you can create a development store.
What is a Shopify Development Store?
The best way to visualize a Shopify development store is a blank canvas. A Shopify development store account gives development partners the ability to install and test new store themes and apps. A development store can also be shown to prospective clients as an example of your work, and they can be used to create a Shopify store for a client and sign them up to Shopify.
Shopify Partners and Shopify Plus Partners can create an unlimited number of development stores. They are free to create, and these accounts enjoy pretty much all of the features of an advanced Shopify account with a few key exceptions. The few restrictions attached to development store accounts are:
- You cannot process Shopify purchase orders through an active payment provider (Shopify does provide a bogus gateway that can be used for testing purposes)
- You cannot create more than ten private Shopify apps
- You cannot remove the password page
- You cannot install paid Shopify apps (there are a few Shopify partner apps they do allow you to install on your development store)
A Shopify Development Store is basically an advanced Shopify account that is ready to be used as a testing ground. However, these accounts are important in another way too.
Why are Shopify Development Stores Important?
Development stores give developers the ability to test out their app and theme creations and show their work to potential customers as a type of portfolio. Shopify development stores make it easy to create Shopify websites for clients.
You will create a Shopify website for the client you are referring as a development store. When the project is finished, you will transfer ownership of the development store to your client. At this point, they will choose which Shopify plan they want for their business.
These accounts are also perfect for showcasing your work and attracting new clients. It is hard to know how good a developer is without being able to view their work. Development stores give you the ability to showcase your project management skills, creativity, and show off custom Shopify apps you have built.
Now that you know more about Shopify development stores, you’re likely wondering how you can create one for yourself. Let’s explore this in more detail.
How Can I Create a Shopify Development Store?
In order to create a development store, you must first sign up for a Shopify Partner account. This process is straightforward. It will require you to enter your information, your goal or goals as a Shopify Partner, and confirm your email address. Once your information and account are confirmed, you can begin creating your own development stores.
Now that you have a Shopify Partner account, you can access your “Stores” page. On this page, click the button that reads, “Add Store.” This button will give you three store options: choose the one that says development store. The final steps to create a development store are setting a password, URL, and store purpose.
As previously mentioned, Shopify Partners can create an unlimited number of development stores. This gives you the flexibility to build Shopify stores for your clients, work on creating Shopify themes and apps, or even just have spaces to play around and teach new developers your methods.
How Can I Transfer Ownership of a Shopify Development Store?
Before a Shopify site can go live, ownership must be transferred and a Shopify plan must be chosen. Once a store’s ownership is transferred, and a Shopify plan is chosen, the few restrictions placed on the development store will be lifted.
Transferring ownership is easy. First, log in to your Shopify Partner dashboard and select the “Stores” page. Click on the “Actions” option and select the “Transfer Ownership” option next to the development store that you want to transfer.
Selecting the “Transfer Ownership” option will open a new box in your window. Here you will see a list of eligible owners that you can transfer ownership of the store to. If you haven’t already created an account for your client, you will have to in order to transfer ownership to them. Once you have selected an owner and transferred the store, the person selected will receive an email with instructions on setting up their store and going live.
Final Thoughts on Shopify Development Stores
Retail has changed a lot in the last decade. Shopify is one of the best eCommerce solutions available to businesses. The development store feature Shopify offers developers is not only a great way to create great apps and themes that help make Shopify even better, but it is also a great way to sell clients on your skills and the Shopify platform in general.
If you’re looking for a great Shopify website, look for an app development partner who is also a Shopify Plus Partner. Not only will they have experience and technical expertise with web and app development, but they will also be Shopify experts. This is a valuable partnership to have as you begin your eCommerce journey with your first Shopify development store.