Getting started

Shopify enables you to create powerful ecommerce solutions for a variety of scenarios, including integrating your service into the Shopify admin, customizing any website, and more. Get familiar with Shopify's developer products below.

Build an app

Build apps for more than 1,000,000 Shopify merchants. See our Shopify apps Getting Started guide to get up-and-running quickly and make your first calls to the API. See our tutorial Build a Shopify app with Node and React to set up an embedded app using Shopify’s preferred technology stack.

Types of Shopify apps

Shopify’s APIs let developers integrate with the platform in a variety of ways. Depending on the purpose of your app, you’ll first need to choose what type of app you’re building. Public apps are meant for developers who want to distribute their apps to many merchants. Custom apps are meant for developers building an app tailored for a single merchant. There are several important differences between the two types:

Public apps

Custom apps

  • Can be installed on a single Shopify store
  • Don’t go through Shopify’s app approval process
  • Can’t be listed in the Shopify App Store
  • Manage authentication with OAuth 2.0
  • Can use the Shopify App Bridge to appear as an embedded app in the Shopify admin
  • Can use app extensions to extend the Shopify admin UI

Developers can still create private apps, but custom apps are the recommended solution.

Build embedded apps

You can use app extensions and embedded app libraries to extend the reach of your app and create seamless user experiences for merchants in Shopify.

Build custom storefronts

The Shopify API supports custom storefronts that let merchants sell anywhere, even outside of Shopify.

Build an ecommerce storefront into any website with complete control over the interface and behavior using our JavaScript Buy SDK. You can also use the iOS or Android Buy SDK to embed a Shopify store's products and checkout into your mobile apps. You get access to native mobile GUI elements powered by Shopify's commerce tools.

When working with custom storefronts, you can also make your apps available from the Shopify App Store to potentially meet the needs of many merchants. For example, you could combine Storefront and Admin API functionality to build apps that work in the Shopify admin and also deliver customized purchasing experiences.

Our APIs

Build apps using our APIs, available in both REST and GraphQL versions.

Where to get help

Sign up for a Partner account to get started.

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