International domains

A regional domain or subdomain is a URL that's specific to a country or region. These types of domains are also called international domains. You can use international domains to display your online store in the languages and currencies that are specific to certain countries or regions. You can use international domains with both Shopify-managed domains and third-party domains. To use international domains, you must be on the Shopify plan or higher.

You can use both top-level domains and subdomains when creating country-specific or region-specific domains. For example, you can use your-shop-name.com in the United States, where your online store appears in English and shows prices in USD. In France, where your online store appears in French and shows prices in EUR, you can use your-shop-name.fr or fr.your-shop-name.com. International domains improve localized shopping experiences and help with selling internationally.

There might be restrictions or requirements for specific countries or regions when you use a top-level domain that you buy from Shopify. For example, to use a .ca domain for Canada, you need to meet certain residency and business registration requirements. If you can’t meet these requirements, then you can use subdomains or purchase a top-level domain from a third-party domain provider and connect it to Shopify.

Requirements for setting up international domains

Consider the following when setting up international domains:

  • To use international domains, you must be on the Shopify plan, Advanced Shopify plan, or Shopify Plus plan.
  • To create international domains for your store, you need to add and connect a domain for every country or region where you want to offer a localized shopping experience.
  • The domains or subdomains need to be specific to a country or region, such as johnsapparel.de for Germany. However, you must use custom domains. You can't use your default myshopify.com domain.
  • Subdomains must use two letter country codes. For example, if you currently sell in the United States using johnsapparel.com and you want to expand to Australia, then use au.johnsapparel.com.
  • To use international domains, you must sell in multiple currencies using Shopify Payments.
  • If you sell in multiple languages using international domains, then you need to use a supported translation app.

Set up an international domain

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Domains.
  2. Next to the domain or subdomain that you want to customize, click Manage.
  3. For non-primary domains, select Don't redirect to the primary domain to see the domain management options.
  4. Choose the languages and country or region that you want associated with that particular domain.
  5. Click Save.

Set up international targeting in Google Search Console

International targeting, also known as geo-targeting, lets you show the correct version of your store to local customers in a specific country or region. For example, if you sell only to customers in the United States, then you can set your store's target country to the United States. You can set a target country or region for each of your store's domains or subdomains in Google Search Console.

If you’re on the Shopify plan or higher and using international domains to sell to multiple countries or regions, then verify each of your domains in Google Search Console. To set the target country or region for each store in Google Search Console, go to Legacy tools and reports > International targeting. For more information on setting up international targeting in Google Search Console, refer to Google Search Console Help.

International domains FAQ

Do I need to buy regional domains for every country or region?

No, you can use subdomains on your primary domain for each country or region. For example, if your primary domain is your-store-name.com, then you can set up a domain for Canada as ca.your-store-name.com, or buy and use your-store-name.ca.

How do International domains affect SEO results?

Hreflang tags and sitemaps are set up automatically for every domain. These elements enable search engines to return search results with domains that are specific to the buyer's country or region. Submit a sitemap for every international domain that you set up.

Will my customers be redirected automatically to the right country-specific or region-specific domain?

No, Shopify does not direct customers automatically to their country-specific or region-specific domain based on their IP address because this can cause SEO issues. Refer to Google’s recommendation for more information.

Can my customers switch between languages and currencies if the default is not their preference?

Yes. To provide your customers with the ability to switch between languages and currencies, you need to add language and currency selectors to your theme. Your theme might have a built-in currency and language selector. If you use Shopify’s Geolocation app, then you can add selectors and IP address-based recommendations for your customers.

Can I assign multiple countries or regions and currencies to one domain?

No, you can only have one country or region and currency assigned to each domain. If a country or region is assigned to a domain, then you can't assign that country or region to another domain.

Should I add every language to a domain?

No, only make domains for the languages that you think your core customers will use. Adding too many languages that aren't relevant to a domain can have a negative impact on your SEO rankings.

Why does my store only appear in one language after I add domains and assign languages to them?

You need to use a supported third-party app to translate your store's content in conjunction with Shopify's multiple language feature. International domains don't translate your content for you.

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