International domains

A regional domain or subdomain is a URL that is specific to a region or country. These types of domains are also called international domains. If you want to sell to buyers in multiple countries, then you can use international domains to display your online store in the language that is specific to each region or country, and show the prices in the local currency. You can use international domains with both Shopify managed domains and third party domains.

You can use both top-level domains and subdomains when creating region-specific or country-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, you can use your-shop-name.fr, or fr.your-shop-name.com, where your online store appears in French and shows prices in EUR. This improves localized shopping experiences and helps with international selling.

There might be restrictions or requirements for specific regions or countries 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 should 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 create international domains for your store, you need to add and connect a domain for every different region or country where you want to offer a localized shopping experience.
  • The domains or subdomains need to be specific to a region or country, for example, johnsapparel.de for Germany. However, you must use custom domains. You can't use your default myshopify 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 region or country that you want associated with that particular domain.
  5. Click Save.

International domains FAQ

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

No, you can use subdomains on your primary domain for each region or country. 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 region or country. Submit a sitemap for every international domain that you set up.

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

No, Shopify does not direct customers automatically to their country-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 regions or countries and currencies to one domain?

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

Should I add every language to a domain?

No, only make domains for the languages 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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