Creating development stores

As a Shopify Partner, you can create an unlimited number of development stores. A development store is a free Shopify account that comes with a few limitations. You can use a development store to test any themes or apps that you create, or to set up a Shopify account for a client. Setting up a development store and transferring it to a client gives you a recurring commission.

Features and limitations of development stores

Development stores include most of the features that are available on the Advanced Shopify plan.

You can do the following while building and testing a development store:

  • Process an unlimited number of test orders
  • Create an unlimited number of unique products
  • Create up to 10 private apps
  • Assign a custom domain

However, there are some things that you can't do with a development store until you switch it to a paid plan, such as:

  • Install paid apps (except for a selection of partner-friendly apps)
  • Process orders through an active payment provider, for example, by completing a purchase through the online store
  • Remove the password page

Developer previews

When you create a development store, you have the option to enable a developer preview. A developer preview gives you early access to new features of Shopify so that you can build and test your apps against upcoming features before they're released to merchants.

A development store with a developer preview enabled includes all the features that are available on the Advanced Shopify plan, but the store can't be transferred to another owner or transitioned to a paid plan.

Development store types

Partners use development stores for two main purposes:

In both cases, the process of creating a development store is the same. However, certain development store features, such as developer preview, prevent you from transferring the store to a client.

Create a development store for testing apps or themes

Before you can create a development store, you need to have a Shopify Partner account.

Steps:

  1. Log in to your Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Stores.
  3. Click Add store.
  4. In the Store type section, select Development store.
  5. In the Login information section, enter a name for your store and a password that you can use to log in. By default, the email associated with your Partner Dashboard is used as the username, but you can change that if you want.
  6. Optional: Enable a developer preview by checking Create a non-transferrable store that uses a developer preview. Select a developer preview version from the drop-down list.
  7. In the Store address section, enter your address.
  8. Optional: In the Store purpose section, select the reason why you're creating this development store.
  9. Click Save.

When you're done working on a development store, you can archive it.

Create a development store for a client

Before you can create a development store, you need to have a Shopify Partner account.

Steps:

  1. Log in to your Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Stores.
  3. Click Add store.
  4. In the Store type section, select Development store.
  5. In the Login information section, enter a name for your store and a password that you can use to log in. By default, the email associated with your Partner Dashboard is used as the username, but you can change that if you want.
  6. In the Store address section, enter your client’s address.
  7. In the Store purpose section, select Build a new store for a client.
  8. Click Save.

When you're done working on a development store, you can hand it off to a client or archive it.

The development store password page

All newly created development stores are password protected. This means that visitors to development stores can access your development store in the following ways only:

  • By entering a password on the development store password page
  • By logging into the development store's admin
  • Through a Shopify Theme Store or Shopify App Store demo link

Unlike the customizable password page for a store that's on a free trial or paid plan, the development store password page isn't linked to the online store's theme and can't be customized.

You can remove the password page only after you transfer the store to a merchant or switch the store to a paid plan.

Viewing or setting the password

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Preferences.

  2. In the Password protection > Password field, enter a password. This is the password that you'll give to the visitors who you want to be able to access the online store. Don't use the same password that you use to log into your admin.

  3. Click Save.

Viewing and editing the customizable password page

Although the customizable password page isn't used to control access to your development store, you can still view it after you are logged in, or edit it from the Shopify admin.

To view the customizable password page, logged-in visitors can navigate to https://your-store-name.myshopify.com/password, where your-store-name is the name of the development store.

You can edit the customizable password page using the theme editor, or by editing the theme's password.liquid file.

Theme Store and App Store listings

You can use a development store as a demo store in Shopify Theme Store or App Store listings. When a visitor clicks on the demo link in a listing, the development store password page does not appear. You do not need to change any settings in the development store to enable this functionality.

Learn more about demo stores for the Shopify Theme Store.

Learn more about demo links for the Shopify App Store.