Creating development stores


Are you a Shopify merchant trying to set up a store? Visit the Shopify Help Center instead.

As a Shopify Partner, you can create an unlimited number of development stores. You can use these stores for demo or portfolio purposes, or as the first step in signing up clients for Shopify. You create development stores on the Development stores page of your Partner Dashboard.

To make sure you're paid a 20% monthly recurring revenue share for the merchants you refer, you must create a development store for them.

If a merchant signs up through your referral link, then you will earn a bounty payment worth two months of their monthly subscription fee (paid out over two months). For example, if a merchant chooses the $29 Basic Shopify plan, you’ll earn $58 total, paid out in two $29 installments over two months.


If your client signs up through your referral link, then their store will be listed as a referral on a 14-day trial, not as a Development store with unlimited development time.

Main features of development stores

Development stores have the full range of features included with the Advanced Shopify plan. A development store has access to:

  • Discount engine
  • Abandoned checkout recovery
  • Real time carrier-calculated shipping
  • Advanced report builder
  • 50 orders


You can also place test orders to avoid hitting your 50 order limit. Learn more

These features are restricted from use in development stores, and require a paid plan:

  • Paid apps, except for the apps listed here
  • Custom domains

There is no time limit for your development stores, so you should always use a development store rather than the free 14-day free trial when creating a new store. The time-limited free trial stores are typically used by merchants when they start on Shopify.


Paid plans require a credit card to be associated with the account. You should finish as much work as possible prior to changing the store to a paid plan to access additional features.

Create a development store

To create a development store:

  1. From your Shopify Partner Dashboard, click Development stores.

  2. On the Development stores page, click Create development store:

    Create a development store
  3. Enter the details about your new development store:

    Enter store details

    You must include:

    • the store name
    • the store type (online, retail, or online and retail)
    • a password for your store login.
  4. When you're done, click Create store.

After the store is created, it will open in your browser. You can also log in to your development stores from the Development stores page in your Partner Dashboard:

Development stores page

When you're done working on a development store, you can hand it off to a client or archive it so that it no longer appears on the Development stores page in your Partner Dashboard.

Why can’t I install an app on a development store?

Free apps can be installed on the development store. To install an app that has a fee, the development store needs to be on a plan with a credit card on the account.


We have a list of Partner-friendly apps that are free to try in development stores. View apps

Why can’t I add a custom domain on a development store?

To add a custom domain to a shop, it needs to be on a plan with a credit card on the account.