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.

Features and limitations of development stores

Development stores include most of the features that are available on the Advanced Shopify plan. However, there are some things that you can't do with a development store until you switch it to a paid plan:

  • install paid apps (except for a selection of Partner-friendly apps)
  • assign a custom domain
  • process more than 50 orders (although you can create unlimited test orders)
  • create more than 10 private apps

After you create a development store, it remains active until you close it or transfer ownership to a client. Because of this, it's best to use a development store rather than a free 14-day trial when you're creating a new store for a client. Trial stores are typically used by new merchants when they start a business on Shopify. To learn more about transferring ownership of a development store, see Handing off development stores to clients.


To avoid incurring extra costs before a store is ready to open, make sure to finish as much development work as possible before you switch a development store to a paid plan.

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.