Creating development stores


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

About development stores

As a Shopify Partner, you have the ability to 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.

Development stores are free of charge and you can create as many as you need. You'll also get unlimited development time, so you should always use a development store rather than the free 14-day free trial. The time-limited free trial stores are typically used by merchants when they start on Shopify.

In order to make sure that you are paid for the client stores that you develop, you must create their store as a development store first, or have your client sign up through your referral link. If you need to link a pre-existing store to your partner account, you must reach out to your Partner Manager to add them to your account.


If your client signs up through your referral link, their store will be listed as an Affiliate 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 test orders

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

  • Paid apps
  • Paid themes
  • Custom domains


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 your first development store

To create your first development store:

  1. From your Shopify Partners dashboard, click into the Development Stores page.

  2. Click Create a new Development store.

    Create first development store
  3. Fill in the store details.

    Create dev store

    You must include:

    • the store name
    • the store type (online, retail, or online and retail)
    • a password for your store login.
  4. Click Create development store to create the store.

When the store is created, you can log in immediately through the link at the top of the page:

Dev store created login


You can log in to a development store at any time by clicking the store URL on your Development stores page.

Create additional development stores

When you've created one or more development stores, you can add more by clicking Create a new development store in the header of the Development stores page:

Create additional stores

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.

Did you know?

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.