Setting up a development environment

The first step to creating Shopify themes is to set up a development environment. To do this, go to Shopify Partners and create your own account.

About the Partner Program

The Partner Program gives people an opportunity to earn money for:

  • Selling theme(s) on the Shopify Theme Store,
  • Building and selling your app(s) and on the Shopify App Store,
  • Setting up an Affiliate shop for another Shopify client,
  • Building a theme/app for another Shopify store as a Shopify Expert.

By registering to be a part of the Partner Program, you have access to:

  • Stats on the stores you've developed (also known as Affiliate shops),
  • Free development stores specifically for working on other themes or getting a store set up for a client,
  • Potential revenue for every theme, app or store you develop.

Why Partner accounts are required

Becoming a Partner allows you to create unlimited development stores. Development stores are free Shopify accounts made for working on themes, apps, or getting a store ready for a client. They have no time restrictions and all the functionality of a normal plan, but cannot accept payment for orders.

Creating a development store

To create a development store:

  1. Log in to your Partner account.

  2. Navigate to the Development stores tab.

    Partners 1

  3. From your development stores tab, click Create a new development store.

    Partners 2

Development stores share similar functionality to a real Shopify shop and are capable of:

  • making unlimited purchases through the bogus gateway
  • hosting all your products
  • storing data, including HTML and CSS.

Development stores do come with some limitations:

  • unable to create a real domain for your development store
  • unable to charge a development store since development stores cannot be billed.

Once your development process is complete, you can switch your development store into one of Shopify's paid plans so that you can start earning money from your store. To do this, click on the Switch to paid plan button in your Partners dashboard. Once you enter your payment details, Shopify will move your development store to the Affiliates tab and your shop will start functioning as an Affiliate shop.

If you are already creating a shop for a Shopify shop owner (also known as an affiliate), you can follow the steps above to turn your development store into an Affiliate. The shop will then appear on the Affiliates page.

Once you have your shop created, your next step is to choose an editor.

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