Best practices for building Shopify apps

To optimize your app development experience, Shopify has established a set of best practices that you can refer to when developing your app.

Best practices

To create an optimal customer experience, and to keep your merchants' stores fast, accessible, and discoverable, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Performance: Performance is key to the success of the merchants that you support and to the experiences of their customers. Learn how to optimize and test your app for performance.
  • Accessibility: Learn how to increase the accessibility of your app to create an inclusive experience for merchants and customers.
  • Design: Learn key principles behind good app design, and learn how to design an app to meet the requirements of merchants and their customers.

Guiding principles for app development

In addition to the best practices listed above, you should consider the following guiding principles for app development.

These principles apply whether you're building an app for a single merchant or for the Shopify App Store.

Principle Description
Be performant Apps should be built with performance in mind, so that merchants and their customers can benefit from the fastest, most reliable online shopping experiences. Apps should minimize the use of JavaScript and rely on modern and native web browser features for most functionality.
Be purpose-built Each apps's layout, style, and feature set should be opinionated and optimized for a specific merchant or merchant segment. Out of the box, your app should equip merchants with an optimized set of tools to meet their needs, based on what they sell and who they sell to. Specialized apps provide more value to merchants than generic apps.
Offer best-in-class UX With the growing number of Shopify stores, apps have the power to lead the industry and to shape ecommerce user experience patterns. Apps should be designed with quality in mind, putting the customer first.
Be mobile first With the large majority of online store traffic happening on mobile, designing for mobile devices must be at the forefront throughout the app build process.
Be accessible To provide the best experience to a wide range of merchants and customers, apps must be built from the ground up with accessibility best practices in mind.