Development stores

A development store is a free Shopify store that comes with limitations. As a Shopify Partner, you can create an unlimited number of development stores.

You can use a development store to build and test themes or apps that you create. Development stores can be used with tools like Shopify CLI and the Shopify GitHub integration so that you can preview, test, and share themes that you're building.

You can also use a development store to set up a Shopify store for a client. Setting up a development store and transferring it to a client gives you a recurring commission.

In both cases, the process for creating a development store is the same. However, certain development store features, such as developer previews, prevent you from transferring the store to a client.

Prerequisites

To create or access a development store, you need a Shopify Partner account.

Development stores and Shopify CLI

You can't use Shopify CLI with development stores if you only have Partner staff member access. If you want to use Shopify CLI to work on a development store, then you should be the store owner or create a staff account on the store.

If you're the store owner, then you need to log in to the store directly using the store URL at least once (for example, using my-example-store.myshopify.com/admin) before you log in using Shopify CLI. Logging in to the Shopify admin directly connects the development store with your Shopify login.

Create a development store to build and test your theme

  1. Log in to your Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Stores.
  3. Click Add store.
  4. In the Store type section, select Development store.
  5. In the Login information section, enter a name for your store and a password that you can use to log in. By default, the email associated with your Partner Dashboard is used as the username, but you can change it if you want to.
  6. Optional: Enable a developer preview by checking Create a non-transferrable store that uses a developer preview. Select a developer preview version from the drop-down list.
  7. In the Store address section, enter your address.
  8. Optional: In the Store purpose section, select the reason why you're creating this development store.
  9. Click Save.

When you're done working on a development store, you can archive it.

Create a development store for a client

  1. Log in to your Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Stores.
  3. Click Add store.
  4. In the Store type section, select Development store.
  5. In the Login information section, enter a name for your store and a password that you can use to log in. By default, the email associated with your Partner Dashboard is used as the username, but you can change it if you want to.
  6. In the Store address section, enter your client’s address.
  7. In the Store purpose section, select Build a new store for a client.
  8. Click Save.

When you're done working on a development store, you can hand it off to a client or archive it.

Sharing your development store

Development stores are always password protected. You can remove the password page after you transfer the store to a merchant or switch to a paid plan. Development store password pages can't be customized.

Visitors can view development stores in the following ways:

  • By entering a password on the development store password page
  • By logging into the development store’s admin
  • Through a Shopify Theme Store or Shopify App Store demo link

Viewing or setting the password

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Preferences.
  2. In the Password protection > Password field, enter a password. This is the password that you'll give to the visitors who you want to be able to access the online store. Don't use the same password that you use to log into your admin.
  3. Click Save.

Viewing and editing the customizable password page

Although the customizable password page isn't used to control access to your development store, you can still view it after you log in, or edit it from the Shopify admin.

To view the customizable password page, logged-in visitors can navigate to https://your-store-name.myshopify.com/password, where your-store-name is the name of the development store.

You can edit the customizable password page using the theme editor, or by editing the theme's password.liquid file.

Theme Store and App Store listings

You can use a development store as a demo store in Shopify Theme Store or App Store listings. When a visitor clicks on the demo link in a listing, the development store password page doesn't appear. You don't need to change any settings in the development store to enable this functionality.

Learn more about demo stores for the Shopify Theme Store.

Learn more about demo links for the Shopify App Store.

Developer previews

When you create a development store, you have the option to enable a developer preview. A developer preview gives you early access to new Shopify features so that you can build and test your apps before the new features are released to merchants.

A development store with a developer preview enabled includes all of the features that are available on the Advanced Shopify plan, but the store can't be transferred to another owner or transitioned to a paid plan.

Features and limitations of development stores

Development stores include most of the features that are available on the Advanced Shopify plan.

You can do the following while building and testing a development store:

  • process an unlimited number of test orders
  • create an unlimited number of unique products
  • create up to 10 private apps
  • assign a custom domain

A development store has the following limitations:

Next steps