All Tutorials

Development Stores and Store Transfer

All Tutorials

Development Stores and Store Transfer

Development Stores and Store Transfer

Development stores can be used for building a store intended for a client, or for testing your app while you’re building it.

Development stores have limitations on them to make sure that they’re only used for development purposes. Some actions, such as enabling a developer preview or installing a draft app, will cause store transfer to be disabled permanently.

Using development stores

Shopify Partners can create unlimited development stores, which are commonly used for:

  • Building or configuring stores on behalf of a client
  • Developing and testing an app before it’s ready for wider distribution
  • Developing a Shopify theme
  • Testing upcoming features with Shopify developer previews

By default, development stores are transferable to merchants. However, stores become transfer-disabled under certain circumstances. Learn more about transfer-disabled stores.

Once store transfer is disabled on a development store, the change can’t be reversed. You will need to create a new development store if you wish to transfer it to a client.

When to transfer a store

There are two main reasons to transfer a store to a live plan:

  • The work on the store is complete and the store is ready to sell products.
  • The work on the store is not complete, but the store requires a feature that's available only on a paid Shopify plan. To learn more about what features aren't available for development stores, see Features and limitations of development stores.

When transferring to a live subscription plan, the store will require billing information, which must be provided by the store owner.

How to transfer a store to a merchant

To learn more about how to transfer a development store to a merchant, see transfer ownership of a development store.

Transfer-disabled stores

Store transfer is disabled on development stores when using functionality that can’t be transferred to a live store. This means that the development store cannot be transferred to a merchant at any time.

Development store transfer will be permanently disabled in the following cases:

When you attempt to perform any action that will cause transfer to be disabled for a development store, a warning will appear before the store is converted.

Transfer disabled stores have a yellow ‘Transfer disabled’ label in the Partner Dashboard.