shopify as web developer

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps people with no website design experience set up their online shops. It’s a great service for entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, money, or know-how to build their sites from scratch, but it’s also a handy resource for developers who want to customize someone else’s Shopify site.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t many amazing features for Shopify Plus developers to implement. Themes are built on their templating language called Liquid, which gets compiled before going live. This means you don’t have to worry about breaking anything while editing the CSS and HTML since any errors will just get caught in the compile and appear in your error log. And the best part: as soon as you save your changes, they go live immediately!

So whether you’re starting from nothing or working with an existing template, here are some of the best ways to use Shopify as a web developers.

Call the Shopify API using Javascript.         

To call the Shopify API using Javascript, you need to use a server-side proxy. You cannot make calls to the Shopify API from your Javascript code directly because of cross-domain restrictions implemented in web browsers. This is due to the same-origin policy.

You can use a server-side proxy that forwards requests to the Shopify API once your application has authenticated them. The advantage of this approach is that it’s simple and easy to implement. Still, it does require an extra round trip to the server that might be unnecessary depending on your application requirements.

You may also want to consider using a client-side library like jQuery or ZeptoJS, which provide cross-browser support for XMLHttpRequests (XHR), so you don’t have to worry about the different syntax for each browser.

Create a theme

As a Shopify Plus developers, you can customize the look and feel of your online store by using Shopify themes. Shopify themes allow you to build an entirely new layout or tweak an existing theme’s design to suit your specific brand and products.

Shopify themes work with content types, like blogs, product pages, and collection pages. You can use any text editor to customize a theme’s HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, image assets, and more.

Building a Shopify theme is a great way to get started with Shopify development. Once you create a basic theme for your store, we have various ways for you to learn how you can do even more with it!

JavaScript Buy SDK Integrations

When you want to create an entirely customized storefront experience or integrate Shopify products into another application, the JavaScript Buy SDK offers a variety of tools for creating custom cart and checkout experiences.

Use the JS Buy SDK to create custom store frontends

If you want to build your customized storefront, or if you want to integrate Shopify products into another application, the JavaScript Buy SDK offers a variety of tools for creating custom store frontends. For example, suppose you wanted to create a store frontend that only displays products from a specific collection. You could use the below code:

const client = ShopifyBuy.buildClient({

domain: ‘’,

storefrontAccessToken: ‘your-storefront-access-token’


A simplified version of this code is shown above to highlight the main concepts involved in using the JS Buy SDK; consult the documentation for more information about how it works.

Storefront API

The Storefront API lets you build custom shopping experiences using Javascript and React.js. There are many benefits to building this way, especially if you’re using a headless CMS like Contentful for your content management needs. You can integrate with third-party tools and services, use custom domain names and hosts in any environment, and create user-friendly interfaces that fit the look and feel of your brand.

Create a private app

This is necessary to obtain your API credentials, which will be used to access the Shopify store’s data through your app. To do this, go to “Apps” in your Shopify admin. Then click on “Manage private apps” at the bottom of the page.

Click on “Create new private app” and enter a name for your private app that you can easily remember. You can also write an optional description for yourself or other developers who will have access to the codebase where you are creating the Shopify app and installing it into a store.

A private app has full access to all resources in its associated store by default, so you need not grant any additional permissions to it at this time. If you ever want to restrict what resources are accessible via your app, edit it later and change its permissions under Admin API Permissions as necessary.

Install the Shopify Theme Kit

The Shopify Theme Kit is a command-line tool for interacting with the Shopify platform. It gives you access to various theme files to use your development tools to build and edit themes. You might be asking, “Aren’t there other ways to do this?” Yes! The Shopify Theme Editor is the simplest way, and some experienced coders will tell you that it isn’t the ideal solution for them. If you want more control over your development environment, customizing Sass files locally before compiling them, or automatically deploying updates as soon as you push code out to a branch in Git, installing the Theme Kit might be more useful.

  • Download and install the Shopify Theme Kit
  • Use the Shopify Theme Kit to upload and download new themes from your store
  • Use the Shopify Theme Kit to update and test your theme
  • Use the Shopify Theme Kit to deploy your theme to multiple environments

Use REST or GraphQL

The first thing to consider is which API you should use. There are two options available: REST and GraphQL. REST stands for Representational State Transfer and is a set of rules by which the API should be structured (and, therefore, how developers can use it). GraphQL, on the other hand, is an alternative to REST that uses a query language and allows developers to ask for specific product data instead of getting all of it and having to filter through it manually.

Before you get started, there are a few things you’ll want to consider to choosing between REST or GraphQL:

  • Ease of use: Although both APIs require some learning on your part as a developer, REST is generally simpler both in terms of implementation and how you can access data using the API.
  • Flexibility vs. simplicity: GraphQL provides more flexibility than REST by allowing for complex queries involving large numbers of items (with nested relations) without making multiple requests. However, because this type of request requires more effort from Shopify’s servers, there may be rate-limiting when using GraphQL (which could restrict how often your app can make requests).
  • Popularity: While both APIs are gaining popularity amongst Shopify developers, we’ve seen that more people are using the Storefront API over the past 12 months.

Use Polaris design system components with React.js.

If you create a Shopify app with React.js, use the Polaris library to build your custom interfaces that integrate seamlessly with Shopify.

Polaris is a design system of React components and Sass styles that enables developers to quickly create beautiful and consistent user experiences for Shopify’s web-based admin area.

You can use the Shopify App Bridge to connect your React app directly to Shopify, using Polaris components as building blocks for your application. You can also automatically use the Shopify App CLI to automatically generate a new React app from scratch.

Use jQuery or vanilla JS for page interactions with your custom HTML/CSS store templates.

There are many ways to add functionality to your custom Shopify theme, but two of the most popular options are jQuery and vanilla Javascript.

jQuery is a JavaScript library that makes HTML DOM manipulation easier than with just vanilla Javascript. It’s particularly useful for animations and page transitions, an important consideration for e-commerce websites.

Because of its popularity and effectiveness on small to medium projects, it’s become one of the most widely used JavaScript libraries around. You should make sure that jQuery is part of your tool belt as a web developer!

Embed products on your site. Great for blogger/influencer partnerships.

You can embed products on your site and even your blog posts. This is a great way to get your brand name out there—you can give bloggers incentives to promote your products, or you can use pay-per-click affiliate programs so that they are compensated every time a reader clicks on their embedded product.

Another benefit of embeddable Shopify products is that they’re also easy to share on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Imagine the potential for getting your brand name out there if you have thousands of influencers sharing your embedded products!

Embed buy buttons to sell items directly from your HTML/CSS website.

You can easily embed a Shopify buy button into a website. This is great for selling on web pages outside of Shopify. You can embed a buy button in HTML or use an app to embed more advanced online selling features such as product recommendations and live updates of inventory levels and pricing.

To add a simple buy button to your website:

  • Click Themes in your Shopify admin to get started. (or press G W T).
  • Click the … button next to the theme you want to edit, then click Edit HTML/CSS.
  • In the Sections directory, click product-template.liquid.
  • Scroll down until you see the following line of code: {{ product.description }} Paste the following line after this code: {% include ‘product’, product %} For example: {{ product.description }} {% include ‘product’, product %} Click Save at the top right of your screen when you’re finished editing.

Embed Twitter, Instagram and Youtube feed onto your custom HTML/CSS store frontend.

Suppose you’re a web developer or even someone who appreciates the aesthetic value of such a practice. In that case, there are a few ways you can use Shopify to build out your own personal social media storefront.

The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s more than just the ability to embed Instagram and Twitter feeds onto your website—it’s an entire suite of apps that allows you to customize your store frontend. From simple things like having different layouts for different categories, using custom CSS styling, and even using custom Javascript hooks so that you can manage the feed itself via code.

As long as you have a Shopify plan capable of what you want to do (you should be fine if you’re on an ad-free or small business plan), this is the perfect solution for small businesses looking to build their products from their products.

Set up an affiliate program using Shopify apps.

You can set up an affiliate program for your store using Shopify apps. An affiliate program lets you reward affiliates for sending traffic to your store and paying them a commission when they make sales.

An affiliate program app will let you manage the details of your affiliate program, such as letting affiliates apply to join it, tracking affiliate sales, and paying affiliates their commissions.

Using an affiliate program can help you increase sales by getting more people to find and visit your store or increase brand visibility by promoting the products that make up your brand.

Final words

Shopify is a great platform for web designers who want to open their online stores. And it’s worth checking out if you’re a beginner looking to sell your merchandise but don’t know how to build a website. With that being said, Shopify does have a learning curve. If you’re experienced at coding, this probably won’t be an issue. But if you’re new to developing websites, you might feel like Shopify is limiting your creativity with its limitations on design and functionality.

If you’re a web developer interested in using Shopify to build your storefront, it’s well worth the price of admission. And if you ever want to start a store without any hassle down the road, consider using Shopify’s partner platform to take care of everything for you. Your store will be up and running in no time, without the need for you to know how things work behind the scenes. We hope this series helped you get started using Shopify as a full-stack developer!

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod, as a blogger he used to spread all about app-based business, startup solution, on-demand business tips and ideas and so on.