Part of the excitement of being a Shopify app developer is that there’s always a new merchant-need springing up, new APIs to test out, and tools to build with. Along with this wealth of possibilities, there’s also an abundance of resources to guide you along your app building journey.
Whether you’re building a Shopify app for the first time, or you’re an experienced developer looking to grow your business, there are guides, blog posts, webinars, and documentation that can help you along the way.
Below is a list of recommended resources, starting with the basics of building Shopify apps, programming language toolkits and tutorials, how-tos on launching your app, and articles on supporting the merchants who will become your users. We’ve organized this list from the start of your app building process, all the way to building your app business, as well as keeping in the loop for new opportunities.
You might also like: The Essential List of Resources for Shopify Theme Development.
Shopify app building tutorials
Maybe this is your first Shopify app, or first app ever. To make your app building process as smooth as possible, there are webinars, guides, and newsletters from trusted Shopify Experts to help walk you through every step of the way.
- Shopify Partner Session Webinar: How to Build Your First Shopify App
- Building a Public Shopify App
- How to Build a Shopify App in One Week
- Gavin Ballard - Mastering Shopify Apps
Getting started with APIs
Whether you’re making your first API call, or you’re an API expert who just wants to keep on top of changes and check responses times, the links you need are below.
- Building a Public Shopify Application
- Supported Libraries
- Shopify’s API Announcements Forum (you can subscribe by email)
- Shopify’s Status Page (includes a graph of the average API response time)
Development and testing
When interacting with an API, it’s crucial to ensure you’ve set up your API calls correctly and that your webhooks are fully functional for different traffic volumes. Below are some recommended tools for testing.
- NGROK - Secure Tunneling
- Postman (a tool for sending HTTP requests to Shopify API endpoints)
- Hurl It (to send HTTP requests to Shopify API endpoints)
- Request Bin (to view webhooks)
- Making API calls with Paw
- Handling Shopify Webhooks Without a Server
Secure sockets layer, or SSL, is a requirement for all Shopify apps and therefore encryption is a mandatory step.
Now that you know what you want to build and how you want to build it, you’re going to need to a place to host it. Here are some great options to choose from.
Front end development
After the backend is built, it’s time to make sure that the front end provides a great merchant experience. Even if you’re not an experienced front end developer, there are plenty of stylesheets, frameworks, and cheat sheets to assist your build.
- UptownCSS - Frontend Framework for Shopify App Development
- Microapps - Shopify Embedded App Frontend Framework
- Shopify’s Liquid Cheat Sheet
- Verify (app that helps you get feedback on your design work)
Submitting your app to the Shopify App Store
Think your app is just about ready to submit to the Shopify App Store? In our submission documentation, we guide you through everything you need to know, to get your app prepared and submitted.
Launching and marketing your Shopify app
You built your app, tested it, submitted it, and now it’s been listed in the Shopify App Store. It may seem like you’ve reached the finish line, but you haven’t reached the podium until you’ve attracted and retained happy users. Browse through the following resources to learn the basics of marketing your app.
Customer service and analytics
Part of retaining happy users is having a good onboarding flow, a strategy for merchant support, and tools that keep you proactive in understanding your audience and possible pain points.
- How To Improve Your Shopify App’s Onboarding Flow
- Skype Phone Numbers (Put a Skype number on your Shopify App Store listing for merchants who have questions)
- Join.me (Use to demo your app to prospects, and support users)
- 6 Ways to Prepare for a Client’s Online Traffic Spike
- Google Analytics (Can be used to view traffic sources to your app listing page)
Shopify updates and connecting with other developers
Congratulations! You’ve built your app, had it listed, and now have several happy merchants as users. At this point, you probably want to stay on top of any updates that will allow you to improve your app; or maybe you’ve got the app building bug, and you’re ready to develop some more. The links below will help you stay in the know on Shopify updates, and will also help you connect with Shopify’s app development network.
- Shopify's Recent Updates
- eCommTalk (Shopify Slack community with lots of PHP developers in the #development channel)
- Shopify’s APIs and SDKs forum
- Shopify on Stack Overflow
Are there any other Shopify app development tools or resources you love not listed here? Let us know in the comments section below.
You might also like: 8 Merchant-Driven Ideas For Your Next Shopify App.