September 11, 2023

Shopify Plus Development: what you need to know (2023)

Shopify Plus Development: what you need to know (2023)

Shopify Plus has experienced unparalleled growth as a SaaS company.

By 2022, more than 1.7 million merchants had embraced its platform.

With such an impressive expansion, the demand for Shopify Plus Development Services and expertise in Shopify Plus development has skyrocketed.

Whether you’re a merchant seeking a proficient Shopify Plus developer or an aspiring developer aiming to carve out a niche in this realm, this article is tailored for you. Dive in to unravel the intricate layers of Shopify Plus development.

Understanding the Role of a Shopify Plus Developer

At its core, a Shopify Plus developer is a specialised software engineer who crafts intricate eCommerce websites on the Shopify Plus platform.

These developers possess a keen knack for front-end development and exhibit meticulous attention to design and user experience.

But their skills aren’t limited to just creating websites. Shopify Plus developers often delve into building apps or specific features tailored for the ecommerce websites hosted on Shopify Plus.

Using advanced tools like GraphQL and REST API, they seamlessly integrate features into various parts of a Shopify Plus site, from its admin to the checkout process.

Furthermore, they have an adept understanding of integrating external solutions such as payment gateways, ERPs, and shipping interfaces, ensuring a Shopify Plus site communicates efficiently with these third-party systems.

Venturing into Shopify Plus Development

If you’re wondering how to navigate the seas of Shopify Plus development, it’s essential to realise there are two primary domains:

App Development: Here, developers craft unique apps, sometimes referred to as plugins. These apps enhance specific functionalities of an ecommerce website, impacting areas like marketing, sales, conversions, and even shipping.

Theme Development: This revolves around crafting the aesthetic and functional design of a merchant’s online store. Themes can be developed from the ground up, or developers can modify existing themes available on the Shopify Plus Marketplace. While some modifications might be minor, like adjusting logos or colours, others can be extensive, restructuring the entire design.

Delving Deeper: The Power of Shopify Plus Apps

While Shopify Plus provides a robust set of tools straight out of the box, there’s always room for customisation.

Enter Shopify Plus Apps. The Shopify Plus App Store boasts thousands of integrations designed to supercharge store functionalities. These apps not only enhance features, but also tap into the store’s data, providing profound insights into customer behaviour and needs.

Given their scalability and customisability, Shopify Plus Apps have become a cornerstone for those wanting to elevate their ecommerce game.

Essential Skills for Aspiring Shopify Plus App Developers

If you’re looking to venture into Shopify Plus App Development, you need a diverse skill set. Familiarity with languages like Ruby, Python, PHP, and Node JS is invaluable.

However, foundational knowledge in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript is a must. Proficiency in tools like GraphQL, especially the Shopify Plus API version, can also set you apart from the crowd.

To foster hands-on experience, consider creating a free Shopify Plus Partner account. It’s a gateway to design, test, and launch your innovative Shopify Plus app.

The Art of Shopify Plus Theme Development

Developing a Shopify Plus theme is somewhat akin to sculpting a WordPress theme, with Shopify Plus leveraging its unique language, Liquid, in lieu of PHP.

To embark on this journey, one should be familiar with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Understanding jQuery can also be an asset, given its widespread use across Shopify Plus libraries. Furthermore, establishing a Shopify Plus Partner account can be invaluable, allowing you to upload and rigorously test your theme designs.

Tailoring Existing Shopify Plus Themes

For those who aren’t ready to dive deep into full-fledged development, tweaking existing themes is a great starting point.

Shopify Plus’s user-friendly platform allows for intuitive customisation, be it on desktop or mobile.

Themes are built using a combination of static and dynamic sections. While static sections, such as headers and footers, remain constant, dynamic sections can be tailored to your needs. The ease of customisation ensures that even novices can dabble in design and mould their online store’s appearance.

Blending Functionality with Aesthetics

While Shopify Plus developers focus on the technical side of building a store, ensuring it functions perfectly and integrates seamlessly with various apps and third-party systems, UX designers approach the project from the customer’s perspective.

They ensure that the shopping experience is intuitive, engaging, and delightful. In other words, developers ensure the shop works, while designers make sure it feels right.

A Symphony of Skills

Shopify Plus developers, with their expertise in languages like Ruby, Python, and PHP, make sure that all functionalities are in place. However, without the keen eye of a UX designer, the end product might not be as user-friendly as it could be. On the flip side, a beautifully designed store that lacks functionality will fail to convert visitors.

Imagine a scenario where a developer integrates an innovative feature, but it’s buried deep within the site where users can’t easily find it. Or, consider a beautifully designed checkout button that, due to poor coding, doesn’t respond when clicked. Both scenarios are problematic, and this is why the collaboration between developers and designers is vital.

Feedback Loop and Iterative Design

Another significant benefit of this collaboration is the continuous feedback loop.

As a developer works on the store, the UX designer can provide immediate feedback on how the implemented features affect user experience. This iterative process ensures that any potential UX issues are ironed out before the site goes live.

Closing thoughts on Shopify Plus Theme Development

The journey to becoming a proficient Shopify Plus developer is paved with consistent practice and a hunger for knowledge. While theoretical understanding forms the bedrock, applying that knowledge in real-world scenarios is paramount. Whether it’s designing themes or building applications, hands-on experience is the true test of skill.

For those starting, consider embarking on smaller tasks to build confidence. Gradually, as you hone your skills, transition to more intricate projects. Lastly, immerse yourself in the community. Engage in online workshops, follow prominent developers on social platforms, and actively seek feedback.

Finally, whether you’re embarking on a new Shopify Plus project or revamping an existing one, ensure that collaboration between development and design is at the heart of your strategy. It’s not just about making sales; it’s about creating lasting impressions.

CSP Commerce | Manchester Ecommerce and Shopify Agency

From brand through to demand, we support and manage ecommerce growth at each stage of the commerce journey.  Our extensive knowledge and experience in ecommerce have established us as industry leaders for our capabilities in performance marketing, marketplace management, social commerce, and Shopify, Shopify Plus and WooCommerce web development.
We’re a Manchester ecommerce agency that works with retailers as committed to growth as we are. Our performance and platforms first approach is tailored to the ambitious brands and online retailers we partner with. As part of Wunderman Thompson Commerce, we are uniquely positioned to support businesses to scale nationally to globally.
We’ll hand-select a team of specialists to work with clients and operate as an extension of their ecommerce department. We are accountable for delivering measurable results that grow reach and revenue. Together, we will work to scale and sell your products across online channels.
If you’re serious about growth then start your journey with us. Let’s succeed and scale together.

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WPP Manchester Campus,
1 New Quay Street,
Greater Manchester,
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