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5 Best Tools & Tips for Shopify Development

If you’ve gotten into serious Shopify development, you’ll know it involves a little bit of command line to get up and running. It can be a bit scary if you’re not used to it, but after a while, it becomes second nature using the same 2 or 3 commands you actually need.

Below I’ve given an overview of five of the best Shopify tools you can use for developing your next theme. If you’ve got a good one that would fit on the list, leave a comment below!


#1 – Shopify Theme Kit

GIF demonstrating setting up Shopify theme kit

Theme Kit is my favourite of all the Shopify development tools out there. It lets you get connected to your store very easily and simply push your changes to the store via command line. My favourite part is that, like Jekyll, it watches your project directory for changes and automatically pushes them. As a result, you can keep developing without worrying about pushing your theme every time.

You don’t want every change being pushed to a live store, but for development, it’s immensely helpful.

#2 – Slate

Logo of Shopify Slate

Slate is a starter kit for building more fully-fledged Shopify themes. It comes packed with all the required templates to get your new theme up and running without any issues. It also has some pretty big features like ES6+ support, starter themes, deploy environments and more.

#3 – Shopify AJAX API

Code example of the Shopify AJAX API

With the Ajax API, you can add items or update product quantities in the cart, all without having to refresh the page. You can even use it to fetch info about a product using only its handle (Shopify’s version of a slug).

It’s an incredibly handy feature to have for customers, especially if you’re giving your theme all the bells and whistles.

#4 – Make Themes Translatable

Screenshot of the Shopify language editor

By default, it’s not a requirement to make your theme translatable and you can still make themes without internationalisation. However, if you’d like to submit your site to the Shopify Theme Store, it’s something you’ll need to learn to do.

#5 – Built-In Placeholder SVGs

Screenshot of the Shopify placeholder SVGs

You may not realise this at first, but Shopify has built-in placeholder SVGs you can use directly in your theme. While it’s good being able to use images from placeholder.com, they don’t really convey the meaning of a shop all that well, therefore these placeholders are very handy.


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Web designer and developer from Southampton, UK.


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