What is Shopify and How Does Shopify Work?

In this article, I am going to discuss Shopify and How does Shopify Work. 

Let’s get started!

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a subscription to a service that offers you to create your own website and use their shopping cart solution to sell, ship and manage your products or inventory. 

By using their services, you can get access to their admin panel where you can add products, process order and enter your store data.

For giving you access to an admin panel, Shopify charges a monthly fee starting from $29/month. Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial to explore its services.

If you want to create a store using Shopify, you’ve come to the right place.

I will show you how to use Shopify so that you can build and launch your own online store as soon as possible.

Are you Ready? Let’s get started…….

Table of Contents:

  1. Signing up with Shopify
  2. Set up your online store
  3. Choose a theme for your site
  4. Edit Shopify settings
  5. Add your products
  6. Launch your store
  7. Add a domain name

1.  Signing up with Shopify

     Visit https://www.shopify.com/. Use the signup form to create an account.

     Enter the details and click on the ‘ Start free trial ‘ button.

Your store name should be unique or else Shopify will ask you to choose something else.

After this screen, you’ll be asked for a few more details, including your name, address, country, and contact number.

You will be asked if you have products and, if so, what you aim to sell. If you’re just trying out Shopify, you can select ‘I’m just playing around’ in the upper box. 

2. Start setting up your online Shopify store

   After you’ve signed up, you’ll be directed to your store admin panel. Now you can start customizing your store, uploading products, setting up plugins for payment, mails, and shipping. Check out the image below:

3. Choose a ‘Theme’ for your Shopify Store

   Shopify knows building a website should be a fun activity. Shopify has its own official theme store. While customizing your store design, you have different options. You can stick with Shopify’s signature or default theme ‘Debut’, or choose one of the free themes, or choose paid themes ranging from $40 to $180.

Where to find a Theme?

To find a theme that suits your needs we suggest the following:

  • Browse the theme store

Log into your Shopify store and visit the Shopify theme store at https://themes.shopify.com/. You will find different theme variations to choose from; including a good selection of free ones.

You can also find Shopify themes on other marketplaces like template monster one. Just choose a category, features to pick your desired theme.

  • Check the functionality and reviews

After you’ve found the theme you like, click on the theme’s sample image. You’ll find more information about the theme, such as whether the theme is responsive/ mobile ready, etc.

You can read some reviews about what other people using the theme think of it.

  • Preview the theme 

To see the theme in action, click on ‘View Demo’ you’ll see below the green ‘Preview theme in your store’ button. Click on it! 

If this theme comes in a range of styles, you can also view demos of different styles by clicking on them.

  • Get the theme

Once you have selected the theme you like, click the green button.

Shopify will ask for your confirmation that you want to install the theme.

Click ‘Publish as my shop’s theme’.

Don’t worry if you are not completely sure about the theme you chose. You can always change the theme later.

After the theme has been installed, Shopify will give you an option to go to your theme manager.

Theme manager shows your published theme.

4. Edit Shopify settings

 Pretty much every Shopify topic you pick enables you to roll out basic improvements that can enormously change the presence of your store, so you can be guaranteed to realize you won’t wind up with a site that looks like a clone of thousands of different stores.

On your administrator screen select ‘Themes’ from the navigation menu. On this page, you’ll observe your live theme box at the top, in the top right corner of that box will be two-button. The first one has three dots, which provide you some basic settings. One of them allows you to make a duplicate of the theme. I personally recommend you to do this in case you make some changes you don’t like, you can delete the duplicate theme and start again.

Now comes the fun part!!!

The second button ‘Customize Theme’. If you click on this button, you’ll be directed to a page that contains all the functionality of your store.

This is a great time for you to have a thorough play with all the settings and test all the features so that you can find what your site is capable of.

5. Add your products to the store

  • Uploading Images
  • Uploading Logos
  • Uploading Slides
  • Color Schemes
  • Font choices

    While navigating the bar on the left, select ‘Products’. You’ll observe a blue button ‘Add a Product’ at the bottom of the page. Use this screen to add as much as possible detail needed about your products. Consider those that this will help with SEO such as name, description, and URL.

Following is the screen where you will be uploading product pictures, descriptions, etc.

Tip: Product images are the main part of your sale, so make sure you show your products off their best and highlight special features.

Once everything is filled out, click the ‘Save the Product’ button in the top and bottom right corner.

Set up Collections

It is a group of photos that have the same features that customers might look for when visiting your store. For example, a customer might be looking for.

  • Clothes specifically for Men or Women
  • Certain item such as lamps, etc
  • Item on sale
  • Item in different sizes
  • Different Colours

Products can appear in the collection. You would display your collection on your homepage and in the navigation bar. This helps customers find what they’re looking for without even browsing your catalog.

Collections can be added in two ways:

Manually: You can add and remove products in a manual collection individually.

Automatically: You can set up a selection condition to automatically include products that need specific criteria.

Payment Gateway

A payment gateway allows you to take payment from your customer through your website. There are two things to keep in mind i.e Price and Commission rate, but it is important to seel what features they provide. Not all payment gateways are created equal. You need to look at the following while choosing the right payment gateway for you.

For further reading, you can refer this link https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/payments

6. Get your online shop ‘LIVE’

    Before your site can go live you need to add a few more details about your company and how you plan to make deliveries and pay tax.


    Make sure all your business information is filled out on this page. Make sure to use the Google Analytics feature as well. This can prove to be a valuable source for tracking your store visitors.

You can further check about Tax rates and shipping charges before pricing any product.

These charges depend upon your product dimension as well as weight. 

You can also refer your Shopify store settings to further read about taxes and shipping charges

7. Add your Domain name

    To get your site live you’ll need a domain name. You have two choices.

Firstly you can buy a domain from Shopify and it will be added to your store automatically. This saves you time, especially if you have no knowledge about hosting a website. These domains typically cost $9-$14 USD per year. Your second option is to purchase a domain from a third party such as GoDaddy. These domains start from $10.00 USD a year. The downside is that you’ll have to redirect the DNS records yourself which can seem daunting at first.

Here are the steps to put your new Shopify store live on a third party domain name.

  1. Add the new domain in Shopify

In the Shopify admin, on the left navigation go to Settings and then Domains and add your domain name using the ‘Add an existing domain’ button.

  1. Update DNS records

Login to your domain registrar and make the following changes to the DNS records:

  • Replace the @ or main A record with the following IP address:
  • Add or replace the www CNAME with storename.myshopify.com (i.e. your store Shopify link without the HTTP, which you can see on the domains settings page)
  1. Remove any storefront passwords

Otherwise, no one will be able to access your site even when it’s live.

  1. Set as primary if relevant

Whilst in Settings > Domains, you can choose your main domain by using the drop-down at the top of the screen:

primary store domain

Ensure that you also check the ‘Redirect all traffic to this domain’. This means that traffic to all other domains will be directed to your primary domain. This is crucial for good SEO.

  1. Adding other domains 

You can repeat steps 1 and 2 with other domain names you own. All domain names will redirect to the ‘Primary’ domain, which you can change at any time with the ‘Set as primary’ option next to each domain name.

Note that the number of domain names you own has no influence on SEO.

adding custom domains on shopify

Congratulations, Your New Shopify Store is Ready!

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