Brandon! Member
August 30, 2007

So How Does This Work? This post is outdated

I'm looking at possibly creating a Shopify store. I've been kinda eying it since it was first launched, but the ecommerce store I work for was always too integrated in it's current software to let me toy with other storefronts. Now I have a new project that I will be working for on the side, and I definitely want to give Shopify a shot in order to get it up and running quickly. I do have a couple questions that I couldn't really tell from poking around the site: - I can (obviously) set up the store to run from my own domain with the exception of the checkout process, but how does that work exactly? I've seen the featured stores, but I don't see any information about how to set it up or what's involved. Is it hosted on my server? If so, does it use a web service to connect to the shopify database? - I'm sure there are restrictions/quirks/bugs (*EVERY* piece of software has them), what are some features or functionality that you (the community) feel is missing? How do you end up getting around that? - Are there modules available to add functionality? I see "3rd party software/other scripts" in the sticky; is that the official list? Is through an API or is using Liquid Markup? I'm just curious because I'm more of a developer, so I expect I'd tackle a couple add ons if possible. - Overall, how do you (the community) compare this package to other shopping carts (eg. osCommerce, ZenCart, Miva Merchant and Yahoo! Stores)? Thanks guys!
August 30, 2007

My best suggestion would be to set it up on the demo side and test it out. That answered many of my questions

Word to your moms http://www.sphereofhiphopstore.com http://sphereofhiphop.myshopify.com
Brandon! Member
August 31, 2007

Okay, so I’ve played around with it for a couple minutes and I can scratch a couple things from my list, but I have a few more now :D To reiterate some of questions from before:

- How do you set up the domain so that your store is on your .com and not myshopify.com? An example from the featured stores would be http://www.survivalmountain.com/. This is a must have in my opinion.

- Besides JavaScript, is there any way to extend functionality to Shopify? Liquid seems like it is just a template language, so is there an API for database access? For example, it would be nice to allow commenting on my Shopify blog.

- Can customers create accounts to save their information? Can I use their information in promotional marketing? Another thing I’d really want to have access to is sending newsletters for sales and upcoming events. Would I manually have to scrape the e-mail addresses from orders?

- I like that the sitemap is auto generated, but is there a way to exclude URLs from appearing? For example, say I created a collection of products for a mailing or promo event; I don’t plan on keeping the collection around for very long so I wouldn’t need it indexed in search engines.

- Branching off the last question, I notice there isn’t .htaccess, or page level <head> access. How are people handling title tags, meta tags, etc.? It would be nice to be able to have global <head> access as well as per page access.

- I’m still curious about the known limitations and known bugs that anyone might want to share. I know this is often not something people like publicizing…

I’m a coder by nature, so I tend to like raw access to things. I really think the Liquid markup is cool, I’m just curious about it’s limits before I invest too much (time and money) into it.



rob. Member
August 31, 2007

I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

For the domaain name, read this: http://jadedpixel.stikipad.com/design/show/Using+Your+Own+Domains and hosting is done by shopify. You don’t have to have your own hosting. Limits: depending on your plan, the number of skus (items you can have for sale) and space (the images that take up mb).

As for extending functionality, I am not sure what you mean. I have seen other stores create their own website, and just integrate the shop into it. http://www.bluelounge.com/ is a good example of that. I’ve seen other people use Wordpress and just integrate or match their template of the store, etc. If I remember correctly, I think the shopify team said somewhere that they were working on the Blogging functionality to improve upon it.

Customers cannot create accounts and I don’t think this will be implemented any time soon. You can always setup a form for people to subscribe as many stores do this.

Those are probably the only questions I could answer for you. If you are a coder, then you might like the functionality of shopify. The only thing you can’t customize would probably the steps after checkout. I would look at the “Launched” section. There are really talented people that have designed/customized their site.

September 12, 2007

Regarding extending functionality, I have a similar set of requirements for my client—and I’m hoping the API can help.

For example, I’d like a gift registry where users could select products, save them to a page in their profile, and send their friends and family a link to that page. Similarly, blog comments are a critical missing module.

Will the API provide any capabilities here? I’m imagining an architecture where I could build a gift registry app or comment module as a web service, and call it from a template or page, hopefully with liquid but maybe even with javascript.

Thoughts on this? Shopify has so much going for it, I’d hate to recommend against it because of a lack of extensibility.

All the best!

Cooper Web Design www.cooperwebdesign.ca
February 13, 2011

I am looking for similar application (baby registry). Any recommendations are deeply appreciated


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