How to Make a Shopify Website in 9 Steps

Shopify is much easier than other website builders. Optimizing a site always requires hard work, but that goes double with e-commerce, where you need to be compatible with your sales strategies according to the design choices.

Below, we have outlined the nine steps to creating a Shopify website for your eCommerce business.

1) Familiarize yourself with the Shopify website builder

You must know whether Shopify is the right choice for you or not.

Search the Shopify site, the Shopify theme library, and the Shopify app store to have an idea of what is the requirement for making a Shopify site. You can create a list of any themes and apps that you can consider—don’t forget their prices, too, so you can have an estimate of much it would cost.


Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to continue or not. You can check its usability and navigation—can you do everything you want to do.

2) Plan your website

Once you are comfortable with how the Shopify website builder works, you can use that as a background for when you plan out your website.

It’s crucial to know your sales strategies and have good knowledge about your digital marketing campaigns—some of these require apps or work better with certain themes.

Shopify site

You also require other media, like personalized photography or branding assets like a logo. Some assets are really important—like the logo—while others are completely optional—such as videos or motion graphics.

All of Shopify’s paid themes and apps denote their prices outright, so you can plan an accurate budget of one-time costs and recurring costs before actually spending anything.

3) Choose your pricing plan and sign up

Shopify provides three main pricing plans to accommodate small, medium, and large businesses—although they offer a total of five plans if you include Shopify Plus for enterprises and Shopify Lite for adding products to existing sites or blogs. Most of the users are interested in the main three:

  • Basic Shopify — $29/month
  • Shopify — $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299/month

Each plan also has the basics; offers all the essentials: unlimited product range, access to sales channels, 24/7 support, SSL certificate, fraud analysis, Shopify Point of Sale Lite, gift cards, discount codes, and abandoned cart recovery. The difference is, that Basic Shopify does not has professional reports, and only Advanced Shopify can calculate third-party shipping rates at checkout. Also, the

number of staff accounts and synced storage locations increases with higher-tier plans.

shopify plans

There is a difference between the Shipping and transaction

fees of the plans. The percentage amount that Shopify takes per sale gets lower with higher-tier plans. Shopify charges a “penalty” fee if you use a third-party gateway instead of their native Shopify Payments, and that penalty fee also decreases at higher tiers.

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Online credit card rates 2.9% (+ 30¢) 2.6% (+ 30¢) 2.4% (+ 30¢)
In-person credit card rates 2.7% (+ 0¢) 2.5% (+ 0¢) 2.4% (+ 0¢)
Penalty for not using Shopify Payments 2.0% 1.0% 0.5%

Your pricing plan depends on your sales volume—how much you sell in a given period. If your sales volume is high enough, you can save money by buying a more expensive plan, considering what you’d save per sale.

The higher-tier plans have a greater discount on shipping when using DHL Express, UPS, or USPS. Based on how heavy your products are and how far away your main customers live, this could also impact which plan is best.

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Shipping discount up to 64% up to 72% up to 74%

You can always upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.

4) Pick your theme

Once you start using the Shopify website builder, you must finalize your theme. Selecting your theme is important for all website builders. Shopify doesn’t allow you to change much about the appearance and layout.

shopify themes

You can still customize your images and text no matter which theme you have selected, but where those images go and what fonts your text uses are fixed by theme. You can use the search filters on the left side of the theme store: you can search for only themes with the features you need or use ones built specifically for your industry.

productpage shopify

All Shopify themes have some drawbacks: stores run a high risk of appearing generic. On top of that, other stores can use a similar theme as you.

5) Install your apps

Install all your apps so you can use them while starting to customize your site. You can find everything you need at the Shopify app store.

install app shopify

You can take full advantage of the filters to search efficiently. For apps, you can search by category—design apps, marketing apps, shipping apps, etc.

categories in shopify app

Knowing which apps to use can give you a good start at the beginning when you launch.

Shopify makes the process of personalizing easy and convenient.

You can find customization in Sales Channels > Online Store in the left navigation menu. Each of these options (Themes, Pages, Domains, etc.) provides a new set of customization options, so we suggest going down the list one by one.

You can personalize your homepage. Click on Theme on the left and then on the Customize button to bring up the editor.

personalize design shopify

All the areas that you can change are listed on the left of the screen, with a real-time preview of your Shopify website on the right. In the upper-right corner, you’ll see an icon where you can switch between the desktop and mobile versions of the preview.

shopify responsive view

Go through each entry on the left and type your custom text or upload the images you want. You’ll see labeled fields for each area, with other options like text alignment. They also provide free images, you want to keep the shared assets you use to a minimum to mitigate the “generic” look of your Shopify website.

design in shopify

General preferences (currency, location, business address, etc.)

  • Payment providers
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Store languages
  • Billing
  • Taxes

Make sure to take the time to go through each one and customize them depending on your site goals.

genral preference shopify7) Add your products

Add all of your products to your Shopify website, but based on how many products you offer. Each product should be entered individually, one by one, so this step could take a while.

To enter a new product, go to the Products section of the left menu, and click on the Add product button.

add product shopify

The next step is to fill in the template. You have fields for everything you need:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Availibility
  • Organization (product type and brand name)
  • Media
  • Pricing (including a separate section for “Compare at price”)
  • SKU and Barcode
  • Quantity
  • Shipping information (including weight, shipment origin, and HS code)
  • Variants (like Size or Color)
  • SEO tool
  • Tags

product editor shopify

There is also an option to place products in custom Collections, which are groupings of items used for a variety of different sales methods. Collections can be made manually or automatically.

8) Buy and set your domain name

There are many areas you can customize before the launch.

Your URL, or domain name, can act as a powerful branding tool and help with recognition as long as you use an original one. By default, Shopify offers you one of their domains (

To purchase and set your Shopify website domain, go to the Sales Channel > Online Store > Domain in the left menu. You can enter the URL you’re looking for, and they’ll search to see if it’s available and how much it will cost.

buy domain shopify

You can buy and apply your new domain in this section, so this step may not take that long.

9) Launch and sell

With your domain name in place, everything is ready for launch.

There are still external areas that are important to eCommerce success, like marketing, customer profiling, and promotions.

launch shopify website

Shopify makes these areas as easy as possible, enabling you to connect your campaigns to your store and provide a variety of different promotion types. And if Shopify’s features aren’t enough, their app store adds even more options.

Do make sure to test out a sample order. Check a product from your store just like a normal customer and see if any problems arise. If there’s something wrong, it’s better to catch it instead of your very first customer.


















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