Without the good resources, building a Shopify app can be time consuming. It actually depends on your experience working with APIs and understanding them.
While being myself used to work with web APIs, when I started building my first Shopify app, I remember thinking that it would be a long and complicated journey. I came to this conclusion after doing advanced researches and found that there were not a lot of quality resources or tutorials to achieve my goal.
Even if Shopify has a great documentation website to get started, I think that it’s not sufficient especially when you come from another platform like WordPress for example. Because yes, I used to (and still do) work on creating WordPress plugins and I remember how easy it was to find step-by-step tutorials, courses or guides on how to create a plugin from scratch.
That’s also one of the reasons of this blog. I created it simply because I would have loved to read about developer’s experiences on their journey with the Shopify platform. So I hope to find developers in my case that will find helpful to read this kind of articles on this blog.
So, let’s go back to the main subject. Is building a Shopify app complicated? From what you read in this article until now, you may probably think that the answer is definitely YES. But I will already reassure you : NO it’s actually not THAT complicated.
First of all, Shopify has a really nice and powerful ecosystem for their developers.
They let you write your app in many programming languages, which opens the doors to more developers since you can build it in PHP or Node.JS for example.
You can also use their integrated payment system to charge your app clients… Which is awesome! No need to spend some time on integrating a complicated payment system in your app. Your clients won’t even have to enter their credit cards informations again : you can charge them one-time or monthly in just one click – a little like on the iOs or Android app store.
What is complicated is getting started. Choosing the good language to build your app. Writing your first lines of code. Requesting your very first access token to a specific store where to install your app. Securing your API calls… Once you have achieved these steps, it will be easier than you think.
Then, what are the prerequisites for building your first Shopify app?
In my opinion, you will need to have at least a few experiences working with online APIs in your preferred programming language. Another good prerequisites is understanding how access tokens work because you will need them for accessing your clients shops when they install your app. I will cover these points in another article so make sure to subscribe if it’s not already done.
On top of that, having a good creative mind could be important if you want to design beautiful UI apps.
And apart from these points, you will need to have a general programming knowledge. Having built mobile apps or WordPress plugin for example will surely help you in the process.
So now, where to start?
As I mentioned it already in this article, from my researches there are not plenty of good resources to help you to build a Shopify app for the first time. There is this blog 😏 where I will write as often as I can to share my experiences, your experiences and also guides, courses and tutorials on how to build a Shopify app.
Other good resources I came across when I built PoppyScroll (my first Shopify) app are these ones :
- The official Shopify developer’s documentation
- The Shopify PHP SDK if you want to build it in PHP
- This tutorial on TutsPlus
If you have more suggestions of resources to add to this article, feel free to leave a comment.
So as a conclusion to this article : yes, it can be complicated to start as a Shopify developer mainly because it’s still a young platform and learning resources are not everywhere but if you don’t give up and depending on your experience, you will quickly discover how powerful and nice is the Shopify platforms for developers.
I would also be happy to hear about your opinion. Are you already a Shopify developer? Was it complicated to get started?
And again, if you want more articles and useful resources to make it quicker and easier for you to build a Shopify app, make sure to subscribe below :