4 Shopify Developer Skills and Examples of Their Practical Application

by Nikola Matkovski

7 min read · Apr 2, 2021

When thinking about how to hire a Shopify developer, there's a particular set of skills you would want the new talent to possess. 

But do you know which skills in particular should you look for? 

Luckily, we have the answer in the post below. Bear with me as we explore the top 4 Shopify developer skills you should look for when hiring new talent and see examples of their practical application.

What's more, if you're a Shopify developer who's looking to expand their set of skills, this post may pique your interest. 

Let's dive in!

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is simply a web application for creating online stores. It comes with lots of customizable “themes” that experts can tweak to suit their own branding requirements. Shopify is amazing because it can be used to sell either physical or digital products. 

An interesting thing about Shopify is that anyone with little or no coding experience and design skills before can simply jump on it and develop for themselves an online store. That’s not all, it runs on its own servers which means that there is no need for you to buy web hosting or get any software installed anywhere. 

Shopify, as one of the best e-commerce platforms, provides you with all the necessary things like a payment processor, a blog, email marketing tools, templates, etc. for you to develop and market an online store. Though Shopify has a traditional content editor that lacks a drag-and-drop functionality. However, it comes with other important tools that you can use to customize the layout of crucial pages.

What Are the Top Skills Every Shopify Developer Must Have to Tackle a Project? 

Every profession has its own set of skills that you must possess before it can be said that you are an expert on it. 

These are top Shopify challenges that question the proficiency level of every Shopify expert when tackling a task. 

Top Shopify Developer Skills:

  • Adding new features to an existing Shopify store.
  • Migrating the e-commerce store to Shopify. 
  • Using version controls for Shopify theme development.
  • Integrating ads. 

Adding New Features to an Existing Shopify Store

Every experienced Shopify developer must know how to add a product to an already existing online store. They should also know how to update the price, availability, and the variants of a product. 

To make this possible, all one needs to do is to go to their Shopify admin. 

  1. Navigate to “Products > All Products”. 
  2. Click on “Add Product” from the “Products” page. 
  3. Having done that, you can easily enter the title of your product together with the important information
  4. After ensuring that you have done all the above steps, all you finally need to do is to click “Save”.  

Migrating the E-commerce Store to Shopify

Anyone with an already built e-commerce website or running on a different e-commerce platform for their day-to-day business activities can consider putting their product details and other content to Shopify. 

For this, you need a developer who can smoothly migrate your store to Shopify. 

If you're a Shopify developer, all you need to do is follow every step and information you find on store migration considerations.

For store owners: Don’t forget that the unique way you set up your store has a lot to say about the steps you need in migrating it. In addition, your migration process can complicate if your store contains very large data in multiple sets.

Using Version Control for Shopify Theme Development

Using version control for theme development is another crucial skill any experienced Shopify developer should possess. 

Version control is a class of systems in software engineering considered with the management of changes in computer programs, large websites, documents, or other gatherings of information. Top version control software tools include Git, SVN, Mercurial, CVS, and many more. 

How to Use Git Shopify Theme Development

Not many people that have heard about Git know how to use it. Git is multidimensional and vast in terms of the way people use it. 

In general, version controls help in keeping track of every change we make to our codes in a different kind of database. And this is very helpful in the sense that all the important changes we make are well tracked to avoid unnecessary uncertainties from happening.

For an effective way of keeping track of every change you make using Git, a developer needs to work locally on the computer with Theme Kit instead of using the online code editor that could complicate things any time you choose to commit changes to GitHub.

The first thing you can do is to download a copy of your theme to your computer. How is this done? Go to the Shopify admin and click on “Online Store > Themes > Actions > Download Theme File”

Alternatively, run “theme download” inside the directory that is just created if you have already set up Theme Kit, and the directory you run the command is where your theme will be downloaded into. After you might have synced every change you make to the Git repository, the next thing to do is to initialize your local theme directory with Git. 

After initializing Git in your theme folder, the next thing is to link your local directory with your GitHub repository. When you run the "git status” command, you will be able to see the file that is yet to be tracked by Git in your theme directory. Note that you can easily track that particular file by running the “git add” command. 

Another thing worth knowing is how to ignore files you don't want to track with Git: name a new file you have just created in your theme directory “.gitignore”. In this exact file, add the file type or specific file you desire to ignore together with the break lines for each of them. 

Most importantly, always add and commit your “.gitignore” file to your repository as soon as possible. Lastly, you must commit frequently so that you can keep track of every change you make in a systematic order. 

Integrating Ads

Using Facebook and Google ads is a great way to grow your business on Shopify. The launched Marketing in Shopify creates an avenue for you to create, launch and measure campaigns. 

For this, you need a Shopify developer who can integrate ads into your store. 

After that, you will be able to easily set up an ad on Shopify within the twinkle of an eye. 

To your advantage, irrespective of whether it’s Google Smart Shopping campaign and Facebook ads you are running, Shopify does help in automatically populating ads with product images, titles, and descriptions from your store. You can track your results in Shopify immediately after your campaign is live. 

Which Soft Skills Should They Possess?

First and foremost, a Shopify expert worth hiring needs to have in-depth knowledge about PHP, JavaScript, and jQuery. In addition to that, they must also understand and know how to work with Shopify APIs. 

They must also be familiar with using version control for Shopify theme development. 

Most importantly, in addition to hard skills, there are some software developer soft skills you should look for, including communication and teamwork skills. Above all, they must have an extensive portfolio and testimonials of happy clients for them to stand out among others. 

Conclusion

A good developer is the one with the Shopify skills we have carefully mentioned and provided practical examples for in this article. They follow trends and possess extensive knowledge about everything that has to do with Shopify development.  

If you're a Shopify developer who wants to improve her/his skills, here are 30 developer resources to diversify your skillset

FAQs

Q: What does a Shopify developer do?
A Shopify developer is simply a coding expert that is technically sound and understands everything that has to do with working with Shopify stores. Among other e-commerce developers, they stand out due to their high level of specialization and skills. 
Q: Do I Need a Developer for Shopify?
You do need a Shopify developer because they are the ones with the right and perfect understanding of customers' interface design. Hiring one for yourself is the best decision you could make because of how a small change made on your UI can greatly affect the shopping experience of your buyers. 
Q: How do I Hire an Expert in Shopify?
Hiring a Shopify expert doesn’t require too much work. You can simply hire an expert within the marketplace: Services section is where you can easily contact experts by requesting a quote. Alternatively, you can also do the creation of jobs so you can get matched with experts. 
Q: Are Shopify Developers in Demand?
Right from time, Shopify developers have been in high demand because of the development services they render. Whether they are being employed on a short-term or long-term basis, they offer services that make businesses grow and be profitable.