Experienced E-commerce Agency for Magento/ Adobe Commerce/ Shopify/ Shopware Development

Discover Oxygen Shopify: Your Complete Guide!

Managing storefront infrastructure can be a daunting task for Shopify merchants. If you’re among those who find it challenging, Oxygen Shopify is the solution you’ve been waiting for.

Oxygen Shopify is a hosting platform specifically designed for Hydrogen storefronts. It empowers merchants to deploy and manage their custom storefronts effortlessly, without the complexities of infrastructure setup and maintenance.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of Oxygen Shopify. Join us as we explore how Oxygen Shopify can transform your storefront and elevate your business.

Table of Contents:

What is Hydrogen & Oxygen Shopify?

If you are interested or have ever searched about Oxygen Shopify, chances are you have come across the term Shopify Hydrogen. Oxygen Shopify and Shopify Hydrogen are two closely related concepts. We need to understand Shopify Hydrogen to know what Shopify Oxygen is and what it is used for. So, let’s start with Shopify Hydrogen’s definition first.

What is Shopify Hydrogen?

Shopify Hydrogen is a framework that helps developers create custom front-end experiences on Shopify. It allows them to access backend data like customer information and products. Currently, developers can build custom Shopify themes using languages called Liquid and React. However, Liquid has some limitations. Meanwhile, React is a coding language that offers more flexibility and allows for highly customizable ecommerce experiences can:

Shopify Hydrogen provides developers with powerful tools and pre-built components for building headless stores. These components integrate seamlessly with Shopify as the backend platform.

With Hydrogen, developers:

  • Have access to pre-built components like a shopping cart, variant picker, and content galleries. This saves time and effort when building a page from scratch.
  • Focus on creating outstanding user experiences and styling. 
  • Build fast store experiences with support for traditionally complex headless functionality. 
  • Use the Shopify storefront API to access product data
What is Shopify Hydrogen

What is Shopify Oxygen?

Shopify Oxygen is a hosting provider that hosts custom content such as Shopify Hydrogen storefronts directly within the platform. With Shopify Oxygen, you don’t need to rely on a separate hosting provider for your store. It is supported by Shopify’s global infrastructure, which means your store will be powered by a network of servers located in over 100 locations worldwide.

By using Shopify Hydrogen and Shopify Oxygen, you can build a “headless” ecommerce store. “Headless” means that the front-end (the part your customers interact with) and the back-end (where you manage your products, orders, etc.) are separated. This allows for more flexibility and customization in how your store looks and functions.

How Shopify Oxygen Works

To gain a better understanding about Oxygen Shopify, let’s explore how it works. To utilize oxygen shopify on your storefront, you must first have a Shopify Plus account. Once you have that, you can proceed with the following steps:

  • Step 1: Install Hydrogen channel:
    • Locate the Hydrogen channel app on the Shopify App Store.
    • Install the Hydrogen channel app.
  • Step 2: Connect to your Github account:
  • Create a Git repository for the Hydrogen channel.
  • Connect the Hydrogen channel to your Github account.
  • Oxygen will automatically create multiple versions of Hydrogen storefronts, allowing for independent management in isolated environments.
How Shopify Oxygen Works
  • Step 3: Push changes to Github repository:
    • Make changes to your Hydrogen Storefront.
    • Push the changes to the connected Git repository.
    • Oxygen will create a new branch with a snapshot/preview URL of your storefront.
  • Step 4: Share progress:
  • Share the snapshot/preview URL to show your progress.
  • Step 5: Launch your Hydrogen storefront:
  • When ready to launch, change the privacy of your URL to public.
  • Your Hydrogen storefront will be up and running.

Features of Oxygen Shopify

Let’s explore the key highlights of Oxygen Shopify, as understanding these features is crucial in determining if Oxygen Shopify is the right fit for you. Notable features encompass:

Worldwide hosting infrastructure

 As a hosting platform, Oxygen Shopify owns an extensive network of servers distributed globally. This infrastructure help to:

  • Enhances website performance
  • Minimize page load times for visitors across various locations. 

The system automatically redirects visitors to the server nearest to their location. This helps to reduce latency and optimizes overall website performance. 

Moreover, Shopify’s global hosting servers are specifically optimized for eCommerce. They offer features like automatic scaling and load balancing to ensure seamless handling of traffic spikes and maintain high uptime.

Simplified setup and deployment

Oxygen streamlines the process for merchants to establish and launch their Hydrogen storefronts. To get started, merchants can easily add Hydrogen as a sales channel from their Shopify dashboard and connect their GitHub account.

Smart caching

Oxygen Shopify incorporates a “Smart Caching” feature that aims to accelerate page load speeds and optimize website performance. 

When visitors access a page on a Shopify store, their browser sends a request to the server to retrieve the page content. This process can be time-consuming, mainly when the server is distant, or the page contains numerous images or scripts. 

Smart Caching resolves this issue by caching frequently accessed pages and assets on the server. This allows for swift delivery directly to the visitor’s browser upon request. Consequently, the page content loads more rapidly, greatly enhancing the overall browsing experience.

Smart caching

Worker Bundles and Runtime Logs

This feature is designed to provide more visibility into the development process and help developers debug their code more efficiently. For more detail:

  • Worker bundles: A “worker” in Oxygen is a process that performs a specific task, such as handling incoming requests or generating page content. Worker bundles are pre-built packages of code that can be used to customize workers’ behavior in Oxygen. By using worker bundles, developers can add new functionality to their Shopify store without having to write complex code from scratch.
  • Runtime logs: The runtime logs in Oxygen provide detailed information about how workers are performing and any errors that may be occurring. This information is critical for developers to identify and troubleshoot issues that may be affecting their store’s performance. With the runtime logs, developers can:
    • See exactly what is happening behind the scenes 
    • Pinpoint the root cause of any issues affecting their store’s performance

Pros and Cons of Shopify Oxygen 

If you’re reading this Oxygen Shopify review, you’re probably interested in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the platform. These factors are crucial in determining whether Oxygen is the right choice for you. We understand the importance of this information, so without further delay, let’s dive into the pros and cons of Oxygen Shopify!

Pros and Cons of Shopify Oxygen

Pros of Oxygen Shopify

Here’re some considerable advantages of Oxygen Shopify: 

  • Flexibility and customization: With Oxygen Shopify, you have the freedom to customize your online store to meet your specific design and branding requirements. The platform provides a visual website builder that allows you to create unique and visually appealing storefronts without the need for extensive coding knowledge. You can choose from a range of templates, customize layouts, colors, fonts, and more to create a truly personalized shopping experience for your customers.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly: Oxygen Shopify ensures that your store looks great and functions seamlessly across different devices and screen sizes. The platform is optimized for mobile responsiveness, allowing your customers to have a consistent shopping experience whether they are accessing your store from a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. This is crucial in today’s mobile-driven world, where a significant portion of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • Performance and speed: Shopify Oxygen is designed to deliver fast and reliable performance for your online store. The platform is built on modern web technologies and optimized for speed, ensuring that your store loads quickly and provides a smooth browsing experience for your customers. This is important for reducing bounce rates and improving customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and sales.
  • App integration: Oxygen Shopify seamlessly integrates with the vast Shopify App Store, which offers a wide range of apps and plugins to extend the functionality of your store. Whether you need advanced marketing tools, inventory management solutions, or customer support features, you can find and integrate third-party apps that meet your specific business needs. This allows you to enhance your store’s capabilities without the need for extensive development work.
  • Scalability: Oxygen Shopify is built to scale with your business. Whether you’re just starting or experiencing rapid growth, the platform can handle your increasing traffic and sales volume. You don’t have to worry about server management, performance optimization, or security upgrades, as Shopify takes care of all these aspects for you. This allows you to focus on growing your business and serving your customers while Shopify handles the technical aspects of your online store.

Cons of Shopify Oxygen

However, we cannot deny that like any platform, Oxygen Shopify also has certain disadvantages, such as:

  • Limited customization for advanced users: While Shopify Oxygen offers a great deal of flexibility and customization options for most users, it may have limitations for advanced developers or those who require highly custom functionalities. The platform’s visual website builder may not provide the same level of control and customization as coding from scratch. However, Shopify does provide access to the underlying code. This allows experienced developers to make more advanced customizations if needed.
  • Dependency on Shopify ecosystem: With Oxygen Shopify , you are tied to the Shopify ecosystem. While this can be an advantage for many businesses, as it provides a fully integrated and managed solution, it can also be a limitation for those who prefer more control over their hosting environment or want to integrate with non-Shopify systems. Additionally, if you ever decide to switch to a different e-commerce platform, migrating your store from Shopify Oxygen might require additional effort and resources.
  • Cost: Shopify Oxygen is available as a paid subscription service, and the cost can vary depending on your business needs and the features you require. While Shopify offers different pricing plans to cater to businesses of all sizes, the expenses associated with running a Shopify store can add up, especially if you require advanced features or high levels of customization. It’s essential to consider the cost implications and compare them with your budget and expected return on investment.
  • Learning curve for beginners: While Shopify Oxygen aims to simplify the website-building process, there can still be a learning curve, especially for those who are new to e-commerce or website development. Although the platform provides an intuitive interface and extensive documentation, it may take some time to understand all the features and functionalities. However, Shopify offers resources such as community forums, tutorials, and customer support to help you navigate through any challenges you may encounter.

Shopify Oxygen vs Its Competitors: Comparison

In fact, Oxygen Shopify is not the unique service on the market. You may have also come across some similar platforms such as Vercel, Netfly, Digital Ocean, etc. Well, compared to these competitors, is Oxygen Shopify really more outstanding and worthy of being the top choice? Let’s take a look on this comparison table:

Feature Shopify Oxygen Vercel Netlify DigitalOcean
Primary Focus E-commerce storefronts Static site hosting, serverless functions Static site hosting, JAMstack Cloud infrastructure, virtual machines, Kubernetes
Integration with Shopify Seamless integration Third-party integration Third-party integration No direct integration
Hosting Network Shopify’s global network Vercel’s global edge network Netlify’s global CDN User-managed infrastructure
Smart Caching Yes Yes Yes No
Worker Bundles Yes Yes No No
Runtime Logs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Setup Process Simplified Simple and intuitive Easy Requires more technical expertise
Optimized for E-commerce Yes No No No
Scalability Automatic Automatic Automatic Manual scaling
Framework Support Limited Various Various Various
CMS Support Growing Some specific CMS integrations Built-in forms and identity management No direct CMS support
Pricing Can get expensive quickly Can get expensive quickly Pricing can increase with usage Pay-as-you-go model
Server-Side Functionality Limited Serverless functions Limited Full control over server-side functionality
Deployment Automation Easy with Shopify’s integration Supported through third-party tools Supported through third-party tools Requires additional setup
Developer-Friendly Features Worker bundles, runtime logs Serverless functions, CDN integration, framework support CI/CD, global CDN, built-in forms, serverless functions Robust documentation, community
Technical Expertise Required Low Low Low High

We can  see that Shopify Oxygen is a compelling choice for Shopify merchants seeking an eCommerce solution that have:

  • A tightly integrated
  • High-performance hosting

Its strengths lie in its seamless integration with Shopify, simplified setup, smart caching, worker bundles, and runtime logs. While it may not offer the same level of extensibility or technical flexibility as cloud infrastructure providers like DigitalOcean, Shopify Oxygen excels in its focus on eCommerce specific needs and ease of use.

For merchants seeking a more versatile hosting solution with serverless capabilities and support for various frameworks, Vercel and Netlify stand as strong contenders. Vercel’s global edge network and serverless functions make it a suitable choice for dynamic content delivery and custom functionality. Netlify’s ease of setup, continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD), and global CDN make it a popular option for static site hosting and JAMstack projects.

Ultimately, the best hosting platform for a particular merchant will depend on their specific needs, technical expertise, and budget.

Is Shopify Oxygen free?

What is Shopify Oxygen

Yes, Oxygen Shopify is free. It is accessible to users on the Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Shopify Plus plans. However, if you intend to create a headless store and do not possess a Shopify Plus account, certain crucial features will be restricted.

Besides, although Oxygen itself is a complimentary addition to a Shopify store, merchants must take into account the expenses associated with technical development resources when establishing their Hydrogen storefront. The actual cost of utilizing Oxygen to host a Hydrogen storefront will vary based on multiple factors, including:

  • The third-party services employed to construct the headless architecture
  • The hiring of in-house technical expertise
  • The ongoing maintenance expenses

The cost is a crucial consideration when making purchasing decisions, particularly when investing in your business. This is because it directly impacts your return on investment (ROI). The same principle applies when evaluating the Oxygen Shopify service. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the cost implications before making a decision.


In conclusion, Oxygen Shopify offers numerous opportunities to enhance your eCommerce business operations and facilitate expansion. It is relatively more convenient compared to its competitors. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that it does have a few drawbacks. We encourage you to read our complete article and make your own assessment to determine if Oxygen Shopify is a worthwhile investment. Thank you for your attention.

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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