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Shopify developer skills: 13 Factors to consider when hiring!

As the global business landscape continues shifting towards a predominantly digital orientation, the demand for Shopify developers is rising. However, the growing pool of Shopify developers has made it challenging for businesses to identify the ideal project candidates. 

Therefore, in this article, we will explore a crucial element in hiring Shopify developers: their skill set. Join us as we delve into the examination of 13 essential skills that define a proficient Shopify expert.

Shopify developers’ definition

Shopify developers are professionals who specialize in creating, customizing, and maintaining online stores using the Shopify platform. They possess expertise in web development, particularly focused on building e-commerce websites that leverage Shopify’s features and capabilities. 

These developers are tasked with the responsibility of creating designs and writing code for online storefronts, implementing e-commerce functionalities, integrating third-party applications, and ensuring Shopify-based websites’ overall performance, security, and user experience. 

Shopify developers’ definition

Why is a Shopify developer important for an organization?

Shopify developers are crucial for an organization for several reasons:

  • E-commerce Expertise: Shopify developers specialize in creating and managing e-commerce websites. Their expertise ensures the organization’s online store is designed, developed, and optimized for effective online selling.
  • Customization: Shopify developers can tailor the online store to align with the organization’s unique requirements and branding. They can create custom themes, templates, and functionalities to make the store unique.
  • Technical Proficiency: They possess the technical knowledge required to handle the complexities of web development, ensuring that the website operates seamlessly, loads rapidly, and is secure.
  • App Integration: Shopify offers a wide range of apps and integrations. Developers can select and integrate the most suitable ones to enhance the store’s capabilities, including payment gateways, marketing instruments, and inventory management systems.
  • Scalability: Shopify developers can design and develop websites that scale as the organization grows. This ensures the online store can handle increased traffic and transactions without major disruptions.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Due to the growing prevalence of mobile devices for online shopping, Shopify developers ensure that the store is responsive and provides an excellent user experience on various screen sizes.
  • SEO Optimization: Shopify developers understand search engine optimization (SEO) principles and can implement strategies to improve the store’s visibility on search engines, leading to more organic traffic.
  • Troubleshooting and Support: They can quickly identify and resolve technical issues that may arise, minimizing downtime and loss of sales. They also provide ongoing support to address any concerns or updates needed.
  • Security: E-commerce websites handle confidential customer data. Shopify developers implement robust security measures to safeguard customer information and adhere to industry regulations.
  • Performance Optimization: They continuously monitor and optimize the website’s performance, ensuring fast page load times and a smooth shopping experience for customers.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization: Shopify developers can analyze user behavior and improve the conversion rate, turning visitors into customers.
  • Cost Efficiency: While hiring a Shopify developer comes with a cost, their expertise can lead to cost savings in the long run by preventing technical issues, improving efficiency, and driving more sales.

In summary, Shopify developers are vital in helping organizations establish and maintain a successful online presence. Their technical skills and e-commerce knowledge are instrumental in creating a user-friendly, secure, and high-performing online store that can drive revenue and growth for the organization.

13 Skills to look at a qualified Shopify developer

When evaluating a qualified Shopify developer, consider the following 13 essential skills:

1. Shopify platform proficiency

One of the most important Shopify developer skills that businesses should look at candidates is their Shopify platform proficiency. This factor forms the foundation of their ability to create, customize, and optimize e-commerce stores effectively. 

Shopify platform proficiency is one of the most important Shopify developer skills

Proficiency in the Shopify platform means developers are well-versed in its features, capabilities, and best practices, enabling them to harness its full potential. This proficiency ensures they can efficiently navigate the platform’s tools, troubleshoot issues, implement e-commerce functionalities, and stay up-to-date with Shopify’s evolving ecosystem. 

Ultimately, it empowers developers to deliver high-quality, tailored online shopping experiences for businesses and their customers, which is fundamental for e-commerce success in today’s digital landscape.


Shopify engineers are the building blocks of web development and front-end design. For this reason, they are required to have HTML and CSS as fundamental Shopify developer skills.  

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is employed for organizing or structuring web content, while CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used for styling and layout. 

In the context of Shopify, these skills are essential for customizing themes, creating unique store designs, and ensuring a seamless and visually appealing user experience. 

Shopify developers need to modify templates, add custom elements, and adapt the store’s appearance to match the brand’s identity, making HTML/CSS expertise indispensable in crafting a compelling and user-friendly e-commerce site.

3. Liquid templating language

Liquid templating language is the primary language used for customizing the look and functionality of Shopify themes. It forms the backbone of theme customization and design in the Shopify ecosystem. 

Proficiency in Liquid enables developers to craft unique and visually appealing online stores, personalize the shopping experience, and efficiently maintain and debug code.

It ensures compatibility with Shopify updates, enhances collaborative work, and ultimately positions candidates as valuable assets in the competitive world of e-commerce development.

Hence, remember to evaluate this Shopify developer skill to find the right fit for your project!

4. JavaScript

JavaScript is a crucial Shopify developer skill for evaluating candidates. It plays a crucial role in augmenting the functionality and interactivity of Shopify stores. 

Proficiency in JavaScript enables developers to create dynamic features, such as interactive product displays, custom shopping carts, and real-time updates, which can significantly improve the user experience.

JavaScript also facilitates seamless integration with third-party APIs and services, allowing for the development of powerful Shopify apps and extensions. 

Given the ever-evolving nature of e-commerce and the need for responsive, feature-rich online stores, candidates skilled in JavaScript are better equipped to meet the diverse needs of Shopify clients and stay at the forefront of the e-commerce industry.

5. Responsive design

A great Shopify candidate need to have responsive design skill. This skill plays an important role as a qualified engineer with great responsive design skills can directly impact the user experience across various devices, such as desktops, smartphones, and tablets. 

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring an online store is visually appealing and functions seamlessly on all screen sizes is imperative. Shopify developers need to create designs that adapt gracefully to different resolutions and orientations, optimizing page loading times and user interactions. 

Responsive design enhances user satisfaction and contributes to improved search engine rankings, which are vital for attracting organic traffic and increasing sales.

Candidates with expertise in responsive design demonstrate a commitment to delivering top-notch, accessible, and user-friendly Shopify stores, making them invaluable assets in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

6. Shopify theme development

Shopify theme development can directly influence the online shopping experience for customers. As a result, it is one of the most essential Shopify developer skills that should be required in candidates. 

Shopify theme development directly influences the customer’s online shopping experience

It allows developers to tailor the design and functionality to meet the unique needs and branding of each e-commerce business, creating a distinct and competitive edge in the crowded online marketplace. 

Ultimately, a skilled Shopify theme developer can enhance the overall customer experience, drive conversions, and contribute significantly to the success of Shopify-based businesses.

7. App integration

A great Shopify engineer also needs to have app integration skills because it proves that they can empower businesses to expand the capabilities of their online stores and cater to specific needs. 

Integrating third-party apps and services seamlessly into a Shopify store enhances its capabilities, from advanced marketing and analytics tools to payment gateways, inventory management, and customer support systems. 

This skill allows developers to create a tailored and scalable e-commerce ecosystem that can adapt to evolving business requirements and customer demands. It not only enhances the user experience but also helps businesses streamline their operations, drive growth, and stay competitive in the ever-changing e-commerce landscape.

8. APIs and webhooks

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and webhooks are fundamental Shopify developers skills that every candidate should have. Developers with great APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) can enable the seamless integration of external services, data, and automation into Shopify stores. 

By effectively leveraging Shopify’s APIs and webhooks, developers can build custom solutions, connect with third-party applications, and automate various processes. This skill allows businesses to create unique and personalized shopping experiences, automate order fulfillment, and access valuable data for analytics and decision-making. 

Plus, it ensures that Shopify stores can adapt and scale efficiently, keeping up with the ever-evolving demands of e-commerce and providing a competitive edge in the online marketplace.

9. E-commerce best practices

In case you want to know if a developer can encompass a deep understanding of user behavior, conversion optimization, and industry trends, you should consider their e-commerce best practices as a critical Shopify developer skill when hiring. 

By staying well-versed in these practices, developers can create Shopify stores that look good and perform exceptionally well. They can optimize product listings, checkout processes, and user interfaces to maximize conversion rates, reduce cart abandonment, and improve the shopping experience. 

Additionally, staying updated on e-commerce best practices allows developers to recommend and implement strategies that align with the business goals of their clients, ultimately driving higher revenue and customer satisfaction.

10. SEO optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) optimization directly impacts a store’s visibility and discoverability in search engines like Google. This is a reason why it is a Shopify developer skill that most developers are required to have. 

SEO optimization directly impacts a store's visibility and discoverability in search engines

As a result, developers who excel in SEO optimization help businesses increase their online presence, grow their customer base, and ultimately boost their e-commerce sales and revenue, making it a vital skill in the competitive world of online retail.

11. Performance optimization

Performance optimization directly impacts the user experience and bottom line of e-commerce businesses. Websites that load slowly can result in high bounce rates, cart abandonment, and a poor customer experience. 

Shopify programmers who excel in performance optimization can ensure that websites load quickly, are responsive across devices, and handle high-traffic loads efficiently. This improves user satisfaction and positively affects search engine rankings and conversion rates. 

Ultimately, a well-optimized Shopify store can lead to increased sales, reduced hosting costs, and a competitive edge in the online marketplace, making performance optimization a crucial skill for success in e-commerce.

12. Testing and debugging

Testing and debugging are among the most important Shopify developer skills. These skills are essential for ensuring the reliability and stability of e-commerce websites. 

Thorough testing helps identify and rectify issues, such as broken links, compatibility problems, or security vulnerabilities before they impact the customer experience. Effective debugging allows developers to pinpoint and resolve coding errors swiftly, preventing potential disruptions and customer frustration. 

These skills are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the online store, delivering a seamless shopping experience, and building trust with customers. In the competitive world of e-commerce, a developer’s ability to test and debug efficiently can be the determining factor in the success of a store and one plagued by technical issues.

13. Client communication

Last but not least is the client communication skill. Client communication facilitates a clear understanding of the client’s needs, expectations, and project goals. 

Effective communication enables developers to gather requirements, provide regular updates, and promptly address any concerns or changes. It fosters trust and transparency in the client-developer relationship, ensuring that the final Shopify store aligns with the client’s vision and objectives.

Furthermore, good communication helps manage project timelines, budgets, and scope, preventing misunderstandings and potential conflicts. 

Ultimately, a developer’s ability to communicate effectively with clients enhances customer satisfaction, promotes successful project outcomes, and can lead to long-lasting partnerships and referrals in the highly competitive e-commerce development industry.

Tips to differentiate between good and average Shopify developers

Distinguishing between good and average Shopify developers can be challenging but can often be determined by their skills, experience, and performance in various areas. Here’s a breakdown of the qualities that differentiate good and average Shopify developers:

Tips help differentiate between good and average Shopify developers

      1. Good Shopify Developers:

  • Technical Proficiency: Good developers have a deep understanding of Shopify’s platform, APIs, and coding languages. They can handle complex customizations and troubleshoot technical issues effectively.
  • Design and User Experience: They prioritize creating visually appealing and user-friendly Shopify themes that enhance the overall shopping experience.
  • E-commerce Best Practices: Good developers stay updated with e-commerce trends, SEO, and conversion optimization techniques to maximize a store’s performance.
  • Communication Skills: They excel in client communication, actively listening, providing clear updates, and managing client expectations throughout the project.
  • Problem Solving: Good developers are adept at identifying and resolving issues quickly, minimizing disruptions and downtime.
  • Customization and Integration: They can seamlessly integrate third-party apps, develop custom solutions, and tailor the Shopify store to meet specific client needs.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: They prioritize thorough testing to ensure a flawless website, catching and fixing issues before deployment.
  • Project Management: Good developers can effectively manage project timelines and budgets, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.
  • Client Satisfaction: They consistently deliver high-quality work that meets or exceeds client expectations, resulting in satisfied clients and positive testimonials.

      2. Average Shopify Developers:

  • Technical Proficiency: Average developers may have a basic understanding of Shopify but lack the depth of knowledge and experience to handle more complex tasks.
  • Design and User Experience: They may focus more on functionality and overlook design aesthetics and usability.
  • E-commerce Best Practices: Average developers might not be as well-versed in e-commerce best practices, potentially leading to suboptimal SEO and conversion rates.
  • Communication Skills: They may struggle with effective client communication, leading to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction.
  • Problem Solving: Average developers might find it challenging to diagnose and fix complex technical problems, resulting in delays and frustration.
  • Customization and Integration: They may lack the expertise to handle advanced integrations and customizations.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Average developers may perform minimal testing, potentially leading to post-launch issues.
  • Project Management: They might struggle with project management, which can result in project delays and budget overruns.
  • Client Satisfaction: Average developers may have mixed reviews and limited client satisfaction.

Hiring Shopify developers from Mageplaza.

If you’re in search of specialists to assist you in creating your own Shopify app, you might want to consider Mageplaza. Mageplaza has proven its expertise and impact in the Shopify industry, showcasing a significant user community comprising countless global merchants.

The Mageplaza team is an integral part of the Avada Group, renowned for their successful track record in crafting Shopify apps that have garnered favorable ratings and impressive download numbers. These apps include:

  • Avada EU GDPR Cookie Consent
  • Avada Trust badges, pop‑up
  • Avada WhatsApp Chat, FAQ Page
  • PDF Invoice Order Printer, POS
  • Avada: Size Chart, Size Guide
  • Avada Upsell Cross Sell Bundle

Here are some more detailed explanations of how selecting Mageplaza can be advantageous for your business:

Mageplaza’s Shopify development service

  • 9+ years of experience in E-commerce: Leveraging years of experience in the E-commerce industry, Mageplaza brings knowledge and expertise to every Shopify development project. Mageplaza’s team of experts is dedicated to crafting tailored solutions that align precisely with your unique objectives, unlocking the full potential of your online store.
  • Wide range of apps: Mageplaza offers a comprehensive suite of Shopify apps that cover various aspects of E-commerce operations, spanning marketing and promotions, inventory management, and customer service. These apps provide a holistic solution to optimize your entire E-commerce ecosystem and elevate the overall customer experience.
  • Customization capabilities: Mageplaza delivers customized development services that cater to the customers’ specific needs. Mageplaza’s team works closely with customers to understand their business objectives, ensuring the solution is tailored to their brand identity and goals.
  • Ongoing support and maintenance: Mageplaza’s dedicated support team is readily available to respond to inquiries and deliver timely updates, ensuring your apps remain optimized and current.
  • Cost-effective model: Only from $15/h, Mageplaza ensures that customers receive top-notch development services without straining their budgets. Furthermore, this approach allows customers to attain a robust return on their investment, making it a win-win for their business.
  • Guaranteed time range: The team at Mageplaza recognizes the significance of punctual project delivery. Mageplaza takes pride in offering a guaranteed timeframe for completing your development project, ensuring you receive the best result within the agreed-upon schedule.



In conclusion, the importance of Shopify developer skills cannot be overstated in the world of e-commerce. By recognizing and valuing these essential skills, you’re better equipped to choose the right developer for your business and ensure your Shopify store not only meets but exceeds your customers’ expectations.

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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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