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

Shopify Outage: What Are The Causes And How To Fix

Shopify is a powerhouse in e-commerce, but what happens when the unexpected occurs, and your store faces downtime? In this article, we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind Shopify outages, probing into the very fabric of their origins and equipping you with practical solutions to not only weather the storm but emerge stronger.

Table of Contents

How to Tell If Your Shopify Store is Down?

If you have concerns about the status of your Shopify website, watch for these indicators. Certain common signs may suggest that your store is currently inaccessible:

  • Unresponsive pages: If your Shopify store pages are unresponsive or take an unusually long time to load, it could indicate issues with the platform’s servers, network, or other technical problems.

Unresponsive pages are one of the signs that your Shopify is down

  • Checkout and cart issues: If customers report issues completing transactions or adding items to their carts, it might suggest a problem with the checkout process or the underlying infrastructure of your Shopify store.
  • Unclickable store pages: When store pages become unclickable, it could be due to technical issues, broken links, or errors in the code.
  • Blank or irregular layouts: Pages displaying blank or irregular layouts after clicking may indicate problems with the loading of assets, stylesheets, or scripts. This can result from issues with Shopify’s servers, your theme, or custom code.
  • Unexpected results: Unexpected results or errors after clicking on specific features suggest issues with the functionality of those features. This could be related to third-party apps, custom code, or changes you’ve recently made to your store.

10 Reasons Why Shopify Outages

Shopify outages can occur for various reasons. Some common reasons for outages in online platforms like Shopify include:

1. Technical Issues

Technical issues encompass a wide array of problems that can impact the performance of the Shopify platform. This can include software bugs, server failures, database issues, or other glitches in the technical infrastructure. These issues may arise from errors in code, updates gone wrong, or unexpected interactions between different components of the system. 

2. High Traffic Volume

High traffic volume is a common challenge for e-commerce platforms, particularly during peak shopping seasons or major sales events. When a significant number of users simultaneously try to access the platform, it can lead to increased server loads and strain on the system’s resources. This may result in slow loading times, timeouts, or, in extreme cases, temporary outages.

3. DDoS Attacks

DDoS Attacks

A DDoS attack involves a malicious effort to disturb the regular operation of a website or online service by inundating it with an excessive influx of traffic from various origins. DDoS attacks can lead to increased server loads, slowdowns, or complete outages.

4. Scheduled Maintenance

Scheduled maintenance is a proactive measure taken by Shopify to ensure the stability and security of its platform. During these planned maintenance windows, the platform might undergo updates, software patches, or infrastructure improvements. While this maintenance is crucial for the long-term health and performance of the system, it can temporarily impact the availability of certain features or even the entire platform. 

5. Unverified Domain

Domain verification is an important security measure, especially when integrating third-party services or setting up custom domains. If a domain associated with a Shopify store is unverified or improperly configured, it can lead to issues with certain functionalities, such as email services or third-party integrations. 

6. Integration Issues

Shopify allows merchants to enhance their stores by integrating with third-party apps and services. While these integrations can provide valuable features and functionalities, they can also introduce complexities. 

Integration issues may arise if there are compatibility issues between the Shopify platform and a third-party app or if the app experiences technical problems. Common integration issues include data synchronization errors, conflicts with other apps, or disruptions in service.

7. Failed CSV Uploads

Shopify allows merchants to bulk upload or update product information, inventory data, and other details using CSV (Comma-Separated Values) files. If there are issues with the CSV file, such as incorrect formatting, missing required fields, or incompatible data, the upload process can fail. This can lead to errors in product listings or disruptions in inventory management.

8. Too Many Unnecessary Graphics

Excessive use of graphics, large images, or other media files on a Shopify store can contribute to slow page loading times or even cause pages not to load at all. Large files increase the time it takes for a webpage to download and render, negatively impacting the user experience. 

9. Missing or Lost Files

The absence or corruption of crucial files or data necessary for the proper operation of a Shopify store can result in various issues, such as broken functionalities or errors. Regular backups of store data and files are crucial to mitigate the impact of such problems. 

10. Network Issues

Network issues, such as problems with internet service providers (ISPs) or issues with network routing, can impact the accessibility of Shopify services. If users are unable to connect to the Shopify servers due to network-related problems, it can result in slow loading times or complete unavailability of the store.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the reasons for a specific Shopify outage, it’s recommended to check the official Shopify Status page, which typically provides real-time updates on the status of their services. Additionally, communication from Shopify through their support channels or social media may offer insights into the cause of any disruptions.

What to Do During a Shopify Outage?

During a Shopify outage, it’s important to take a systematic approach to address the situation and minimize the impact on your business. Here are some things you can consider:

1. Contact Shopify Customer Service

During a Shopify outage, reaching out to Shopify Customer Service is a crucial step. Here’s what you can consider doing:

  • Access support channels: Log in to your Shopify admin dashboard and navigate to the “Help” or “Support” section. Shopify provides various channels for customer support, including live chat, email, and phone support.
  • Provide detailed information: When contacting customer service, provide detailed information about the issues you’re facing. Include any error messages, the specific pages affected, and the steps leading to the problem. This information will help Shopify support better understand and address the issue promptly.
  • Stay informed: Ask for updates on the status of the outage, the estimated time for resolution, and any actions you can take to mitigate the impact on your store. Shopify support is typically responsive and can provide valuable assistance during service disruptions.

2. Take a Look at the Shopify Status Page

Monitoring the official Shopify Status page is a crucial step to understand the overall status of Shopify’s services. Here’s how to effectively use the Shopify Status page:

  • Visit the status page: Go to status.shopify.com to access the Shopify Status page. This page provides real-time updates on the operational status of Shopify’s services.
Take a look at the Shopify status page
  • Check for incident reports: Look for any incident reports related to the ongoing outage. Incident reports often provide details about the nature of the issue, the affected services, and the steps Shopify is taking to resolve the problem.
  • Subscribe for updates: The status page allows you to subscribe for updates, ensuring you receive notifications about changes in the platform’s status. This keeps you abreast of the progress in resolving the issues.
  • Follow instructions: If Shopify provides specific instructions or actions you need to take on the status page, follow them accordingly. This might include implementing temporary workarounds or applying suggested fixes to minimize the impact on your store.

3. Take Advantage of a Down Detector

During a Shopify outage, utilizing third-party tools like Down Detector can offer additional insights into the situation and help you gauge the scope of the issue. Here’s how you can leverage Down Detector:

  • Visit Down Detector’s website: Go to the Down Detector website and search for “Shopify” or navigate to the Shopify section. Down Detector aggregates user reports about service outages from various platforms.
  • Check user reports: Down Detector presents a visual map or graph showing the number of reported issues over time. It can provide an indication of the geographical distribution of the outage and whether other users are facing similar problems.
  • Read user comments: User comments on Down Detector can offer supplementary context and details regarding the issues users are encountering. Reading these comments may help you understand if the problem is widespread or if it’s affecting specific regions or functionalities.
  • Consider alternative services: Down Detector sometimes suggests alternative services or platforms that users are turning to during the outage. This information can be valuable if you need to redirect your customers to alternative channels temporarily.

4. Utilize the Test Mode

Shopify provides a Test Mode that lets you simulate transactions without processing actual payments. This feature can be beneficial during an outage, especially if your customers are facing difficulties with checkouts. Here’s how to use the Test Mode effectively:

  • Access payment settings: In your Shopify admin, navigate to “Settings” and then “Payments.” Find the payment gateway you want to test and locate the “Test mode” or similar setting.
  • Enable test mode: Switch the payment gateway to Test Mode. This allows you to simulate the checkout process without actual financial transactions. Note that while in Test Mode, no real payments will be processed, ensuring you won’t affect your store’s financial data.
  • Test the checkout process: Go through the checkout process on your store as a customer would, ensuring that each step works as expected. This can help you identify whether the outage is impacting the payment processing system.
  • Review error messages: If there are any issues during the test, review error messages and take note of any specific information provided. This can be valuable when communicating with Shopify support or your payment gateway provider.

5. Re-examine Your Steps

During a Shopify outage, it’s essential to conduct a thorough review of recent changes or updates made to your store. This process can help identify potential causes of the issue and guide you in troubleshooting. Here’s how to approach it:

  • Check recent modifications: Review any recent changes you or your team have made to your Shopify store. This includes updates to the theme, changes in settings, or installations of new apps. Sometimes, issues may arise from recent modifications, and identifying these can provide valuable insights.
  • Inspect custom code: If you’ve implemented custom code or scripts on your store, examine them closely. Errors or conflicts in custom code can lead to functionality issues or outages. Temporarily disabling custom code to see if the problem persists can help isolate the cause.
  • Revert recent changes: If you suspect that a specific modification is causing the issue, consider reverting those changes temporarily. This can help you identify the source of the problem and restore essential functionalities until a more permanent solution is found.
  • Check for compatibility: Ensure that your theme and any third-party apps you’ve installed are compatible with the current version of Shopify. Incompatibility issues can sometimes arise after Shopify updates, leading to disruptions in service.
  • Review error messages: If there are error messages displayed during the outage, take note of them. These messages often provide clues about the nature of the issue and can guide you in troubleshooting or seeking assistance from Shopify support.

6. Use Third-Party Applications to Optimize Your Shopify Store

Third-party applications can play a significant role in optimizing your Shopify store’s performance and resilience. Here’s how you can leverage them during and after an outage:

  • Performance analytics tools: Consider using third-party analytics tools to monitor the performance of your store. These tools can provide insights into loading times, user interactions, and other performance metrics. Monitoring performance can help you identify and address issues promptly.
  • Security apps: Implement security apps to safeguard your store against potential threats. These apps can offer features like malware detection, firewall protection, and monitoring for suspicious activities. A secure store is less susceptible to downtime due to security breaches.
  • Backup solutions: Utilize third-party backup solutions to regularly back up your store’s data. In the event of an outage or data loss, having recent backups ensures you can quickly restore your store to a previous state, minimizing potential disruptions.
  • SEO optimization apps: Using SEO optimization tools can improve your store’s prominence and search engine rankings. During an outage, maintaining SEO performance is crucial. These apps can assist in preserving your store’s online presence.
  • Communication apps: Apps that facilitate communication with customers, such as chatbots or email marketing tools, can be valuable during an outage. Use these tools to keep customers informed about the situation and provide updates on the resolution progress.

Useful Tips to Follow When a Shopify Outage Happens

Experiencing a Shopify outage can be challenging for your online business, but there are certain tips that can mitigate the impact and effectively manage the situation. Here are some useful tips to follow when a Shopify outage occurs:

Ensure the UI is in place: While Shopify is experiencing an outage, ensure that the user interface (UI) of your store remains intact and functional. Test essential features, navigation, and the overall user experience to minimize any potential disruptions once the outage is resolved. This includes checking product pages, the shopping cart, and the checkout process.

Reduce or pause ad spend: During a Shopify outage, consider reducing or temporarily pausing your advertising spend. Driving traffic to your site during an outage can reduce user experience and waste advertising dollars. Review your ad campaigns and adjust budgets accordingly until the issues are resolved.

Explain the problem to customers and your community: Communicate transparently with your customers and community about the ongoing issues. Use your website, social media channels, and email newsletters to explain the problem, reassure customers that you are aware of the situation, and share updates on the resolution progress. Honest and timely communication helps build trust.

Pause your SMS or email sends for your store: If you have automated SMS or email campaigns scheduled, consider pausing them during the outage. Sending promotional or transactional messages during a service disruption may not only be ineffective but can also contribute to customer frustration. Temporarily halt these communications until your store is fully operational.

Pause your SMS or email sends for your store

Take advantage of the downtime to improve your business: Use the downtime caused by the outage as an opportunity to focus on improving other aspects of your business. Consider tasks such as:

  • Content review: Evaluate and update product descriptions, images, and other content on your website.
  • Inventory management: Take stock of your inventory and update product availability.
  • SEO optimization: Work on optimizing your store for search engines.
  • Customer support enhancements: Review and enhance your customer support processes.

These activities can contribute to the overall improvement of your business and help you make the most of the time when your store is not fully operational.

Read more: Shopify 404 Page: 12 Tips to Fix it Quickly

Avoid Shopify outage with Mageplaza’s help

As you navigate the intricate terrain of Shopify outages, remember that proactive measures are your anchor in the storm. Mageplaza stands as your dedicated partner in ensuring the resilience and optimal performance of your Shopify store.

For ongoing support, maintenance, and a shield against potential disruptions, consider leveraging Mageplaza’s Shopify Support & Maintenance services. Our team is poised to navigate the complexities, implement strategic solutions, and provide the expertise needed to fortify your online business.

Mageplaza - Shopify Support & Maintenance Services

Here are some key advantages of using Mageplaza’s Shopify Support & Maintenance service:

  • Technical expertise: Mageplaza’s experts are equipped to handle various technical aspects, from troubleshooting issues to implementing advanced optimizations.
  • Proactive monitoring: Mageplaza keeps a vigilant eye on your online presence, identifying potential issues before they impact your business.
  • Security enhancements: Safeguard your store against potential threats with Mageplaza’s security enhancements. Benefit from regular security audits, updates, and implementations to ensure your online business remains resilient against evolving cybersecurity challenges.
  • Performance optimization: Mageplaza works to optimize the performance of your Shopify store, enhancing loading speeds and overall user experience. This leads to elevated customer satisfaction and enhanced search engine rankings.
  • Regular updates and backups: Mageplaza ensures that your Shopify store is running on the latest software versions, and regular backups provide a safety net in case of unexpected events.
  • Dedicated support: Mageplaza’s support team is ready to assist you with any inquiries, troubleshooting, or guidance, ensuring you have the assistance required for smooth store operations.
  • Custom development services: Tailor your Shopify store to meet your unique business needs with Mageplaza’s custom development services. Whether it’s creating custom features or integrating third-party tools, Mageplaza’s experts can bring your vision to life.
  • Cost-effective solutions: Mageplaza’s services offer a cost-effective solution compared to hiring an in-house team. By outsourcing your Shopify support and maintenance needs, you can focus on growing your business while Mageplaza handles the technical aspects.

And don’t forget that Mageplaza offers FREE 1:1 consultation with experts, together with a FREE 30-day trial for all Shopify apps. 

By choosing Mageplaza’s Shopify Support & Maintenance services, you not only ensure the reliability and security of your online store but also gain a strategic partner dedicated to optimizing and growing your e-commerce venture. Contact us immediately for a free consultation today!



In dissecting the causes and solutions surrounding Shopify outages, we’ve not only unveiled the complexities but provided you with a toolkit to fortify your online business against the unexpected. As we conclude, recognize that resilience isn’t just tested during downtime; it’s cultivated through proactive measures.

Armed with insights on triggers, preventative strategies, and effective fixes, you’re positioned not as a victim of disruption but as a strategic entrepreneur steering through challenges. Consider this exploration a continual guide, fostering adaptability and vigilance in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.

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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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