Top Programming Languages to Develop Shopify Apps

Shopify apps programming languages.

Last updated - May 31, 2022

For an eCommerce business to be successful, it has to offer its customers a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate store, along with ensuring its website is always updated. This is possible by ensuring that the apps it uses are up-to-date and in line with the current criteria. Hence, creating and developing new apps is an ongoing process.  

Shopify has its own app store that offers many apps, whose main aim is to offer specialized functionality to its users. The apps are designed in compliance with Shopify’s security and trust policies, while ensuring they cater to all your store’s needs. Shopify has its own app store and also offers third-party apps.

Overview

  • Programming Language Used by Shopify  
  • Defining the Main Programming Languages 
  • Listing the App on Shopify App Store 
  • Most Effective Method to Learn Coding a Shopify Custom App  
  • Testing the App 
  • Encryption & Security
  • Options for App Hosting  
  • Cost of Creating a Shopify App on a Regular Basis 

Programming Language Used by Shopify  

The right programming language is what ensures the performance of any app. Shopify is no different in that regard. It provides official Ruby and Python libraries for developing apps, which are the most popular, although the technological stack is not limited to these two. Languages, such as Node or PHP, with third-party libraries, are also available (along with different frameworks).  

A user interface that is created with an app written in a different language other than those mentioned above can still be compared to that of Shopify. Polaris is one such app from Shopify that comes with a design system, UI kit, or style guide, as well as React components for designers. Polaris enables the user to have a more fluid experience within the app because it comes with a collection of patterns, designs, and components (includes HTML snippets as well, which can be used in place of React components), content styles, and some more features. 

 In this article, we take you through some key programming languages used to develop Shopify.  

Below is a brief about each of Shopify’s main programming languages…

Defining the Main Programming Languages 

Ruby and Python are the main programming languages used to build a Shopify app. 

Ruby: Ruby is considered among the top ten programming languages by indexes, such as the TIOBE index and others, which track the growth and popularity of languages worldwide. Ruby is a free programming language that can not only be copied, altered, and distributed, but also modified. 

Ruby on Rails web framework, the most popular Ruby-based software, is responsible for most of the development of Shopify apps. 

Ruby language landing page.

This language offers a slew of other features, such as

  • Like Java and Python, Ruby also includes ‘exception management tools’ that make it simple to handle mistakes. 
  • For all Ruby objects, Ruby has a real mark-and-sweep garbage collector. This ensures that one need not keep track of references in extension libraries, thus making it stress-free for the developer.  
  • Writing C extensions in Ruby is easier than in Perl or Python, owing to the API for calling Ruby from C. This includes requests for Ruby to be embedded in applications and used as a scripting language. There is also a SWIG interface. 
  • Ruby can dynamically load extension libraries if the operating system permits the same. 

Python: If you are looking for a general-purpose programming language, then Python is the one for you. It is a dynamically typed language that comes with a high level of abstraction and prioritizes code readability. It also uses indentation extensively.  

Python is ideal for both small and big projects, as its language elements and object-oriented approach enable programmers to write clear and logical codes. It also enables exchanging of ideas. It supports a variety of programming paradigms, including structured programming, object-oriented programming, and functional programming. 

Python’s garbage-collector ensures that all the extra memory that is no longer in use is collected and reclaimed.  

Python language landing page.

Some features of Python include: 

  • Ease of Coding 
  • Open Source and Free 
  • Support for GUI 
  • Object-oriented Approach 
  • High-level Language 
  • Highly Portable 
  • Highly Dynamic 
  • Extensive Array of Library 
  • Support for Other Languages 

Listing the App on Shopify App Store 

Your app can be included in Shopify’s App Store based on your service/product niche. Shopify also offers app development training to people interested in learning about the Shopify platform, its themes, and customization, along with how to create an eCommerce store with the help of Shopify and a Shopify application.   

Postman is one such option that has a pre-built collection for Shopify endpoints. It will help you develop your Shopify app without much hassle. However, your Shopify app has to be self-hosted, and all interactions with Shopify need to take place through Shopify’s REST APIs using JSON.  

Most Effective Method to Learn Coding a Shopify Custom App  

It is the undisputed reality that everything is going digital, and all businesses have to eventually shift to an online mode sooner than later. The ever-expanding eCommerce sector is a prime example of this. No doubt that those with the resources and time to establish an eCommerce shop are getting started without delay. This is the time for developers and programmers to associate with eCommerce firms regarding their apps. The market for app developers is at an all-time high, and there is no dearth of work for good developers. 

If you are keen on creating a Shopify app, the first step is to decide whether you want to develop a public or private app. While a public app allows you to interact with several marketplaces and connect to multiple apps via its APIs, a private app allows you to operate with only one app store. Furthermore, there is restricted access to APIs in this case.  

Steps to develop an app for first-timers: 

  1. If you are a first-time app developer, then choosing a public app would be ideal, as your store will be integrated into the Shopify admin panel. With a private app, embedding your shop within the Shopify admin panel is not feasible. 
  1. The second step is to select a language. As mentioned above, you can select any Shopify app development language that you want, as Shopify supports all languages. Moreover, its Polaris platform aids in the creation of platform- and user-friendly UI. 
  1. The next step is to learn how to connect your app to Shopify.  

Applications can be linked with Shopify in the following three ways: 

  • Using an admin panel to connect to Shopify APIs, wherein all data that needs to be processed and seen can be read and written. 
  • Incorporating all-new functionalities into the Shopify admin. 
  • Enhancing/expanding the way information is presented to customers. 
  1. Finally, after linking the app, it needs to be tested for its performance. 

Testing the App 

Once your app is developed, it is imperative to test it before you get going to ensure that the API calls have been set up correctly, along with ensuring that the webhooks are functioning properly to cater to the various traffic volumes. 

Some testing tools that you can consider, among many others, are – 

  • Debug your app with Shopify App Bridge 
  • NGROK – Secure Tunneling 
  • Postman (tool for sending an HTTP request to Shopify API endpoints) 
  • Request Bin (to view webhooks 
  • Making API calls with Paw 

Encryption & Security 

All Shopify apps must have a secure sockets layer (SSL), hence encryption is an absolute must. This step ensures that your app is secure, along with your users’ privacy. Mentioned below are some resources, among others, which can help you secure your app – 

  • Let’s Encrypt 
  • Trust and Security on Shopify’s Platform 
  • Built on Trust: Making Apps More Secure for Merchants 
  • Free SSL Certificates for Your Shopify App 

Note: Shopify ensures even its public apps are more secure. All new apps are reviewed to meet the same high Shopify standards as those for all its other apps. This way, its merchants will feel more secure and will be able to trust the creators of their apps. 

Options for App Hosting 

Once the app is built and tested, you would require a place to host the same. You would need a good hosting website for this purpose. Here are some options you can consider:

  • Heroku 
  • Digital Ocean 
  • AWS Free Tier 
  • 4 Easy Ways to Deploy Your Website or App 

Cost of Creating a Shopify App on a Regular Basis 

The Shopify App Store comes with the basic pre-created applications. However, custom software will be needed if you want to develop an app that suits your business requirements, and the development process can be a little difficult. As a result, the development time will be longer, and you will need expert developers to construct the program, which usually comes at a steep price. All these factors tend to hike up the price of your Shopify app. 

The cost of creating a Shopify app will depend on the app’s features, future scope, and scalability possibilities. The basic price covers the cost of the server where your program is hosted, which is the most significant expense that you will incur. The other most important factor that determines the cost of developing the app is the type of app, whether it is a Public App, Custom App, and Private App. 

  • The cost of public applications is expensive since they generate immediate money for the inventor and are published in the Shopify store.  
  • The cost of custom apps is solely determined by their intended use and function.  
  • Developers create private applications for a client’s particular business needs, and they are only used once. The cost of private applications is also determined by their use. 

Conclusion 

Shopify provides a very versatile solution with regard to programming languages. It works with Ruby, Python, and an array of third-party libraries, such as Node and PHP. Choosing the top programming language is a user’s choice, as Shopify caters to almost every type of programming language.  

Considering the fact that Python is a very common language, it would be an ideal choice for building Shopify apps, along with Ruby, as it provides a stable and versatile framework for the apps.

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