10 Mistakes Shopify Developers Make

by | Jul 5, 2023

As the digital marketplace evolves, Shopify remains a dominant platform for e-commerce businesses. But success on Shopify requires avoiding certain pitfalls. Here are ten common mistakes made by developers and strategies to sidestep them.

1. Skipping the Planning Phase

Mistake: Jumping into development without a detailed blueprint. Solution: Allocate time for strategizing structure, design, and functionality. Use tools like Trello or EcomRolodex’s built-in tasks to organize tasks and milestones. For wireframes and mockups, Figma or Adobe XD can be instrumental.

2. Over-reliance on Apps

Mistake: Overloading the store with numerous apps. Solution: Prioritize essential apps and consider custom development for specific functionalities. Platforms like Shopify’s Custom Storefront API can help developers create bespoke storefronts without over-reliance on third-party apps. That’s what separates amateur Shopify developers from experts.

3. Ignoring Mobile Shoppers

Mistake: Overlooking mobile optimization. Solution: Adopt a mobile-first approach. Tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help pinpoint areas needing improvement.

4. Overlooking SEO

Mistake: Neglecting SEO essentials. Solution: Regularly optimize page elements. SEMrush or Moz, although expensive, they offer comprehensive tools for SEO auditing and guidance. Free tools which help with SEO are Google Search Console and Ubersuggest.

5. Failing at Performance Optimization

Mistake: Allowing slow-loading elements. Solution: Conduct site speed audits periodically. Google PageSpeed Insights can offer actionable advice on enhancing site speed.

6. Insufficient Testing

Mistake: Not conducting comprehensive testing. Solution: Test the store on various devices and browsers. Consider sharing your store on social media and proactively ask for  feedback.

7. Settling for Generic Designs

Mistake: Sole reliance on default themes. Solution: Customize themes to resonate with your brand. Platforms like ThemeForest offer unique Shopify themes that can be tailored further to match your brand.

8. Neglecting Security

Mistake: Inadequate security measures. Solution: Prioritize data encryption and safe transaction protocols. Use services like Qualys SSL Labs to test your site’s SSL strength and configuration.

9. Disorganized Code Management

Mistake: Producing messy, non-standardized code. Solution: Maintain coding best practices offered by Shopify. Frequently keep backups of the live theme. Use Github Shopify integration, which allows teams to manage and track code changes efficiently.

10. Ignoring Data Insights

Mistake: Bypassing analytics. Solution: Integrate advanced analytics tools. Platforms like Google Analytics and Shopify’s built-in analytics offer valuable insights into user behavior and store performance.

11. Non-Editable Code Sections

Many developers build sections using code that’s difficult for the average user to edit. When these sections are hard-coded, store owners without coding knowledge find themselves at a disadvantage, unable to make simple changes to their own site.

12. Copy-Pasting from Other Themes

Copying and pasting sections from different themes can introduce superfluous code. This not only clutters the backend, but can also lead to elements loading from external servers, significantly slowing down the site’s load time.

13. Unoptimized Media Content

Unoptimized images and videos can severely impact site performance. These oversized files take longer to load, leading to longer page load times, which can frustrate users and negatively affect SEO rankings.

14. Inflexible Code Formatting

Some developers write code in a proprietary or unique format, making it challenging for other developers to understand or modify. This lack of standardization can lead to issues when future edits or updates are required.

15. Using Outdated or Pirated Themes

Relying on outdated themes or, even worse, pirated ones, can jeopardize the store’s standing with Shopify. Shopify may shut down stores built on unlicensed themes, even if there’s custom design involved. It’s always safer to use licensed themes or, as some experts do, build one from scratch.

16. Using Paid Apps instead of custom code

While apps can add functionality to a store, using too many paid apps can introduce unnecessary costs. Moreover, these apps can often slow down the website. In many cases, it’s more efficient to integrate the desired functionality directly into the theme without resorting to external apps.
Example: Many apps provide in-cart upsells while this can be coded easily by an expert

Or a custom side cart used by the majority of the successful brands on Shopify

Or setup a custom page without using page builders

Final Thoughts

Navigating the vast world of Shopify successfully necessitates a mix of best practices, strategic planning, and the right tools. By recognizing and rectifying these common mistakes, developers can ensure their Shopify stores are optimized for success in the e-commerce landscape.

If you’re looking to hire a Shopify developer, you can get a consultation with a real Shopify expert here

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