Shopify Programming Language: All You Need to Know

learn shopify coding

Shopify – a revolution in the ecommerce industry. This platform has simplified the way sellers create online stores and sell their products on the web. Therefore, it has millions of merchants on the platform.

It is more than clear that one single programming language is not enough to develop such a modern and massive platform. However, if we have to choose one language that has contributed the most, it definitely has to be Ruby on Rails. In fact, Shopify is one of the most successful products ever created in Ruby.


Shopify Programming Language: The Development Phase

Shopify was created by three developers and it took two months. In 2010, Shopify launched the iOS app that helped merchants to manage their stores from their tablets and smartphones. Three years later, in 2013, Shopify launched Shopify Payments which helped the sellers to accept credit cards without using any third-party gateways. It also presented the POS system using iPads so that merchants can use their iPad to accept credit and debit cards offline. In 2016, they launched the Frenzy app to improve flash sales. One year later, Shopify announced integration with Amazon so that their merchants could sell directly on Amazon marketplace.

The main developer of the Shopify platform is Tobu Lutke. Tobu used to sell snowboards online, however, he couldn’t find an ecommerce platform as per his needs so he decided to build a platform himself. At that time, he was one of the Ruby on Rails developers, therefore, he chose Ruby on Rails for building the platform. That, however, is not the only programming language used.

The presence of Shopify theme programming language or Liquid is proof of that. One of the reasons for choosing Ruby on Rails is the simplicity and ease of development for the platform. It is designed for creating such a platform as Shopify.

Later, it was revealed that the Admin panel was written in a JavaScript platform. When they re-designed the Shopify Admin panel completely in Ruby on Rails after deleting more than 30.000 lines of codes written in JavaScript. It is needless to mention that JavaScript is one of the best programming languages for online development.

In order to know the web design languages any software company is using, you have to check their careers page. It is clear that they will hire professional web developers in the programming languages for their product. In this specific case, Shopify’s Careers Page shows requirements for MySQL developers and it is why it is safe to assume that MySQL is the database behind the Shopify platform.

Since the front-end language is Liquid, we can say that it is PHP-based. The utilization of MySQL is a PHP-MySQL combination and is the best combination.

How Can You Customize Your Shopify Store’s Look?

Where Shopify shines is its customizable and beautifully designed themes that are right out of the box and is something that makes the platform the best.

In the Shopify Theme Store, you can find more than 100 templates organized by niche.

A skillful web developer can customize the theme using CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Liquid code (a Ruby-based web design language that allows a website template to display information from the store’s database). An experienced Shopify developer can also use Timber, Shopify’s Liquid and SaaS design framework, as well as, the Bootstrap framework to make the theme’s design 100% responsive on all devices.


About Shopify App Development

What makes Shopify the best ecommerce platform is its customizability. The platform gives you full control over the look and feel of your store. Shopify apps play a huge role in all this and every year, Shopify developers add new apps to the App Store to solve various problems merchants face.

What if none of the apps fit your needs. Believe it or not, developing a Shopify app is not that difficult. The platform has extensive documentation on how to build your own app and how to take advantage of their APIs.

The Shopify platform is language-agnostic which means it is up to you to decide what Shopify backend programming language you want to use. This is because the Shopify application must be self-hosted and all interactions happen through Shopify’s APIs using JSON.

You can decide whether you want to build a private or public Shopify app. Public apps can be installed by any store while private apps are tailored to your preferences and will only work in your ecommerce store.

To make things simpler, Shopify provides official libraries for Python and Ruby, however, third-party libraries are available as well. You can use other languages such as PHP and Node.

If you want to provide a user interface for your new application in the Shopify admin, Shopify Polaris is your best option.

Shopify Polaris is a design system that helps you create a user interface. Apart from guides on content and visuals, the best part of Polaris is that it comes with a React component library. The components provided are well documented, easy to use, and fit into Shopify’s UI. In this case, no CSS or HTML skills are needed just the good old JavaScript. Also, Polaris allows you to be productive by using JavaScript libraries like Redux and React.

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