You’ve finally finished building your Shopify store and now you want to make it live but can’t figure out how to do that? Maybe you thought your store was already live but when you entered the domain in the url bar you reached a “coming soon” page?
If you happen to reach this coming soon page, it’s because you still have your storefront password enabled. This password is really the only thing standing in-between you and a live Shopify store.
To activate your Shopify store and remove the password you need to complete the following steps:
- On your Shopify dashboard, open up the Online Store menu and choose preferences.
- Scroll to the bottom of the preferences page to the password protection section.
- Untick the box that reads “enable password”.
Once the store-front password is removed, your Shopify store will now be live!
Launching a Shopify store is that easy.
However, you should probably take care of some other things before making your store live. The rest of this article will cover those necessary steps.
Placing A Test Order
Just because your Shopify store is live, doesn’t mean it’s working. You might not be able to accept orders because you haven’t properly set up your payment providers.
You can easily check this by placing a test order.
The test order is an important step to launching your store and should never be skipped. With the test order, you can check whether the checkout process is working, whether your shipping options are correctly displayed and whether or not your taxes (if set up) are correctly added.
You aren’t just testing whether you can accept payments with a test order, you are also checking whether the shipping options are correctly displayed and whether to not your taxes are correctly added.
There are three ways to make a test order:
- By simulating a test order with Shopify’s bogus gateway
- By utilizing test mode in Shopify payments (if you have Shopify payments)
- By making a real order and canceling it
How to simulate a test order with Shopify’s bogus gateway
Shopify has a built-in bogus gateway that you can use to test orders. You can check this post on Shopify’s website to find out how to use it.
How to make a test order with Shopify payments
For those that have access to Shopify payments, you can use the test mode of your payment provider to test your checkout process.
Here’s how you can enable test mode: Shopify dashboard > Settings > Payments > Shopify Payments > Manage > Enable Test Mode
Or follow the video below.
Don’t forget to turn it off afterwards.
How to make a test order by making a real order and canceling it right away
This one is pretty straight forward.
Add a product to your cart and go through the checkout process. Instead of using a dummy credit card number, you will be using your real credit card number and address.
Go through all of the steps and complete the transaction.
If you manage to complete the transaction, you’ll know your store can successfully accept payments.
Now head over to orders on your Shopify dashboard and cancel the order you just made.
Please note that during this method you will be charged credit card transaction fees.
While you’re testing your checkout process, you should also try different configurations to check for different situations.
For example, do you charge free shipping on orders over $50? Then make sure you have that correctly set up by adding items to your cart until you reach that value.
Here’s what you should test your site on:
- Shipping zones: is your store able to ship to every location you wish to ship to and are the shipping rates and taxes correctly set up?
- Countries you don’t wish to ship to: make sure your store doesn’t allow them to order from you
- Are you using a BOGO (buy one get one) offer? Make sure this is correctly set up at checkout
- Test email notifications, did you receive an email confirmation from the test order?
Title and Description
Every store should have an appropriate title and meta description set up before launch. This is the first thing that visitors will see when they visit your store through Google.
Both your title and description should immediately make clear what your store is selling.
Here are some examples:
Do you see how each of these immediately makes clear who they are and what they are selling? Draw inspiration from this to correctly set up your own title and description.
Make sure your domain is correctly setup
Of course, you don’t want to launch your Shopify store with a .myshopify domain. So before you launch, you should make sure your domain is correctly set up.
You can quickly do this by checking typing in the url in the search bar, does your store come up?
If it doesn’t, you don’t have your domain setup yet.
To set up your domain you need to change the following DNS settings in the Control Panel of your domain provider:
- A record > 188.8.131.52
- CNAME > www > shops.myshopify.com
Or follow the step-by-step process provided by Shopify.
Make sure you have all legal pages set up
The following legal pages are a must for every Shopify store:
- Terms of Service
- Refund/Return Policy
If your store is located or catering to an EU audience you will also need to have a cookie/GDPR policy set up and have a cookie notification app installed. Here’s a free GDPR app (no affiliation).
You can manage your legal pages here: Dashboard > Settings > Legal
Finally launching your Shopify store is a magical moment, you just have to make sure you do it right. The steps mentioned in this article should ensure your store is correctly and legally set up.
In order to make your Shopify store live you have to remove the password: Dashboard > Online Store > Preferences > Password Protection > Disable Password