How Much Do Shopify App Developers Make?

Shopify is a rapidly growing company dedicated to running online businesses. Currently, they have over 1,700,000 entrepreneurs using their platform. With that many customers, they need a lot of developers to meet everyone’s needs.

Shopify App developers can make anywhere from $43,000 to $186,000 a year. The average 2020 salary was $93,000. In general, you can earn $10,000 per Shopify project. Freelance Shopify developers can charge anywhere from $50-$200 per hour (depending on their experience and skill).

Working with Shopify can be a very rewarding job both professionally and financially. But is it worth pursuing?

What Are Shopify Apps?

Shopify Apps focus primarily on e-commerce and marketing. Their goal is to provide high-quality services to online businesses who are looking to sell their products. Their apps cover sourcing and selling products, store design, merchandising, marketing, conversion, fulfillment, shipping and delivery, customer service, and store management.

You can find both free and paid apps to use.

How Much Money Can You Make?

Annual Salaries

Looking at the information from 2020, the average salary for Shopify developers was $93,000 a year. The bottommost developers earned around $43,000 to $56,000 a year, whereas the highest-paid developers can earn $173,000 to $186,000 a year.

In general, it is safe to say that an average Shopify App developer who has been working with Shopify for a couple of years can expect around $90,000 to $100,000 a year. Not bad overall, although it may take a bit of time to reach that level.

Freelance Rates

On average, freelance Shopify developer rates can start at $65 an hour. Depending on the complexity of the project, the amount of customization required, and the developer’s experience and skill, a freelance Shopify developer could charge up to $200 per hour. There are even accounts of Freelancers charging $25,000 for one project (although an amount this high is very unlikely).

Due to the varying complexities of projects, most agencies recommend charging per project rather than submitting an hourly rate. Certain projects may not take long to complete but will require your full set of experienced skills. In these cases, your abilities are extremely valued and will justify charging a higher price for the project.

What Do Shopify App Developers Do?

Essentially, Shopify App developers are hired to create apps that will solve merchant problems. Everyone wants their store to run smoothly, look good, and have unique features to attract and retain customers. Shopify App developers make that happen. What does that look like, though? Here’s the basic idea:

App Options

The apps created will merge with Shopify’s APIs to allow communication between the apps.

“Apps integrate with Shopify by: Connecting with Shopify’s APIs… which allows apps to read and write data about products, customers, orders, inventory, fulfillment, and more”


These apps can then extend features that were already in the Shopify system and/or enhance how information is displayed.

The kinds of apps developed are public apps, custom apps, and private apps.

Public apps are listed in the Shopify App Store and are available to most merchants. Custom apps are made for a specific merchant and are therefore withheld from the Shopify App Store. Private apps are made for merchants whose requirements cannot be met by custom apps. The private apps have their own limitations, being created in a different format than the other apps, and should be used only when necessary. In most cases, the custom apps will suffice for a merchant.

Each kind of app can either be a standalone app or an embedded app. As the names suggest, standalone apps work on their own interface with their own domain and do not have access to Shopify app extensions. Embedded apps, on the other hand, are integrated with Shopify systems and can access app extensions and parts of the Shopify interface.

For new developers, creating a public embedded app will be the most beneficial. It’s the quickest way to gain exposure and experience with merchants since these apps will be available on the Shopify App Store and offer more extensions for functionality.

Before App Creation

Before actually designing your app, Shopify expects you to “validate” your idea. Meaning, check to make sure this app will actually solve merchant needs and be used. You’ll want to check the current trends of your target users and do a bit of research.

Look into if this problem is already trying to be solved and if so, who are your competitors and what are they doing to create a solution? Evaluate if this is a problem merchants are willing to pay to have solved. It may be a good idea, but not worth the time and effort you’d need to put into it.

Additionally, Shopify wants you to keep in mind these values while designing an app: be considerate, crafted, efficient, empowering, familiar, and trustworthy. Source

These apps should all be focused on improving the merchant’s store and making the best experience possible for the merchant’s customers. Part of this is anticipating future needs and potential growth. Starting with the end in mind will ensure the app’s greatest success.

Building the App

To start, you will need to be set up with a Shopify Partner Account, Partner Dashboard, and development store. These will allow you to create, test, revise, and install your apps. You also need to know any backend programming language. Whatever language you’re most comfortable using, pick a compatible infrastructure and start hosting your app from there. Shopify has available tools for you to use as well. Thus, making your app as complete and functional as possible.

As you utilize your chosen tech stack and Shopify’s tools, remember to make the app secure. After the app is launched, you will be expected to perform security checks and maintenance regularly. Again, working with the end in mind will make building the app significantly easier. Make the app as future-proof as possible. If you want to check out our guide on building Shopify apps click here.

After you have built the app, the Shopify App Review Team will review and approve it for use. Knowing this, you will want to perfect your app as you build to the best of your ability. Double-check the Shopify App requirements for the kind of app you are creating and ensure it is completely functional before submitting. Although the team may ask you to make revisions to the app, if you are thorough throughout the creating process, your app will most likely be published as soon as the changes are made. To get more Shopify developer tips see our developer posts here.

How Much Do Shopify App Developers Make? ( quick video )


If you are interested in a great course to learn Shopify app development check out the Shopify app development course by CodingPhase. Codingphase by Joe Santos teaches you all about Shopify app development as you code alongside him to create an app. I highly recommend this course as it’s easy to follow and has tons of useful information. We recommend subscribing to the diamond plan so you can have access to both the Shopify app development courses and Shopify theme development courses, while also getting access to a huge collection of programming courses you can take. You can also buy courses individually but you will end up spending more money than if you bought the diamond plan and got access to all of the Codingphase courses. If you want to get access to the Shopify app development course and a huge collection of courses check out Codingphase at this link.

Davon Wilson

I'm a certified Shopify expert, you can usually find me on my computer coding, or thinking about business ideas. I'm an avid Ravens fan and an overall nice guy.

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