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Shopify Code Language: What Type of Coding Does Shopify Use?

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If you’re a developer looking to build for the Shopify ecosystem, it is important to know what type of coding technologies the platform uses.

While Shopify is mostly known for its eCommerce dominance, it is also a leader when it comes to pioneering software development practices, especially in Ruby On Rails communities.

So if you want to know what Shopify code language you should focus on to give your project the best chance of success, this article will provide you with an introduction.


Shopify software development history

code language

Source: Pexels

Shopify has become one of the most important companies in the eCommerce ecosystem. The platform is simple and intuitive to use. And it sells itself as the best retail partner for small independent businesses 

Tobias Lütke, Shopify’s founder has said:

“Our goal is to not only level the playing field for independent businesses but tilt it in their favor - turning their size and agility into a superpower.”

But what technology powers this giant eCommerce tech company?

Shopify is coded primarily with Ruby On Rails, a web application framework developed from Ruby. Back in 2006, Tobias was one of the core Ruby On Rails developers within the Ruby community so it was not surprising that he built Shopify using the language.

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It was a great choice too, as Ruby On Rails turned out to be well suited for Shopify needs. Ruby’s flexibility is key in helping Shopify create server-side applications that help millions of buyers reach millions of users.

But over the years, Shopify’s technology stack has evolved.

For instance, Shopify created its own frontend programming language for web apps. This coding language is called Liquid and it is used by companies such as Zendesk, Jekyll, and Salesforce Desk.

Shopify also uses the React JavaScript library extensively to help developers create custom themes on its platform easily. And recently, the company announced that it has embraced Rust for systems engineering.

Software Developer

Source: Burst

One thing to note about Shopify: its software technology evolution is not just about programming languages. As the company is committed to building a customer-centric platform, it has also had to optimize its approach to software development.

Shopify uses agile methodologies to quickly test new features and new ways of creating readable code to stay ahead of the competition.

Shopify programming language stack

These are some of the programming languages used by Shopify.

  • Ruby On Rails
  • JavaScript
  • HTML and CSS
  • Rust
  • Liquid

Ruby On Rails

Ruby On Rails is the web framework Shopify has chosen to build its platform on. There are so many reasons why Shopify (and many other developers and brands) choose Ruby On Rails as their software development framework. Some of them include:

  • It is primarily used for creating high-performance web apps, like Shopify.
  • Ruby On Rails serves as a great testing framework for developers. Most other frameworks require developers to use a third-party testing program or build theirs from scratch. Ruby On Rail however comes with integrated testing that makes it easy to edit code.
  • Above everything else, Ruby On Rails also boasts rapid application development. Your applications can have a streamlined development process. This is because one line in Ruby On Rails can be worth 6 in another language. Also Ruby On Rails has a full stack integration so you don’t have to mash together different frameworks in order to create your application.


Ruby On Rail

Source: Jetbrains


JavaScript is a staple for most online web development so it is no surprise that Shopify uses the programming language to build its platform. As Shopify itself noted, a vast majority of developers building for Shopify use JavaScript as their language of choice.

JavaScript is used in Shopify Themes and Shopify Apps for progressive enhancement and to load dynamic content. 

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Shopify uses HTML to dynamically generate the structure of its online stores. The stores are generated based on the settings, products, and other information provided by the store owner, and it is designed to be easily customizable too.

CSS, on the other hand, is used to style the HTML content and make it visually appealing. Store owners can also add their own custom CSS to further enhance the looks of their store.


Source: Pexels

CSS parses and renders much faster than JavaScript so Shopify recommends that wherever possible, developers should use JavaScript only when there is no CSS solution available.


Rust is a high-performance programming language with a main focus on safety and productivity. Shopify evaluated the merits of multiple programming languages when trying to standardize its systems programming projects.

It arrived at the conclusion that Rust was the best choice for the platform. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Consistency: Shopify’s systems programming projects cover a wide range of domains. Rust is a language that can be used flexibly so it makes sense to invest in it.
  • Performance: It is important for Shopify to be able to scale efficiently as the load on its platform grows. Rust provides good control over memory usage while also providing a high performance ceiling.
  • Safety: Shopify found out that Rust exposed more errors compared to other alternatives that were evaluated. It also came out ahead on essential safety elements like eliminating data races in Parallel programs. Not surprising as one of Rust’s main focuses is safety.


Ruby is an open-source template language created by Shopify and written in Ruby programming language. Liquid is the backbone of Shopify Theme. Liquid code is used to load dynamic content on a Shopify store and has gained popularity in the Shopify ecosystem since 2006.


Shopify APIs

API is short for Application Programming Interface. API allows two applications to communicate with each other. Shopify allows developers on its platform to use its API to access and use data from its online stores.

Shopify updates its API integration regularly. It’s important for software providers that target Shopify stores to note that. Without a relevant API version, connection to Shopify’s data will be unreliable.

Beyond building Shopify apps for online stores, Shopify API also lets you build custom apps for a single store.

A custom app is an app that you build exclusively for your Shopify store. With a custom app, you can add unique features to your Shopify admin or extend your store to other platforms.

If you need help creating a custom app for your Shopify store, it’s best to hire a Shopify expert. But if you’re a developer yourself, this manual from Shopify will prove helpful.


Developer Team Coding

What coding technology does Shopify use?

Shopify is a platform that powers businesses of all sizes. So it uses a number of technologies to keep up with demand. Some of the technologies include Ruby, Rust, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and so on.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian eCommerce software platform that helps businesses market and sell online. It was founded by Tobias Lütke when he couldn’t find a software platform to help him sell snowboards online. Since 2006, Shopify has powered the online presence of over one million stores. 

Best practices for Shopify app development

  •  Embed your app in the Shopify admin to make your app feel familiar and give you access to Shopify UI elements.
  • Take mobile design very important as the majority of online store traffic happens on mobile.
  • Avoid parser-blocking scripts to improve the performance of your app.
  • Ensure that your app is easily translated as Shopify merchants are from all over the world.


Understanding how the different programming languages are used on the platform will help you understand how to build the best products for Shopify app store. While Ruby On Rails is the most important language, other languages have contributed to the success that Shopify is today. 

For the foreseeable future however, Rust will be the backbone of Shopify’s systems engineering. The company committed to using the language in 2022, citing its high performance and consistency as the reason for the switch from C and Go.

Ruby on the other hand will continue to be used for server-side application programming.

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