A Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store with Shopify

A Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store with Shopify

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Shopify?
  3. Why Use Shopify?
  4. Getting Started with Shopify
    • Logging in to the Back End
    • Navigating the Home Screen
    • Understanding the Builder Interface
    • Customizing Themes
    • Exploring Sections and Editing Options
  5. Managing Settings in Shopify
    • Editing General Information
    • Connecting Payment Gateways
    • Customizing Checkout
    • Managing Shipping and Delivery
    • Creating Legal Documents
  6. Adding and Managing Products
    • Creating Collections
    • Adding Products
    • Importing Products from CSV
  7. Navigation and Menus
    • Editing Navigation Links
    • Organizing Menus with Drag and Drop
  8. Connecting Domains
    • Using Shopify Domain
    • Connecting a Third-Party Domain
  9. Pros and Cons of Shopify
  10. Conclusion


Shopify Explained: A Beginner's Guide to Starting an Online Store

Are you a beginner looking to start your own online store? Have you heard of Shopify but aren't sure how it works or why it's the go-to website builder for many entrepreneurs? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about Shopify, from the basics of getting started to customizing your store and managing your products. So, let's dive in and explore the world of Shopify together!

What is Shopify?

Before we delve into the details, let's start with the basics. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that enables individuals and businesses to create their own online stores. It provides all the necessary tools and features to set up, manage, and grow an online business. Whether you're a beginner with no coding experience or an experienced entrepreneur, Shopify simplifies the process of building an online store and makes it accessible to everyone.

Why Use Shopify?

With the multitude of website builders available today, you might be wondering why Shopify stands out among the rest. Well, there are several reasons why Shopify is our go-to platform for building online stores.

Simplicity: One of the key reasons we recommend Shopify is its simplicity. The user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it ideal for beginners with little to no technical knowledge. You don't need to be a coding expert to create a stunning online store with Shopify.

Reliability: Shopify is known for its reliability. The platform is robust, secure, and offers stable performance. Should you encounter any issues, their customer support team is readily available to assist you, ensuring minimal downtime for your store.

Vast App Store: Shopify's App Store offers a wide range of apps and plugins to enhance your store's functionality. From marketing tools to inventory management systems, you'll find everything you need to optimize your business operations and provide an exceptional user experience.

Payment Gateways: Shopify seamlessly integrates with various payment gateways, allowing you to offer your customers a convenient and secure checkout process. With an array of options available, you can choose the gateway that best suits your business needs.

Getting Started with Shopify

Now that you have a basic understanding of what Shopify is and why it's a popular choice for online entrepreneurs, let's walk through the process of getting started with the platform.

Logging in to the Back End

To access your Shopify store's back end, you'll need to log in to your account. Once logged in, you'll be greeted by the home screen, which serves as your hub for managing your store.

Navigating the Home Screen

The home screen provides an overview of your store's performance and suggests actions to help you progress. While there isn't much happening on the home screen, it serves as a starting point to navigate to different areas of Shopify.

Understanding the Builder Interface

When you're ready to customize the look and feel of your store, the "Online Store" section is where you'll spend most of your time. Within this section, you can explore themes, customize your store's appearance, and manage various sections.

Customizing Themes

One of the key elements of your store's design is the theme. Shopify offers a range of themes that can be customized to fit your brand and aesthetic preferences. You can choose from free or paid themes, each offering different features and design options.

Exploring Sections and Editing Options

Unlike drag and drop builders, Shopify utilizes a section-based approach to store customization. Within the builder interface, you'll find different predefined sections that can be edited to display various elements on your store's pages. From headers to featured collections, each section provides specific settings to modify its appearance.

As you navigate through the sections, you'll notice that Shopify simplifies the editing process by offering limited but essential options. While this may seem restrictive compared to other builders, it ensures a straightforward user experience and prevents users from getting overwhelmed by countless customization possibilities.

Managing Settings in Shopify

To fine-tune your store and manage essential aspects that may not be visible on the front end, Shopify provides a dedicated "Settings" section. Here, you can edit general information, connect payment gateways, customize the checkout process, and define shipping and delivery options. Additionally, you can create and edit legal documents such as refund policies, privacy policies, and terms and conditions.

Adding and Managing Products

A crucial aspect of running an online store is adding and managing products. Within Shopify, you can create collections to organize your products and easily add individual products or import them from a CSV file. Each product can be customized with a title, description, images, prices, and other relevant details.

Navigation and Menus

Having a well-organized navigation menu is essential for guiding your customers through your store. Shopify allows you to customize your store's navigation by adding, editing, and rearranging menu items. The intuitive drag and drop interface simplifies the process, ensuring a seamless browsing experience for your customers.

Connecting Domains

To establish a professional online presence, you'll want to connect a domain that reflects your brand. Shopify offers its own domain option, but if you have an existing domain, you can easily connect it to your store. Simply navigate to the "Domains" section, and follow the steps to connect your third-party domain.

Pros and Cons of Shopify

Like any platform, Shopify has its strengths and limitations. Let's briefly explore some of the pros and cons associated with using Shopify to help you make an informed decision:


  • User-friendly interface, ideal for beginners.
  • Reliable platform with excellent customer support.
  • Extensive App Store for enhancing store functionality.
  • Seamless integration with various payment gateways.
  • Robust options for managing products and collections.


  • Limited customization options compared to advanced coding platforms.
  • Transaction fees on certain payment gateways (beyond the base Shopify transaction fees).
  • Costs associated with premium themes and apps.
  • Steeper learning curve for advanced customization and coding.


In conclusion, Shopify provides a user-friendly and reliable platform for building and managing your online store. Its simplicity, coupled with robust features, makes it the preferred choice for many entrepreneurs. By following this beginner's guide, you'll have a solid foundation and a clear understanding of how to navigate Shopify, customize your store, and manage your products. So, don't hesitate to dive into the world of e-commerce and create a successful online business with Shopify!


  • Shopify simplifies the process of building an online store for beginners.
  • The platform offers reliability, excellent customer support, and a vast App Store.
  • Shopify's intuitive builder interface makes customization easy.
  • Settings allow you to manage general information, payments, and shipping.
  • Adding and managing products is straightforward with Shopify's dedicated sections.
  • Navigation menus can be easily customized and organized with drag and drop.
  • Connecting domains is hassle-free, whether using Shopify's domain or a third-party domain.
  • Pros of Shopify include ease of use, reliability, and extensive support.
  • Cons of Shopify include limited customization and transaction fees on certain gateways.


Q: Can I customize the design of my Shopify store?

A: Yes, Shopify allows customization through themes and predefined sections. While the options may be limited compared to advanced coding, you can still create a visually appealing store.

Q: Does Shopify charge transaction fees on every sale?

A: Shopify does charge transaction fees on top of the payment gateway fees, but you can reduce these fees by using Shopify Payments as your primary payment gateway.

Q: Can I import existing products into Shopify?

A: Yes, you can import products from a CSV file, making it convenient if you have a large inventory.

Q: Can I connect my existing domain to my Shopify store?

A: Absolutely! Shopify allows you to connect a third-party domain easily through the "Domains" section.

Q: Is Shopify suitable for beginners with no coding experience?

A: Yes, Shopify is designed to be beginner-friendly and requires no coding experience. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to everyone.