Shopify Pipeline - A modern pipeline for Shopify theme development
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Shopify Pipeline - A modern pipeline for Shopify theme development

Important disclaimers:

This project is still in beta.

We are also looking for maintainers and contributors as Dynamo as a group will not be continuing active maintainance and features development for Shopify Pipeline (and it's scaffolder create-shopify-pipeline). -- See #108.

Shopify Pipeline aims at giving you access to a better, smoother and more modern workflow for building, testing and deploying Shopify themes and websites.

It is built on top of Webpack 2 and uses tools such as ESlint, Babel, Sass, SVGO, Theme Kit, Stylelint and Jest to help you count on features like ES6+ support, module bundling, hot module reloading, automatic watch-and-deploy, JS unit testing, asset fingerprinting, and much more!

So excited you wanna get started right away? Boom

Table of Contents

Supported Features

Module Bundling and Treeshaking: We are using Webpack 2 to bundle and optimize all your Javascript modules, which also has the added benefit of allowing dead code removal (treeshaking).

ES6+ Support: Webpack and Babel are used to support the ES6+ standards in an effective way via babel-preset-env.

Asset Optimization and Fingerprinting: Webpack is used to skim through all your templates and find the assets and dependencies needed for the build, running those through its process and spitting out optimized and fingerprinted assets in the build folder. It will also map those assets by rendering the correct path in the templates. Note that paths should be relative to the file your asset’s being referenced from.

SVG Store: We are supporting the use of SVG Store out of the box using webpack-svgstore-plugin. You can jump to this section to learn how to use it in Shopify Pipeline.

Hot Module Reloading: Once you start developing your application, the webpack-dev-server will allow you to inject modified JS modules directly in your Shopify development theme without reloading the page. Please refer to this section if you wanna know how to configure your code to be HMR-compliant.

Sourcemaps: We added support for JS and Sass sourcemaps when you are in development, as well as hidden sourcemaps in production mode.

JS Code Linting: ESlint is used by default to lint your JS files as part of the build process. You can add your own .eslintrc in your project and Shopify Pipeline will pick it up. Or you can rely on the one that is included by default here.

Sass Support and Linting: Shopify Pipeline supports CSS and Sass by default. We also added support for Sass @imports for better style modularity. Stylelint support is also in the works.

JS Unit Testing: We added a default unit testing setup, using Jest, so that you don't have to. You can jump to the testing section to learn more about this.

Pipeline Customization and Augmentation: We are providing you with base Webpack configs for the development and production environments, but you can extend them to add your own specific solutions to the pipeline. More on this here [link].

Multiple Environment Support: Shopify Pipeline uses a YAML file similar to Theme Kit's config.yml file to allow you to have different credentials for your development and production environments.

Effective Development Flow: On top of using HMR, we also use Webpack to render paths to your assets that point to your localhost, allowing you to instantly see the changes on the Shopify server without having to upload files to the server or reload the page. When that strategy is not available, Shopify Pipeline takes care of uploading the right files and reloading the page for you.

Safe Watch and Deploy: Shopify Pipeline has a set of flags and warnings baked in to prevent you from pushing code to the main live theme (unless you explicitely want to). This minimizes the risks of deploying changes to the live site while in local development.

Getting Started

Shopify Pipeline is composed of two main pieces:

  1. This current application, which is the CLI and what is used to build your theme,
  2. A project scaffolder to help you get started quickly on development.

Create a new project

To start a new project, you will need to install and run the create-shopify-pipeline scaffolder, as explained here:

In a gist, with yarn, creating a new project is as easy as follows:

yarn create shopify-pipeline name-of-your-project

Setup your Shopify environments

Once you have bootstraped your development app, you will need to setup your shopify.yml file with the right information provided by Shopify.

We will defer to Shopify's documentation on how to give API access and where to find the api_key,password, theme_id, store necessary for the CLI to interact with the Shopify servers:

Project Structure

Once Shopify Pipeline has created the scaffolding of your project, it will have the following structure:

├── package.json [0]
├── .eslintrc [1]
├── config
│   └── shopify.yml [2]
│   └── [3]
│   └── [3]
└── src
    ├── assets
    │   ├── fonts
    │   ├── images
    │   ├── js [4]
    │   └── sass [5]
    │   └── svg [6]
    │   └── vendors [9]
    ├── config [7]
    │   ├── settings_data.json
    │   └── settings_schema.json
    ├── layout
    │   └── theme.liquid [7]
    ├── locales [7]
    │   └── en.default.json
    ├── sections [7]
    ├── snippets [7]
    ├── specs [8]
    └── templates [7]
        ├── blog.liquid
        ├── cart.liquid
        ├── collection.liquid
        ├── gift_card.liquid
        ├── index.liquid
        ├── page.liquid
        └── product.liquid

[0] Packages


The package file will be generated for you by Shopify Pipeline upon project creation.

We are so nice that we will also generate npm/yarn scripts for you to be able to use Shopify Pipeline's CLI easily from the terminal (e.g. yarn serve).

[1] ESlint Config

.eslintrc (optional)

If you add a ESlint config file on the root of your app, Shopify Pipeline will use that file for the eslint-loader.

[2] Shopify Config


Shopify Pipeline will use this config file to setup the development and production flow. It is mimicking what is already being used by Theme Kit and will work accordingly.

[3] Webpack Config


If Shopify Pipeline finds one or both of those files in the config folder, it will merge them with the default Webpack config files everytime you start the webpack-dev-server or that you build your project. This allows you to add loaders and plugins to augment the base toolset provided to you by Shopify Pipeline.

We are using webpack-merge to elegantly achieve this goal.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility: please use this feature wisely as to not override the core functionalities of Shopify Pipeline.

[4] JS Files


This folder will contain all your JS modules. An index.js must be present, as it will act as the entry point for your JS application.

You can use ES6/ES2015's standard, which incidently allows you to require your modules with the import syntax:

import { contains } from 'lodash'
import Foo from './modules/foo'
// const Bar = require('./modules/bar') is also available if that's your jam!

[5] Sass and CSS Files


Shopify Pipeline fully supports .css, .scss and .sass files and their syntax, including @import.

You must include your style index file at the top of your index.js file for Webpack to be able to load your styles into its build process, as such:

import '../sass/index.scss';

Note that you should not use liquid templating in your styles as Shopify Pipeline will take care of generating the right URLs and paths depending on the environment.

If you intend to use Stylelint support (coming soon!), also note that you must rely on .scss files and style.

[6] SVG Store


If you want to use the SVG Store technique, we added its support out of the box with the help of webpack-svgstore-plugin.

Here are the steps necessary to use it:

  1. Place all the necessary Svg files inside the svg folder
  2. Somewhere in your JS application, you need to create this variable and assignment:
    var __svg__ = { path: '../svg/**/*.svg', name: 'logos.svg' };
    This will tell the SVG Store plugin that it needs to generate the sprite file.

Note that the plugin will add a icon- prefix to your file name as the id of the symbol in the sprite. There is no way to change this at the moment. Given that this is less than an ideal integration, we will look for better ways to generate the store in the future.

Also note that, if you want to reference the sprite file in your liquid templates, you will need to make sure that the url is not parsed by Webpack. You can do so by wrapping the liquid curly brackets in a single quote and the name of the sprite in double quotes, like so:

<div data-some-attribute='{{ "logos.svg" | asset_url }}'></div>

[7] Shopify Required

src/config, src/layout/theme.liquid, src/locales, src/sections, src/snippets, src/templates/*.liquid

The aforementioned files and folders are required by Shopify for any given theme.

Shopify Pipeline only adds the bare minimum files required to be able to deploy a theme to your Shopify server without any errors. You can start building your application from this baseline.

[8] Specs


The way it is set up, Jest will look for files named *.spec.js or *.test.js in the specs folder of your application to run the test suite.

You can nest and organize your specs in subfolders as long as the filenames follow this convention.

The test command is just a proxy for launching jest and as such we recommend you read their documentation to learn more about the framework and how to use it.

[9] Vendors


Sometimes you need the ability to upload unmodified files to the Shopify server. This is where the vendors directory comes in. Any files placed inside this directory will be uploaded, as-is, to Shopify. To reference them in your .liquid files, you'll want to ensure Webpack doesn't parse your liquid filters when referencing those files.

This special directory can be useful for files added by plugins you've installed, or for when you need to construct an image URL in Liquid.

Using the Tool

Not Global

There are various compelling reasons why we should not rely on global npm packages. And as such, we advise you to not do so when using Shopify Pipeline.

To have access to Shopify Pipeline's CLI commands, you then have two options:

  • In the terminal, append the path to your local package to the command like so: ./node_modules/.bin/shopify-pipeline command
  • In the package.json file, you can create yarn/npm scripts to proxy the commands, like this:
    scripts: {
      xxx: 'shopify-pipeline command',
    // In the terminal:
    // yarn xxx --someflag
    Note that Shopify Pipeline will create those for you on project creation.

API Commands

Here are the available API commands for Shopify Pipeline:

serve [-- --env=development]

  • Starts the webpack-dev-server, deploys a first build to Shopify and launches the theme preview site
  • Will serve assets on https://localhost:8080
  • (Optional) You can pass it one of the shopify.yml's environments as a flag; it will default to development environment

build [-- [--deploy] [--env=development]]

  • Builds a production-ready version of the theme and outputs it to the dist folder
  • (Optional) You can pass it a deploy flag, which will push the compiled theme to Shopify after the build
  • (Optional) You can pass it an environment as a flag; it will default to development environment


  • Will start Jest testing, targeting files living in /specs and following the *.{test|spec}.js globbing
  • Note that we are supporting ES6 with a babel-jest integration

Customizing your Workflow

(More to come)


How to generate a local SSH certificate

In order to be able to use local assets in Shopify's environment, you will need to allow your browser to use https://localhost:8080 as a safe URL.

To do so, you must:

  1. Launch the webpack-dev-server; it will launch the Shopify's theme preview, but will not accept assets coming from localhost
  2. Navigate to https://localhost:8080 in the same browser you intend to use for development
  3. Discard the warning and proceed to the URL; you will see an error page, but it's cool
  4. Go back to the Shopify's theme preview and you should now have local assets working on the distant server

How to deal with Shopify Apps that inject code in templates and files in your theme

(More to come)

You should not rely on liquid helpers in your JS and CSS files

(More to come)

How to prevent Webpack from parsing some liquid methods and filters

Webpack will loop through your liquid files and parse the liquid helpers to compile the relevant assets. For example, if it detects a <img src="{{ 'lamp.png' | assert_url }}>" in a file, it will grab that lamp.png image and pass it through the build process.

If, for some reason, one file should not be picked up by Webpack, you can escape this process by using double quotes inside of the liquid expression, like so <img src='{{ "lamp.png" | assert_url }}>'. When using this escape hatch, you should not include a relative link to your asset but instead simply write it's name.

How to make HMR-compliant code

To be able to use some sweet sweet HMR in your flow, you either need to use a framework that supports it (e.g. React, Vue, etc.) or modify your JS modules to be HMR-compatible. More info on how to do that here.


  • Add support for Stylelint (with customizable rules)
  • Find a better solution for SVG Store support
  • Show a better landing page when proceeding to https://localhost:8080


(More to come)


MIT, see LICENSE for details.


We would like to specifically thank the following projects, for the inspiration and help in regards to the creation of Shopify Pipeline:

Made by Dynamo

This tool was created with love by Dynamo, a Montreal-based full-service digital design studio.

The goal behind Shopify Pipeline is to alleviate some of the downsides of working within the Shopify ecosystem and bring forward some of the nice features you get when building custom e-commerce websites outside of it.

We hope that it will help you be more efficient in your work and achieve your goals!


The Dynamo Team