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The Importance of Custom App Maintenance on Shopify

Written by
Luke Green
March 6, 2023

Over the past 15 years we have built more Shopify applications than we could possibly count. In the early days this was more out of necessity to extend the basic tool set of Shopify. However, as the Shopify platform has become more extensible & modular. Apps we build have become much more specific and as a result, even more critical to our clients infrastructure. This creates a number of challenges ranging from security, API maintenance and uptime support.

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Custom apps can connect the dots between your store and the external services that are vital to your business.
Custom apps can connect the dots between your store and the external services that are vital to your business.

Shopify set the standard for reliability.

With 99.99% uptime over it's entire history, Shopify has set a high bar for reliability. Much of the custom apps we develop are involved in data integrations, handing stock, or distributing orders and dispatch data.

That is why it is critical for our apps to reliably maintain an uninterrupted flow of data. This becomes even more critical when its paired with customer facing aspects. Such as product availability and customer comms.

With 99.99% uptime over it's entire history, Shopify sets a high bar for reliability.

This is why, when building and speccing apps, it's highly important for us to make sure we are solving the problem in the most efficient and low impact way.

This strategic approach is combined with key discussions about risk analysis. Taking into account how we manage & back up data, what data we access and how quickly we need to recover from interruptions, downtime or errors.

In very simple terms - the more critical and time sensitive the app is to the business the more robust and responsive these considerations need to be.

Why on-going app maintenance is essential for the reliability & security of your custom Shopify app.

Every custom app you have installed will communicate with your store through one of Shopify's many APIs. These APIs are critical to the functionality of any custom apps we build for our customers.

With Shopify continuously evolving and updating their APIs to enable fantastic new features to store owners across the world (See the latest Editions) it's vital that your app is regularly maintained and reviewed.

Shopify announced a range of fantastic new features made possible by their continuous commitment to updating their platform, APIs and app ecosystem.

Shopify API updates and how they affect your custom apps

Every three months Shopify releases an updated version of their APIs to improve performance, reliability or security.

However with each new API realise a date is set nine months in the future for the depreciation of the a previous version. If your custom app depends on the previous API then your app will require updating to continue working.

What do these updates look like and will they impact your customers?

The good news is these updates are largely routine and there is no need for them to have any impact on your customers or storefront.

They can all be completed in a safe development environment and then once tested can be published to your live store.

To keep your store running as smoothly and efficiently as possible we strongly recommend quarterly updates app updates to keep your app app up to date with the latest Shopify APIs.

Keeping your custom Shopify app up to date with the latest Shopify APIs is fundamental to maintaining a fast, secure & reliable Shopify app.

Most importantly by being proactive, rather than reactive, you get the best visibility on upcoming API updates that impact the core functionality of your app and have ample time to resolve any potential issues before they impact your customers or business infrastructure.

To sum up...

Custom app work can be a massive efficiency driver for your digital business. However, when apps are not regularly maintained things can go wrong quickly and the consequences to your wider business are not worth thinking about!

Don't bury your head in the sand, talk to our team today about being being proactive with your custom app maintenance and let's put in place a plan to keep your app up to date so that it is fast, efficient and reliable.

Thanks for reading, we’re Inspira Digital.

We launched the 123rd store on Shopify, today we are one of the most experienced Shopify Experts in the world, delivering industry-leading Shopify services for fast-growing ambitious brands. We have helped build 100s of successful stores and have delivered 1000s of individual projects for Shopify and Shopify Plus clients globally.

Clients that work with us know we work passionately, to make sense of your commerce business, so if you want to talk to a team of experts about how best to take advantage of the Shopify platform, then let's talk.

Inspira Digital — High volume commerce handled beautifully.

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