Shopify apps are safe for your store as long as you install them from the official Shopify App Store.
Before an app is actually published on the App Store, it has to go through a complex review process. The Shopify staff will verify the app’s code and check it for bugs. They will make sure that it works as intended.
If they find any problems during the review process, they will not add the app to the App Store.
That’s why you can be sure that all apps on the App Store are completely safe.
However, depending on what app you decide to install, it might not work with your theme. In this case, you should contact the app developer or get in touch with their support team.
If you still have doubts, you can read on about how the whole listing process works.
Shopify app store listing
Any developer with enough knowledge can create a Shopify App and submit it for review. But the app that they have just created will have to go through 3 main review stages. Only then it can be installed by the shop owners.
These review stages are:
- Draft – before the app is submitted for review;
- In review – after app is submitted for review;
- Approved – after the app has been published on the App Store.
During the review process, Shopify will most likely get in touch with the app developer. It will point out any changes that need to be done before they approve the app.
Shopify specifically states that if the app requires more information than it actually needs, they will not consider it safe. Therefore, they will not publish it on the app store.
This is an important aspect. You don’t want developers to have access to your personal information if the app doesn’t use it.
For example, say you install an app that creates a banner on your store. There is no need for that app to have access to your clients’ information (name, email, number of orders etc.)
If an app like this is submitted to be reviewed, Shopify will make sure that the developers will take the requests out before they decide to publish the app.
Shopify apps security
As you know, Shopify takes security very seriously. All stores have SSL certificates to make sure that no information can slip by when your clients pay for their orders.
But that’s not all. Because apps are usually created by 3rd party companies, Shopify has to pay even more attention to the integrity of the code.
A Shopify app is basically a bunch of code lines that run alongside Shopify’s own code. They connect to your store via something called an API.
The only way for an app to compromise your store’s security is if they inject malicious code on your website. And this can’t happen if you install the app from the official Shopify App Store.
Alternatively, let’s say you want to hire a developer yourself as you have a specific app in mind. Because Shopify will not be able to vet the code, you should be extra careful about who you contract. Depending on the app’s complexity, the costs for a custom app starts at around $3k and can go to tens of thousands.
I strongly suggest you double-check the company that you want to hire and make sure that they have a strong portfolio.
Moreover, even if the app doesn’t inject viruses inside your store, poorly written code can dramatically reduce your load time speed. This translates into revenue loss and will most certainly make your clients angry.
Shopify apps permissions
Now that you have an overview of how safe Shopify apps really are, let’s also go over what permissions they need.
As an example, think of a simple calculator app that you install on your phone. If the calculator app requires access to your location, phone numbers list and messages, you will most certainly uninstall it instantly.
The same applies to Shopify apps. Right after you click on the “Add app” button on the App Store, you will be taken to a confirmation page that shows you what information the app needs.
Even if Shopify makes sure that all apps are compliant with their TOS, I still urge you to always pay close attention to all permissions. If something seems off, just don’t install the app and look for an alternative.
To help you with that, I have created a list of the top 8 Shopify Apps that are not only safe but the best ones in their categories.