Understanding How to Pause a Shopify Store: A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Consider Pausing Your Shopify Store?
  3. Understanding the Pause and Build Plan
  4. Preparing Your Store for a Pause
  5. Reactivating Your Shopify Store
  6. Conclusion
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the operational demands of your online store? Or perhaps you're contemplating a temporary hiatus to revamp your business strategy? Whatever the reason, the option to pause your Shopify store presents a viable solution, and understanding how to effectively utilize this feature can significantly benefit store owners facing such dilemmas.

In this detailed exploration, we'll dive into the nuances of pausing a Shopify store, including the Pause and Build plan, critical considerations before taking action, and the reactivation process. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about pausing and potentially enhancing your online store during downtime.


Imagine the flexibility of being able to put your thriving online business on hold without completely shutting down operations. Whether it's for a well-deserved break, seasonal adjustments, or strategic overhauls, the ability to pause your Shopify store opens up a realm of possibilities. This blog post seeks to clarify how this process works, the options available, and how to navigate the transition smoothly.

Understanding the mechanics and implications of pausing your store is crucial, especially in today's fast-paced e-commerce landscape. By the end of this read, you'll have a solid grasp of when to consider pausing, the steps involved, and how to tackle potential challenges along the way. So, let's dive in and unravel the specifics of pausing a Shopify store.

Why Consider Pausing Your Shopify Store?

There are myriad reasons why pausing could be beneficial for your business. It could range from taking a seasonal break, undergoing extensive website redesign, to strategizing how to enhance user experience. The Pause and Build plan, specifically designed for such purposes, allows store owners to maintain their online presence at a reduced operational capacity and cost.

Seasonal Businesses and Strategic Pauses

For seasonal businesses, pausing during off-peak periods without entirely going offline can save costs while allowing time for inventory updates and website improvements. Similarly, businesses looking to rebrand or update their online storefront can do so without rushing the process, ensuring that relaunches meet their new strategic directions.

Understanding the Pause and Build Plan

The Pause and Build plan is Shopify’s solution for store owners looking to temporarily halt their business activities. Priced at a reduced monthly rate, it disables the checkout functionality but keeps the site online, allowing for product reviews and backend work.

Features and Limitations

While on this plan, customers can browse your products and collections as usual, but they won't be able to complete purchases. This is an essential factor to communicate to your customers to manage their expectations accurately.

What You Can Do:

  • Edit and update products
  • Modify your store’s theme and design
  • Work on SEO and marketing strategies

What You Cannot Do:

  • Process orders
  • Offer discounts or gift cards
  • Utilize Shopify’s POS

Making the Switch to Pause and Build

Before pausing your store, consider the following steps to ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Evaluate your current operations: Determine the need for pausing and plan the activities you intend to accomplish during this period.
  2. Communicate with your customers: Utilize email marketing, social media, and onsite notifications to inform them about the temporary pause and what they can expect.
  3. Adjust your storefront: Consider hiding product prices and disabling the "Add to Cart" button to avoid confusion.

Preparing Your Store for a Pause

Customizing your store’s appearance during the pause period is crucial for maintaining a positive customer experience. You might opt to password-protect your store or simply update the site to reflect the temporary unavailability of checkout options.

Communication is Key

Keeping your customers informed about the status of your store and any upcoming changes or improvements can help maintain interest and loyalty. Consider utilizing your website's homepage, email campaigns, and social media platforms to share updates and teasers of what’s to come.

Reactivating Your Shopify Store

When you’re ready to resume full operations, reactivating your store is a straightforward process. Remember, you’ll need to select a new plan, as reactivation requires moving off the Pause and Build plan. This presents an opportunity to reevaluate your store’s needs and possibly upgrade your Shopify subscription to better accommodate your business’s growth and new strategies.


Pausing your Shopify store offers a flexible solution for temporary breaks or strategic revamps without severing ties with your customer base. By understanding the features, benefits, and considerations of the Pause and Build plan, you can make informed decisions that align with your business objectives.

Remember, even in a paused state, your engagement with customers should not come to a halt. Continuous communication and strategic planning during this period can pave the way for a successful relaunch, ensuring your store comes back stronger and more aligned with your vision.

Whether it’s for a brief respite or an extensive overhaul, the ability to pause your Shopify store is a powerful tool in managing the ebb and flow of your online business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pause my Shopify store? Yes, you can pause your Shopify store by switching to the Pause and Build plan if your store is beyond the free trial and is on a paid plan.

Do I need to pay a Shopify fee while my store is paused? Yes, there is a reduced monthly fee for the Pause and Build plan, which allows you to keep your store online but with checkout disabled.

Can I pause my Shopify store and not pay? No, to maintain your store’s online presence in a paused state, you must subscribe to the Pause and Build plan, which comes at a reduced cost.

What happens when my Shopify store is on pause? Your store remains online, and customers can view products, but they cannot make purchases as the checkout function is disabled.

Is my Shopify store hidden from the public if it's paused? No, your store is still accessible to the public unless you choose to password-protect it. Only the checkout functionality is disabled.