Does Shopify Use PHP? Unveiling the Technology Behind the eCommerce Giant

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Heart of Shopify: Ruby on Rails and Liquid Templating
  3. Is PHP Part of Shopify’s DNA?
  4. Beyond the Code: The Full Tech Spectrum
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQ

In the rapidly evolving world of eCommerce, curiosity often sparks regarding the technical backbone that supports some of the most successful platforms in this digital era. Shopify, a name synonymous with online commerce, consistently ranks atop this domain, catering to businesses ranging from budding startups to established brands. This post aims to demystify the technology stack of Shopify, with a particular spotlight on whether PHP plays a role in its architecture. Prepare for a deep dive into the fine details that make Shopify a preferred destination for merchants worldwide.


Imagine launching your online store in minutes, showcasing your products with captivating ease, and managing sales without a hint of technical friction. Shopify has turned this dream into a reality for millions, but what fuels its seamless operation? Is PHP, a language known for powering significant portions of the web, the secret ingredient in Shopify’s success recipe? This post promises not only to answer this burning question but also to peel back layers, offering insights into the technological marvel that is Shopify.

Crafting an in-depth analysis demands scrutinizing every bit of information, historical context, technological advancements, and strategic decisions that shaped Shopify. We aim to guide you through the labyrinth of technical jargon and into the light of clarity and understanding. Whether you're a seasoned developer, an aspiring merchant, or just a tech enthusiast, this post will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of Shopify's architecture and its implications for the future of eCommerce.

The Heart of Shopify: Ruby on Rails and Liquid Templating

Shopify's roots are deeply embedded in Ruby on Rails, a robust and dynamic web application framework that forms the core of Shopify’s infrastructure. Inspired by the pragmatic and efficient coding ethos of Ruby, Shopify developers have sculpted an environment conducive to rapid development and scalable performance.

Simultaneously, Liquid, a versatile templating language developed by Shopify and written in Ruby, emerges as the lifeblood of Shopify themes. It serves as a bridge between the platform's static HTML/CSS structure and its dynamic content, enabling merchants to customize their online storefronts with unprecedented ease.

Is PHP Part of Shopify’s DNA?

To directly tackle the question, "Does Shopify use PHP?"—the answer is nuanced. While PHP is not the foundational language or the primary driver behind Shopify's operations, its presence in the broader tech stack cannot be wholly dismissed. Shopify's allegiance to Ruby on Rails and Liquid for backend and thematic customization is unequivocal. However, the eCommerce world is vast and interconnected, necessitating occasional detours into various programming languages, including PHP, especially when integrating third-party services or plugins that rely on PHP.

Moreover, Shopify's well-documented APIs allow developers to build on the platform using various languages, including PHP. This extensibility ensures Shopify can adapt and evolve within the diverse ecosystem of web technologies, of which PHP is undoubtedly a significant component.

Beyond the Code: The Full Tech Spectrum

Understanding Shopify's tech stack is akin to exploring a well-organized toolbox, each tool designed to perform its task with precision. Technologies such as JavaScript, especially React for crafting dynamic user interfaces, and MySQL for database management, play critical roles. Additionally, Shopify’s move towards adopting Rust for certain functionality highlights its commitment to maintaining a cutting-edge platform.

These choices reflect Shopify's dedication to creating a seamless, efficient, and scalable eCommerce platform. By harnessing the strengths of each technology, Shopify ensures that both merchants and customers enjoy a robust, secure, and engaging online shopping experience.


In conclusion, while PHP is not the cornerstone of Shopify’s architecture, the platform’s technological ecosystem is rich and diversified, incorporating various programming languages and tools as needed. Shopify’s core, powered by Ruby on Rails and Liquid, showcases the platform's commitment to flexibility, efficiency, and merchant empowerment.

Understanding the intricacies of Shopify's technology stack offers valuable insights into its success and adaptability in the fast-paced world of eCommerce. It underscores the importance of selecting the right tools and frameworks to build a platform that is not only powerful in its current state but poised for future innovation and growth.


  1. Can I use PHP to develop apps for Shopify?

    • Yes, while Shopify's core is built on Ruby on Rails, developers can use PHP, among other languages, to create apps that integrate with Shopify through its APIs.
  2. Why did Shopify choose Ruby on Rails over PHP?

    • Shopify prioritized Ruby on Rails for its convention over configuration principle, ease of use, and scalability, which aligned with the platform's early visions and goals.
  3. Can Shopify themes be developed with PHP?

    • Shopify themes primarily use Liquid for customization. While you cannot write themes directly in PHP, backend operations or integrations involving PHP can interact with Shopify's frontend via APIs.
  4. Is JavaScript necessary to operate a Shopify store?

    • While not necessary for basic operations, JavaScript, particularly through React, enhances the interactivity and dynamism of Shopify stores, providing a richer user experience.
  5. How does Shopify ensure the security of its technology stack?

    • Shopify employs rigorous security measures, including regular audits, updates, and a dedicated security team, to safeguard its platform and users against vulnerabilities across its technology stack.