How to pause a Shopify store

How to pause a Shopify store
By purchasing through the links on this page, you are giving us the opportunity to earn a commission. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Sometimes we all need a break, and with a Shopify store you do have the ability to put your store on hold if you need a breather, time to make stock or fulfil orders, or any other number of things.

In this article we’ll go through the step-by-step process of pausing your store, what it means, and other considerations you may want to keep in mind while putting your store on hold.

Quick guide to pausing a Shopify store

When you put your Shopify store on hold, rather than deleting it completely, Shopify essentially puts you on a plan (Pause and Build) that turns off the checkout for your shop. How to do this is pretty straightforward:

  • Go to your Shopify admin
  • Find your Plan
  • Choose to deactivate the store through the “Pause and Build” option
  • Confirm the switch to the “Pause and Build” plan

Use the pause to impove your store's SEO performance and automate image optimization

Try TinyIMG today

What is a Shopify Pause and Build plan

Shopify can be good with how they name things, because for the most part “Pause and Build” is generally descriptive of what you’re trying to do. The Pause and Build plan, as mentioned earlier, turns off the checkout on your site. Aside from that, all your products, etc. are still live and accessible to customers. You’re also able to still access the Shopify admin.

Pausing a Shopify store step-by-step

To Shopify’s credit, they make it fairly easy to put your store on hold:

1. Go to your Settings:

choosing shopify store settings in the menu

2. Choose Plan.

choosing plan

At the bottom of the screen, click Deactivate Store.

select Deactivate store in the bottom of the page

3. You should get a popup like the below, asking you to choose either to Pause and Build, Start New or Deactivate your store:

choose Pause and Build in the pop-up

4. Click Pause and build.

When is it a good idea to pause your store?

There are any number of reasons you might want to consider putting your store on temporary hold. A few common ones include:

  • Redesign: If you’re redesigning your website or your product visuals and need to focus 100% on that task.
  • Seasonal: If your business primarily or only sells during a particular season or around a particular holiday, putting your shop on hold during other times may save you some money.
  • Order management: Sometimes the number of orders you get through your shop may just seem like too much to handle. Putting your store on hold could give you a bit of time to get on top of your order fulfilment and dispatch.
  • Holiday or a break: Everyone needs a bit of time to refuel, breathe and relax. Pausing your Shopify store can give you peace of mind that no orders will come through while you’re taking that much needed break.

Pausing Shopify store vs customer experience

When you pause your store, there is still a bit of admin and coding work worth considering before you take that break: your customer experience. The Shopify “Pause and Build” plan just turns off your checkout.

If your prices are left on your product pages, and it still looks like your Shopify store is shoppable, it may send mixed messages to your customers.

There are relatively straightforward ways to update your theme and hide things like product price and add to cart buttons

You could also look into doing something like:

  • Adding a sticky banner to your website sharing how long you’ll be closed for, or any alternatives for folks who are desperate to buy from you
  • Updating your homepage to include information on the store closure

Difference between pausing and deactivating your store

There are some major differences between pausing and deactivating your store, so you want to be sure you’re clear on your plan before you deactivate.

Pausing Deactivating
  • Moved to different subscription
  • Products still live on website
  • Shopify admin accessible
  • Website still usable
  • Myshopify domain still usable in future
  • Can re-enable store
  • Cancelled subscription
  • Products not live on website
  • Shopify admin not accessible (unless you start a new plan and pay)
  • Website not usable
  • Can’t reuse the myshopify domain
  • Can re-enable store up until 2 years later

How to re-activate your Shopify store after a pause

To re-activate your Shopify store after temporarily disabling it, basically you need to choose a plan for your store other than the “Pause and Build” plan you’re currently on. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the same plan you were on before the “Pause and Build.”

Generally it should either be the old plan you were on, or something more expensive. Choosing a less expensive plan may not include all the features you want or potentially not allow you to “Pause and Build” again in the future.

To re-enable your Shopify store after a pause:

1. Go to your Settings:

going to the settings in the menu

2. Go to your Plan.

selecting Plan menu

3. From here you want to click Change Plan in the lower right corner of the screen.

selecting Change plan in the bottom of the page

4. Review the plan options presented to you and choose a new one that is right for your store and what you need on Shopify.

choosing a plan to re-eneble the Shopify store after the pause

Summary

Shopify makes it relatively straightforward to put a hold on your website sales, through a simple plan choice directly in the settings of your Shopify admin. So if you need to take a break for whatever reason, know you can do this relatively easily. Then with a few tweaks to your website, voila, you’ve let your customers and potential customers know what’s happening.

Frequently asked questions

Can I pause my Shopify store?

Yes, you can absolutely pause your Shopify store. To do this, you’ll want to go through some steps to change to a different plan specifically for this purpose. It will cost a small monthly fee. We explain it in detail in this article.

Do I need to pay a Shopify fee while my store is paused?

Yes, you do need to pay a fee while your Shopify store is paused. At the time of writing, the payment for this $9USD/month. 

Can I pause my Shopify store and not pay?

No, to pause your Shopify store, you’ll still need to pay for a “Pause and Build” plan, which will temporarily close your checkout. You can deactivate your store and not pay. For up to 2 years, you’d be able to re-enable your store, but to do so you would need to pay for a new plan, use a different MyShopify domain and rebuild your website.

What happens when my Shopify store is on pause?

When your Shopify store is put on hold with the “Pause and Build” plan your checkout is temporarily disabled. 

Is my Shopify store hidden from the public if it's paused?

No. On the "Pause and Build" plan only your checkout is disabled. If you want the store to be hidden from the public, you can password protect it, and you would have to do this yourself.

About the author
Nikoleta Kokleviciute
Nikoleta is a Marketing Manager at TinyIMG, an app for image and SEO optimization for Shopify merchants. Nikoleta loves diving deep into digital marketing, eCommerce, social media trends, and creating content that benefits its readers!