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Extensibility Checkout Migration
Shopify

Upgrade Checkout.liquid to Checkout Extensibility on Shopify: The Ultimate Guide

Guide

February 7, 2024Author: Preslav Nikov10 min read
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replacing Checkout.liquid. with checkout extensibility

Shopify is introducing huge changes to its checkout system in 2024. They are completely replacing their standard checkout - Checkout.liquid.

All Shopify Plus store owners will have to take action before August 2024 to migrate to the new Extensibility Checkout. If they don’t, they won’t be able to continue selling on Shopify, until they do.

Read on to learn the exact deadlines you need to keep, the steps you need to take to migrate your checkout, the new opportunities that Extensibility Checkout brings, and more.

In this article:

  • The end of checkout.liquid and what it means for Shopify stores

  • Introducing the Shopify Extensibility Checkout

  • Potential challenges with migrating to the new Extensibility Checkout

  • How to upgrade to the Shopify Extensibility Checkout

  • How craftberry can help you upgrade from checkout.liquid to Checkout Extensibility

The End of Checkout.liquid and What it Means for Shopify Stores

Shopify has announced that Checkout.liquid will be turned off in stages.

Information, Shipping & Payment pages will be turned off on August 13, 2024. Thank you & Order status pages, and additional scripts and script tags will be turned off on August 28, 2024.

All stores that are using Checkout.liquid will need to upgrade to the Extensibility Checkout before these dates.

Moreover, new stores won’t be provided with access to Checkout.liquid with the exception of expansion stores.

Failure to upgrade your checkout will result in an inability to carry out online store sales.

Keep in mind, that fully migrating your checkout can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.

This depends on the amount and complexity of customizations that you want your checkout to have.

If you are using the default Shopify checkout, your checkout migration will require a few clicks.

However, if you want bespoke functionalities, you will likely have to develop custom Shopify apps or leverage existing ones.

Why is Checkout.liquid being deprecated?

Customizing your checkout on Shopify has traditionally been a painful, time-intensive experience.

Changing your Shopify checkout required you to write code manually and mix it in with the pre-made checkout code.

This led to complicated maintenance, frequent bugs from updates, poor performance, and even security issues.

Back in 2022, an issue in the theme code with Checkout.liquid and Google Tag Manager resulted in a 12-hour Shopify checkout global outage.

Ever since, Shopify has been looking to improve checkout stability and performance, while simplifying the customization process.

Thus, Checkout Extensibility was born as a suite of apps and tools that provides reliable, code-free customizations and functionalities.

Introducing the Shopify Extensibility Checkout

Checkout Extensibility vs. Checkout.liquid



Checkout Extensibility
Checkout.liquid
Technology used
Customizations run in an app-scoped context without influencing the parent DOM or writing code in the checkout file.
You can access the parent element in the DOM directly and customize the code inside the checkout file.
Depth of functionality customization
App-based customizations allow for a high degree of customization but can run into problems when niche use cases are required.
Access to the checkout codes allows for almost limitless customizations and accommodating niche cases.
Branding customization
Built-in functionality to add your brand banners, colors, fonts, and logo in a few clicks.
Requires editing the CSS code and is severely limited.
Ease of use
Has a drag-and-drop checkout editor that allows various customizations with a few clicks.
Requires sophisticated coding expertise to manually edit the file codes.
Speed & Performance
Utilizes the newest technologies and doubles the speed of checkout interactions. Works well even with multiple checkout apps enabled.
Relies on older technologies, and was last updated in 2020. Runs into performance issues when multiple apps are used.
Reliability
Stable throughout updates.
Shopify updates cause frequent bugs and checkout crashes.
Maintenance
Set it and forget it in most cases.
Difficult to maintain and requires developer support.
Customer Event Tracking
Managed through a set of apps but is limited when it comes to heatmaps, recordings, and A/B tests.
Requires adding custom code or a third-party tag manager.

Available Payment Methods With Extensibility Checkout

All standard payment methods should work well on the new checkout. These include:

  • Shopify Payments

  • Apple Pay

  • Google Pay

  • Stripe

Advantages of Extensibility Checkout

The new Extensibility Checkout completely changes how merchants will set up and customize their store checkouts.

According to Shopify, the Extensibility Checkout brings the following advantages:

  • Increased speed and conversions - Checkout Extensibility is built on a newer technology that allows for 2x faster checkout interactions. Shopify reports an average conversion rate increase of 1%.

  • One Page Checkout is supported with Extensibility Checkout.

  • Powerful new checkout features - Checkout Extensibility allows you to easily include features like bundles, stackable discounts, and one-page checkout.

  • Enhanced security and reliability - the new checkout is effectively a sandboxed environment thanks to a set of Shopify UI components and APIs. Thus, your checkout is additionally secured and less likely to break.

  • Easy, zero-code customization opportunities - checkout customizations are now exclusively app-based, which means you can simply download an app from the App Store and get the functionalities you want in a few clicks.

  • Upgrade-safe features for easier maintenance - the new way customizations are handled goes through Shopify’s API and app ecosystem. Thus, upgrades won’t break your customizations.

  • Seamless integration with Shop Pay - Extensibility Checkout allows you to add any customizations you want to Shop Pay, a one-click checkout that offers a 4x faster checkout experience.

Current Limitations of Extensibility Checkout

As of March 2024, the Extensibility Checkout is still plagued by several major complications that you’ll have to take into account.

Custom Code Limitations

While the Extensibility Checkout adds simplicity and robustness, it comes at the expense of versatility.

Now, Shopify developers find themselves severely restricted in what they can achieve through custom code.

Examples of what we can do with custom code include:

  • Popups - We can only load a popup on customer action such as the customer clicking a button.This means that once they go to the thank you page, we cannot prompt the customer to do anything else with a popup.

  • Styling - We can set colors based on elements - primary button color, and color on hover on a global level but we can not set a specific button to be a different color.

  • Fonts - We can choose from around 100 already pre-defined options from the Shopify Font Library.

  • Moreover, we can set their base size and they will proportionally size up.

  • We cannot hide or show different content - for mobile and desktop. If we have it on desktop, we will have it on mobile too.

  • Positioning Extensions - if we create a custom block of content or extension, we can only add it to the pre-defined positions that Shopify allows.

  • Custom functionalities - you can have an email consent checkbox checked by default for the US and unchecked for international.

All custom functionalities have to be vetted and confirmed how they can be “migrated” from a Shopify Plus expert like craftberry

A/B testing

A/B testing in the checkout is currently not possible as of March 2024.

Tracking

Tracking methods that require adding tracking scripts to the checkout.liquid code, such as Google Tag Manager, will cease to function after August 28, 2024.

Instead, you’ll have to leverage Shopify’s new Web Pixel Extension API or other server-side tracking solutions.

Order Status Page Tracking

If you have third-party trackings and scripts on the order status page, we won’t be able to load them anymore (not to be confused with the Thank you Page). However, the cutoff date for these is still far away.

The Thank You and Order Status page cutoff date is August 2025. At craftberry, we recommend migrating these later as more updates are expected.

Compatibility with Third-party apps

Some third parties are not yet compatible with the new checkout. Others might face limitations coming from Shopify and their widgets might not be exactly the same.

See Loyalty Lion as an example:

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Current Version of Loyalty Lion

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Loyalty Lion with Extensibility Checkout

So far, we can confirm that the following apps are working properly with the Extensibility Checkout:

  • Global-e

  • Route

  • Loyalty Lion ( not all widgets )

  • Rebuy

  • Recharge

  • Skio

  • Triple Whale

How to migrate to the Extensibility Checkout Step by step?

Work with a Shopify Plus expert like craftberry to vet that all third-party and tracking scripts are migrated to the new checkout successfully.

1. Assess your customizations

If you don’t have any customizations enabled, you can easily create a new checkout from the Shopify Admin > Checkout and configure its basic elements.

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New Checkout Options in Shopify Dashboard

Any customizations that you have on your Checkout.liquid will have to be manually rebuilt.

The two checkouts utilize different technological methods. Instead of adding customizations directly in the checkout code as with Checkout.liquid, you will have to leverage Shopify’s API and develop a custom app for your store, or use a public one with the Extensibility Checkout.

  • Assess checkout customizations with checkout.liquid report:

    If you go to Settings → Checkout →View personalized report you can see a report from Shopify that lists out your third parties and custom functionalities in your checkout and thank you and order status pages.

Although the checkout.liquid report is a good starting place, you should still manually vet your checkout’s customizations because the list might not be fully complete.

  • Assess your checkout customizations visually - Go through the whole checkout process as if you were a customer. 

This includes going through the checkout, thank you, and order status page and checking for any customizations that differ from the original Shopify checkout.

Things to look out for include:

  • Fonts

  • Colors

  • Third-party widgets (e.g. Loyalty points redemption or package protection)

  • Popups (either third-party or custom)

  • Custom buttons (either third-party or custom)

  • Upsells

  • Banners

  • Styling of background, font colors, and fonts

  • Messaging across the checkout

  • Custom functionalities depending on the country

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Checkout Migration Steps According To Shopify


2. Vet if custom code can be reused

Check the code of your liquid.checkout and see if it can be directly reused to recreate the same functionalities.

3. Vet if Third-party apps can be migrated

Manually check each of your apps and ensure it is compatible with the new Extensibility Checkout. If they aren’t, look for replacement apps on the App Store.

4. Apply Checkout Styling

Using the new checkout menu in your Shopify admin, you can select a variety of fonts and colors and apply them to your checkout in a few clicks.

5. Migrate custom code

Migrate your custom code with assistance from a Shopify Plus partner such as craftberry to ensure compatibility and functionality.

6. Add third-party apps

Integrate third-party applications for enhanced functionality through the settings menu.

7. Choose one page vs multi-page

Decide between a single-page checkout or a multi-page process to optimize the user experience.

8. Deploy and optimize your new checkout

Publish your checkout to your live store and conduct a live checkout test to see if everything is working properly.

Continue monitoring KPIs like order volumes and upsells to generate insights for optimizations.

9. Bonus: Migrate Thank You and Order Status Page

If you have existing customizations and tracking scripts on your Thank you and Order Status pages, we recommend delaying migrating them as more updates are expected and their cutoff date has been pushed to August 2025.

10. Bonus: Migrate Shopify Functions

The Script editor to functions migration is best viewed as a separate project. The cutoff date is August 2025.

Bonus Tip: How to test your new checkout?

After you’ve assessed, migrated, and deployed your new checkout, it’s time to put it to the test and see if it works as intended. 

We advise doing the following tests:

  • Place orders in all regions/countries.

  • Place orders with all payment methods

  • Confirm orders are successful with various product types

  • Confirm orders work with different discount codes

  • Confirm third parties are loading their widgets

  • Confirm all tracking scripts (via the network tab or with help of a developer)

  • Confirm transactional emails are delivering as expected

How can craftberry help you migrate from Checkout.liquid to Checkout Extensibility?

craftberry is one of the biggest Shopify Plus development & design agencies in Europe and is excellently prepared to handle your checkout migration project.

We can support you at every step, from carrying out a code review to building, launching, and optimizing your new checkout over time.

If you need help migrating from a custom Liquid Checkout to the new Extensibility Checkout, you can contact our team for a free discovery and consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Extensibility Checkout

What is the biggest challenge with editing Shopify checkout?

Traditionally, editing the Shopify checkout has been challenging because it requires manual coding and editing of the checkout.liquid file when introducing custom functionalities.

This complicated maintenance and makes the checkout prone to breaking due to updates. Extensibility Checkout solves this problem.

Does Checkout Extensibility work with one-page checkouts?

Checkout Extensibility is designed to integrate smoothly with both one-page and three-page checkouts.

Each format supports the same extension points, ensuring that customizations are consistently applied and automatically adapted to either checkout style.

How do I optimize my Shopify checkout?

To optimize your Shopify checkout, simplify the necessary steps to complete a purchase.

Enable guest checkouts and offer diverse payment methods. Optimize for mobile and keep form fields to a minimum.

Leverage Shopify's analytics to identify and address bottlenecks. Continually A/B test elements and monitor performance.

Are there any cons to using Extensibility Checkout?

Yes, there are a few drawbacks to using the Extensibility Checkout.

These include limited tracking through tag scripts, as well as limited feature customization for checkouts.

This is because developers will no longer have access to the checkout files but will rely on apps instead.

See also: The History of Shopify

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Author
Preslav Nikov

With a decade of of e-commerce experience, Preslav, CEO of Craftberry, produces informative content. His writing focuses on practical insights and strategies in the e - commerce, aimed at helping professionals and businesses in the industry.

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