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"Online" and "Offline" Storefronts


This article compares the behavior of Online and Offline Storefronts.

The list of Storefronts in your Store includes an indicator on the right-hand side of the page that lets you see, at a glance, whether each Storefront is Online or Offline.

When a Storefront's selector is set to Offline, the Storefront is considered to be in Test mode. When a Storefront is in Test mode, you can access only place test orders through the Storefront. Attempting to access the Live URL for a Storefront in Test mode results in a 404 (Not Found) error. 

You can click the  status indicator and choose Switch to  to change the status.

When a Storefront is Online, you can access both the Live Storefront and the Test Storefront. You can place real orders on the Live Storefront and test orders on the Test Storefront. When a Live Storefront is set to Online and you want to place a test order, add '.test' in the URL before '' or click through the provided test links. Do not place test orders through a Live Online Store.

Characteristics of a Test Mode Storefront:

  • The Storefront URL contains the word test. For example,
  • Accepts test orders
  • Does not accept live customer orders
  • Pages are not cached, so changes to the Storefront's settings appear immediately when you refresh.
  • Because pages are not cached, Storefront performance may seem slower compared to Live Storefronts.

Characteristics of a Live Storefront:

  • The storefront URL does not contain the word test. For example,
  • Does not accept test orders
  • Accepts live customer orders
  • Pages are cached, so changes to the Storefront settings may take several minutes to become active.
  • Because pages are cached, Storefront performance may seem faster than a Test mode storefront.


    For testing purposes, you can access your Storefronts even when they are not live by adding ".test" to the beginning of your Store domain. For example, if your Storefront URL is and the Storefront is not Online, that URL does not work. However, the test version of the URL works correctly, via To place test orders, you need the test card number and CVV code, which you can find via the Test links in the list of Storefronts. You can only use the testing credit card number and CVV via the Storefront's Test URL.


    When editing a Storefront that is currently , you should use More > Copy and copy it to a new temporary Storefront. Then, edit and preview the temporary Storefront until it satisfies your needs, and copy it over the  Storefront when finished. For step-by-step instructions, please see Making Changes to Online Storefronts.

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