How to change your sub-domain (you can’t)

Screenshot: first screen in creating shopify store asks for store name which is misleading

How to change your sub-domain (you can’t)

At this writing in November 2018, Shopify asks for your “store name” upon creating a free account. My mistake was not knowing that my client’s really long “store name” would become his “subdomain name.”  = 38 characters!
(shown here numbers replacing characters)

I left inquiries with experts (who did not respond) and spent some time researching, but I found no one who bluntly tells it like it is – there is no way to change to

You can’t change your subdomain. You must start over! The good news is that it takes less time to build a store the second time around.

Here is what I did:

  1. changed the email of the original store (that will be deleted) to another email address that I don’t care about
  2. started the new store with the correct email
    • this time remembering not to put in store name but instead put in a good short subdomain in the “your store name” form field
  3. copied everything from the original store to the new subdomain store
    • Tip: keep in mind to copy the html instead of the text version of content to avoid unwanted style markup.
  4. deleted the old store after everything was finished; before deleting, I used it as a playground to try things out
  5. ate the hours … no, I did not charge the client. Ouch, that hurts.

Even though site visitors are probably not going to see your domain, YOU have to see it. Truthfully, I don’t know if it would cause any technical problems down the road. I am aware that a lot of redirects occur within Shopify, but I’m too much of a newby to know how well that works with a 40-character subdomain. Best not to have an even bigger task ahead.