Should you stick with checkout.liquid or migrate to Checkout Extensibility? 


Jaap Vergote


September 15, 2022

Shopify is introducing Checkout Extensibility on October 3rd 2022. This is the start of a new way of customizing the checkout page for Shopify Plus stores. But how do you enable it? What about all the modifications you’ve already made in checkout.liquid? Let’s have a look.

First, let’s have a look at the two ways we’ll have to customize the checkout:

1. Checkout.liquid

If you’re using Shopify Plus, you can get access to checkout.liquid. This liquid file lets you control and customize the checkout pages to style it to your liking. You can add our brand details, upsells, reviews, trust badges and countdown timers. This requires knowledge of liquid and Ruby, HTML, css and Javascript and you’ll want your developer help to make edits.

the familiar checkout.liquid file

2. Checkout extensions

Shopify saw Plus stores modifying the checkout.liquid file and built a more integrated solution. Checkout Extensions allow third party apps to create elements you can place in the checkout with a simple checkout editor, configure Functions for discount logic or track customer behavior with Web Pixel. All these extensions give the merchant an easier, more secure and native solution to customize the checkout.

checkout extensions
the gateway in your settings to checkout extension management

Now, what if you’ve invested a lot of resources in customizing your checkout using checkout.liquid? Shopify will eventually migrate every Plus merchant to Checkout Extensions, but there will be ample time to prepare for that. Until then, merchants will have the option:

shopify announcement checkout extensibility
From the Shopify team on the Shopify Checkout Extensions Discord

Now what difference does it make if you decide to migrate or stick with your existing checkout setup?

Checkout.liquid has more flexibility, for now

The checkout.liquid file lets you control the code, which gives you the maximum flexibility to customize. Checkout Extensions has the Checkout Branding API, which allows to customize fonts, rounding corners, colors and accents, but having access to the code allows for any customization

Shopify is adding to the extensions capabilities at a fast pace, and our guess is that they’ll be on par and then surpass the checkout.liquid capabilities within the next 18 months.

Example: upsells can’t have radius, color, thickness customizations of text, borders, buttons and other elements. checkout

Checkout extensions are integrated more closely

Checkout Extensions are more closely integrated and bring better speed. Upsells don’t require a page reload. It integrates natively with express payments on Shop Pay. It feels more native. It easier to get started as you don’t need a developer, with the WYSIWYG Checkout Editor + third party apps with simple UI.

shopify checkout upsells

Shopify is betting further on their ecosystem with this Checkout Extensibility update. They enable third party app developers to build solutions for merchants and have a huge ‘external’ engineering team working to make the platform better and more customizable.

Our app, UpsellPlus, will support both. Existing merchants can decide to use Checkout Extensions or stay with checkout,liquid. New merchants will get the Checkout Extensions experience from October on, but can request access to advanced customization features checkout.liquid allows for.

← BACK to Blog

Join 1000+ brands already using UpsellPlus

The world's greatest Shopify Plus brands use UpsellPlus to grow AOV. Start your free 7 day trial today!

Try for free