"Online" and "Offline" Storefronts

Last modified March 7, 2016

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 is in Test mode (because its selector on the right-hand side of the Storefront list is set to Example of an offline Storefront), you can access only the Test Storefront and can enter only test orders. Attempting to access the Live URL for the Storefront in Test mode will result 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 website and the Test website and can place real orders on the Live website and test orders on the Test website.

Characteristics of a Test mode Storefront:

  • The Storefront URL contains the word test. For example, https://acme.test.onfastspring.com/holiday
  • Accepts test orders
  • Does not accept real orders
  • Pages are not cached, so changes to the Theme settings appear immediately when you refresh.
  • Because pages are not cached, the websites will seem slower compared to Live Storefronts.

Characteristics of a Live Storefront:

  • The storefront URL does not contain the word test. For example, https://acme.onfastspring.com/holiday
  • Does not accept test orders
  • Accepts real orders
  • Pages are cached, so changes to the Theme settings take about 1-10 minutes to become active.
  • Because pages are cached, the website will seem faster than a Test mode storefront.

    Tip

    For testing purposes you can access your Storefronts even when they are not live by adding "test" inside your store domain. For example, if your Storefront URL is https://acme.onfastspring.com/christmas and it is not set to Online, it will not be available from that URL, but will be available via https://acme.test.onfastspring.com/christmas. Test domains are not cached, but you cannot place real orders on via the test domains. To place a test order, see Test Orders. For test orders, you will also need the test card number and CVV code, which you can find via the TEST links in the list of Storefronts. The test card number and CVV are only accepted via the Storefront's Test URL.

    Editing Live Storefronts

    When editing a Storefront that is currently , we advise you to use MORE > COPY and copy it to a new Storefront, for example called "Draft", edit and preview the Draft until it satisfies your needs, and copy it over the  Storefront when finished