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Cover image for Tutorial: How to Use Shopify's Admin Dashboard to Create Webhooks
Fikayo Adepoju for Hookdeck

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Tutorial: How to Use Shopify's Admin Dashboard to Create Webhooks


In a previous article, we looked at how Shopify webhooks provide a one-way communication medium for Shopify to send notifications and data about events taking place in your store to an external application. In this article, we will take a more hands-on approach to learning and understanding how Shopify webhooks work.

Each Shopify store comes with an administrative interface to manage the store. Webhooks can also be created and managed using this interface. In this tutorial, we are going to create a webhook, test it, and later delete it through Shopify's admin interface.

Read this tutorial if you are more interested in using Shopify's webhook API.

Ready? Let's get started.

How Shopify webhooks work

As stated earlier, Shopify webhooks help you integrate external applications with the Shopify store by creating a channel through which Shopify sends notifications for events happening in the store to the external application.

A webhook is set up on Shopify by subscribing to a topic on your store. A topic is an event that can take place on a Shopify store resource e.g, a Cart can be updated. Cart in this example is the resource while updated is the event, and this topic on Shopify is represented as Cart/update.

When a webhook subscription has been created, an HTTP request is triggered each time an event for that topic occurs. This HTTP request is sent to an endpoint on your external application. This endpoint is known as the Webhook URL and is supplied when creating a webhook on Shopify.

Shopify requires that webhook URLs use the secure HTTPS protocol and the POST request method.

Your external application receives the webhook with its payload at the webhook URL endpoint and triggers any custom processes in response to the webhook.

Tutorial: Logging Shopify cart events

In this tutorial we will explore logging, a common use case for Shopify webhooks, as engineers often use webhooks to feed information into an external logging system. These logs are mostly integrated with tools that help visualize the webhook data.

Here's a quick summary of the steps we need to take to achieve the Shopify webhook logging setup:

  • Clone the workflow logger API.
  • Generate a webhook URL that will be used to create a webhook on Shopify.
  • Set up a webhook on Shopify.
  • Trigger and inspect the webhook.
  • View the webhook logged by the API.

Now let's look at what you need for the project.

Project requirements

To set up our demo logging system, we are going to use a local Node.js API with an endpoint that receives and logs a portion of the webhook payload.

To follow along with this tutorial, it's required that you have the following items set up:

  • Have Node.js installed on your system, version 12 or greater is fine (if you already have a local API that you prefer to use, that is fine. Just make sure it exposes a POST endpoint and listens on a known port).
  • Hookdeck CLI installed (you can find details on installing the tool here).
  • An active Shopify store with access to Shopify apps (Shopify apps are required for the webhook authentication step, but more on this later).

Cloning the demo API

Clone the application repository for the API by running the following command:

git clone --single-branch --branch shopify-webhooks
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Navigate to the root of the project and install the required dependencies by running the following commands:

cd nodejs-webhook-server-example
npm install
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When the installation completes, you can then run the Node.js server with the following command:

npm start
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This will boot up the API application and print a message to the screen indicating that the API is now running and listening for connections on port 1337.

We are using two endpoints in this project.

  • /log-shopify-webhook: This is the endpoint that will be receiving the Shopify webhook and logging it into an in-memory database. It logs a simple object containing a subset of the information from the webhook payload.
  • /fetch-webhooks-logs: This endpoint can be called to retrieve a collection of the logged webhook data.

Generating a webhook URL using the Hookdeck CLI

We now have a locally running server that contains an endpoint to receive our webhook. However, this endpoint is not accessible to the public, thus it cannot be targeted by Shopify webhooks.

A mechanism is required to route our webhooks to the locally running API endpoint, and this is where the Hookdeck CLI comes in. The Hookdeck CLI is built specifically for working with webhooks, and it helps tunnel external HTTP requests into your local development environment by providing you with a publicly accessible HTTPS URL. You can also inspect the headers and payloads of your webhooks, as you will see later on in this tutorial.

Visit Hookdeck's CLI documentation to install and set up the tool on your operating system. For macOS users, you can run the following command to install the CLI tool:

brew install hookdeck/hookdeck/hookdeck
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If you're using the Windows operating system, use the following command to install the CLI tool:

scoop bucket add hookdeck
scoop install hookdeck
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Once the setup process is complete, the next step is to use the CLI to generate a webhook URL that points to the running API application. To do this, run the following command (note: replace the port 1337 value with the port number on which your API is running if you're not using the sample project):

hookdeck listen 1337
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This command starts an interactive session where the CLI collects information about the endpoint you're about to create. Below are the questions and the answers you should supply to each question. Ensure to hit the Enter key after each answer.

  • What source should you select? Ans: select **Create new source* (this prompt does not show up if you have not created any previous connections)*
  • What should your new source label be? Ans: type the text Shopify
  • What path should the webhooks be forwarded to (i.e.: /webhooks)? Ans: type /log-shopify-webhook (if you're using your own custom server, replace this value with your endpoint)
  • What's the connection label (i.e.: My API)? Ans: type Purchase Log API

With this information, the CLI will begin the process of generating the URL and once it's done, you will see the URL printed to the screen and the CLI indicating that it is ready to receive requests.

Hookdeck CLI Ready

Note: If you're running the CLI in guest mode, you will need to use the guest Login URL link in the console to access the dashboard. Copy and paste this into your browser to begin a guest login session.

Creating a webhook subscription using the Shopify admin interface

Now that you have your webhook URL, the next step is to create a webhook subscription on Shopify. On your Shopify admin dashboard, navigate to SettingsNotifications → (scroll down to) Webhooks. Click the Create webhook button and fill the webhook form as follows:

  • Event: Cart Update
  • Format: JSON
  • URL: The Webhook URL printed to your Hookdeck CLI session screen
  • Webhook API version: Select the version marked **Latest**

See below an example of the filled form:

Add a Shopify webhook

Click Save to complete the webhook creation process. You will then see your newly created webhook displayed in the Webhooks list as shown below:

Webhook Created

Testing your webhook

Great! You now have your webhook logging system set up, and it's time to put it to the test. Conveniently, Shopify provides a way to send a test webhook notification, which you can do by clicking the Send test notification button on your webhook row as displayed in the previous image.

Click this button for your Cart update webhook subscription to send a test webhook. Once sent, you will see an entry in your Hookdeck CLI session like below:

Webhook successfully recieved

As seen in the above image, the status of the request is 201, indicating that a new resource has been created on the logger API.

To view details of the webhook, copy the event URL, which is the last item on the logged webhook in the CLI. Load this URL in your browser and you will see a screen similar to the one below:

Event page

The webhook event page provides you with in-depth details regarding the webhook you just received. Starting from the top section you can see some metadata provided by Hookdeck, shown below:

Hookdeck summary data

Next is the Headers section. Here, you can access all the headers that came with the webhook and inspect their values:

Event headers

For the webhook payload, the Body section contains a browsable object representing the webhook payload. You can expand this object to inspect all the properties contained in the data that came in the payload:

Event body

Viewing the webhook logs

So, we have successfully received a webhook on our logging application. Let's now check the application logs to confirm that our webhook is indeed being logged. To have an appreciable amount of webhooks logged, click the Send test notification button a few more times.

Then, on your browser, navigate to the /fetch-webhooks-logs endpoint of the locally running API, and you will see a display similar to the one below:

Webhooks logs

As seen in the above image, we have 3 webhooks logged (the first entry is a test entry already contained in the database). We have been able to log the webhook ID, the total line items in the cart, and the time the webhook was triggered for each webhook. Now, it's time to verify.

How to verify Shopify webhooks with HMAC Signature

Webhooks create a communication medium between your external apps and Shopify, so you need to make sure that only Shopify is able to use this medium to speak to your app. Attackers often take advantage of the open-ended nature of a webhook URL to send requests containing malicious content to the webhook endpoint.

Fortunately, in the X-Shopify-Hmac-Sha256 header sent with each webhook, Shopify sends an encrypted version of the payload. This encrypted value is created using your Shopify app's shared secret key and the HMAC cryptographic algorithm.

You can get a Shopify shared secret for your store by creating a Shopify application in the Apps section. The shared key is contained in the Admin API section of the app created.

When you receive a webhook, you can compute the same encrypted version of the payload using the shared key and HMAC, and then compare the result with the value sent in the X-Shopify-Hmac-Sha256 header. If there is a match, then the payload is valid and it originated from Shopify. If not, then it's suspicious and should be ignored.

You can find this verification logic in the server.js file as a commented middleware function validatePayload, shown below:

const sigHeaderName = 'x-shopify-hmac-sha256';
const sigHashAlg = 'sha256';
const secret = "xx-xx-x";


/* function validatePayload(req, res, next) {
    if(req.method == "POST"){
        if (!req.rawBody) {
            return next('Request body empty')
        const body = req.rawBody;
        const hmacHeader = req.get(sigHeaderName);
        //Create a hash based on the parsed body
        const hash = crypto
            .createHmac(sigHashAlg, secret)
            .update(body, "utf8", "hex")
        // Compare the created hash with the value of the X-Shopify-Hmac-Sha256 Header
        if (hash !== hmacHeader) {
            return next(`Request body digest (${hash}) did not match ${sigHeaderName} (${hmacHeader})`)
    return next()
app.use(validatePayload); */
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For more information on security considerations for your webhooks, check out our security checklist.

How to delete Shopify webhooks

Deleting webhooks from your Shopify store is simple and straightforward using the admin interface. Simply click the bin icon next to your webhook on the webhooks list:

Image description

Shopify will prompt you for to confirm to ensure that you really want to take this action. Note that once a webhook is deleted, it cannot be recovered again.


The Shopify administrative interface provides easy-to-use tools to create and manage your store webhooks. In this tutorial, you have learned and demonstrated how to use the Shopify admin interface to set up a webhook, test it, and then delete the subscription.

If you like doing things programmatically, or want to set up automated tasks like scheduled cron jobs to interact with Shopify webhooks and other store resources, Shopify also provides an API that you can call. We have detailed how you can authenticate with Shopify's API and use it to set up your webhooks in this article.

Happy coding!

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