How would I go about testing changes on a store that's currently live? I'm looking for certain features I want to add, so I'm exploring multiple apps, most of which are paid, with a free trial. Because the store is live and currently being used I don't want to make changes that will be reflected to any end users, and because the apps are paid I can't install them on a development site.
Is there a way to create a test environment for stores?
There is no separate test environment besides three general methods: Theme , Development Store, ShopifyPlus Sandbox
Theme - Depending on apps some let you specify the theme they will run on so you can just create a new theme and use the preview system for testing.
Development Store -
If you need something more robust then you would need to create a second store as a merchant (contact support to try and negotiate a better rate)
Though myself and other Shopify Partners can create a development stores for testing.
A naming convention is brandname-dev.myshopify.com
Though it can be a separate matter if you want to replicate parts of a live store for testing such as the exact inventory of connect 3rd party channels,etc.
ShopifyPlus plans get sandbox stores