Occasionally we get reports from our merchants that there are intermittent 404's (not found) or access issues when trying to access the forum.

To understand why these service interruptions occur, let's first discuss how Champ is served through to your website.

The reason Champ is served from a directory (eg. /community/champ) off your main Shopify website is because Champ uses a proxy approach in its own design. Compared to other applications which require you to serve your forums from a separate domain (eg. forums.yourshop.com), Champ serves its pages through Shopify.

Here's a diagram that visually illustrates what happens:


  • User requests a page from /community/champ
  • Shopify receives this request and sends the request to Champ
  • Champ receives the request
  • Champ sends the response back to Shopify
  • Shopify sends the response from Champ to the user

If an error occurs that is due to Champ, you and your users will see a response where the error message that says:

There was an error with a third party application.

If an error is due to Shopify's own servers and internal configuration (which neither you nor we can change or fix), you will see a 404 error or some other error.

This is important to understand!! If a 404 error occurs, the problem isn't with Champ but it is with Shopify. Shopify isn't sending its requests to Champ properly.

So why does this happen?

We believe these occurrences happen when Shopify is upgrading their own code, servers, or performing background maintenance tasks. For what it's worth, we've also noticed these problems tend to occur on weekends or off-hours, although this may not be strictly the case every single time.

What can I or Champ do about it?

In short, nothing. These are normal day-to-day maintenance performed by Shopify. From our own tests where we make a request to Champ forums served by our merchants, we've found outages to be somewhere in the 15-20 minute range per month.

But the rest of my store still works when this happens! This MUST be Champ

If the problem is due to the application (Champ), you will see Shopify responding with the appropriate There was an error with a third party application. If you don't see that but a 404 page instead, then Shopify is experiencing a bug and it isn't due to the application.