For today’s Biz Bite episode I’m answering the frequently asked question… what is your favorite Shopify theme?
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First things first, I do always recommend that you purchase a theme directly from the Shopify theme store, or by a developer that has themes inside the theme store. Those themes are created either by Shopify directly or by one of their vetted partner developers. This ensures that you’re getting a theme that is built to work with Shopify’s latest features and that it will be updated regularly. If you purchase a theme from a third-party website they have no obligation to keep up with Shopify’s requirements.
The only time I’d say it’s okay to purchase a theme from outside of the Shopify theme store is if it’s from a developer’s website who does have themes inside the theme store. An example of this would be Turbo or Flex from Out of the Sandbox.
With all that said, let’s answer the main question which is, what is my favorite Shopify theme… and the answer is anything from Archetype Themes. They are the creators of Impulse, Streamline, and Motion. These are all premium themes, but they’re well worth the investment. They’re slick, modern, and perform wonderfully on the platform.
If you’re not ready to invest in a theme, you can start out with Dawn which is the 2.0 replacement for Debut. At the time of this recording, Shopify has yet to upgrade its other free themes to be compatible with the 2.0 builder.
You can also check out the themes by Flourescent, Inc. I don’t have much experience with them as they’re newer to the Shopify ecosystem, but at first glance, they too have a very slick modern design.
Ultimately, I recommend you start with a requirements list and find a theme that matches that as closely as possible. Consider things like the size of your catalog, the industry you’re in, and the types of content you want to have on your website. Remember that when you’re choosing a theme it’s about the functionality, the types of pre-built blocks it offers you, and the menu layouts that are most important because fonts, colors, and overall page layouts are easy to update… but you need the right building blocks to create the site you want to create.
And lastly, remember that as long as a theme is in the Shopify theme store, you can install it on your site and customize it to your heart's content, and only pay for it when you’re ready to publish.
If you’re migrating to Shopify 2.0 or just getting started, it’s worth it to take a little time and explore the themes options before making your final decision. While I don’t want you to get too far down the design rabbit hole, it can be a pain to migrate so you’ll want to be as sure as possible before you get in too deep. Don’t forget to take a peek into the theme's documentation as well because often you’ll find features that aren’t super obvious in the existing theme customizer.
At the end of the day, remember your site is more about helping your customer find what they’re looking for than it is for looking pretty. Pretty doesn’t equal profit, so focus on functionality that helps you help your customer make a buying decision and you’ll be on the right path.