Before you actually launch your store, you’ll want to customize it, not only so that all of the sections and widgets are in the right place, but also so that the design that you choose fits with the type of store that you have and is compatible and complementary to your color scheme, logos and other elements.
We’ll discuss the visual customization that can be done with Shopify and how to find the right template for your store, as well as how to use the design and task-based elements to give your site not just the perfect look, but the perfect layout as well, which will increase your chances of attracting customers.
The Purpose of this Chapter
This information was written with the goal of teaching you how to use the tools provided by Shopify to make your site look exactly the way that you want. While the customization tools that Shopify provides are extremely powerful, you might need to do some additional research on the themes that you encounter or on basic concepts like using complementary colors.
In other words, this chapter is not intended to be the final word in Shopify design – rather it is intended to explain the basic concepts of customizing a Shopify website using themes and other accessories. If you want more advanced information you might have to do some more research.
The Shopify Help Manual
Shopify has a comprehensive help manual that you can use if you don’t understand how a particular feature works of if you want to learn more about a function that there was enough space to go into in full detail here.
Shopify was created to function very similar to WordPress and as such, many of the same names that you are familiar with from that platform will also be used here. For example, the way that you change the look of your store is through the use of a Shopify theme. Since you are paying for your Shopify site, the theme store has a large number of themes are that are completely free to use, but if you want to make your store look even better you can upgrade a premium theme.
In order to access the theme store you can either click on the ‘Online Store’ link in your admin area sidebar and then choose themes, followed by ‘Visit the Theme Store’ or you can simply type in the URL on any browser window: themes.shopify.com.
Your Shopify Store Design
When you first set up your store, you’re going to be doing a lot of work in the backend, like adding in your products, setting up shipping and all of the other tasks that are required in order for you to have a functional store. You won’t have to worry too much about the look of your store until you are all done. However, eventually you want to take a look at the themes that are offered and decide which one fits the personality of your store the best. Here are some of the factors that will determine what your store design is going to look like.
The type of products that you’re selling: Obviously, a store that is selling sports equipment will have a very different look from one selling intimate apparel or jewelry. You’ll have to decide what sort of theme fits your products the best.
The personality of your store: This is a little different than the products that you are selling. Your store’s personality may be based upon your own personality, or an idea that you have for your store to make it stylish and unique.
The budget for design: Obviously, if you have the type of budget that is going to force you to stick with the free Shopify themes you will be much more limited than someone who has money to spend on the theme.
There are four basic ways that you can use Shopify themes to make your site look amazing. Which one you choose will depend upon the factors detailed above. Let’s start with free Shopify themes.
Free Themes from Shopify
When you sign up for Shopify, you get access to all of the free themes that they have available without any additional charge. The good news is, you don’t have to search specifically for themes that are compatible with today’s mobile devices because all of the themes provided by Shopify are responsive. Also, unlike WordPress, these themes were designed with the specific purpose of selling things so you don’t have to search for an ecommerce-friendly theme either. There are more than a hundred free themes from Shopify and nearly all of them are very high-quality themes that would make any store look great.
Shopify’s Premium Themes
The second option you have for customizing your Shopify website is to use one of the premium themes that Shopify provides. These can also be found on the theme page. You just select premium and you’ll get to choose between themes priced from $100 to $180 to customize your store with. Also, be aware that you can search both the free and the premium themes by industry including fashion, photography, electronics, sports and many more.
Shopify’s Customization Options
Shopify has a large number of customization options when it comes to the themes that they have available, allowing you to tweak them any way you want, as long as you have the expertise to do so. Some of the customizations are very user-friendly and others require that you understand how the themes work, and some elements of graphic and website design in order to change certain aspects of a theme.
Custom Created Themes by Web Designers
There are a number of web designers out there who can create themes for Shopify, and if you already have a web designer that you like, Shopify provides instruction on how to create a theme that will work on their site. So, that’s the fourth option that you have for getting your site to look the way that you want.
You can create a custom design that you sketch out from scratch and have your web designer create it for you. This is often necessary in the case of stores that sell a particular product that just doesn’t fit with any of the themes that are offered in the Shopify store.
A web designer can create that perfect design that you envision your store having, and while this is the most expensive option, it might not be that much more than you would pay for a premium theme if you can find a designer willing to do it for a few hundred dollars.