Customizing Shopify Themes to Enhance User Experience and Conversions
If you’ve spent as much time playing with themes as we have, you’ve probably realized that they can make a site look and feel better. While it can be difficult to determine the best for your business, combining them can provide a better experience for your customers.
We often refer to this goal as optimizing the user experience (UX). The more commonly discussed options are theme engineering and customizing Shopify themes.
A theme is a set of text links that link users to specific functionality in a site. It evolves, so it’s fundamental to understand what makes a good Shopify theme, so you can keep your Shopify store running smoothly. Here are some things you should keep in mind when customizing themes.
Identify your Shopify Theme
To identify the theme of a Shopify store, follow these steps:
- Visit the Shopify store you’re interested in.
- Right-click anywhere on the page and select “View Page Source” or “Inspect” from the dropdown menu. It will display the browser developer tools.
- In the developer tools, look for the line of code that starts with “<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”. This line of code will contain the name of the theme’s CSS stylesheet, which usually includes the theme name.
- Look for a string of text that includes the word “theme,” such as “/assets/theme.scss.css” or “/assets/theme.css”. The word “theme” will be followed by a name or a series of numbers.
- Copy the theme name from the CSS stylesheet URL and paste it into a search engine. It should help you find the name of the Shopify theme in use.
Alternatively, you can log in to the Shopify store’s backend and go to the “Online Store” > “Themes” section. The name of the active theme will be displayed here, along with any other installed themes.
Where to find Shopify Themes
Finding a new theme doesn’t have to be a stressful process. There are multiple resources to help you discover new Shopify themes. It’s the moment to explore the top places to find new Shopify to help you choose the best customizable theme for your online store.
Shopify Theme Store
The Shopify Theme Store is the official marketplace for Shopify themes. It offers a wide range of free themes and paid themes, organized by category and industry.
Finding Online Store Themes
You can find Shopify themes in third-party theme marketplaces like Themeforest, TemplateMonster, and Creative Market. These marketplaces offer a variety of theme templates created by independent developers and designers.
Upload your Shopify Theme
Uploading a Shopify theme is an easy step-by-step process:
- Log in to your Shopify account and go to the “Online Store” section.
- Click on “Themes” and then click on the “Upload theme” button.
- Choose the theme file you want to upload. Shopify theme files are usually in .zip format and are downloaded from the theme provider or developer.
- Once you’ve selected the file, click “Upload theme” and wait for the upload to complete. It may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the theme file.
- Once the theme is uploaded, it will appear in your themes list. Click on the theme to customize it, or click “Publish theme” to make it live on your online store.
Create a backup of your theme before uploading a new one. Click on the three- dot menu next to your current theme and select “Duplicate”. The theme will be saved as a backup.
Customizing Shopify themes the 101
Shopify theme customization is fundamental for a high-performing Shopify store, as a store owner, it helps you maintain brand identity and have a professional-looking Shopify store.
Customize Using Theme Editor
The Shopify theme editor is a user-friendly tool designed to make editing accessible to all users, know-how is advantageous but not indispensable. At the top, you have a dropdown menu where you can select the template you want to edit.
On the left side of the theme editor, you can see the section layout for the page you selected. Remember, in the theme editor, you are customizing page templates and not the individual pages, so your changes will reflect on all pages using that template.
Customizing Shopify template sections
Further customization of each template section will help you set every aspect of the visuals and functionality of y our online store, so you can have total control over how your store looks and feels.
Consider that there are some limitations when customizing the design of your Shopify stores. Some elements are editable and movable, some are not.
Before starting, consider that the header is on all store pages, changes in this section will display on all your pages. Depending on your theme ou can chhange the follwing.
- Your logo
- Your logo dimension
- The navigation menu displayed
- Enable or disable a sticky header
The same rules for the header count for the footer section. For this section you can edit:
- Social media buttons
- Language selector
- Country and region selector
- Payment method icons
- Email subscription forms
Editing individual sections
Unlike the header and footer, the changes in the other sections will only affect a particular page. When you click on a section, the page editor displays a menu for possible changes. Each section has its parameters.
Adding a section
You are not bound to the sections you see on a page template, further customize to improve user experience in your store. As usual, not all the templates can add the same changes, however, most templates allow sections for collage, featured collection, multicolumn, blog post, and email signup.
Moving a Section
To move a page section hover your cursor over it and reveal the six dotted icons, your cursor will display a hand. Clicking on the icon enables drag and drop of a section wherever you want.
Changing your Shopify theme settings
Apart from customizing templates, you can edit your theme settings to make your site work and display as you want.
Here are some examples of what you can change:
- You can change the color scheme and fonts used throughout your store.
- You can customize your store’s header and footer sections, including the logo, navigation menu, and social media icons.
- You can add, remove, or reorder the different sections on your homepage, such as featured products, collections, banners, and testimonials.
- You can adjust the layout and design of your product pages, including the product image gallery, description, pricing, and reviews.
- You can customize the cart and checkout pages to match the look and feel of your store and add or remove fields as needed.
- You can set up a blog and customize the layout and design of your blog posts.
- You can optimize your store’s SEO by adding meta titles, descriptions, and keywords to your pages.
Some tips for customizing your Shopify template
It’s best to make small changes at first and see how they look before making more significant changes. It will help you avoid making mistakes and enables you to experiment with different options.
The “Undo” button is your friend
If you make a mistake, don’t worry. The Theme Editor has an “Undo” button that you can use to undo your last action.
Make a backup
Before making any changes to your Shopify template it’s a good idea to create a backup. It will allow you to revert to your original template if something goes wrong.
Experiment with different options
The Theme Editor has many customization options, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different options to see what works best for your website.
Can I customize my Shopify theme without coding knowledge?
Can I switch between different Shopify themes without losing my store
Yes, you can switch between Shopify themes without losing your store data. When you switch to a new template theme, your products, collections, orders, and customer data will still be saved in your Shopify account.
However, there are some things to consider when switching themes:
- If you customize your current theme (adding code snippets or editing the theme files) the customizations will not export to the new theme. You’ll need to customize it again.
- When switching themes, it’s a good idea to check with the app developers to confirm their app will work with your new theme.
- Depending on the new template theme you may need to resize or re-upload some of your images to fit the new dimensions.
- If you’ve created custom navigation menus in your current theme you’ll need to recreate those menus in the new theme.
How can I test my customized Shopify theme before launching it live on my
- Preview your theme before publishing it to your live store. To do this, go to “Online Store” > “Themes” in your Shopify admin panel, click on “Customize” for the theme you want to preview, and then click on “Preview” in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Test your customized theme on different devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It will help ensure your theme is responsive and looks good on all devices.
- Click on all the links on your website to verify they’re working correctly and are not leading to any 404 error pages.
- Go through the checkout process to make sure everything is working correctly. Make sure you receive order confirmation emails, and that the payment gateway is working correctly.
- Ask friends, family, or customers for feedback on your customized theme. They may notice issues or have suggestions for improvements that you haven’t thought of.
Custom theme settings are an excellent strategy for store owners, it helps them craft a unique store design to stand out from their competitors. You can start by customizing an existing theme, remember to make small and gradual changes while you familiarize yourself with the tools. Attractive store pages optimized for customer experience increase Shopify merchants’ chances of success, so get ready to customize your Shopify store.