Choosing a Shopify theme can feel very overwhelming. There are both free and paid Shopify themes available, each with their own unique features, different theme ‘creators’, pricing and so many different styles. Even as a web designer, I still sometimes struggle to select the perfect theme. If you’re unsure how to choose a Shopify theme, here are my top 5 tips for choosing a Shopify theme that will work best for your business!
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1. Select a budget
Budgets can determine whether you have the funds available for a paid theme and how much you’re willing and able to spend on it. Most paid Shopify themes range between $150 – $350 and are a one time fee for that specific theme. You can weed out themes that are out of your budget pretty easily and give you a slightly smaller option pool. Please note: there are great themes available no matter your budget.
2. Focus on function & layout
One of the most important things to remember is what you see is what you get. Often times, the themes will show off all the themes functionality and design layouts in their demos. Shopify tends to be more limited in design options so if one theme has a lot of lines or overlays, that’s probably a default setting that may not be changeable. You’re always able to change fonts, colors and image but the general layouts you see tends to be what’s available. So go through each of the demos and see if there’s sections and design layouts and functionality that works for you. You may be able to change or add sections via custom code but not as a built in feature.
3. Test it out
If you’re unsure of what you need or if you’ll like a paid or free theme, test it out. You’re able to try any theme and build it out without paying for it and without the site being live. This gives you a chance to go through the layouts the theme has available, see if you like it, add your own products and images and see if they work well with that theme. As far as I know, there isn’t a limit to how many themes you can test.
4. Select a Shopify built theme
Most of the themes are built by third party developers but there are some ‘Shopify’ built themes like Dawn & Refresh. The nice thing about these is that they are ‘basic’ but also tend to have, although still limited, nice basic layouts that work for a wide range of businesses. The best part of it though, is a lot of tutorials and even Shopify updates will work on these themes since they are ‘Shopify’ built themes. Plus, they are free so it is a nice little bonus.
5. Choose a page builder
Finally, if you’re still struggling to choose a Shopify theme, it may be best to look into third party page builder apps like Pagefly or Shogun. These work more like drag and drop builders and give more design options however do cost a monthly fee. When working with a page build app like these, I’d recommend opting for a free Shopify theme and choosing a theme that has a ‘header’ & ‘footer’ that you like.
There are definitely a lot of Shopify theme options so I’m sure you’ll find one that you like but I will always recommend focusing on functionality first. I will say Shopify works differently in themes than others since you can’t fully duplicate a site and if you do end up starting fresh, you are starting from ‘scratch’. So take your time, test things out and find one that can work for you for a least a few 1 -2 years, if not more!