How to Create a Custom Shopify Theme for Your Ecommerce Business
Creating a Shopify custom theme can help your brand stand out due to stiff competition across industries. A customized Shopify store makes your business unique to potential customers, especially if you are selling a product that’s already on the market.
Shopify provides free and paid themes to help businesses design their e-commerce stores. Many companies use these themes, and it works out for them. However, if you want a more stylish and outstanding store, you need to create a custom Shopify theme.
Unfortunately, customizing your Shopify theme can be daunting if you have never tried it before. So, how can you create a perfect layout that matches your brand? This guide explores the basics of creating a custom Shopify theme from scratch. Keep reading!
Requirements for Shopify Custom Theme Development
Designing a unique theme is not a walk in the park. It requires technical knowledge and expertise. Before customizing your Shopify theme, review the available theme options on Shopify. They can inspire you to build a unique design with considerable differences.
Your new Shopify theme must be different from the available options for your business to stand out among competitors. Figure out what is missing in the existing themes and incorporate them into your theme. That will help you fulfill your business’ specific needs.
As you design a new theme, you must consider what target customers want. They need well-organized content, visible price information, intuitive controls, simple navigation, clear descriptions, and contrast colors that won’t strain their eyes.
Here are some of the essentials you must understand before creating a custom theme.
Learn about Liquid
Liquid is a programming language that helps Shopify store owners create themes. You need to understand the template language to create a new Shopify theme or customize the existing one. If you’ve never used Liquid, worry not because it’s easy to master.
Liquid is the bridge between codes in the customer’s browser and data on your store. It has HTML files with codes embedded in them. So, you don’t need to be a coding expert to use Liquid. But if you are familiar with CSS and HTML, it won’t give you a headache.
Shopify Command Line Interface (CLI)
Shopify CLI tells a computer program what to do. The program issues command like drag-and-drop in lines of text, acquiring the name Command Line Interface. You need to install the Shopify CLI to make changes to your store when creating a custom theme.
When creating a custom Shopify theme, you can use Dawn Theme as your reference point. It’s the default theme that almost every new seller uses on Shopify. You’ll need to save your theme clone in a local directory on your terminal before the clone dawning.
GitHub connects your account with Shopify Store. After customizing your shop with CLI and renaming your repository, the GitHub integration can help you link your Shopify store with the newly created theme.
How to Create a Custom Shopify Theme
A Shopify theme defines your store’s look, feel, and overall design. All the elements in your e-commerce store rest on the theme framework, including your apps, pages, and images. That’s why your theme should be impressive at a glance to attract customers.
Since most e-commerce businesses don’t pay attention to custom themes on Shopify, you can take advantage of that and customize your theme. If you don’t know how to get started, we are delighted to share a few tips on Shopify custom theme development.
Here are the steps to follow when creating a custom Shopify theme for your business.
Plan the Shopify Theme
Before creating a custom Shopify theme, you must have a clear vision of the final theme of your store. The ultimate design should facilitate flow as customers navigate through the shop, from viewing the products to checkout. The Shopify plan should clarify:
- Which pages can customers use to enter the Shopify store when shopping?
- What items will the customers be looking for in your Shopify store at the time?
- What search terms will the clients use to access your product pages quickly?
- What buttons will they click to move to the next step during the shopping
- Where will you embed secondary links or elements like blogs, related items, testimonials, and return policies?
The Shopify theme plan must account for conversion best practices to ensure a fun and enjoyable shopping experience. You don’t have to make it super-technical. Use line drawing to create your website’s layout before adding any decoration.
Add All the Essential Pages
To improve your Shopify store’s navigation, you need to include all the essential web pages in your Shopify custom theme development.
Here are the elements to add to the Shopify store.
- Homepage: This is the web page that shoppers will first visit when they want to know more about your business or brand. It represents your personality, value proposition, and content quality. A homepage should have simple navigation.
- Landing Pages: You can showcase product launches, offers, and unique items on the landing pages. That’s why it must be captivating. So, ensure that the pages are well-placed and attractive. Also, add elements displaying stock levels.
- Product Pages: Product pages contain product information, including product descriptions and testimonials. Consider optimizing the product titles and add-to-cart functionalities to ensure a smooth and seamless customer experience.
- Contact Page: Your Shopify store must have a contact page to help customers reach out to you. Add your contact details to the “Contact Us” page, including the phone number and email address. You can add the contacts to every web page.
- Blog Page: If you want to drive traffic to your Shopify store, consider adding a blog page to the online shop. It will help to boost your website’s ranking and sales. Ensure that the pages are easy to navigate and mobile-responsive.
Install the Shopify CLI on Your Computer
The Shopify CLI is an essential tool for creating a new custom theme on Shopify. All you need to do is download and install the tool on your laptop or desktop to start using it. CLI is available for Windows and macOS, and it’s easy to use.
Clone the Dawn Theme
Using your computer’s terminal app, create a directory to save your theme clone. Once you do that, consider cloning the dawn theme. You can access the theme from a Git repository or Shopify. Upon uploading the theme, you’ll get a local development link and the link to your online store editor, and another to share the theme preview with others.
Sync the GIT Repository to Your Store
Create a Git repository and link it to your cloned theme directory. All the changes made locally will get synced to the created Git repository. It will be easy to add live changes to your online store. Proceed to your Shopify store and click the “Add a Theme” option.
Once you’ve made all the changes and customized your theme locally, push the changes to your Shopify store. Please start with the changes made on the GitHub repository to sync them with the newly created theme on the Shopify theme library. You can preview the theme from the Shopify theme library to see the new changes.