a project of The Pages Media

How to Choose a Theme

Shopify themes are incredibly flexible

One of the motivations for creating this tool, in addition to helping us more easily identify Shopify themes out in the wild, was to help showcase to entrepreneurs just how customizable a Shopify theme can be.

Oftentimes it's very hard to imagine your own brand in a theme if it looks different than the demo store on the Shopify theme store. We're often asked how to pick a Shopify theme, and here is what we often tell folks...

How to pick a Shopify theme

Start with the Shopify theme store

Shopify has a great theme store with a lot of great themes. We recommend starting there. You can filter by industry, price, and more. You can also see a live demo of the theme and see what it looks like on mobile.

Use the unlimited free trial! You don't have to pay for a Shopify theme until you're ready to publish it, or you need to modify the code. This means you can set up a theme's settings and layout completely before spending a dollar on it. We have some demo themes in shops that are over 2 years old. There really isn't a limit on the demo - you only pay when you're ready to use it.

Using the trial and actually trying to set up the theme helps ensure as well the theme settings layouts make sense to you. You should find a good balance between extensive features and not being overwhelmed by all the options available to you.

True to the nature of this tool, we only recommend purchasing themes directly from the Shopify theme store. There are a host of reasons we talk about on our About page but the biggest are that these themes go through rigorous testing to meet the demands of modern day ecommerce.

Consider the functionality

Think about the functionality of the theme when you're trying to consider what is most important to you. While many would consider design first, this is one of the easier aspects of a shop to modify. Functionality is often what you will spend a lot of money on to meet your demands. Either through apps or custom development.

Examples of functionality might be things like a megamenu, quick shop, or a built in bundler (yes, there are themes that offer this functionality out of the box!). While you can achieve any of this functionality through custom theme development or through an app, the costs associated with functionality can really start to stack up.

Consider the design

While design is not the MOST important thing to consider, as we can customize Shopify themes any way necessary, it should still be a consideration. The overall look and feel of the site could be similar to your brands design guide and this will help with develpoment costs or having to be creative with the design and layout.

While we can customize any theme to look like your brand, it's often easier to start with a theme that is already similar to your brand. This will help with development costs and time.

Custom development

When you have chosen a theme, and a lot of times even before, you might find that you need to extend either the design or functionality of your theme. This is where custom Shopify theme development comes in.

In most instances, you'll end up working with an agency or freelancer in order to achieve your goals. This allows you to delegate the design and development to professionals who have experience in web development, design, search engine optimization (SEO), accessibility (a11y), user experience (UX), conversion rate optimization (CRO), and more.

There are even apps on the Shopify app store that can help you when your budget doesn't allow for hiring professionals. One of our favorite recommendations for this is an app called Design Packs. Such apps allow you to add custom pre-built sections to your Shopify theme.

How to use

Regardless of whether you're picking a theme from the theme store, getting a freelancer to help build something more custom, or using apps to customize your store, you can use to help you learn more about how other brands on Shopify are leveraging Shopify themes to reach their customers.

We hope to have reviews and additional information on Shopify themes in the future. Feel free to sign-up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date as we determine best features to build.