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Designing your Website with Shopify 2.0 Themes

In July 2021 Shopify rolled out their new version of the platform called Shopify 2.0. As someone who works on Shopify all day, every day this was a much anticipated update because it finally gave us “sections everywhere.”  

If you are starting a brand new Shopify store use this link to start your free 14 day trial! Start Trial

The older version of Shopify had sections on the homepages which meant that the homepage was really flexible in terms of layout and design options but for most themes the flexibility stopped there. A few good themes would have the ability to make one more semi-sectioned page but it wasn’t nearly as flexible as the homepages. Otherwise you needed a developer to create pages with better design options. 

If you want to know more about the changes that Shopify 2.0 brought to the platform listen to my podcast episode with Heather Tovey who is a Shopify Developer.

The ability to have sections everywhere means creating more dynamic and engaging pages on your site is much easier than ever. The other new feature that is changing the Shopify game is the ability to easily create page templates using those sections. Which means you can also create landing pages and different styles of pages all in the same template. 

 

However, these options have NOT been added to all Shopify themes. Of course it takes time for the theme developers to make these changes and then they have to be verified by Shopify before they can be published in the Theme Store. It can be a lengthy process.

The good news is there are already a lot of great themes that have these new options available for you to use now! 


Let’s talk about some of our favorite Shopify 2.0 themes! 

1 -Turbo + Flex from Out of the Sandbox 

Screenshot of the Turbo Shopify theme demo by Out of the Sandbox

Turbo

Flex

These two themes are our top contenders for Favorite Theme Ever just slightly edging out #2 which is our most used theme. In fact, I’m such a fan of Turbo this website you are reading this blog post on was created with Turbo! 

*As a note, I am an Out of the Sandbox affiliate and only share because I truly love these themes and have used them many times. 

Turbo and Flex are very similar and include a lot of the same sections and options. The Flex theme has a few more options for customization. 

The Turbo theme is $400 and Flex is $485. 

Use our link to save 10% when you purchase a theme from Out of the Sandbox. 

Visit Out of the Sandbox 

My favorite features of these themes include: 

  • CSS box in every section (this makes it easier for designers and developers to changes the styles of theme like the font, sizing, colors, etc.) 
  • Large variety of section options compared to other theme
  • Multiple header (and footer) layouts
  • Some sections include the option to change the background and font colors individually
  • Some sections have the option for full-width in the customizer
  • Really thorough documentation by the developers

Pro-tip: Before you buy a theme review the theme documentation created by the developers to make sure they have adequate support. The documentation usually has helpful info to make building your site easier, like recommended image sizes, guides to use different features, how to get the most of the customization options, etc. 

We have worked with these themes several times including a recent launch for  Shannon Westmeyer (Turbo) and an ongoing project with our client,  Krysset (Flex). 

And to be fully transparent, let’s talk about some of the cons to these themes. 

  • They are on the more pricey side compared to other Shopify themes. 
  • Because the themes are so flexible it can be a little bit too overwhelming for DIYers to understand all the different settings.

One thing to note about Turbo and Flex specifically is that you have to buy them directly from the developer’s website. Typically, I like to buy themes directly from the Shopify store because they are easier to update and you know that theme has passed the requirement standards set by Shopify. However, OOTS has other themes that are available in the Shopify Theme Store which ease some of the worries/stress about buying a theme from a less reputable source. I’ve also talked with their support several times in the past, which gives me confidence when using these themes.

I’ve talked about thisbefore on the podcast, when you buy a theme from a place like Theme Forest, Creative Market or Etsy, those developers aren’t required to provide support or follow the same standards. I’ve also seen people on these third-party blatantly ripping off themes from the Shopify Theme Store and the developer who created them, which means you could inadvertently be using stolen theme files. 

If you like the Out of the Sandbox theme style but want a theme from the Shopify store I recommendResponsive. 

The rest of the themes on this list are from the Shopify theme store which means you can try them out on your Shopify account before purchasing. 

2-Impulse Theme by Archetype Themes

Screenshot of Impulse Shopify theme

The Impulse theme has always been my go-to theme. I love it’s versatility and flexibility. It feels very high end and has a lot of features that make it one of my favorites. 

In fact, all of the themes by Archetype Themes should fall under number two. I’ve used all of them and stand behind their capabilities. (Here’s a list of all their themes.)

My favorite features include: 

  • Modern full width design options and the ability to over stack images
  • Product filtering built in to the sidebar 
  • Has a mega menu option to help with organization
  • Options for product descriptions (tabs, size chart, color swatches, etc) 
  • The custom content section is extremely flexible and can be used for almost anything! 

When I compare the Impulse to other themes the t only things I don’t love about this theme is that it… 

  • It doesn’t have a CSS box for each section so any tweaks have to be done in the stylesheet, which really isn’t that big of a deal but having it in the customizer saves so much time. 
  • Few options for header layouts 

We’ve used the Impulse theme on a lot of our client projects, some of my favorites includeThe Fox and Stone,The Roan Cow,Bella Vida Candles, andCozure. What I love most is that none of these sites look like the others. 

We do heavily customize our sites with CSS and coding but having a great theme foundation is what makes that possible. I’m pretty sure old holey socks would look good on the Impulse theme. 

3 -Flow by Eight

Screenshot of Flow Shopify theme

It’s been a few years since I built a new store using Flow but when I saw they had updated their theme to 2.0 I wanted to check out the new updates and they are awesome. 

I personally love the modular, boxy style of the Flow design. There’s just something about sharp corners and straight lines that pulls me. The design is very heavily designed with photography, especially horizontal images. 

My favorite features include: 

  • The whole theme is full of really great animations that make for an engaging experience for viewers
  • The gallery section is a great way to show off products that are linkable. 
  • Built in colors schemes which you can apply to different sections to easily change background and button colors. 
  • There are a lot of ways to customize the header (one of the easiest ways to make a theme feel more custom) 
  • Includes a custom HTML section AND a custom Liquid section for adding features that aren’t built in

To see all the themes that have been updated to work with the new 2.0 options by visiting the Shopify theme store. Beyond updating the themes for merchants, Shopify also updated the landing pages for each theme. The new pages include a lot more information so you can see the types of sections each theme has, features that the theme includes, and links to stores using that theme. 

Keep in mind that not every developer includes all this info, which is super annoying.

If you are starting a brand new Shopify store use this link to start your free 14 day trial!  Start Trial


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