By now you may have heard about Shopify 2.0 and are beginning to realise that it isn’t just a passing fad. You still might not understand what all the hype is about though so let me take you through it!
Shopify 2.0 refers to updated Shopify themes which now have more functionality, are easier to build and more flexible making them easier to customise.
The BIG advantages of Shopify 2.0
Shopify 2.0 Sections
In a Shopify 1.0 Theme (what they are calling themes pre-2.0) you might find that you had lots of sections on your homepage you could turn on and off but none, or almost none on other pages like categories, product pages, cart page etc. This meant you had to choose your theme super carefully as your layouts were really predetermined. Depending on your theme you were likely to not be able to move these sections around either.
With a Shopify 2.0 Theme you have lots of different sections available throughout all the different content types, content pages, homepage, product pages – everywhere. Even better you can customise or changes options on each section and change its position (some limitations may apply depending on the theme) so you can get the exact look you are after!
Creating duplicate templates (just a fancy word for layouts) is also a breeze in 2.0 it literally happens with the click of a button.
Faster load times
There has been a streamlining as part of the development of Shopify 2.0 with the new technology comes what we think really is considerably quicker page load times! It is agreed upon by everyone we know that has made the leap from 1.0 to 2.0 that the page load times are a lot quicker.
Easier app integration
Most apps (if they are even required) can be installed in your theme by clicking a button. What makes it even better is once the apps are installed as part of your theme you get app sections. This means that just like the other sections already included in your theme you can adjust settings and locate them pretty much anywhere you like! Trust us – it’s super easy!
Even better though is many apps are now unnecessary as what we were trying to achieve with them is now available natively through 2.0.
I love metafields! They are an absolute GIFT when it comes to large product ranges allowing you to easily categorising things, easily update product content or have a brilliant selection of filters.
Metafields are now seamlessly integrated into Shopify 2.0 themes and depending on your theme you can use them in some pretty epic ways. You can create some awesome store filters removing the need for a separate app to do this and so much more!
So how do you know if you are ready to make the switch to Shopify 2.0?
Let me first start with if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – a rule I learned very early on building websites. If you have a Shopify 1.0 store that is working like a dream, converting well and lightening fast you have at this stage no reason to switch across! Shopify have said that upgrading isn’t mandatory.
Some of the things to keep an eye on that indicate you might need to make the decision to move across to a Shopify 2.0 Theme:
Your site is slow, pages take ages to load and you have time to make a cup of coffee when you hit the checkout button!
Lots of Apps
Apps, apps everywhere – if you have lot of apps installed on your site to make it look or behave in a certain way this is not only likely to be costing you lots of money but is probably contributing to a slow site speed. By carefully choosing a Shopify 2.0 theme you are likely to eliminate the need for a lot of these extra apps. This means that the paid apps you remove will save you money and may even “pay” for your theme purchase.
If you are spending lots of money for custom coding by developers to make your site look or behave a certain way, or to update your site contents on a regular basis it may be time to switch. We love developers, especially when we need something done a certain way once or twice. But we hate the thought of you having to pay $100’s of dollars regularly to update your own site. This also comes into play if you want control over all aspects of your site. Shopify 2.0 is awesome for this.
If you want the latest features like video’s in your product pages but located in a certain position. You want a heading but in a specific spot not right at the top of the page. Hello sections! We promise sections will be your best friend!
You may start to find that the apps you want to use are not fully compatible with your Shopify 1.0 site. As more and more apps and themes are being developed specifically for Shopify 2.0 and as developers focus on this, support and updates for Shopify 1.0 themes and apps will start to diminish and this means you may begin to run into difficulties with compatibility and future feature and security upgrades.
Hopefully this helps you decide if and when to make the switch to Shopify 2.0. Although there are a few free Shopify 2.0 themes available I recommend investing in a paid theme as they offer far more customisation and functionality which saves money in the long run by not needing apps. Be sure to do a free trial of an app first and ensure you like the layouts you can create and the functionality it provides before you purchase it.
Sarah runs 3 online stores of her own in the health and fitness space and is the founder of Site Unicorn.
With over 7 years in real world eCommerce web design Sarah specialises in Shopify web development and ensuring your Shopify store is converting at it’s best.
Sarah is a trail runner and dog lover and when she’s not behind the computer you can find her clocking up the kms.