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The Best Shopify Themes for Your Online Store

The best Shopify themesSo you recently had an aha moment and decided to start your own business. Or maybe you’ve been running your business for some time and want to take it online. In both cases, you’re likely going to be hitting up the Shopify Theme Store, where you’ll browse, try, and eventually choose the ideal theme for your business. 

Read on for our guide to the best Shopify themes for ecommerce websites.

What is an ecommerce theme?

An ecommerce theme is a website design built specifically to enhance the appeal of your online store, facilitate visual storytelling, showcase featured products, and leverage both custom and core Shopify features. The best Shopify themes are carefully crafted by experts to ensure optimal buyer experience, conversion flows, and responsive design, tailored for performance and accessibility.

The Shopify Theme Store

When you create your online store with Shopify, you can choose a free, multipurpose Shopify theme built by our team, as well as themes built by our trusted Shopify Partners. The selection of themes is constantly growing. In fact, our best Shopify themes are updated every day.

For a full introduction to the best Shopify themes for ecommerce, check out this video:

What’s included in every ecommerce theme 

Edit without touching code

First of all, if you’re not tech savvy, Shopify themes come equipped with all the features you need to ensure a seamless shopping experience, including gift cards, country and language selection, pickup availability, dynamic checkout buttons, predictive search, automatic discounts, Shop Pay installments, customer testimonials, promotional banners, and even unit pricing.

In addition, every Shopify theme offers flexible design settings like drag-and-drop page builder technology, customizable image blocks, and beautiful color palettes, ensuring that your ecommerce website—and, by extension, your brand—looks great.

Obviously, hiring a designer and a developer can get expensive, so whether you’re selecting from free Shopify themes, or going with a premium design, the Shopify Store is a great way to save money.

Obviously, hiring a designer and a developer can get expensive, so whether you’re selecting from free Shopify themes, or going with a premium design, the Shopify Store is a great way to save money.

Performance

Let’s be real: most consumers aren’t willing to wait several seconds for a page to load. With Shopify themes, performance and load speed have been optimized from the beginning.

All the best Shopify themes, as well as those by our trusted Shopify Partners, have been built with modern, flexible features and minimal code. They also have some neat things built in to improve the perception of speed for your buyers.

That’s not to say your theme will always be fast—you’ll still need to follow all of the best practices for site speed and image optimization—but with a Shopify theme, you know you’re starting with the fastest site possible. In fact, all themes on the Shopify Theme Store have to meet strict speed requirements to be sold on the marketplace.

Accessibility

All themes on the Shopify Store are also highly accessible by design, meaning you can increase access to your storefront and conversion for buyers with disabilities. Accessible storefronts open your pool of buyers to 15% of the global population who are living with disabilities.

Themes on the Shopify Theme Store strive to meet modern accessibility requirements, supporting features like product image zoom, keyboard navigation, and screen reader compatibility.

We’re committed to providing out-of-box support for a wide range of assistive technologies with every responsive Shopify theme. In fact, Shopify actually requires theme sellers to make sure users can navigate through an entire theme with only a keyboard and a screen reader.

Support

Lastly, every Shopify theme comes with excellent customer support. If you decide to get a free Shopify theme today, you’ll get an hour of free design time. Our support advisers have tons of ideas on how to use a great Shopify theme to generate more sales.

In addition, our Shopify Partners not only have dedicated support teams, but also provide detailed documentation on each of their themes to answer frequently asked questions and help you set up and leverage all the great features that come with their themes.

That brings us to an important question: What’s the difference between a free Shopify theme and one by our partners?

Free and premium ecommerce themes

Shopify free themes 

Some of the best Shopify themes are also free. If you’re just starting out and getting your feet wet, a free Shopify theme is a great option because Shopify themes are light and flexible. That means that as long as you’re not adding tons of heavy imagery or video to the theme, it will remain super fast.

And if you’re looking to tweak some elements of a Shopify theme to match your branding—say the corner radius of buttons or the layout of an image banner—then free themes are a great option.

A gif displaying different visual settings for a button.

Like the ecommerce website themes created by our trusted Shopify Partners, Shopify’s free themes are tailored to support specific user experiences, catalog sizes, and design aesthetics. Each free responsive theme is pre-configured to support industry trends in apparel, art, health and beauty, home and garden, or food and beverage, so you can find a theme that fits your unique brand and showcases your products. This all means that you could get set up and start selling in less than 24 hours.

Mobile and desktop view of Studio, the latest free theme by Shopify designed with artists and curated collections in mind.

Themes built by our trusted Store Partners

Third-party themes built by our Shopify Partners offer a range of customization options to give you more control. You can get granular with your settings and designs in a way that’s just not possible with a free Shopify theme. For example, many themes offer the option to add animations, allow product details to pop-up on hover, and even change the spacing between letters, to name a few.

And third-party Shopify themes aren’t built by just anyone: they’re by Shopify Partners who have been building themes for more than a decade and meet strict requirements to get listed on the Shopify Theme Store​​. Developing the best Shopify themes possible is our partners’ entire business, so even though we’re not designing them ourselves, you can be sure that a third-party Shopify theme offers great quality and strong customer support.

Desktop view of Be Yours (the Peace preset), a recent theme release by trusted Theme Partner, RoadTheme.

So if you’re a new ecommerce business owner, a free Shopify theme is a great start. If you need more than the basics, go for a theme built by one of our Shopify Partners. You can find the best Shopify themes for your business by visiting the Shopify Theme Store and filtering according to the industry, price, and the kind of design you’re after.

How to choose an ecommerce theme

You’ll soon realize that picking the right Shopify theme for your store is not easy. This isn’t like shopping for a wand in Harry Potter, where the wand chooses you. You’ll have to browse a little. There are lots of elements to consider, but it’s also quite exciting!

Build your feature wishlist

Whether you’re writing down your grocery list or looking to book your next vacation rental, you’re constantly engaged in the exercise of listing your preferences. Choosing the best Shopify theme for your ecommerce store is no different.

The first step I’d recommend taking is putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and asking yourself: What kind of features would they expect on my online store in order to help them make a purchase decision? Your list might include a size guide, an instruction manual, or a lookbook.

Once you feel good about your list of features, try identifying which ones you consider non-negotiable. You can do this while browsing the Shopify Theme Store and using the filtering options to narrow down your search.

Determine your content

Similar to building your wishlist, start thinking about the types of content you will want to surface on your online store. We offer Shopify themes for a range of industries, with features designed to cater to the content customers in those industries are looking for.

Think about what type of information your buyers will need in order to make an informed purchase decision, then look for themes with content and customization options that line up with those needs.

For instance, given the type of products you intend to sell, you may want to include an FAQ section on product pages, an ingredient list, or product dimensions. Knowing what content to account for will make it a lot easier to gut check whether the Shopify themes you’re considering include good ways to display that content.

Find your style

The best Shopify themes all have their own distinct style. When picturing what your ideal online store would look like, think about what aesthetic you hope to achieve.

For example, fashion stores may opt for a minimalist design that keeps the focus on their apparel. If you’re selling spa products, you might want your online store to feel relaxed and luxurious. Alternatively, if you’re selling electronics, you might aim for a Shopify theme that’s energetic and sleek. 

When browsing Shopify theme demos, pay close attention to the use of colors, to the decorative elements, and to the subtle animations that ornate the theme to gauge if the overall style will resonate with your brand. Making sure the style of your chosen Shopify theme conveys your brand image can be as important as the content itself.

Define your budget

The themes available on the Shopify Store come at different price points, including a number of free themes that have been designed internally by Shopify. All other Shopify themes are designed and built by our network of vetted, trusted independent theme designers and agencies. 

When it comes time to choose your theme, you should think about how much you’re willing to spend on the look and feel of your online store. While premium Shopify themes can cost between $150 and $350, they remain a pretty sweet deal considering it’s not uncommon for online businesses to drop tens of thousands of dollars for the design of their website to get the features, look, and feel that can be achieved with a theme from our store.

Try before you buy

When downloading a paid Shopify theme, you don’t actually pay for it until you publish it to your store. This means you can try out a few different Shopify themes for free before deciding which one to go forward with. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few potential themes, try using the Shopify visual builder to add your content and find out if you’ll be able to achieve your desired look and feel.

By then, you’ll have a good idea of the functionality you’ll want, the type of content you’ll need to surface, and the overall aesthetic you’re going for. After playing around with multiple Shopify themes, you will most likely settle on a favorite.

But you’re not done yet. Once you feel confident about your Shopify theme choice, that’s when the real fun begins and you bring your online store to life! Remember that you can always download new Shopify themes to your theme library and customize them in draft mode without impacting your live store. If for any reason you want to change your theme down the road, you can take the time you need to customize a new one before publishing it on your store. 

Browse top Shopify themes for your ecommerce store today

So let’s recap: Choosing the right theme from the start is important, and investing a bit of time to evaluate your needs and trying out different themes upfront will help you make an informed decision.

Whether you’re just starting out or considering switching themes, follow the tips shared in this article to guide you through your decision process and pick the Shopify theme that will make your online store shine.

Best Shopify themes FAQ

Is it worth buying a Shopify theme?

While it does involve some upfront expense, a premium Shopify theme allows you to easily build a modern, customizable website to suit your brand without spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on a completely unique design.

Can I sell my Shopify theme?

If you’re a theme designer, you can become a Shopify Partner and sell your premium Shopify theme to merchants on our platform. To sell your theme, you’ll need to study and follow our Theme Store requirements, then submit your theme for approval.
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