Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Developing a Shopify Theme

 The Shopify Theme Store is like a dream come true for merchants looking to give their store that perfect, customized look. However, as a shopify developer, coming up with a theme design is not as simple as scrolling through a selection and clicking on details that will generate results in just minutes. There are a few things to consider – especially if you want results that work and feel right! Here are some things that you need to keep in mind before you finalize your Shopify theme design!

  • Familiarize yourself with Liquid

Before you really get into the Shopify development for your theme, you have to learn, be comfortable, and know how to use the template language Liquid. Liquid is the go-between of your Shopify store content and the HTML of the browser. It accesses a store’s specific data and then brings out that data right into the template that you have chosen.

  • Speed Things Up with Timber

Making themes for Shopify can be made significantly faster for Shopify developers  if you use this open source theme framework. It’s a great starting point when you are learning Liquid, acting as a blank theme template that also comes with all the things you will need to build the very first version of your theme. It has snippets, code, and templates that can easily be copied right into your Shopify development projects and modified. Timber is able to simplify the entire theme building process by taking out the task of backend integration. As such, your time is better spent on developing aspects of the front-end design that users actually interact with.

  • Read Guidelines and Processes

It is also imperative for any Shopify developer who wants to work on a theme design to thoroughly read all the guidelines as well as the review process of the Theme Store for Shopify prior to committing to the theme design. In fact, this is something you need to do before you even start out – if only to ensure that your hours of work don’t end up wasted. Keep in mind that there is a very small percentage of themes that get approved in the Shopify Theme Store, so you’d want to do everything to ensure that yours make the cut.

There is a set criteria for assessing the submitted themes, and these rest on layout, overall aesthetics, and the kind of detail present in a submission. Before you submit, make sure that the following are present:

- Three desktop layout mockups for the homepage, collection, and the product pages

 Two mobile layout mockups for the homepage, collection, and the product pages

A short rationale about your choice of design

 Your portfolio website’s link

If you are lucky and your design passes approval, then it is time to start on the coding part of building your theme!
  • Details That Make Your Theme Stand Out
Now that the technical details have been covered, we can then focus on the design aspect. The considerations for this part can really spell the difference between a been-there, done-that kind of theme design and one that has something new and relevant to offer. Again, take note that there are so many submissions to the Theme Store and most of them do not get approved – so you really have to think of something different that sets it apart from what is already out there.

How do you do this? Through a lot of studying. Take a look at what themes are already out there and determine how you can innovate on them. You can also focus on a particular niche industry and zero in on a particular need that has not yet been answered by any of the theme designs. If you are not introducing an innovation, figure out how else you can take what’s already there and redesign it so everything works better, faster, and more efficient. Go the extra mile by reaching out to store owners and find out what they want and need from Shopify theme designs, then start sketching out your first draft that includes the answers to those needs!

Being aware of these things will surely a Shopify developer come up with a theme design that is responsive as well as attractive, passing the standards of Shopify and that of merchants that will use it!

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