Shopify Online Store 2.0: The Best Guide For Merchants & Developers

Shopify Online Store 2.0: The Best Guide For Merchants & Developers

This is the ultimate guide to Shopify online store 2.0 in 2022. And let us be very frank with you. This is not your average Shopify 2.0 post. Yes, we’ll cover new features of OS 2.0. But we’ll also show you the benefits of using it over Shopify 1.0.

So without waiting much in the queue, let’s explore the online store 2.0

What is Shopify 2.0? 

Shopify 2.0 is the new eCommerce building platform for developers and merchants. Shopify likes to call it the biggest update in their platforms ever— which also makes it their biggest investment. 😮

But that’s at a macroscopic level. If you look deeper into the microscopic level, you’ll realize the shortcomings of Shopify 1.0 led to Shopify 2.0. 

“If Shopify 1.0 is the cause, Shopify 2.0 is the effect!”


Debut themes endless queries

Do you see the never-ending queries in Shopify 1.0? The ones who suffered the most were non-technical store owners. They had to call in Shopify development services every time they made minor changes.

This surely made the merchant experience very friction-full.

Now Shopify doesn’t claim OS 2.0 is a utopian platform for merchants. The store still may have its share of challenges, but you can say it’s the best platform so far for 

  • developers to design themes and apps
  • merchants to build/edit a simple eCommerce store

What is not Shopify 2.0?

Sometimes, the best way to define a few things is by defining what they’re not. Some of you, including a few experts, are interchangeably using dawn theme (which we will discuss later) with Shopify OS 2.0.

“Well, Shopify 2.0 is not the same as the dawn theme.”

Online Store 2.0 is not the same as the Dawn theme

Yes, the dawn theme takes advantage of Shopify’s new features. And Shopify has made a suite of changes to its features. But it certainly doesn’t have to dictate the way you design your store. 

You may not use the dawn theme at all and yet explore the new Shopify features.

What are the benefits of Shopify 2.0 for merchants?

Shopify 2.0 has many benefits for you if you’re a small business merchant. But the biggest takeaway would be the simplicity and power you get for Shopify theme customization. You have the freedom to create new layouts and pages without touching the code. 

Yes, you heard it right. You have a great level of freedom to customize every Shopify page which you didn’t have earlier. And this wouldn’t have been possible without the most mentioned theme on the Shopify Online Store 2.0— the Dawn theme.

This gets us to the first benefit.

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #1: It is powered with the free Dawn Theme

Though Dawn theme and Shopify store 2.0 are not the same, OS 2.0 is incomplete without it. If you’re looking to create a Shopify store— you may want to use the Dawn theme [1] as the benchmark or base theme.

It’s the replacement of another free theme— the Debut theme. 

Now they’re not mutually exclusive. You can still work on the debut theme, but the Dawn theme is designed with keeping the best-development practices in mind.

Dawn and Debut look pretty much the same on the home page until you start exploring the theme setting. Don’t worry! We’ll get there. 🙂

Dawn theme home page


Dawn theme home page

Debut theme home page


Debut theme home page

Before we explore the nitty-gritty of Dawn theme, let us first install it.

How to install Shopify 2.0 Dawn Theme?

Installing the Dawn theme for a brand new store is quite easy. You can also migrate your store to Dawn theme if you already have an existing eCommerce. But let’s cover the basic Dawn installation now. 

Hold on! We’ve got something to remind you of. If you’re planning a complex store with thousands of pages… they might require some lengthy configuration processes. 

So you really want to be careful this time! Hiring experts to configure your Shopify store setup is a good idea to begin with. 

Let’s get back to installing the Dawn.

  1. Log into the Shopify partners’ account. You’ll see the Shopify 2.0 dashboard.

Shopify partners account page

  1. Select and click the store you’d want to use.

List of shopify stores in the Shopify partners account

  1. You’ll see the store dashboard. Now you can click on “Online store.”

Dashboard for Shopify online store

  1. Select the theme and then go to the free theme.

Explore free Shopify online store 2.0 themes in the dashboard

  1. The pop-up window will display all the free themes. 

List of free Shopify 2.0 themes

  1. Select the Dawn theme and add it to the theme library. 

Add dawn theme to the theme library

  1. Wait for the theme to install. May take a minute or two.

  1. Your Dawn theme is installed. You can customize or take multiple actions on the theme.

What are the advantages of the Shopify Dawn theme?

Well, the question seems incomplete. When you’re trying to find the advantages, what are you finding them against? Because there are many themes that are better than Dawn.

So the real question should be: what are the advantages of the Dawn theme against the Debut theme? Then you can create the comparison model.

Back to the comparison.

  • Dawn theme is 35% faster than Debut. Imagine improving your user engagement, sales, and conversion with lightning fast Dawn.

You can test the speed on the Page Speed Tool [2].

Speed of dawn theme based shopify store on page insight tool


Dawn theme website performance

  • Dawn theme uses all the advanced features of Shopify 2.0. Debut theme on the other hand can’t use all the features of Shopify 2.0 unless you fork the system and hard code. For example, you can use metafields in Dawn, but not in Debut.

  • Dawn works on all browsers. So you can give an omni-browser experience to your users.

  • Dawn theme uses minimal Javascript. Javascript files usually slow down your website. Shopify has minified Javascript files for better theme performance.

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #2: Dawn theme gives amazing customizing options

We’re not shooting blank guns in the sky. Let’s do a comparative analysis between Dawn and Debut to understand Shopify 2.0 features in-depth. To make it simple for you, we will score both themes based on certain criteria. Let’s see who wins.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the Add Sections on homepages

Both Dawn and Debut have similar home pages. You can add up to 16 Shopify sections block in both the themes by clicking on the “Add section.” 

Add section element in dawn theme for Shopify OS 2.0


Dawn theme home page add section elements

Home page for debut theme for Shopify 1.0


Debut theme home page add section elements

But not all the sections are the same in both the themes. Here’s how you compare all the sections in either of the themes.

Blog posts

You can add blog post sections in both themes. But the Dawn theme lets you add images over the post summary. That’s a plus.

Blog posts section in Dawn theme Shopify store


Dawn theme blog post sections

You can add as many blog post summaries with Dawn.

A shopify store model flaunts her jacket through blog post section


Dawn theme’s blog posts example

The Debut theme, on the other hand, only lets you add the post titles and summary.

Blog post section for debut theme in Shopify 1.0


Debut theme blog post sections


Debut theme blog post example

The Dawn blog post summary is more attractive than the debut. So the score is 1-0 in favor of Dawn.


This is one of our favorite sections in the Dawn theme. It lets you create a collage of videos, products, and collection lists.

Collage section in Shopify 2.0 with video, product, and collection elements


Dawn theme collage sections

Real example of collage section with two products for the Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme collage section example

The debut theme doesn’t have a college section. So the score is 2-0, Dawn up.

Collapsible content

Again, the Dawn theme lets you add collapsible content on the home page. It’s amazing if you want the homepage to look clean and still send your message across.

collapsible content segment in the dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme collapsible content sections

Real collapsible content example for the books on the product page of one of the Shopify 2.0 stores


Dawn theme collapsible content example

The Debut theme doesn’t have a collapsible content section. You’ll have to get it coded if you want.

Collection list

The collection list section is similar in both themes. You can categorize your products and put them in these collections. 

Collection list section in the dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme collection list section

Collection list of desk mats, wallets, and weekenders in the dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme collection list example

Plain collection list section in the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme collection list section

Collection list of kids priducts and accessories in the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme collection list example

They’re pretty much the same. So we’ll score both the themes this time.

Contact form

The Dawn theme lets you add a highly-convertible contact form which we’re surprised debut didn’t for so many years.

Plain Contact form for the dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme contact form sections

Contact form example for the dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme contact form example

Again, you know the scores. 🙂

Email signup

Both Dawn and Debut have email signups sections. Dawn calls it email-signups and Debut refers to it as newsletters. Just fancy name-calling from Shopify this time. 😉

Plain Contact form for the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Dawn theme email signup section

Contact form example for the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Dawn theme email signup example

Plain newsletter section for the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme email signup section

Newsletter section for the debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme email signup example

Featured collection

Dawn and Debut, both allow the Featured collection section. You can use this section to highlight featured products.

Featured collection segment in Dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme featured collection section

Real example of Featured collection products including valet tray, leather desk mat, pack bag, iphone 13 case, black water bottle, etc. in Dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme featured collections example

Skeleton of featured collection segment in debut based Shopify 2.0 store


Debut theme featured collection section

Featured collection of summer products for kids in in debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme featured collection example

They pretty much have similar functions. So they share the points.

Featured product

You can add a featured product section on both themes. They both have positives and negatives.

Skeleton of featured product segment in debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Dawn theme featured product section


Debut theme featured product section

fleece crew featured product in debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme featured product example

For example, we feel the share buttons on the Debut theme are more actionable than Dawn. 

Similarly, the overall design of the featured product section is more appealing in the Dawn theme.

So we’ll assign 1 to each.

Image banner

Image banner is our favorite section because it has the maximum impact on the homepage.

Skeleton of image banner section in Dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn theme image banner section

Like most stores, you can use this section at the top of the home page and invoke actions with the help of the buttons.

Here’s what the real use case looks like.

Image banner section with apple products in Dawn based Shopify 2.0 store


Dawn image banner example

Dawn gives you this section. Debut on the other hand has a counterpart— an image with text overlay. We’re not a fan of text overlays because they don’t have buttons.

Skeleton of image with text overlay section in debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme image banner section

Pool of clothes in image banner with copy texts in debut based Shopify 1.0 store


Debut theme image banner example without any CTA

So it was easier for us to decide which was better.

Image with texts

Again, Dawn and Debut, both have an Image with Text section. But Dawn edges a bit ahead because of the CTA button.

Skeleton of image with text section in Shopify's dawn theme


Dawn theme image with texts

Brand example of image with text section in Shopify's dawn theme


Dawn theme image with texts

Skeleton of image with text section in Shopify's debut theme


Debut theme image with texts

Brand example of image with text section in Shopify's debut theme


Debut theme image with texts example

You can use this section to highlight any product and navigate users to the product description page. Since Debut doesn’t have any actionable button again, we have our clear winner in this section as well.


Dawn and Debut let you pair text with images and create multi-columns around them. You call them multicolumn in Dawn and Text columns with images in Debut.

Skeleton of multicolumn section in Shopify's dawn theme


Dawn theme multi-column section

Brand's example of multicolumn section in Shopify's dawn theme


Dawn theme multi-column example


Debut theme text columns with images section

Only the actionable button differentiates the Dawn theme from the Debut theme. And we need not say which theme is more likely to have a button.


Now, this is a bit weird. But the Dawn theme also lets you add the page’s section on the homepage.

Debut doesn’t have any such feature.


Dawn theme page section

Rich text

Dawn has introduced a rich text section to promote your brand and make new announcements.

You can use this segment to welcome your customers.


Dawn theme Rich Text section


Dawn theme Rich Text example

Debut offers the same feature, but with a little less fancy name— custom content.


Dawn theme Custom Content section

We wanted to share the points, but the Debut theme, as always, doesn’t have CTA.


You can tell your brand story with the sliding images. The good news is— both the themes have slideshow sections.


Dawn theme Slideshow section


Dawn theme Slideshow example


Debut theme Slideshow section

But the unfortunate part is— debut misses on clear call-to-action again. So you shouldn’t be surprised with the score-card standing.


For a change, both Dawn and Debut themes make your Shopify store more interactive with video sections.


Dawn theme Video section


Dawn theme Video section example


Debut theme Video section

You can add your brand story or promote any product through video carousels. 


You’d miss the gallery section if you’re switching to the Dawn theme. The gallery section by the Debut theme added a great visual appeal to the users.


Debut theme Gallery section


Debut theme Gallery section example

Unfortunately, Dawn doesn’t feel it is very important. So this time around the Dawn suffered the scoring blow.

Logo list

The exclusion of the logo list in the Dawn theme disappointed us the most. 

Logo list was a great converting segment for brand-conscious people. Yes, you can create collections of brand logos in the Dawn theme as well, but Debut lets you do it in a matter of a few clicks.

To make it work in the Dawn, you’ll have to spend additional time creating different logo tags and dividing your collection pages accordingly.


Debut theme Logo list section

So it was simple for us to score.


Debut theme Logo list section example


The map section is another massive disappointment in the Dawn theme. You can’t add Map to your page… don’t really understand why Shopify chose not to have it in the Dawn.

The Debut theme still lets you put map sections to strengthen your Local SEO efforts.


Debut theme Map section


Debut theme Map section example

The Debut theme steals the number here.


The testimonials section is another shocker for us in the Dawn theme. Maybe Shopify 2.0 wants you to use pre-built testimonial extensions from the store.

Or maybe they want to push the multicolumn section as a new testimonial segment. Whatever the reason is, you’ll have to spend additional time creating high-converting testimonials sections in the Dawn.


Debut theme Testimonials section


Debut theme Testimonials example

So we’re done with the “Add Section” features for both Dawn and Debut themes.

Here’s what the final score looks like for this feature.

Let’s see how they stand for the particular “add section for the homepage.” We still have a long way to go to determine which theme is better.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the sections everywhere feature

We compared how you can add different sections on homepages of both the Dawn and Debut theme. But the Dawn theme wants you to personalize every aspect of your store.

You can now add sections on all the pages of the store and not just the homepage. 

If you’ve used the Debut theme, you already know how limiting the theme was. You couldn’t add sections to any page. You were forced to use the fixed templates. 

In case you wanted customization, you had to use page-building tools that slowed your stores. The worst of all— you had control over your homepage but had to hire expensive Shopify developers to customize every other page.


Dawn theme without “Add sections” on the product page

Shopify 2.0 finally realized how merchant-centric the store should be. So they integrated the “add sections” that we just checked for the homepage on every page. 

Here’s how you can add sections in different pages of your store with the Dawn theme.


Add sections on the product page.


Add sections on the collection page.

You can see the “Add section” feature on the default product and collection pages. Now sections are everywhere. They give you flexible and granular control over the design of your online store.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the app blocks on all the pages

The Dawn theme allows you to add extended functionalities to your sections on all the pages.

Just as you add sections to your pages, you can drill down to an even more granular level and add blocks to the sections. This gives you massive control at the base level as a merchant. 

“If your car is a website and speedo-meter is the section, then speed needle and the fuel tank symbols are the blocks.”

May sound a little confusing but this is what we mean…


Dawn theme add block feature on Homepage

Now you may feel what’s great about it? The Debut did it too. Well, The Debut did let you add blocks on homepages only.


Debut theme add block feature on Homepage

Since you can add sections on all the pages in the Dawn theme, it automatically gives you control to add blocks on all the pages too.


Dawn theme add block feature on product page


Debut theme doesn’t have an “add block” feature on the product page

You can also integrate apps with the themes by simply adding the app blocks like review or testimonial app blocks. You never had the opportunity to do it with the Debut theme. 

Moreover, you needed developers with the Debut who could integrate logic into your theme. The biggest slopeside was— it was extremely difficult for you to add consistent features across the store.

The advantages of app blocks:

  • Theme developers will identify where your app content will go with the help of app block
  • Then you can put your content anywhere they put the block

We think the biggest advantage with App blocks is if you install a new theme, you don’t need to edit the code.

A little configuration, here and there, and your new theme is portable-ready. It’s 

App blocks with the Dawn theme bring in the much-needed consistency to your store. So we have our scorecard ready.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the app modularity

The Dawn theme also uses the app modularity features of Shopify 2.0 quite convincingly. App modularity is nothing but the ease of adding and removing the UI component through the editor without forking the code.

Let’s say you wanted to experiment with different sections and blocks. The Dawn theme eases up the way you interact with the theme editor. You can add, remove, or host an asset on the platform very easily.

We’d rate both Dawn and Debut the same because they pretty much give similar modularity control. See it yourself.


Easily accessible Dawn theme


Easily accessible Debut theme

Here’s the scoreline based on our current breakdowns.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the theme editor

Shopify 2.0 update has also upgraded the overall theme editor. The editor is more merchant-friendly now and saves a lot of time while you’re editing the page’s hierarchy.

The Debut theme was a little inconvenient for merchants to navigate through. But now you can see all the materials in sections in the sidebar.


No tree view in the Debut theme

So you don’t have to go inside the section and make changes to the material. You can skim through the tree view and edit all the materials without diving down to the section.


Tree view in the Dawn theme gives you access to the materials inside the sections

The Dawn theme editor also gives more setting provisions than the Debut theme.


Dawn theme setting controls


Debut theme setting controls

You understand where the Dawn vs the Debut stands.

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the templates

The Debut by Shopify 1.0 dictated the designing terms. You had to use the default templates the Shopify store had. For example, you couldn’t change the default product template.


Default product page template for the Debut theme

There’s no wiggle room for customizing the template. But the Dawn theme takes customization to the next level with the “create template” feature.

Let’s say you’re not satisfied with the inbuilt product page structure. You can create your own product template and deploy it in mass over thousands of product pages.


Create Template feature in the Dawn theme

You can see how making templates on the Dawn theme is so easy. You can save the template and populate content over and over again for all the pages.

So this is our standing so far now. 🙂

Dawn vs Debut: Comparing the meta fields

You have the meta fields in the admin panel that can be a huge time-saver for you. Metafields are great for making those granular changes that you usually give to the developers.

This gives you the ability to

  • customize the storefronts
  • scale content across the website at rapid pace

We rate it one of the best features the Dawn theme borrows from the Shopify 2.0 stores. You couldn’t create your own fields with the debut theme. But how are meta fields different from add block sections?

Well, Metafields let you create anything that you don’t find in the core editor. There are apps in the core editor. But what if you wanted to create customized app fields?


Create Text Metafields in Shopify 2.0

Then you go to the product option in the Shopify store and check for the metafield section at the bottom of the page.


Reflection of Metafields on the products

The happy part is— you’re not using any API or coding to make your Metafields dream come true.

Adding a Metafield will introduce additional information space which you can use to add more content. For example, you wanted to add a size chart, recipe, or ingredient list. Whatever you don’t see in the traditional editor, Metafield helps you fill those caveats. 

The Debut theme doesn’t use this amazing Metafields setting from Shopify 2.0. It means you can’t make your own fields beyond embedded theme fields.

Wish we could give a couple of points to the Dawn theme for this. But we don’t want to sound biased.

And this concludes our customization battle between the Dawn and the Debut.

You can see! Dawn clearly outcompetes Debut.

So if you want to exercise freedom of expression over your Shopify store, the Dawn makes it easier with simple customization features.

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #3: The 2.0 layouts load faster including the checkouts

Of course, Shopify 2.0 was built to overcome the custom limitations with the Debut theme. But speed was another objective to launch Shopify the new theme.

The entire Shopify 2.0 layout loads faster than 1.0. The fresh checkouts load double the pace as it did earlier for you. Even the Debut theme has gotten a bit faster on online store 2.0. 

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #4: More control over the checkout page editor

OS 2.0 also reaps maximum benefits from the checkout applications.

Earlier, you couldn’t change the checkouts if you were not a part of Shopify Plus. You could only do a thing or two— such as 

  • adding your logo
  • color modification

But now you can add checkout apps to your store and customize it a bit now. 

You may need a developer for it. But they can design the checkout apps and install them directly on the checkout page. Well done! Shopify 2.0. 

You’d want to thank these lovely extensions! Shopify 2.0 has also increased the total checkout capacity by 7 times.

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #5: File picking gets simple

We boasted how metafields make Shopify 2.0 a complete eCommerce building package for merchants. 

One of the nicest parts you may like about metafields is they support a lot of content types including large media types like 

  • images, 
  • PDF files, and 
  • JSON.

So you don’t have to hire a coder to hard-code the file type within the theme. You can simply use a file picker to select the media and upload it to the collection or product pages.

Let’s say you wanted to access the images. You simply hop over to the files section in the settings and use them.

So the simple file picking UX of Shopify 2.0 lets you pick any file. Whether you wanted to file a product warranty or a sizing chart, the picker makes it simple.

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #6: Buy Now, Pay Later

Not all customers are created equal. Some may want to pay you immediately to avail discounts. Some may wish to split their high upfront costs in multiple installments. 

Either way, you have to take care of the user experience. The good part with OS 1.0 was— you could do the former one. But the bad part with OS 1.0 was— you couldn’t split the bills into interest-free installments.

Online 2.0 allows your customers to enjoy the “buy now, pay later” solution.

Here’s why you should add the Buy now, pay later [3] feature in your store:

  • small installments can reduce cart abandonment
  • small payment values increase conversion
  • split bills encourage users to buy more (increasing your AOV)

Shopify 2.0 merchant benefit #7: Personalized app recommendations

You may have confused yourself to death in choosing the Shopify apps for your store previously. Not anymore! The apps that work for your niche may not be really useful for others.

We mean to say different stores need different apps. But how do you find what’s most suitable for your Shopify store?

Well, Shopify’s online store 2.0 fix takes up your headache by recommending personalized apps. You 

  • don’t waste your time filtering and trying the most viable apps
  • prevent your store from slowing down with the unnecessary apps

Here’s how Shopify app recommendation works [4]. Shopify 2.0 basically looks for the merchants of a similar niche and lists out the most commonly used apps by them.

What are the benefits of Shopify 2.0 for developers?

You can break down Shopify 2.0 update into two major updates: benefits for merchants and benefits for developers. We have already covered how path-breaking Online Store 2.0 can get for merchants. 

But you can’t discount the amazing upgrades that Shopify gives to the developer’s tools.

If you’re a developer, OS 2.0 opens up great opportunities for you to

  • customize existing themes
  • build new themes
  • develop new apps

All these major tools updates eases up your developing, testing, and deploying processes.

Let’s find what you can do with Shopify 2.0 as a developer.

Shopify 2.0 developers benefit #1: Liquid input setting

You’ll see the major update in how you can add custom liquid codes to the different pages, right from the editor. The new Liquid Input Setting makes it super easy and fun to access the Liquid variables, both global and template-specific Liquid objects.

So even as a coder, you don’t need to change the theme’s code manually, unless it’s very much needed. The liquid input setting is especially useful when you’re adding code for .liquid app files.

You can learn to configure liquid settings in Shopify dev documentation [5]

So whether you want to build a new theme or customize the existing theme, the documentation sweeps away your development pain.

Shopify 2.0 developer benefits #2: Enhanced development tool

You must have lived through the frictional developing experience with Shopify 1.0. But Online Store 2.0 brings in the new processes to develop apps and themes for any project you acquire.

OS 2.0 has introduced a suite of changes in the developing tool. You can:

  • Easily integrate your Shopify files
  • Maneuver your developing and testing processes

You can expect three major changes.

  • Shopify GitHub integration is now available
  • You have a better version of Shopify CLI tool
  • Checking themes with Theme check is possible

Wanted to have a robust theme development experience? These tools improve the sandboxed environment for you. You get brand new version control for local theme development. Then you can streamline your process with a real-time linter.

Let’s check what these tools have to offer in detail.

Shopify 2.0 developers tool #1: Shopify CLI

This is the most decorated update you’ll find in OS 2.0. Until now you have been using CLI to build Shopify apps quickly. The tool also works fantastic if you have to generate Node.js, Ruby on Rails, or even PHP apps.

But did you ever feel like the process was too monotonous and slow? You had to deliver the projects on deadlines, but the Shopify CLI tool wouldn’t let you accelerate the development process?

Well, no more turtle walks with Shopify 2.0. It makes major changes to its settings and voila!! You can now fasten your theme development process.

Here’s why you can speed up your development process and reduce the turnaround time for every project.

  • You can develop and test development changes within the development theme itself. It means… no mindless switching to windows. You already save a lot of time with the preview checks inside of the themes

  • Use the Dawn theme as a starting reference point and keep the process real quick

  • The new dev server changes the Liquid section and Hot-reload CSS. That’s really crucial for faster development staging.

  • Now you can push and publish any theme from the command line.

  • You can build and run theme checks simultaneously. This prevents you from making vast changes later in the stages.

  • Shopify CLI lets you populate product, customer, draft order, or any test order for your theme

Shopify 2.0 developers tool #2: Shopify Github integration

We were surprised Shopify Github integration came so late. But it’s finally here. The integration between Shopify and GitHub means now you can track and manage your theme development much more easily.

Connect the GitHub account with the online store and then push and pull any code changes to the GitHub repo. The biggest advantage is you’ll always be in sync with the existing state of the theme you’ve selected.

More advantages of GitHub integration

  • You can collaborate safely with other developers
  • You get the ability to introduce native support for version control and edit themes
  • Implementing workflow changes gets simple for you
  • You can review the theme on GitHub before populating the live theme
  • The GitHub integration will also sync the production-ready file. All it will do is combine the files with Git subtrees.

Shopify 2.0 developers tool #3: Theme check

Theme Check has to be the biggest relief. It scans the errors in your themes and suggests best development practices. You’d want to use this language server for Liquid and JSON files.

Here’s how you use it.

  • Integrate theme check with Shopify text editors such as Visual studio code.
  • Identify problems in your theme code
  • Check out the syntax errors, performance issues, and missing templates

One good thing about it is— it already comes with the Shopify CLI tool. So there’s no reason to install it separately.

The error message you get has links… if you click on these links, you’ll be redirected to the failed check’s documentation. You can then follow stepwise processes to resolve the errors.

You can also use it as a plugin for other editors.

Shopify 2.0 developers benefit #3: Better access to settings

Shopify 2.0 has come up with the new files API. Remember when you had to go through the terrible hassle of accessing the content through settings/files. It was a task!

But now you can have access to the settings and files content with the new API. It’s nothing but the GraphQL API. The API lets the app to:

  • upload media content
  • select existing media content

So if you had to populate media meta fields with content, you can do it now. Access to this area gives apps an advantage to use any content from the settings.

Another use case for apps would be— you can have these apps using space for images and files that don’t associate with products. Check out the API file documentation [6]

Shopify 2.0 developers benefit #4: Shopify won’t take revenue shares

So Shopify 2.0 is up with a new business model for theme developers. Don’t worry! It’s a good one. You know how Shopify had shut the theme store momentarily. But they have reopened the store for fresh theme entries. You can submit your themes for review.

But that’s only half the good part. The other is the major change! Now you don’t have to share any revenue with Shopify if you make less than $1 million USD.

Here’s the catch— these numbers reset every year. So every year you make revenue lesser than $1 million dollars, Shopify won’t mean for its share.

Once you’ve crossed the limit, you only pay 15 percent revenue share on the incremental earnings.

Other criteria:

  • You’ll need to submit 99$ USD per account… that’s only a one-time submission
  • Shopify theme store will charge you 2.9% processing fee on every transaction

So you have the opportunity to enroll as a trusted theme developer.

How do you migrate to Shopify 2.0?

First of all— it’s not necessary to migrate to Shopify 2.0. You’d want to migrate to the new Shopify OS 2.0 theme only if you want to use new features.

So saying this again, if you think the vintage theme fulfils your requirement, you don’t really need to migrate from Shopify 1.0 to Shopify 2.0.

Now before we get into the multiple migration processes, we’ll consider a few factors before moving our stores. It’s very important if you’re a merchant and want to go for DIY migration.

Things to consider while migrating to Shopify OS 2.0

Not intimidating you but

  • Upgrading your theme may get pretty complex
  • Some of the apps may not work with the Online Store 2.0 themes
  • You may need to refer to your app’s documentation for seamless migration

Things you should do

  • Contact your app developer to avoid incompatibility issues
  • Work on your theme library before going live

Shopify 2.0 migration method #1: Download OS 2.0 from Shopify Theme Store

  1. Go to the Shopify Theme Store

  1. Click on the explore free themes and select your preferred free theme. Confused about which theme to use? Check out the best Shopify 2.0 themes for your store.

  1. Click on try theme

  1. Add your store URL and click ok. The theme installation will progress.

  1. Finally, the new OS 2.0 theme will be added to the store

That’s the first method for you. Now let’s check the second method.

Shopify 2.0 migration method #2: Download the theme from Github

  1. Go to the Shopify Dawn [7] page in Github.

  1. Download the ZIP file

  1. Upload the ZIP file in your theme library

Shopify 2.0 migration method #3: Migrate your theme manually

Here’s what Shopify has to say about manual migration.

Now let’s convert liquid into JSON templates and migrate your theme to Shopify 2.0.

Here are the steps.

  1. Remove {% sections %} tags
  2. Move surrounding code into their own sections
  3. Replace the liquid template with the JSON template
  4. Add in references to the sections into your new JSON template

Before you do this, first click on the edit code.

Step #1: Search and remove {% sections %} tags

We’re migrating 404-page templates. So the first step is to search for the section tag in the code.

You can see there’s no section in the code. So you’re good to go to the next step.

Step #2: Move surrounding code into their own sections

We’re done with two steps. The next step would be deleting the liquid file. Please make sure you have pasted the section code in the new file.. We mean, ensure you’ve done the second step properly.

Step #3: Replace the liquid template with the JSON template

You delete the liquid file in the sections. And then you create a new JSON 404 template. It will give you a nice little code to work on.

Step #4: Add in references to the sections into your new JSON template

Then you add in the references to the sections to the JSON template we just created.

Here are the results for you.

You can repeat this process for all the templates. We recommend you to be very careful while moving the sections. It may escalate from DIY fun to technical hassle in no time.

The better way to go about it is by hiring a Shopify expert.

Frequently asked questions related to Shopify 2.0 migration

Shopify 2.0 migration has certainly raised a few eyebrows. Answers to these queries may ease off the migration process for you. 🙂

Migration query #1: Will Shopify discontinue support from existing themes?

No, Shopify will not discontinue support if you’re using an old theme. Migrating to the new theme is merely a choice. It’s not mandatory yet. You can continue using the legacy theme unless you feel the store needs major upgrades. The only downside of using the legacy theme is you won’t get access to all the new features from Shopify 2.0.

Migration query #2: Will my Shopify store work without migrating to OS 2.0?

Yes, your Shopify store will work irrespective of migrating to the new OS. You may feel a little difference in the theme editor, but you won’t get access to the major feature changes in the Shopify 2.0

Migration query #3: Which Shopify plan includes Online Store 2.0?

You need not choose any specific Shopify plan to benefit from Online Store 2.0. OS 2.0. The Shopify platform itself says it. It’s not a feature that you have to subscribe to. 

You only have to consider a theme that is compatible with Shopify 2.0. For example, you can go with the basic plan and yet enjoy the benefits of OS 2.0 if you have the Dawn theme. But you won’t get access to the advanced features if you’re using a business plan with the Debut theme. So Shopify Online Store 2.0 is more of a structural change than a feature change.

Migration query #4: Will my store perform badly if I don’t switch to Shopify 2.0?

The new Shopify online store is predicated on the idea of fast-loading websites. The Dawn theme, in synergy with the Shopify OS 2.0, gives your customers a faster web experience by 35%. 

Most of your competitors will get control over how they spread their content across the store. So not switching to Shopify 2.0 may not impact your store directly. But will improve the performances of your competitors. You want a similar customization control as the other market players do.

What are the cons of Shopify Online Store 2.0?

We have discussed the benefits of Shopify Store 2.0 in length. But it’s not a utopia yet. There are still some domains where Shopify needs to work a little.

Shopify 2.0 disadvantages #1: You don’t have an immediate support

Although the overall merchant experience on Shopify 2.0 is much better, you may still bump into operational problems in the page editor. Now Shopify does give you technical support.

But you can’t have an immediate solution to your queries.

If you click on the “Get Support” feature, you’ll be pointed to the help center. Then you need to ask the topic.

You’ll have to locate the problem if someone has already asked it. If you don’t find one, you start your thread. But again, the process feels a bit infuriating.

Shopify 2.0 disadvantages #2: You can’t create ad campaign pages

Shopify 2.0 lets you create standard pages like home pages and product pages.

But what if you were launching a PPC campaign or Facebook Ad campaign? You’d want a standalone landing page and that too well within your customized range.

Unfortunately, you can’t do that. You’ll need to hire a developer to create customized landing pages to carry on your Ad campaigns.

What are the misconceptions related to Shopify 2.0?

“There are no harmless misconceptions.”

Shopify 2.0 is new for everyone. So it does bring in a lot of misconceptions with itself.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions:

Shopify 2.0 misconception #1: OS 2.0 and Os 1.0 are mutually exclusive systems

It is not the actual case. If you have followed us till now, we created “404 templates” in the Debut theme. So you could have updated any theme long before even there was Online Store 2.0. That’s like borrowing the features of online 2.0 into OS 1.0.

Shopify 2.0 misconception #2: If you’re using the JSON template, the liquid is no more

Again, this is incorrect. Just because you’re using a JSON template, it doesn’t mean the liquid codes are gone. It simply means the codes are transferred to the sections.

Shopify 2.0 misconception #3: The Dawn theme and Shopify 2.0 stores are the same

Most merchants are confusing the Dawn theme with the Shopify 2.0 and are using the terms interchangeably. But Shopify 2.0 is more of a platform change that is compatible with the Dawn theme’s new features. 

You can consider the Dawn as the subset of the Shopify OS 2.0 that uses these changes to give a better developing experience to merchants.

Frequently asked questions related to Shopify Online Store 2.0

Answers to these frequently asked questions will help you make Shopify 2.0 decisions. Let’s look at them:

Q#1: How much does Shopify 2.0 cost? 

Shopify 2.0 costs you nothing if you already have a paid Shopify store with compatible and free themes such as dawn. But you will have to migrate to the fresh version if you want to reap the benefits of these new features. 

Although you may want to take migration matters in your hand, we recommend you to get your store migrated under the supervision of experts. Migration is the only cost that may incur to you to run your store on Shopify 2.0. 

Q#2: Will all new stores be built on Shopify 2.0?

The new stores built on Shopify 2.0 will be faster, SEO-friendly, and super scalable in terms of placing content anywhere on the store. Most of the businesses will migrate to 2.0 to keep up the competitive advantage over the ones who don’t migrate or build new stores on 2.0.

If most of the businesses have already moved to Shopify 2.0, there’s no point in making a store that isn’t as fast as your nemesis. Another way to look at it is to wait for your theme to get compatible with the Online Store 2.0. You can expect major updates in your existing theme so they keep you up against the competitive market.

Q#3: I don’t want to migrate to Shopify 2.0 – will my existing store not work?

No, your existing store will continue to work. It’s not mandatory for you to migrate if you’re happy with the store performance. You can continue to use Shopify, but you can’t benefit from the new features which your competitors may. So we highly recommend you to migrate because it’s not as expensive as you think.

Q#4: Which plan do you need for Shopify 2.0?

You only need to fulfill two criteria to use Shopify 2.0

First, have a paid Shopify plan (works with any). Second, use a compatible theme with Shopify 2.0.

Q#5: Which themes are compatible with Online Store 2.0?

Free Shopify 2.0 compatible themes.

  • Craft
  • Crave
  • Sense
  • Dawn

You may also choose among other paid compatible themes through the Theme Store [8].

Q#6: When did Shopify 2.0 launch?

Shopify Online Store 2.0 is already out for you with a reference theme called the Dawn. Shopify launched Shopify 2.0 on 29th June 2021. They added plenty of new features such as sections everywhere, customized templates, meta fields, and add blocks for simple merchant and developer experience.

Q#7: Is Shopify 2.0 headless?

Yes, you can create headless stores with Shopify 2.0 as you did with the traditional Shopify stores. Shopify has improved headless commerce API to make it easier for developers and agencies to create headless Shopify stores.

Q#8: What are Shopify Metafields?

Shopify metafields are new features in Shopify Online Store 2.0 that you can use to customize the functionalities and the appearance of your Shopify stores. Metafields let you create and add new content types that are not available on the Shopify theme editor. For example, you can add size guides to your product pages even though the OS 2.0 theme doesn’t provide the field.

Why should you hire Shopify 2.0 experts?

Why do you even need Shopify 2.0 experts if Shopify has already done the heavy lifting for you? 

  • You can customize your pages, 
  • you have more control over content placement… 

What’s the point of mindless spending on expensive experts?

Well, no doubt Shopify has made it easier for you to customize the website, but let’s say 

  • you wanted to customize a layout… 
  • or you wanted to create a highly converting standalone landing page… 

What do you do? 

You’ll feel stuck. All of a sudden, Shopify 2.0 starts limiting you. 

That’s where you need experts who not only understand the brand new version of Shopify but also ensure you’re up against the competitors who already have experts.

“The battle is not between you and your competition, but you and your competition’s Shopify developers.” 

If you think you can compete with their experiences and ideas— well and good. 

But hiring a Shopify custom developer will keep you up with the latest Shopify trends and you’ll no more treat yourself the guinea pig in the market. Here’s how Shopify 2.0 experts will help you.

They troubleshoot your Shopify problems

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows with Shopify 2.0 stores. Your store may face development problems as it grows bigger and more complex. Shopify 2.0 experts will debug your code, understand where the issues lie and troubleshoot the problems.

They integrate third-party apps

App blocks have surely resolved app integration to a certain extent, but you may have to go through a series of complex app integrations as you scale up your business. Shopify 2.0 experts will create as well as integrate third-party apps most suitable for your store.

They migrate your Online Store smoothly

You might feel tempted to migrate your online store 1.0 to Online Store 2.0 yourself. Shopify has even uploaded the migration exercises on their website. But it’s best to have the process delegated to the experts because you want a seamless migration. A little mistake from your end may result in loss of data, traffic, and even conversion.

They optimize your website speed

Shopify 2.0’s new theme is already 35% fast. But that’s not the end of the optimization road. As your store grows— you’ll need to optimize every page. It takes some serious optimization expertise, page speed tests, and many more. Shopify 2.0 experts add a lot more value to your store than relying on Shopify updates only. 

They make your website search-engine friendly

Stores built on Shopify 2.0 give a fast user experience. It’s already one of the ranking signals on search engines. But that’s not the only signal. Your website has to go through rocks and rivers of SEO checklists before showing up on Google. 

We think more than 200 factors affect SEO. Shopify experts not only customize your store but also optimize your store for search engines, making sure you tick mark all the factors. Happy rankings!! 🙂

They help you with platform migration

We’ll give you the cushion of cracking Shopify to Shopify integration. But what if you had to migrate your Magento, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce store to Shopify 2.0? That’s challenging. 

Migration experts have to deal with several trials of complexities before making it happen. So it makes sense you hire a Shopify 2.0 expert for making huge changes to your store like migrating to a whole new platform.

To sum up…

Shopify 2.0 is an all-around update that has some things for everyone.

  1. You have an enhanced theme editor for the store owners
  2. You have improved Shopify development tools for developers
  3. And then, you have the decked up in-house editor for content marketer

You know how quickly the retail landscape is changing. 

“The best time to build a quick Shopify store was half a decade ago. But the second-best time is now!”

And Shopify 2.0 gives you that power to stay at the forefront.

That’s it, folks. What do you think of Shopify 2.0? Have you migrated yet? Let us know in the comments. 🙂

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