After setting up your Shopify account, the next thing you have to do is to choose a theme. You may use the default or free themes in Shopify, or you can buy one from the Shopify Theme Store. The prices vary, and you must review the themes carefully before deciding which ones to buy.
We will be taking a look at the two types of themes. The first is the free one, and we will show you how to use it. The second is the paid theme, and we will teach you how to install one.
How to Install a Free Theme
There are only ten free themes in Shopify, and they are built for different types of purposes. There is a theme that allows you to showcase only one product, and there are themes where you can upload more than 50 products.
The first thing you have to do is to explore these themes. You can do this by following these steps:
- Log in to your Shopify account
- Once you are in the Home page of your admin panel, click on the Online Store link at the bottom left of the page.
- Click on Themes below the Online Store link and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Click on Explore Free Themes. What happens next is that there is going to be a pop-up window showing you all the free themes available to you.
Once you have selected a theme that you want, just click on the Add to Theme Library button.
The best approach to explore these themes is to open a new browser. Use that second browser to explore the theme, and then check out its demo version. You will be able to decide if the theme you are looking at is the one that is best used for your store.
After you have made a selection and added the theme to your library, follow the steps below to install it:
- Go to Online Store > Themes.
- Scroll down a little bit, then look for that theme you added from the list. The list is on the right side of the page.
In this example, we will click on Customize. After you click this, you need to change the theme’s settings like the colors, featured collections, slide show, footers, and so much more.
As you can see on this photo below, this theme is currently empty. Once you are done with setting up the theme, the last thing to do is to follow the steps shown earlier, but instead of clicking Customize, click on Actions, then click on Publish.
How to Install a Paid Shopify Theme
If you do not like the free themes that Shopify offers, you have the option to buy a premium theme. You can buy it from Shopify, or you can buy it from a web developer.
To buy it directly from Shopify, all you need to do is to browse the Shopify Theme Store. At the Home section of your admin panel, click on Online Store > Themes. Scroll down and instead of exploring free themes, click on Visit Theme Store.
In this screenshot, we are showing a theme called Streamline, which costs $180. We will click that and then explore it. You can click on Try Theme or View Demo.
If you click Try Theme, you can use this theme on your store but only at the back-end channel, which means you cannot publish it. You can exit the theme, preview it, and see how it works. You have to do this before buying the theme because a theme purchase is non-refundable.
If you want to buy the theme, just click on the Buy Theme link, and then follow the payment process. Just click on the Approve Charge button, and you will find that theme in your theme library, ready for you to edit and use.
How to Install a Paid Theme from a ZIP File
If the Shopify Theme Store cannot provide you with the theme you are looking for, the other option is to look for a Shopify theme somewhere else. There are thousands of themes out there that are not sold in the Shopify Theme Store, but you can use them on your Shopify Store.
The thing is that you cannot test these themes. You can only view the demo version from the seller’s website. And once you buy these themes, there is no way you can get a refund.= unless it was specifically mentioned that there is a money-back guarantee.
Here are some tips that should prevent you from being scammed:
- Review the reputation of the theme creator
- Look for feedback from customers who already bought it
- Look at the stores of the customers who are using the theme
- Find out what kind of support you will receive from the provider
As you can see, these theme providers may not be approved by Shopify itself, so a little caution is important.
Once you have purchased the theme you want, you will be able to download it as a ZIP file. A ZIP file is a compressed file that is stored on your computer.
What you need to do is to upload that file to your Shopify store. The rest is up to Shopify. The system will decode it, and make it work like as if it is a part of the Shopify system.
Follow these steps to upload a theme from a ZIP file:
- Log in to your account
- Go to Online Store> Themes
From here, you have to scroll down a little bit, and then look for the Theme Library section. Under that is a button that says Upload Theme.
Click that button and then click on Browse. Your computer will open another window, and all you need to do is to find that ZIP file. Click on that file and then click Open, and the Shopify system will upload it.
After completing these steps, that theme should be in your library, and all you have to do is to follow the same steps like as if you installed the theme from the Shopify Store.
Remember, take the time to review the best themes. Once you have edited a theme and you decide to change it, you will go through the same process all over again.