How to Choose the Best Theme for Your Shopify Store

There’s a lot of reasons why you want to start your website with a rock solid theme. 

Sorry, the themes you’ll find on Etsy are probably (probably) not going to give you the best start. I highly recommend looking for themes directly on the Shopify theme store.

There’s a lot that goes into selecting a theme. Here’s how I select the best match for my clients.

  • Start with pen and paper. Sure, it can be enticing to browse and demo themes to find one you like, but this pigeon-holes you creatively and becomes a plug and play process rather than you steering the project. It’s reactive instead of proactive, and will ultimately leave you restless with your final design. Instead, start with a blank slate and list out your high-level goals the features you’ll need to achieve them. Once you have it mapped out, start looking at themes to fit your needs.

Next, take your short list and run through these main deciding factors:

  • Design – Sure, this is the most popular reason themes are picked, but I have a big secret for you: the thing you’re probably most drawn to is the images. Those beautiful glossy images are an easy show stopper.
  • Speed – Now we’re talking. This is the most important thing I look at when selecting a theme. This will surely set you up for success. Most design and functionality can be worked on, but fast speed is a signal of ‘good bones’. Here’s how to test your themes. At the bottom of every theme profile, there’s a feature of stores using that theme. Copy and paste a few of those store urls into Google’s page speed test: https://pagespeed.web.dev. Run the test and make sure it has a good score rating. While each site might score a little differently, testing a few will give you a good average of its performance.
  • Navigation – While most themes can be customized to your delight, the navigation is a tricky spot that’s best left untouched, so make sure you like how the theme displays its menus.
  • Product page – This is another area that’s probably left intact.  

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best Shopify theme for your store:

  1. Functionality: Consider the functionality you need for your store. Do you need a theme that supports a large number of products? Do you need a theme with advanced filtering options? Do you need a theme that supports video content? Make a list of the must-have features and functionality you need before choosing a theme.
  2. Design: Look for a theme that matches your brand and provides a good user experience for your customers. Consider the color scheme, font, and layout of the theme. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the theme have a professional look and feel?
  3. Mobile responsiveness: With more and more customers shopping on mobile devices, it’s important to choose a theme that is optimized for mobile. Make sure the theme is mobile responsive and that the design is optimized for smaller screens.
  4. Support: Look for a theme that offers good support. Check if the theme developer provides documentation, tutorials, and a support forum. You want to choose a theme that has a strong support system in case you run into any issues or need help customizing the theme.
  5. Reviews: Check out the reviews and ratings of the theme before purchasing it. Look for themes with high ratings and positive reviews. This can give you an idea of how other users have experienced the theme and whether it’s worth investing in.
  6. Customizability: Consider how easy it is to customize the theme to fit your needs. Look for themes that provide a lot of customization options, such as the ability to change colors, fonts, and layout. Make sure the theme is flexible enough to allow you to make changes without needing to hire a developer.
  7. Price: Consider your budget when choosing a theme. Shopify offers both free and paid themes, with prices ranging from free to $350. While some paid themes may offer more advanced features, there are also many high-quality free themes available.

Need a good starting place? Here are my favorite Shopify themes:

Prestige – a versatile theme that’s great for a variety of businesses, including fashion and beauty stores.

Broadcast – a visually stunning theme that’s great for storytelling and creating an immersive shopping experience.

Turbo – a premium theme that’s known for its speed and customization options, making it a great choice for high-volume stores.

Craft – a free and popular theme with a minimalist design that’s great for small businesses.

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other popular themes depending on the specific needs of your business. It’s always a good idea to research and compare different themes before making a final decision.


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I'm Alli Clough

I’m a web designer, email nerd, and numbers girl. I design and manage online stores for 1m+ brands from a sunny home office. After 18 years in the biz, I’ve tried and tested a lot of tools and strategies, and have the numbers to back up some big decisions you might be hung up on.

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