Recommended themes for your Shopify store in 2022

Theme selection can be overwhelming cause there are so many different options out there. Anytime decision-making gets too complex, you should have a few guidelines to not overcomplicate the process.

6 min read

Theme selection can be overwhelming cause there are so many different options out there. Anytime decision-making gets too complex, you should have a few guidelines to not overcomplicate the process.

In this article, we help you ease the transition into the Shopify world.

First, we are going to explain a few basics that you need to understand about Shopify themes, next we'll talk about what you should look for in a theme, and finally, we will list our favorite Shopify themes.

Contents of this article:

  • Customizations
  • Coding changes
  • SEO
  • Theme styles and demos

  • Where to get your themes from

  • Free themes
  • Paid themes

What you need to know about Shopify Themes

1. Shopify themes come with customization options

All themes will come with a visual editor that you can use to design your store and make it on-brand. This means choosing colors, backgrounds, fonts, spacing, the position of images, and the navigation style.

However, there are limitations to what you can do. These out-of-the-box settings, will not allow you to fully customize everything. For example, it won't allow you to drag elements around and place them in any position you want. Elements are bound to a certain structure provided by the theme you choose.

So when choosing a theme, pay attention to the overall structure and positioning, but you can ignore things like colors and fonts because they are really easy to change.

2. Shopify themes can be modified with code

While the theme settings that we've mentioned have certain limitations the good news is that all those can be ignored by a web developer.

If you decide to work with a web developer, you will have total freedom with what you can do to your theme. It can look completely different from how it was when you first bought it.

Most of the projects use a theme as a starting point and then we customize the code to make your store feel and look unique.

3. SEO

A common question that many ask is how good is the SEO of a certain theme.

This depends on multiple factors. First of all, if you pick a theme from Shopify Theme Store, it will most likely have very solid SEO. The themes that you see in there go through a very strict review process that ensures they will be up-to-date with Google's latest SEO guidelines.

Second of all, SEO is something that you have to work on as well. A theme that you pick isn't going to do everything for you. SEO is tightly linked to the content on your store. That includes meta titles, meta descriptions, alt text for images, and image names.

Another factor that you should pay attention to is page loading speed. Page loading speed is one of the biggest factors that can help you boost your SEO. So in terms of looking for themes, it is worth looking into one that is fast. Here is an article that can help you decide that. Keep in mind that, fast often means not too many features.

If you like the features of a certain theme but it scores a low-speed ranking, don't worry. Many developers(including us), offer speed optimization services for your store and can help you bring your store to a competitive speed level.

4. Theme styles and demos

If you choose to go with a theme from Shopify's theme market, you will notice that most of them have different styles that you can try out. You can do so by clicking on the 'View demo store'.

A question that comes up a lot is, do I get all the styles if I buy a theme from Shopify? Yes, all styles come with the theme. You can swap between these styles inside the theme's settings like so:

If you decide to buy a theme from outside of Shopify, be careful as some marketplaces charge for each style individually.


Choosing a Shopify theme

Where to get your themes from?

A good place to start looking for themes is Shopify's official store where you can buy themes that are quality-tested by Shopify themselves. Why are we recommending this? Because Shopify has a very high bar when it comes to having a theme approved.

Here are the tests that they do before featuring a theme:

  • How fast it loads.
  • How user-friendly it is.
  • Languages the theme supports
  • Whether the code is high-quality
  • Whether the theme supports various browsers and devices
  • Whether it follows Google's SEO guidelines
  • What kind of features it has
  • If the theme has customer support capabilities

Another place where you can find quality themes is Out of the sandbox. They are an official partner of Shopify they have been making exceptional themes exclusively for the platform for a few years now.

Our Theme recommendations

Next up, we will list our theme selection in no particular order. There is no one-size-fits-all solution because each theme will suit a different type of store. We will split the list into free and paid themes so you can differentiate what's best for your budget.

1. Free themes

For free themes, there's only 1 theme we would recommend.

Dawn is Shopify’s first source-available reference theme with OS 2.0 flexibility and a focus on speed. It’s accessible, performant, and a great starting point to customize on. It works well with most business types, it has great support from the developers and community, and it offers many features out of the box.

Dawn is as easy to customize as possible so that by toggling a few settings you can achieve a differentiated and professional-looking online store. One way this manifests itself in Dawn is through their harmonized color palette. It has simplified color settings by reducing the number of options merchants have to customize, while still providing plenty of room for brand expression.

Not only that, but because of its popularity, you can find help on Shopify's forums if you ever get stuck solving something.

2. Paid themes

Impulse is very well-suited for medium to large-sized merchants because they cover a lot of ground with the functionality that it has. Another strong point of Impulse is its solid design like subtle animations, optimized images, and many other things that are normally harder to implement when you start a store. Last but not least, it has a really good filtering option on your collection pages so you don't need to bother searching for a filtering app in the store.

Turbo came out a couple of years ago and it is one of the most popular themes out there. Its most prominent features are predictive search, quick shop, multi-tag filtering, infinite scrolling, and back-to-stock form.

As of right now, Turbo comes in 6 different variants :

  • Turbo Dubai
  • Turbo Florence
  • Turbo Seoul
  • Turbo Tennessee
  • Turbo Chicago
  • Turbo Portland

Overall, a very good theme to start with as it is strong performing across desktop, mobile, and tablet. The only real downside of the theme is the cost, and the need to purchase a new license for every store you want the theme on.

The Prestige theme is regarded by many as one of the most outstanding themes on the Shopify Theme Store. It offers a high-end and luxurious feel to your website

Prestige is suitable for cosmetics, fashion stores, or businesses specializing in luxury and expensive items, although if you start with this theme, you need to consider having really good images to make it shine.

Empire is one of the best Amazon-style Shopify themes that are suitable for large catalogs and high-volume stores. If you've got lots of products or SKUs that you want to sell, then Empire might be what you are looking for. Besides having great features for a starting theme, Empire also comes at a rather cheap price compared to other themes that you might find on the market.

This theme fits best within the groceries and home appliance niche.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.



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