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Shopify page templates allow retailers to quickly launch new content with a uniform look and feel. This approach is so simple and efficient that it's possible to go from new account creation to a functional, live Shopify store in just 15 minutes.
That's likely one of the reasons why Shopify boasts more than 500,000 active retailers on its hosted platform and has driven more than $40 billion worth of sales worldwide.
In this article, we'll learn about how Shopify page templates are used, how to find yours and how to quickly customize page templates in your Shopify store.
What are Shopify Page Templates?
A Shopify page template is a predesigned, custom set of layout options used to change the way one or more pages appears when the page is displayed online. This includes things like the formatting and layout of the content as it appears on the page. It can also include the font, style and graphics.
In Shopify, every page uses a default layout when you create a new page. This default template is automatically used unless you choose another page template.
Why You Should Use Them
The primary benefit to page templates is the ease at which content can be published in a uniform way.
In the past, retailers had to hard code every page on a website. To maintain a consistent look and layout, the code would have to be manually replicated from one page to another. That code would then have to be edited to included the content for the new page. If any changes had to be made to layout or design, those pages would have to be individually updated and tested.
Using page templates in Shopify simplifies the process. Content can be assigned a template with a single click. Any changes made to the master page template file will display on all pages currently published using that template.
How to Choose Shopify Page Templates
When creating a page, you'll have the option to choose from a list of predesigned Shopify page templates that will impact how the content is displayed once the page is published and live. The page templates available in Shopify will vary depending on the theme you have installed.
You can view the list of available page templates any time you create a new page in Shopify.
For example, when creating a new page using the default Debut theme in Shopify, there's a limited number of page templates to choose from: the default page template and the page.contact template.
Additional Shopify Page Templates
One Page Shopify Template
Shopify themes also include prebuilt page templates that aren't selectable when creating a new page. These templates are designed for primary pages in your online store.
While you may not be able to choose these templates when creating a new content page, the individual page templates can be seen within the theme editor.
The theme editor also gives you some basic customization options for your Shopify page templates, as well as the ability to edit the code of the individual template files (more on that below).
Note: In order to use any page templates from a theme, that theme will need to be published as the active theme for your Shopify store.
How to Get More Shopify Page Templates
If you want more page templates in Shopify, you have a few options available:
- Create your own alternate template pages from scratch
- Purchase a theme that includes more page templates
- Use a page builder app like Shogun with pre-loaded page templates
1. Create Shopify Page Templates from Scratch
This is arguably the most difficult option — at least for people who aren't familiar with coding or Shopify's Liquid code.
Shopify offers a number of advanced tutorials and support that take you through the process of custom page template creation, adding sections and editing your theme. There's also a great tutorial from Shopify Partner Liam Griffin on how to code custom page templates using Liquid.
2. Access More Page Template Options from Shopify Themes
Each theme available in the Shopify Theme Store will have different features and design options. This includes different page templates.
These extra page templates are in addition to the basic page templates that exist for every Shopify store as seen in the image above. This includes templates for pages including:
- Home page
- Password page (for limiting access to stores before launch)
- Collection pages
- Collections list
- Shopping cart
- 404 error page
- Contact page
Out of the Sandbox is a well-known theme developer for Shopify with a number of premium themes available on the Shopify Theme Store. Many of those themes include additional page templates you can use to change the way content is shown.
Here are few examples of page templates offered in their Shopify themes:
The page.multi-column template creates multiple columns in a page using a split function, saving retailers from having to mess with code in order to add content modules in columns.
The page.narrow template reduces the content field of the default page template, creating more whitespace on either side of your content. This makes skimming and reading content easier on the consumer.
The image below from Out of the Sandbox compares the narrow page template with the default page template in Shopify.
There's also an alternate page template, page.wide, that makes the content of the page the full width of the browser window.
One of the more popular page templates is the sidebar.
Shopify, by default, has no real native functionality supporting customizable sidebar content at the time of this writing.
This page template from Out of the Sandbox adds a sidebar to the left-hand side of any page you create. You can either populate that sidebar with navigation links or other content from your site.
We've got a more detailed guide on how to add a sidebar to your Shopify store here if you want to learn more.
3. Get More Shopify Page Templates with Shogun
You don't necessarily have to buy a premium theme to get access to more page templates in Shopify.
While the visual drag-and-drop editor in our Shogun Page Builder makes it easy to design custom Shopify pages in just a few clicks, building pages from scratch can still be a headache sometimes.
That's why we've included dozens of pre-made page templates tested and proven to perform in ecommerce stores.
Check out this quick video tutorial showing how easy it is to choose and customize page templates in Shopify using Shogun:
How to Edit Shopify Page Templates
There are two ways you can edit the page templates loaded into your Shopify theme.
The first is to manually edit the template file in Shopify. You can do this by navigating to Online Store > Themes in your Shopify admin dashboard.
Once here, click on Customize next to your current theme.
When the customization window opens, select the page template you want to modify in the upper dropdown menu. Once chosen, you'll be able to make basic changes to the sections and content coded into that page template.
If you want to make any other changes to the Shopify page template, like alter the layout or add sections not currently available, then you'll need to edit the code for the individual template files.
For more information, check out our detailed visual guide on how to edit Shopify theme files and page templates.
Or, for another option, use a visual editor like Shogun.
Edit Shopify Page Templates Easily with Shogun
If you're not quite happy with the way your page templates look and function in Shopify, Shogun makes it easy to customize them with just a few clicks.
Once Shogun is connected to your Shopify store, you can import all your pages and template files. From there, you can use the visual editor to adjust the placement of content, add any element and sections you like and republish the content on your Shopify store.
All without editing code.
Are Special Page Templates Really that Important?
You don't necessarily need a different page template for every page in your Shopify store. But custom page templates do come with a number of benefits.
We've already mentioned how page templates make it easy to change your layout across multiple page using the same template.
In addition, prebuilt Shopify page templates:
- Make deployment of custom landing pages faster for marketing campaigns
- Allow you to present content in the best light for specific types of pages
- Focus the visitors attention based on how they found your store
- Increase the chances for a conversion from a new visitor
You read that right; your custom page templates can have an impact on whether or not a customer makes a purchase from your store.
In fact, we recently shared a study from Marketing Charts that compared conversion data between custom landing pages and standard product pages. The results showed a significant gap in performance.
From the image above, we can see:
- There are more pages viewed per session when landing on a custom page template
- High conversion rates for custom landing pages
- Double the revenue per sessions with custom page templates
Kickstart Ecommerce Growth with Shopify Page Templates
Shopify Page Designer
Not only do page templates make it easier to load new content and edit existing content, the templates you use in Shopify can also improve revenue by streamlining the customer's shopping experience. You can get more templates with the purchase of a premium theme or through using the Shogun Page Builder app for Shopify.
Whether you're promoting individual products or categories, or you need a custom template page for your marketing campaigns, use the information above to help you take control of how content is displayed in your Shopify store.
There are Shopify themes available for every kind of online store.
For example, an electronics store looking for an energetic and sleek design should be happy with Kingdom...... single-product stores will find the perfect match in Parallax...
... single-product stores will find the perfect match in Parallax...
... and Empire is an excellent fit for stores with a large product catalog.
A new Shopify account comes with the Debut theme by default. In this guide, we'll show you how to switch to one of the many other Shopify themes that are available.
How to Change Your Shopify Theme
You can see the current theme of your store by logging into your Shopify dashboard and visiting the “Themes” section using the navigation panel.
If you haven't installed any other themes then you'll only have the Debut theme listed here by default.
You're free to add up to 20 themes to your theme library (including the default theme). At any time you can make customizations to individual themes or change your Shopify theme to any another theme you've installed.
Note that just because you install a theme to your library doesn't mean that theme is active. Whatever theme is active and published will be listed in the 'Current Theme' section of the Themes page. The remainder will be listed below it under 'More Themes'.
To Change Your Active Theme in Shopify
Step 1: Navigate to the Theme Dashboard
Once you're logged into your Shopify admin panel, use the navigation pane to go to Online Store > Themes.
Step 2: Find Your New Theme
To change your Shopify theme, find the new theme in the 'More Themes' section of the Themes page.
Click on Actions > Publish for your desired theme.
Step 3: Publish Your New Theme
In the Publish window that appears for the new theme, click 'Publish'. This will make the new theme active and will deactivate your old theme, moving it to the 'More Themes' section.
Remember, you can only have one active theme at a time.
Your Content Is Safe When Changing Themes
Any content you've loaded into your site prior to changing themes will remain. This includes changes to your home page, contact information, collection pages, products, and new pages you've created.
A key thing to remember is that any changes made to the code or template files of your theme may not carry over to the new theme. When you activate a new theme, the template files for that theme replace previous template files.
For example, if you edited the code to add sidebar options to a specific template file in your previous theme, those changes may not be present when you change your Shopify theme. You'll likely need to replicate your changes in the new theme if there are custom features or design elements you want to carry over.
Your previous customizations aren't lost, though.
Any customizations you made to the previous theme will be saved. This allows you to quickly revert with nothing lost if you're not happy after changing your theme in Shopify.
How to Change Your Theme - Acquiring New Themes
There are two ways to acquire a new theme if you want to change your theme in Shopify.
- Purchase a free or premium theme from the Shopify store
- Upload a theme your purchased elsewhere
The most common way is to use Shopify's Theme Store, which is loaded with a variety of themes categorized based on collections and industries.
The Shopify Theme Store includes free as well as premium themes, each with their own unique features and layouts to help you find a fitting design for your online store.
Each of the themes in Shopify's store include a link to see a live preview, like a test-drive, to help you take the theme for a spin before choosing it or buying into a premium theme.
Best One Page Shopify Theme
Speck and Stone is an online retailer hosted on the Shopify platform, and it was built using the Brooklyn (free) theme from Shopify.
Check out our updated guide on the best Shopify themes for 2019 for more great free and premium options.
Once you're ready, you can install the theme to your library right from the Shopify Theme Store. Once installed, it's available to customize and publish whenever you're ready to change your Shopify theme.
Uploading your own theme
Shopify themes are also available outside the Shopify Theme Store. 3rd party developers offer a variety of themes for Shopify, coded using Shopify's custom Liquid code.
If you purchase a theme from a reputable 3rd party, you can upload the theme files through your Admin dashboard. Once uploaded, your new theme will appear in the theme library just like those purchased from the Shopify Theme Store, and are ready to be customized and published once visible.
Free Shopify Themes Download
What to Consider When Changing Your Shopify Theme
When choosing a theme for your Shopify store, don't focus too intently on whether or not you like the way the theme preview looks. There are a number of factors you should keep in mind before you change your Shopify theme.
Not only is this a visual representation of your business, but the theme you choose can have an impact on the performance of your store.
One study found that 75% of consumers state that poor web design and functionality can impact their trust with a new site. If your store feels thrown together, with a poor user experience, you'll struggle to gain consumer trust and you'll likely struggle with high cart abandonment and bounce rates.
Try not to base your choice on the colors or style elements in the preview because any theme will let you customize these options. Instead, Shopify recommends asking yourself a series of questions when you're shopping to change your Shopify theme:
- What kind of experience am I trying to create for my customer?
- What are some desired features I want for my store?
- What are my competitors doing that I like, and how can I emulate it?
- How do I want my products to be displayed?
- How many products will I be displaying on my store?
- Do I want a paid or free theme?
Some additional things to consider when preparing to change your Shopify theme to something new:
- Consider whether your products and categories will work with the theme as is, or if custom code will be needed
- Think about how much content you want on your store; is the theme capable of displaying your content properly?
- Understand how content gets displayed and make sure you have the assets for it; does the theme require big hero images with text overlays?
- Will your logo and brand sit well with the layout and design of the theme?
Make sure you can get support for the theme; are the developers reachable or is there an active support community for the theme?
It's not about whether or not you like it; it's about how the theme and its options will impact the consumer shopping experience.
Easily Customize Your Theme with Shogun
The first step of changing your Shopify theme is complete - now it's time to have some fun. Once you've chosen a theme that meets your needs for the look and feel of your online store, it's time to customize it. Virtually every theme from Shopify is loaded with options to help you customize it to fit your unique brand. You can use your Shopify admin dashboard to make basic changes or take customization to the next level with the Shogun App for Shopify.
Once you've made the theme your own, it's time to make it live. Follow the steps above to change your Shopify theme, click publish, and let your customers check out the new design of your online store.