Why Shopify Online Store 2.0 is a Significant Upgrade v.s 1.0

Why Shopify Online Store 2.0 is a Significant Upgrade v.s 1.0

These days, many Shopify themes are built on the new Shopify 2.0 framework, but what does that mean for business owners like you? In today's article, we'll walk you through what makes Online Store 2.0 that much different from 1.0 and how you can take advantage of the upgrade to the fullest extent.

What is Shopify 2.0?

Shopify 2.0 is a significant update to the Shopify platform. In its earliest iteration, Shopify was created to make it easy to start selling things online. Built for entrepreneurs with a product to sell, Shopify 1.0 made it easy to grab a template, alter some design and make it yours. Its ability to accept payments right out of the box enticed many online retailers to choose this platform.

For those readers who built their own website using Shopify 1.0, you'll probably agree that the original framework was "rigid." And as a Shopify development agency, we'd second that opinion.

Themes that were built before the upgrade had limited customizations. You'd need to be happy with the base features of your theme and integrate third-party apps to get additional features. Themes on Shopify 2.0 still require third-party apps for some features, but what comes standard is what truly makes the difference.

Let's take a look at what those standard features are.

The Benefits of Shopify Online Store 2.0 for Store Owners

Here at Commence Studio, we're in love with Shopify. We recommend it for all of our eCommerce partners and have built semi-custom and fully-custom websites based on our partner's specifications. With the upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0, we found that some stores' themes weren't compatible with the new system and couldn't take advantage of the additional benefits 2.0 brought about. Some projects required an upgrade to their theme while others were a completely new build - one thing is for sure, they wanted to take advantage of the latest features. Here are some of the benefits that they've noticed about 2.0 v.s 1.0

Easier to add page sections

With the update, building out pages on your store is much easier. Adding sections to enhance product pages with additional benefits, tables and photos are now as easy pie. Before, store owners couldn't add, remove or rearrange sections outside the homepage. With the changes that 2.0 brought to the table, you can now add rich flexible content to most pages, including your about, contact, and product pages.

Websites are faster

Our partners have noticed that stores on 2.0 have gotten a speed upgrade. The reason for that? Some features that required 3rd party apps have now been included in the base-level theme of Shopify. Less 3rd party integrations mean less code and faster loading times for prospective customers.

More efficient

The interface is designed to make it easier for you to fulfill orders faster by reducing clicks when adding products or editing your store settings.

Add App Functionality Anywhere

Now, installing and using apps is easier than ever. You'll no longer need to touch your theme's code when you install it, and as a bonus, you'll be able to use those features virtually anywhere using "app blocks."

Add Dynamic, Custom Meta field values

Let's say you sell a CBD lotion in a few different sizes. You want to list how many uses your customers can expect from each of the different sizes. By using dynamic meta fields, you'll be able to populate that data in the blink of an eye, creating a better experience for your customer without too much manual labor. Learn more about that on Shopify's website.

With these additional features, both customers and business owners can agree that Shopify just got a whole lot better.

The Benefits of Shopify 2.0 for Developers

Shopify 2.0 has been built from scratch with merchants in mind, focusing on making selling easier and more efficient than ever before.

How you ask? One of the most important aspects of Shopify 2.0 is how it changes the way templates are built. With its new architecture, themes will need to be coded to support the new features and functionality that come with it. Any theme you develop now will need to be upgraded for compatibility with Shopify 2.0. If you have a theme in the pipeline that was coded for Online Store 1.0, the bad news is that you'll have to restructure it for the updated architecture. The good news is that building themes has become even easier.

Forget about toggling between multiple screens to edit a theme. Today, developers can make these changes and implement custom features effortlessly within the same window. They’ve also added new development tools, features, and APIs to enhance your eCommerce experience even more!

How do I Upgrade from Shopify 1.0 to 2.0?

If you don't have a custom theme, we have great news! You might already have access to these incredible features. The update from 1.0 to 2.0 was automatically done a while back. However, some themes didn't get updates to the new framework meaning they can't take advantage of all of the benefits we've listed above.

To find out if your current theme offers an upgraded 2.0 theme option, reach out to theme support for instructions on utilizing the upgraded version.

In the rare circumstance that you've got a fully custom-coded theme or an altered theme, you'll have to alter it by making changes to your code.

Migrating Your Theme Manually

We wouldn't recommend this option if you don't have experience coding websites. Instead, we'd suggest hiring a Shopify developer to upgrade your current theme to Online Store 2.0. By migrating your existing theme templates to the new theme architecture, you can upgrade your existing theme to Online Store 2.0.

We recommend you upgrade to Online Store 2.0 only if you have previously edited HTML, CSS, or Liquid code to create a theme that is uniquely yours. If you're rocking a custom theme that was made just for you, then upgrading it yourself might be difficult. You may want to contact the developer or agency that built the theme to help facilitate the transfer.

Once the structure has been built on Online Store 2.0, you'll need to follow it up by transferring the copy (or text) from the old site to the new one. When you do, think about optimizing your content to capture additional organic search traffic.

Change Your Theme

If the above solution isn't something that you're interested in, it might be time to choose a brand-new theme for your store. Not all themes on the Shopify Theme Store are compatible with Online Store 2.0. If you need help choosing the right theme for your business - Contact Us. We'll be happy to help you create the store of your dreams that looks and feels like your purpose-driven business.

Conclusion

If you want to know more about Shopify 2.0 and its benefits, check out their website. If your store is currently running on older versions of Shopify (that's any version prior to 2), then we’d recommend upgrading as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of these new features.