We have been using Shopify for 5 years now and celebrated the announcement and launch of Shopify 2.0 in June last year. What we hadn’t taken into account was how many stores aren’t aware of 2.0 or what it can do. We have had 2 recent website projects for clients that have involved moving to an updated theme and using Shopify 2.0. During the last year, we have been able to get to grips with all the new bits and functionality and seen how it improves your Shopify experience. Hence this blog, giving you ore information on what can now be achieved.
One of the biggest shortcomings of the old version of Shopify was the inability to create pages using sections. For years we had butchered together pages by fiddling with the code, but this was limited to a set number of pages and the code just got confusing. Building the homepage of your Shopify store was so simple. You just added a new section and populated it with content. There was a collection of sections you could use, like Video, Hero Banners, Text and Images. It was a thing of beauty. What came as a surprise to all was that you couldn’t replicate this on other pages. You were just left with HTML or WYSIWYG editor.
As well as the sections page builder that we mentioned above there is a whole lot more. So before we dig into pages let’s talk about the other bonuses.
- Speed – It’s much faster (35% The Dawn Theme is 35% faster)
- Rebuilt Dashboard – Easier to use and find things…
- Embeded Apps
- New Reference Theme (Dawn)
- Sections on Every Page
- Multiple Template Options for Products, Pages, Collections etc
- Improvements to Metafields
- Reduced the need for apps
- Better Theme Editor
One of the cornerstones of SEO on your website is speed. Security was obvious and that has gone by the wayside with the automatic SSL certificate in Shopify. What really matters is how fast your store is. Google counts this as one of the most important metrics when it comes to ranking signals.
Having a fast site means the end user will be happy and won’t wander off to another store when they have to watch a picture load. The new version of Shopify 2.0 has been built with a bigger reduction in code. The Developer theme “Dawn”, is 35% faster than its predecessor “Debut”.
This doesn’t become a one-fix-all solution, you still need to reduce file sizes and think about what content might slow your site down. Combined with the reduction in the number of apps required thanks to Shopify 2.0 you should get a faster site.
Sections on Pages
A lot of older Shopify sites that we come across have been built using an app to create specific pages that need more than just text. This includes the likes of Shogun and Gem Pages. Although great tools, the trouble with them is you have to continue to pay for them once you have built the pages. This can add up as with all apps and become a burden fro the business if they want to continue to make changes.
With Shopify 2.0, you don;t need a page builder unless you are making a complicated layout page. Now you have access to sections on each page so you can add sections like products, collections or text and image sections.
The new look editor makes it easy for you to select the section you want to edit. When you hover over a section in the customizer, it lights up blue so you know which section you are going to be editing.
The new version of Shopify 2.0 makes adding apps into sections of the website so much easier. You can now take complete control of the way products are displayed. If you want to show a review app result you can easily add it directly into your product template using the new app embed tool.
You just edit as normal with the customizer and choose to add block. In the results for adding blocks, the choice has now expanded to include any apps you have that can be embedded. No more need for developers.
If you have complicated products that require lots of information to be shared with the customer then you are probably aware of what a metafield is. If not then let us help you.
In plain English, this means areas like Size Charts, Recipes, or Measurements can now be added without using an app. Again a big bonus of Shopify 2.0 is the reduction in the number of apps required to run your store.
After a year of using Shopify 2.0 we can tell you it is a win win. Just the fact you can add sections to multiple pages without touching any code has made our lives so much easier. It will also make the lives of everyday shop owners so much easier.
It is faster, easier to use and embedding apps and metafields has reduced the number of apps required. We all know that app installs leave code in the backend slowing down your site. Even when you stop using the code it hangs around unwanted.
If you are on an old version, don’t just turn it on. You need to explore what might happen and test before you go live. You might lose some functionality from your previous store. Talk to an expert and find out what is involved.