Shopify is the undisputed leader of eCommerce platforms. The easy-to-use platform enjoys a 32% market share, with second place WooCommerce only commanding 22%.
So, what makes Shopify so attractive to eCommerce companies? On top of being beginner-friendly, the platform's robust app store offers over 7,000 apps, allowing store owners to add new functionality and capabilities as they grow.
In June 2021, Shopify announced its most significant update ever: Online Store 2.0, better known as Shopify 2.0. This update added a whole host of new features to help Shopify users further customize their stores while improving page load speeds.
Are you thinking of migrating to Shopify 2.0, but need more information on how it works? We’ll help you answer this important question, so you can decide whether it’s the right time to make the switch.
In this article, we’ll discuss what makes Shopify 2.0 so special, as well as provide you with a quick guide on how to migrate to Shopify 2.0.
What is Shopify 2.0? Exploring This Feature-Rich Update
You may be wondering, “Why should I even consider upgrading?”
The truth is: Shopify 2.0 provides you with a lot of notable benefits, including:
- Faster Load Times: A new architecture boosts load speeds, reduces bounce rates, and cart abandonment rates.
- Sleek UI: Shopify 2.0’s new interface makes the platform even easier to use.
- Enhanced Customizations: Quickly create custom sections for any page, rather than just the homepage.
- Build Your Brand: Explore even more opportunities for branded content to truly make the platform your own.
- Better Metadata Management: Improved meta field capabilities make it that much easier to upload and edit products.
There’s a lot to like about Shopify 2.0. Yet, you should thoroughly evaluate your store and the apps you depend on before upgrading.
Evaluate Your Current Theme and Apps Before Upgrading
Themes designed for the first version of Shopify are now called “vintage themes,” and that alone might make you want to upgrade. However, the official Shopify recommendation is to evaluate your current theme and apps before upgrading.
Shopify makes it clear that you do not need to upgrade. Stores with vintage themes will continue to work. So, you should take a step back and evaluate your current theme.
- Do pages load in two seconds or less? (Use a third-party speed test tool like GTmetrix)
- Are you satisfied with the current level of branding?
- Would you use the new custom sections for every page?
On top of these questions, you need to look at every app you’re using and ensure it's compatible with Shopify 2.0. It’s been almost a year since the rollout of Shopify 2.0, so apps will likely work just fine, but you should read each app's documentation to make sure. You don’t want to discover a vital app doesn’t work after you upgrade.
You Can Test the Waters First
You can work with a new Shopify 2.0 theme in your theme library before publishing it and officially migrating to Shopify 2.0. You won't impact the live store until you publish the new theme.
Testing the waters first is an excellent way to see if you’ll benefit from the upgrade. Plus, you can explore Shopify 2.0 without the risk of impacting your website’s performance.
3 Ways You Can Migrate to Shopify 2.0
You’re ready to migrate if you’ve evaluated your current needs and app compatibility. So, how do you upgrade to Shopify 2.0? There are three ways to migrate to the updated platform.
1. Download and Install a Store 2.0 Theme
If you’ve been waiting for a reason to buy a new theme, this is it. You can ditch your old theme entirely and download a new Store 2.0 theme to gain access to the new platform. Like moving between vintage themes, you’ll likely have to customize the new theme to suit your needs.
Related: Our picks for the 3 best Shopify 2.0 themes.
Start by browsing the theme store for a theme that is compatible with Store 2.0. Since Shopify 2.0 was deployed nearly a year ago, you’ll likely have many options to explore. However, if you can’t find the right theme, you can check back in a few months to see what new themes have been added.
2. Download a Store 2.0 Version of Your Theme
Do you love your current theme? The developers of your theme may have deployed a Shopify 2.0 version. The process of migrating with this method is identical to any other theme update, except it can’t be done automatically.
If your current theme doesn’t have a Store 2.0 version, you can contact the developers to see if they’re working on one. Their answer can help you decide if you want to wait, stick with the vintage theme, or find a new Store 2.0 theme.
3. Migrate a Theme Manually
If you aren’t comfortable with these languages, you can work with your developer or hire a developer to handle your migration. The process involves updating the theme architecture to the new JSON templates. You then need to move Liquid or HTML code into the JSON templates.
You can view Shopify’s official documentation on manual migrations if you’d like to go this route.
Enjoy a Faster, More Customizable Shopify Experience
Shopify developed and deployed Store 2.0 to give store owners more control over customization and branding. The new architecture also increases page speed — a key consideration for any company looking to improve SEO.
Upgrading to the new platform can be done by downloading a new theme or updating your current theme. Shopify designed this update to simplify the migration process.
Still on the fence about migrating to Shopify 2.0? Are you looking for a trusted partner to help grow and scale your Shopify store?
Parkfield Commerce is a Shopify Partner that specializes in helping companies excel in D2C eCommerce. Schedule a free consultation with an eCommerce expert today and discover how we can accelerate your growth.