Why Your Shopify Theme is Important
Shopify is built a little differently than other website platforms—your site is always going to start with theme (unless you're starting from scratch with a fully custom site, which is a size-able investment of time and money). Some themes are more like templates, while others provide you with a flexible framework to build your own look and feel. Some themes have limited features (meaning you'll need to install and pay for a lot of apps to get the functionality you want), while others are expansive in the features they offer. There are so many Shopify themes out there and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to find the best ones. In general, we recommend getting your theme from the Shopify theme store because their vetting process is extensive (although there are a few exceptions, including a couple that we selected below).
As a Shopify store owner, your theme is a very important investment, because it can either help you create the look and functionality you want for your site or feel like a hindrance every time you try to update it. Because your theme is so important, a flexible, high-quality theme is always included in the price of every one of Shopify web design packages. We specialize in customizing Shopify themes to look uniquely yours with CSS code, as well as tweaking them to function perfectly for your particular industry and product. With some custom code and the integration of relevant apps, we can make your site look and feel completely custom, without having to write the entire site code from scratch (saving us both time and money!). Plus, after customizing your theme to your brand and products, we provide a library of tutorials to make it easy for you to update without ever having to touch the code.
We've tried many Shopify themes over the years, both in the Shopify theme store and elsewhere. Here are our picks for the best Shopify themes for conversion and design in 2023:
Best Shopify Themes (2023)
We use this theme for the majority of our projects. It's one of (if not the) most expensive out there, but it allows so much flexibility in design. As we mentioned, we can make the site look like it's fully custom, but it's easy for our clients to update after the site is launched. It allows for easy integration of custom CSS to style the site to be on brand and offers so many layout options. Other features we love are customizable mega-menus, multiple header/footer options, product stickers, and dynamic scrolling product pages. The only con with Flex is that it can be slower than other themes, but it does incorporate Google Best Practices for SEO, so this has minimal impact overall.
This theme has many of the same features as Flex, but it's built for Shopify Plus users who want speed. This focus on speed—as well as the mobile experience—helps it improve your conversion rate, while the site still looks fully on-brand and clean in its design. Similar to Flex, it has a ton of flexibility, but if you're DIYing your site and new to Shopify, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to configure the theme to your specifications.
This theme is also super fast with a minimalist, modern design that allows for a ton of customization. In today's video-driven world, this one is also great if you have a lot of video content to showcase. I especially love this one for fashion and beauty brands. The only thing I think that's missing from this theme are drop-down mega-menus from the main navigation. The set-up of the header looks clean and sleek, but it does add extra steps for customers to click and find what they're looking for.
This theme from Presidio Creative is gorgeous (I also love their Quiz Kit app). It has many built-in conversion features including quick shop, shop the look, and upsells. It's great for storytelling about your brand, through both text and visuals. I love the various section layout options, the category visuals at the top of the collection pages, and the design of the product pages.
The Symmetry theme is great for fashion brands as well, or any brand looking for a bold, clean theme that converts. We love the product detail page layout options on this theme, as well as the quick shop options on the collection page. I also love the header and mega-menu layout options, scrolling marquee text or images, and the image layout options in some of the smaller sections.
This theme is great for brands that have a variety of promotion and sales going on, as it has a versatile custom promotion designer built into the theme, including a countdown timer. It's great for shops with a large volume of products and also is very well optimized for mobile.
If you want a theme that doesn't look like any other Shopify theme out there—this is your pick. This theme (unlike most) is typography focused and uses bold type-driven design to make an impact. It's great if you want to have a very modern, clean look and don't have a ton of photography to showcase.
Things to Keep in Mind
Although there are some good free Shopify theme options, we typically always recommend to invest in a premium Shopify theme upfront to save you money (and make you money) in the long run if its within your budget. A free theme often requires more apps to get the functionality you need, which means ongoing monthly costs. Plus, more apps can slow down your site, which can negatively impact your conversion rate.
When looking at a theme, try to ignore the branding and photography shown in the demo sites—anything theme can look basic with basic branding. When considering a theme, you really want to pay attention to the layout options and the available features. Make sure to check out the homepage, product detail pages, and collection pages to really see the full breadth of options. Themes are just a framework, but with CSS and customization, they can look completely custom to your brand.
Overwhelmed by choosing a Shopify theme and figuring out how to maximize and customize it? We're here to help. We create Shopify stores that help you stand out, increase sales, and build brand loyalty. With Shopify Fast Track, by the end of just two weeks, you'll be ready to launch—so you don't have to be stuck in design limbo for months. You'll have a Shopify store with a highly flexible, customizable theme, included in the price of your investment, that will be easy for you to update and adapt as you grow your brand. We'd love to collaborate with you—check out all of our services here.