An introduction to Shopify theme options

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The era of online shopping is upon us. There is no way in 2020 your company not to have an online store and your business to be successful. So let’s make your first online store together. For this purpose we will use one of the most common platforms – Shopify

In the process of creating stores, one of the most important aspects before moving on to the difficult activity is choosing a Shopify theme. Yes, design is a key part here.

What is a Shopify theme?

Shopify theme is a template that sets the style and layout of your online store.

What is the most important part for an online store? To differentiate itself from the competition, and this is exactly what happens through design. That is why choosing a topic is such an important step. For information, there are over 820,000 online stores in the world made on Shopify. Do you want to be different from them or not?

What are my theme options?

You have exactly 3 Shopify theme selection options. They are as follows:

  • Choose a standard theme that is free or sold in their store.
  • Customize a standard theme to make it more personal to your brand.
  • Be yourself! Create a completely personalized theme that is unique to your business.

Let’s look at the types of options and what are their pros and cons. Not everything is always pink and that’s why we are here to help you choose the best.

all Shopify themes

Option 1 – Standard theme

Choosing a standard theme is very easy. This is a template that is either free or can be found in the Shopify store, which you simply install and you’re done. Typically, such topics are chosen by very small, start-up online stores and aim to quickly and easily bring a business online.


  • Fast. Since you choose an already-made template, all you have to do is choose colors, add photos, text and you’re done.
  • Cheap. Some Shopify themes are free, and the maximum amount you will pay for a standard theme will not exceed $180 (300BGN).
  • Easy. You are not a programmer, no problem. With free themes you don’t have to be able to code, because all the code is already written and this makes the process a lot easier.


  • Limited choice. Only 73 standard theme options are available.
  • Equality. With so few topics, you can’t be different. This means that an extremely large number of stores will have the same as your design.
  • Limited features and functionality. Designed for quick installation and launch, standard themes do not meet the needs of larger stores.
  • Little to none control over the code. Standard templates have generic coding created for the masses. This does not allow you to change things behind your site and rewrite the main code.
  • Discrepancy of brand identity. Many stores notice the following problem: If you integrate a standard Shopify theme with a Shopify plug-in, something can break. This discredits your business and you may lose the trust of customers.

Option 2 – Customize standard theme

In the real world we always talk about balance. And here it is, customizing a standard theme is the best option between the cheap and expensive design for your online store. Quite a preferred option, because not only it is .. oops, the pros and cons are listed below.


  • Relatively fast setup. Quick setup, not as much as a standard theme, but achievable in about 2-3 months. Remember that a lot depends on how customized the theme is.
  • More personal, less same. We have not yet reached the unique solution yet, but through this option at least you will not have a twin store. With the right changes, the theme becomes much more personal and reflects the vision of your brand much better.
  • Relatively cheap. Compared to full customization, changing the standard theme involves additional costs. They normally vary depending on the level of customization. Consider if isn’t it the best idea to make your own design if you have a lot of requirements.


  • Limited choice. You still have a choice of 73 standard customization themes.
  • Little control over the code. You still do not have full access to the code and cannot make major changes.

3. Do it yourself!

The third and final option is a favorite of most of the online stores we have worked with. And this is completely normal! The other two options cannot take on large stores, not only as functionality, but also as a custom Shopify theme. The preference for personal design is that it reflects your brand and the store is written especially for you. To make such a unique Shopify website you will need a Shopify expert – a freelancer or agency, you decide!


  • Unique online store. With this option, creating a web store starts from scratch. Built according to your requirements and according to your brand identity, without a doubt your online store will not have a duplicate. 
  • Full control over the code. You no longer have to worry about not having access to the entire code of your store. Instead, you have code that is fully optimized to your specifications and needs.
  • Consistency of brand identity. Or to put it more simply: whether we’re talking about your Shopify web store, integrating plugins into it, or your company’s physical stores, everything will follow the same brand strategy. Through the fonts, images, messages, etc., the consumer will know which is this online store and what it offers.
  • Gold standard features and functionality. What does this mean? We respond immediately. It means that you will have everything you want and it will be created to the highest standards to meet the requirements of your business.
  • Grow fast. By having full control over your website, you ensure stability and can more easily adapt it to grow as your business grows.


  • Time. Making a Shopify store from scratch takes a lot of time. Usually, we at Grind work in a store for about 4-6 months to finish it.
  • Price. Larger investments are needed to enable Shopify experts to design and build an online store from scratch. Remember that the end result is unique to your brand.
  • Ongoing maintenance. Large projects need constant maintenance. For this purpose, not only for the construction, but in time for the maintenance of the online store you will need a reliable partner. Before choosing an online agency, consider support.

What else should I think about before choosing a theme option?

Deciding which of the three options of Shopify themes you want for your business is not easy. Before making this decision, here are a few more questions you need to ask yourself. Here they are:

  • At what stage is your business? Are you a startup or are you already growing? Are you entering the market now or do you have proven loyal customers, will you do international expansion or not? Whatever the answers, you need to make sure that the choice of topic is right for the stage of your business.
  • What internal resources do you have? This is extremely important to consider not only for the construction of the website, but also for its maintenance and development after commissioning. Do you have designers and programmers in your personal team? If not, have you provided a Shopify agency to do this? 
  • How long do you have to do this? Is your current website out of business and you urgently need a new one? Can you afford to finish the work quickly or do you prefer it to be slower and more detailed?
  • What budget do you have? Are you firmly on the ground, do you know how much money you have? Can you afford to develop a custom option or does the budget allow a standard one? Consider which theme option offers the best long-term value for your business.

free shopify theme

Decision time

You already know all the options – now is the time to make decisions.

While the standard Shopify theme can help you get started faster and on a better budget, a custom standard theme will give you a more personalized but unique online store. On the other hand, a fully custom theme is the best choice for a unique and reflective store brand.

Whatever you decide, make your choice based on how many benefits you will get from Shopify.

Do you need help?

If you are planning a Shopify project or want help with what decision to make for your future online store. Contact us from Grind and together we will research and choose the best for your company.