When should I update my theme for Shopify's Online Store 2.0 update?

By Ilana Davis

Shopify’s new Online Store 2.0 is rolling out to all stores if not already. Most stores have already seen the update, but there are some features that aren’t fully flushed out yet.

I should also add that every store can use some of Online Store 2.0 features now. In order to use all of it’s amazing features, you will need to upgrade to a 2.0 compatible theme.

In early August we began to see themes in the Shopify Theme Store that are compatible with Online Store 2.0. More themes are rolling out later this fall including popular themes such as those from Out Of The Sandbox and Archetype Themes.

It’s easy to want to try the latest and greatest, however I caution you to jump on a 2.0 theme too soon.

Generally, minor updates to themes don’t usually have a large impact on things like your customer experience, SEO and how they work with other apps. You can usually tell when a theme update is small based on their version numbers.

For example, if the theme version says 3.2 and they are moving to 3.3, that’s a minor update. If a theme version says 3.2 and they are moving to 4.0, that’s a major update. The first number is what makes the update major.

Updates for Online Store 2.0, they aren’t minor.

Themes that are updating their code to work with Online Store 2.0 are likely doing a major overhaul.

Even if you’ve had a theme for a while and are “just updating”, this new 2.0 version could cause major hiccups to your SEO and customer experience.

So I caution you to jump on this too fast.

If you’re heading into your busy season, it also may not be the best time to test out new and unproven themes.

We’re really excited for Dawn, Shopify’s Online 2.0 theme. But it’s still in beta testing and only accessible to developers. This means there’s still a lot of code to work through.

I would not recommend stores launch a store with Dawn at least until it’s in the Shopify Theme Store.

Think of this like iPhone updates. When Apple rolls out with an update, do you usually wait for others to find all the annoying kinks or are you an early adopter?

If you wait, you are a risk averse person. So let others experiment and hold off until your busy season comes to a close.

That doesn’t mean you can’t work on your site right now.

You can make small tweaks or changes to your theme that make a big impact.


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