The new online store design experience is now available in developer preview and here’s what you need to know
The new online store design experience will equip merchants with better tools to build and edit their online stores. This update is expected to launch to both new and existing merchants later this year but we’re sharing it early with you now so you can prepare for any updates to your apps, themes and services to support this new experience.
What's changing with themes?
This is a progressive enhancement, so all existing themes will continue to be supported, but to enable merchants to leverage the full functionality of the new online store design experience, themes will be required to be updated.
Here’s a summary of what will be changing:
- We’re adding the ability to use sections on all pages of the online store. Now you’ll be able to customize any page of the store without having to modify the themes code directly.
Master pages can be used to define content that will appear on multiple pages of the same type. At first, each page type will be limited to one master page and in the future we plan to allow multiple.
- We’re introducing an online store content schema powered by standardized content types. Shop information will no longer be stored in the theme but rather the page resources, enabling merchants to switch themes without manually repopulating their content.
- Layout files will now have the ability to contain theme frames. A theme frame can contain multiple frame sections at the top and bottom of the layout, while page and content sections are what goes in the middle.
- Frame sections are sections that exist across all pages and page types, similar to statically-included sections in the past, like header, footer, or sidebar.
- Drafts are a new area where merchants can draft changes to their stores, in place of having to duplicate their themes to make changes.
- Merchants can make edits to the content and aesthetics of new and existing online store pages without affecting their live site, and mass publish them when they're ready.
- Themes built to allow sections on every page will still be able to leverage snippets. However, snippets will need to be rendered using the
render Liquid tag. The deprecated
include Liquid tag will not be supported in the new types of section files.
- Themes can offer starting points, a selection of pre-configured content sections and settings, to help merchants set up their store faster.
- A merchant will be able to select an appropriate starting point when creating a page and can simply populate it with their own content.
For more technical documentation on what’s changing with the new online store design experience, visit our help center.
What's changing with the API?
We’ll be introducing a number of changes to our Online Store APIs to support the new online store design experience. In addition, we’re publishing a new set of resources that unlock the opportunity for you to manage sections via API. Here’s a high-level overview of what changes are coming with our API. Please note that all available API changes are currently in the
unstable API version.
theme_frame_id properties to the Blog resource
- Added ProductPage resource that represents the online store page associated with each product
- Added MasterPage resource that represents the set of sections to be applied on multiple pages of the same type
Get started in Unite developer preview today
To get started with the developer preview, create a new development store with the Unite 2019 developer preview enabled. As we continue to develop this new feature, we’ll release additional feature updates, documentation and other resources to help you prepare.
Where do I get help or submit feedback?
If you have any questions or feedback about supporting this new online store design experience in your apps or themes, feel free to reach out to us in our dedicated discussion thread or through your partner dashboard.