Create a theme
You're ready to create a new theme. You might be asking yourself: How can I quickly set up my development environment and start coding?
In this tutorial, you'll use Shopify CLI and Dawn to create a new theme and upload it to Shopify.
What you'll learnAnchor link to section titled "What you'll learn"
After you've finished this tutorial, you'll have accomplished the following:
- Set up your local development environment
- Cloned Dawn, Shopify's reference theme
- Previewed changes made to your local code
- Pushed theme code to your Shopify store and published your theme
RequirementsAnchor link to section titled "Requirements"
- If you want to use a development store to build a theme, then create or log in to a Shopify Partner account, and then create a development store. We recommend using a development store for this tutorial.
- The URL of the store that you want to work on, such as
- You have a collaborator account or staff account with the Manage themes permission or Themes permission for the store that you want to work on, or you're the store owner.
Installation requirements for Shopify CLIAnchor link to section titled "Installation requirements for Shopify CLI"
The requirements to install and run Shopify CLI depend on your operating system:
Note: When you install Shopify CLI using Homebrew, Homebrew installs Node.js, Ruby, and Git for you.
Step 1: Install Shopify CLIAnchor link to section titled "Step 1: Install Shopify CLI"
Shopify CLI is a command-line tool that helps you to build Shopify themes. It lets you preview, test, and share changes to themes while developing locally. Follow the instructions below to install Shopify CLI on macOS, Windows, or Linux.
macOS (Homebrew)Anchor link to section titled "macOS (Homebrew)"
Windows and Linux (npm)Anchor link to section titled "Windows and Linux (npm)"
To install Shopify CLI for themes, install the
@shopify/theme Node.js packages globally using the command line.
Step 2: Initialize a new theme using DawnAnchor link to section titled "Step 2: Initialize a new theme using Dawn"
shopify theme init to clone the Dawn Git repository to your local machine.
Dawn is Shopify's reference theme, built for performance, flexibility, and ease of use. You can use Dawn as the starting point for building a theme.
- In a terminal, navigate to the working directory where you want to clone Dawn.
Enter the following command:
You're prompted to enter a name for your theme, such as
my-new-theme. The theme is cloned into a folder with the same name.
After the theme is cloned, navigate to the folder:
Step 3: Start a local development serverAnchor link to section titled "Step 3: Start a local development server"
The command returns a URL that hot reloads local changes to CSS and sections, allowing you to preview changes in real time using the store's data. This preview is only available in Google Chrome.
The first time you run the
dev command, you're prompted to log in to Shopify.
To serve your theme, run the following command, where
--storerepresents the name of the store that you want to use to preview your theme:
You need to pass the
--storeflag the first time you preview your theme. The store that you specify is used for future commands until you pass the
--storeflag with a new value. To check which store you're connected to, run
shopify theme info.
In Google Chrome, navigate to
http://127.0.0.1:9292to open the theme preview.
The following image shows a development server being started using
Step 4: Upload your theme to a storeAnchor link to section titled "Step 4: Upload your theme to a store"
If you want to share a permanent link to your theme, update the code of an existing theme, or prepare for your theme to be published, then you need to push your theme code to Shopify using the
theme push command.
The first time you push your theme code, you might want to upload the theme to your theme library as a new, unpublished theme. You can do this by running the command with the
--unpublished flag. When you run the command using this flag, you're prompted to provide a name for the theme that appears in the theme library.
After the theme is created, you can update your theme code by running the
push command without any flags:
Step 5: Publish your themeAnchor link to section titled "Step 5: Publish your theme"
If you want to make your theme live on your store, then you can publish it using the
theme publish command. Before you run this command, make sure that you've pushed all of your local changes to Shopify using the
theme push command.
Enter the following command:
Select the theme that you want to publish from the list.
Yesto confirm that you want to publish the specified theme.
The theme is published and is now the active theme for the store.
Creating your first theme with our tools is only the first step in building your theme. Consider the following next steps:
Learn more about Shopify themesAnchor link to section titled "Learn more about Shopify themes"
Explore the architecture of a theme. Learn more about the structure of a theme, and the role of each file and folder, in our architecture documentation.
Review our general theme best practices. Shopify themes are powerful and flexible. To use themes to their full potential, and to create great ecommerce experiences, you should build your theme with a set of principles in mind. Our best practices cover topics like performance, accessibility, and design.
Review our workflow best practices. If you're building a theme with a team of developers, or if you want to use build tools or advanced version control strategies, then review our best practices to identify how these strategies can be applied to your Shopify theme development processes.
Implement featuresAnchor link to section titled "Implement features"
You can enable certain Shopify features or add functionality to your theme. Features fall into the following categories:
- Product merchandising
- Pricing and payments
- Delivery and fulfillment
- Customer engagement
- Shopify Markets
- Site navigation and search
- Search engine optimization
- Trust and security
If you're building a theme for a client, or for your own store, then you can pick and choose from these features. If you're building a theme for the Shopify Theme Store, then some of these features need to be included in your theme.
Explore theme toolsAnchor link to section titled "Explore theme tools"
Learn how to lint your theme code. Use Theme Check, a linter for Liquid and JSON, to detect errors and enforce Shopify theme and Liquid best practices.
Set up the Shopify GitHub integration. The Shopify GitHub integration lets you automatically pull and push code from a GitHub repository to a store, develop and test features collaboratively, and track edits made in the Shopify admin.
Distribute your themeAnchor link to section titled "Distribute your theme"
Consider submitting your theme to the Shopify Theme Store. As a theme Partner, you can create themes for the Shopify Theme Store and reach an international audience of millions of entrepreneurs. Learn about the requirements for themes in the Shopify Theme Store, and how to submit your theme.
Prepare to hand off your store to a client. If you're building your theme for a client, then review our best practices for working with merchants.