A theme controls the organization, features, and style of a merchant's online store. Theme code is organized with a standard directory structure of files specific to Shopify themes, as well as supporting assets such as images, stylesheets, and scripts. To learn about about how themes fit into Shopify, and learn how to set up an environment to build and test themes, refer to the Shopify themes overview.
Theme files fall into the following general categories:
- Markup and features - These files control the layout and functionality of a theme. They use Liquid to generate the HTML markup that makes up the pages of the merchant's online store.
- Supporting assets - These files are assets, scripts, or locale files that are either called or consumed by other files in the theme.
- Config files - These files use JSON to store configuration data that can be customized by merchants using the theme editor.
Markup and featuresAnchor link to section titled "Markup and features"
The following components determine the organization of each page:
|1||The layout file||The base of the theme. Use the layout file to host repeated theme elements like headers and footers.|
|2||The template||The template that controls what's displayed on a page. Each theme should include different types of templates to display different types of content, such as the home page and products. You can also create multiple templates for the same resource type and associate them with your store resources, to allow for variation.
JSON templates act only as a wrapper for sections, while Liquid templates contain code.
|3||The sections rendered by the template||Reusable, customizable modules of content that merchants can add to JSON templates.|
|4||The blocks that each section contains||Reusable, customizable modules of content that can be added to sections, and removed and reordered.|
form tag with a
Supporting assetsAnchor link to section titled "Supporting assets"
You can add supporting assets to your theme to control the presentation of components and features, or to store reusable pieces of code that can be used across components.
In addition, you can translate your theme into different languages using locale files. Locale files contain a set of translations for text strings used throughout the theme. Store locale files in the locales directory of the theme.
Allowing for customization of theme componentsAnchor link to section titled "Allowing for customization of theme components"
Merchants can customize their theme from the Shopify admin by using the Shopify theme editor. Themes can offer different customization options to enable merchants to create their desired customer experience:
- You can make your theme templates modular by creating multiple sections and blocks. Refer to our section and block best practices to learn how to design sections and blocks effectively.
- You can create settings to allow the merchant to control the appearance or behavior of the theme. Merchants can set dynamic values for settings by using dynamic sources.
Directory structure and component typesAnchor link to section titled "Directory structure and component types"
Themes must use the following directory structure:
Subdirectories, other than the ones listed, aren't supported.
To see an example of a complete theme directory structure, and the various component types, explore the Dawn GitHub repository.
Use the asset_url Liquid URL filter to reference an asset within your theme.
You can access limited Liquid functionality in non-binary asset files by appending a
.js.liquid) and CSS (
.css.liquid) files. Files with this extension have access to the following features:
Theme settings are a good place to host general settings such as typography and color options. Theme settings can be accessed through the settings object.
Layouts are Liquid files that allow you to include content that should be repeated on multiple page types in a single location. For example, layouts are a good place to include any content you might want in your
<head> element, as well as in headers and footers.
theme.liquid file must exist in this folder for the theme to be uploaded to Shopify.
locales directory contains the locale files for a theme, which are used to provide translated content. Locale files allow you to provide a translated experience in the theme editor, provide translations for the online store, and allow merchants to customize text in the online store.
sections directory contains a theme’s sections.
Sections are Liquid files that allow you to create reusable modules of content that can be customized by merchants. They can also include blocks which allow merchants to add, remove, and reorder content within a section.
snippets directory contains Liquid files that host smaller reusable snippets of code. You can reference these snippets throughout the theme with the Liquid render tag.
templates directory contains a theme’s template files, which control what's rendered on each type of page.
templates/customers directory contains the template files for customer-centric pages like the login and account overview pages.
You can use the template to add functionality that makes sense for the page type. For example, you can add additional product recommendations to a product template, or add a comment form to an article template. You can also create multiple versions of the same template type to create custom templates for different use cases.
No templates are required. However, you need to have a matching template for any page type that you want to render. For example, to render a product page, you need at least one template of type