Shopify Themes

How To Change Shopify Theme Without Losing Content

Last updated on

April 24, 2024

If you have an eye for interior design, you can relate that your Shopify theme store occasionally needs a makeover. Even if you are not inclined to interior design and aesthetics, if you own a Shopify store, you must consider revamping your store’s aesthetics. The look and feel of your store matter when it comes to enhancing its user-friendliness as a whole. 

You might have tried changing your theme, either as a fresh brand or as one that needs a revamp. But you might have had concerns about preserving the main content without losing them during the process. 

In this post, we’ll talk about how you can change the theme settings without losing the content or customizations.

Let’s begin with why you have to change your Shopify theme.  

Why Change your Shopify Theme?

New brands that start on Shopify start with the default theme, which used to be Debut. But with the Online Store 2.0, new stores will go with the Dawn theme. But insufficient to stand out from the rest of the stores that’ll probably go with the same theme.

To tackle this dilemma, there are several other themes, both free and paid, that will come to the rescue. You can choose from that for your new store.  

Since there are numerous Shopify themes, one way to find out what will work best is by finding out what themes are used by the reputed stores on Shopify.  

Setting a new theme is crucial because each theme is excellent enough, but it’s a starting point for many. Each theme's functionality determines the user’s journey through your store. After choosing your theme, you can customize it according to your needs. 

Factors to Consider When Changing your Shopify Theme

Your theme is your story told by your client. It is their experience navigating your store. Your store’s usability determines whether or not your shoppers will stick around for more at your store or leave for a better shopping experience elsewhere. 

It is found that shoppers will opine about their shopping experience within the first 50 milliseconds of them being at your store.

And 94% of feedback was design-related, which means when people reach your homepage, your design becomes that striking factor that will keep them around.

88% of shoppers said they would not return after a bad user experience. So, your store's theme is crucial to building lasting connections with your clients.  

Therefore it is essential to ask yourself many questions when selecting your Shopify theme. Identify your challenges and figure out how you can do them better.

What are the top features you want from a new theme? And identify if you want a free theme or if you want to invest in a paid theme. 

Other questions will include, how many products are you hoping to feature in your store?  

Things to consider before changing your Shopify theme

Before changing your theme, find what is and isn’t working for your store with the current theme.

Find out what changes you need to improve your store's performance, both from your and your customers' perspectives. Your theme change should be based on this. 

Identify what your guests need at your store. Take inputs from the product reviews left by your customers, as this is where they leave their feedback on their overall experience at your ecommerce store.

Find what their stores look like and the theme they are using. Learn from them and find what best works for your store. If you have narrowed down your favorite themes, check if those themes have the functionality you want. 

Check your analytics to find your store's performance before and after you have changed the theme. Track when a change happened and find out if it has the effect you were hoping for.  

How to find your new Shopify themes

You can get a Shopify theme from the Shopify Theme Store or a third-party theme seller or get one custom-built for your brand. 

If you prefer to choose from Shopify, browse all the themes in the Shopify Theme Store.  

  • Go to the large catalogs collection if your store has lots of products. This is where you should know how to upgrade to Shopify 2.0. If you want a new Online Store 2.0 theme, these are easy to find too.  
  • Click on a particular theme to preview the demo store and the features that come with it in the product details.
  • You can access the themes in your Shopify dashboard by clicking Online Store > Themes.
  • Now scroll down to find the Theme library
  • And click “Visit Theme Store.”
  • As you will not be able to find third-party themes in the theme library, you'll have to download the theme and upload it to your Shopify dashboard.
  • It is the same with custom-built themes for your store. However, uploading a theme is not difficult. 
  • Go to your Shopify theme library, click “Add a theme,” and choose “Upload zip file” to add your new theme.

Your new theme will remain in your Theme library until you publish it. Before publishing it, you can customize your theme in Shopify’s theme editor for the layout, font, and color changes, depending on the theme. 

However, Shopify themes allow only limited customization. It is where page-building apps in the Shopify app store come in. 

Page Building apps allow you to customize elements to suit your brand vision.

How to Change your Shopify Theme

  • Go to Online Store > Themes for the current theme. At the top, you’ll see the present theme of your store. 
  • If you’re a new store, you will have a default theme, Debut for older stores and Dawn for the newer ones.
  • Scroll down for a section for Online store speed and the Theme library.
  • Your new theme gets to your theme library if you've downloaded it. And you can add up to 20 themes in your library.
  • Before publishing, you can customize any theme in your library using the Shopify theme editor.

Changing Your Current Theme in Shopify

After getting the customization done, you can make it your active theme.  

Step 1: Go to Shopify dashboard and Online Store > Themes to view the current and new themes.  

Step 2: Preview your theme by clicking the “Actions” button and choosing “Preview” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Click the “Actions” button again and choose “Publish” from the dropdown menu.

A window appears to confirm that you want to publish the new theme.

Click the “Publish” button. Now the new theme will be live.

How to Change Shopify Theme without Losing Customization and Content 

Switch Shopify Themes easily. But what matters is what content will be affected and which will not be affected by a theme change in your store.


Content that Will Not be Affected by a Theme Change

Your primary Shopify data will quickly change from one theme to another. And most content uploaded before changing themes, such as navigation, your pages, products, collections, and blogs, will remain. Your online store speed report can reflect the impact of the changes done.

These elements are part of the store itself, not the theme. They are editable in their sections of the Shopify dashboard, so you don’t have to worry about that content. 

Content that May be Affected by a Theme Change

When your new theme is active, the previous template files are replaced by the new ones, which would be:

  • Customizations in the Shopify theme editor. 

For a Shopify theme update, as each theme has its theme editor, these changes will not transfer to the new theme, affecting your ecommerce business.

  • File edits to edit your theme. 

Changes you make to the theme’s code will affect only that particular theme. And these changes will stay within those theme files. You can copy these changes by copying the code to your new theme. 

  • Shopify apps that change theme code. 

Apps you use to make theme changes may not work in your new theme. The customer support for that app can help you with this issue.  

Check the quality of the individual web pages on your website on Google Lighthouse to determine the impact of the new theme on your store's performance.


What is the Highest Converting Shopify Theme?

The Shopify Booster Theme is a highest converting theme designed to help increase the conversion rate and enhance your store's user experience. It comprises features that can facilitate conversions like quick product views, social proof, and email capture forms.

Though there are many Shopify themes, they significantly differ from each other, in terms of enabling conversion rate optimization (CRO). This is where the Booster Theme plays a pivotal role in improving the CRO of your store.

Does Changing Shopify Theme Affect SEO?

Changing your Shopify theme can potentially affect your SEO, but it depends on how the new theme is designed and implemented. Suppose the new theme has better optimization for search engines, such as faster page speed, mobile responsiveness, and proper use of heading tags and meta descriptions. In that case, it can have a positive impact on your SEO.

However, if the new theme is poorly designed or implemented, it can negatively affect your SEO, such as broken links, missing alt tags for images, and duplicate content. Therefore, choosing a high-quality theme and ensuring it's properly optimized for SEO before switching is important.

Read more: 15 Best SEO Themes for Shopify Stores

What are the Risks of Changing a Shopify Theme Without Preparation?

1. Loss of Data

One of the most significant risks of changing your Shopify theme without preparation is losing your data. The content on your website, such as images, product descriptions, and customer data, can disappear during the transition process. This can lead to significant downtime, lost revenue, and a tarnished reputation.

2. Website Speed and Performance Issues

When changing your theme, you must ensure that your new theme does not affect your website's speed and performance. If your new theme is not optimized for performance, it can lead to slow page load times, impacting your website's user experience and search engine rankings.

3. Broken Website Layout and Design

Switching to a new Shopify theme can significantly affect your website's layout and design. If you do not prepare properly, you risk having a broken website with distorted images, misaligned text, and inconsistent spacing. This can make your website appear unprofessional and negatively impact your brand reputation.

4. SEO Issues

Changing your Shopify theme can also impact your website's SEO. If your new theme is not optimized for search engines, you risk losing your website's rankings, traffic, and revenue. Ensure your new theme has proper heading tags, meta descriptions, and URLs to maintain your website's SEO.

Wrapping Up 

Changing your Shopify website will be a walk in the park if you recognize your store's requirements to achieve its maximum functionality and usability.  

And if you get it done accurately, your new brand makeover and store performance will help increase traffic and boost conversions to your store. 

When you publish your new theme, you can customize your store pages for conversion optimization, social media performance, email marketing optimization, and real-time site speed to offer a user-friendly experience.

Choose to stand out from the other stores by choosing an out-of-the-box storefront and pages that’ll make visitors want to stay longer and shop more.

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Written by
CP Saravana Kumar
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