How to Develop a Premium Shopify Theme on a Budget

Shopify July 02, 2024

How to Develop a Premium Shopify Theme on a Budget

Starting an online store doesn't have to break the bank. With the right resources and a bit of creativity, you can create a professional Shopify store for as little as $50. One of the most cost-effective methods is by using an Envato template. In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk you through the steps to transform an Envato template into a Shopify store that looks and performs like a four-figure investment.

 

Post Contents

  • How to Sign Up For Envato
  • How to Choose the Right Template for your Shopify Store
  • How to Set Up a Shopify Store
  • How to Customize your Envato Template with ChatGpt
  • How to Add an Envato Template to your Shopify Theme
  • How to Optimize Theme for Shopify with Liquid
  • Why you should use Templates instead of Themes
  • FAQs

Step 1: Sign Up for Envato

The first step is to sign up for an Envato Elements subscription. For just $40, you can access thousands of premium templates, graphics, and other digital assets for an entire month. This subscription will allow you to download the template you need for your Shopify store.

Sign up for Envato Elements

Envato Elements offers a plethora of assets, including website templates, fonts, plugins, and much more. This makes it a valuable resource for any web developer or designer looking to build a high-quality Shopify store on a budget.

Step 2: Choose the Right Template

Once you have your Envato subscription, it's time to choose the perfect template for your store. Envato offers a vast selection of templates compatible with Shopify, so you’re sure to find one that fits your brand and business needs.

Tips for Choosing a Template:

  • Match Your Brand Aesthetic: Look for a template that aligns with your brand's look and feel. This will help ensure that your store resonates with your target audience.
  • Check Compatibility: Ensure the template is compatible with Shopify and includes all necessary files. Look for templates specifically tagged for Shopify to avoid any compatibility issues.
  • Read Reviews: Select templates with high ratings and positive feedback from other users. This can give you confidence that the template is well-designed and functional.
  • Feature Set: Consider the features offered by the template. Does it include customizable sections, a responsive design, or integration with Shopify apps? Choose a template that offers the features you need for your store.

Browse templates on Envato Elements: Shopify Templates on Envato

Recommended Templates

To help you get started, here are a few recommended Shopify templates available on Envato Elements:

  1. Minimal Shopify Theme: A clean and modern template perfect for fashion stores.
  2. Electro - Gadgets Shopify Theme: Ideal for electronics and gadget stores with a tech-savvy design.
  3. Organic - Natural Products Shopify Theme: Great for health and wellness stores selling organic products.

Step 3: Customize Your Template with ChatGPT

After downloading your chosen template, it's time to customize it to fit your specific needs. You can use ChatGPT to help with this process. ChatGPT can assist you in tailoring the template’s design, layout, and features to create a unique, branded Shopify store.

How to Use ChatGPT for Customization:

  1. Identify Customization Needs: Determine what changes you need to make, such as color schemes, fonts, or layout adjustments. Make a list of all the elements you want to customize.
  2. Ask Specific Questions: Use ChatGPT to get detailed instructions or code snippets for your customizations. The more specific your questions, the better the assistance you will receive.
  3. Implement Changes: Apply the provided instructions or code to your template. Be sure to test your changes to ensure everything works as expected.

Example 1: Customizing the Header

A great header can make a strong first impression. Here's how you can customize the header of your Shopify template.

ChatGPT Prompt:

css
"How do I change the color scheme of my Shopify template header to match my brand colors?"

Response:

To change the color scheme of your header, you can modify the CSS. Here’s an example of how to change the background color and text color of the header:

css
header { background-color: #123456; /* Replace with your brand color */ color: #ffffff; /* Replace with your desired text color */ }

Steps:

  1. Open your Shopify admin panel.
  2. Go to Online Store > Themes.
  3. Click on the Actions dropdown and select Edit Code.
  4. Locate the theme.scss.liquid or styles.scss.liquid file.
  5. Add the provided CSS code to this file, replacing the color codes with your brand colors.
  6. Save the changes and preview your store to see the updated header.

Example 2: Creating Custom Sections

Custom sections can help you showcase your products or services in a unique way. Here’s how to create a custom section for featured products.

ChatGPT Prompt:

css
"How do I create a custom section in my Shopify template to display featured products?"

Response:

To create a custom section for featured products, follow these steps:

  1. Create a New Section:

    • In your Shopify admin panel, go to Online Store > Themes.
    • Click on Actions > Edit Code.
    • In the Sections directory, click Add a new section and name it featured-products.
  2. Add Code to the New Section:

    • Replace the default code with the following:
    liquid
    <!-- featured-products.liquid --> <div class="featured-products"> <h2>Featured Products</h2> <div class="products-grid"> {% for product in collections['featured'].products %} <div class="product-item"> <a href="{{ product.url }}"> <img src="{{ product.featured_image | img_url: 'medium' }}" alt="{{ product.title }}"> <h3>{{ product.title }}</h3> <p>{{ product.price | money }}</p> </a> </div> {% endfor %} </div> </div>
  3. Add Styling:

    • In the theme.scss.liquid file, add the following CSS to style your new section:
    css
    .featured-products { text-align: center; } .products-grid { display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap; justify-content: space-around; } .product-item { width: 30%; margin-bottom: 20px; } .product-item img { width: 100%; height: auto; }
  4. Add the Section to Your Homepage:

    • In the index.liquid file or through the Shopify theme editor, add the custom section to your homepage:
    liquid
    {% section 'featured-products' %}

By following these steps, you can create a visually appealing and functional custom section to highlight your featured products.

Step 4: Set Up Your Shopify Store

With your customized template ready, it's time to set up your Shopify store. If you don't have a Shopify account yet, you can sign up for a free trial to get started.

Sign up for a Shopify free trial

Setting Up Your Store:

  1. Upload Your Template: Log in to your Shopify dashboard and upload your customized template.
  2. Configure Settings: Adjust settings such as payment gateways, shipping options, and tax settings. Shopify provides a user-friendly interface to make these configurations straightforward.
  3. Add Products: Populate your store with your products, complete with descriptions, prices, and high-quality images. Ensure that your product listings are detailed and engaging to attract customers.
  4. Launch Your Store: Once everything is set up, preview your store to ensure everything looks great, then go live! Before launching, test the store’s functionality on different devices to ensure a seamless shopping experience.

Detailed Steps for Setting Up Your Store:

Upload Your Template:

  1. In your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Themes.
  2. Click on Upload Theme in the upper right corner.
  3. Choose the file you downloaded from Envato and click Upload.

Configure Basic Settings:

  1. General Settings:

    • Navigate to Settings > General.
    • Enter your store’s name, contact information, and address.
  2. Payment Gateways:

    • Go to Settings > Payments.
    • Choose your preferred payment gateways (e.g., Shopify Payments, PayPal, etc.).
    • Follow the prompts to set up and activate the gateways.
  3. Shipping Settings:

    • Go to Settings > Shipping and Delivery.
    • Set up your shipping zones, rates, and delivery methods.
  4. Tax Settings:

    • Go to Settings > Taxes and Duties.
    • Configure your tax settings based on your location and business requirements.

Add Products:

  1. Go to Products > All Products.
  2. Click on Add Product.
  3. Enter the product title, description, and other relevant details.
  4. Upload high-quality images for each product.
  5. Set the pricing, inventory, and shipping options.
  6. Click Save.

Launch Your Store:

  1. Click on the Eye icon next to Online Store to preview your store.
  2. Check for any errors or design issues.
  3. Once satisfied, go to Settings > Plans and Permissions.
  4. Choose a plan that suits your needs and complete the setup process.
  5. Click on Online Store > Preferences.
  6. Remove the password protection to make your store live.

Step 5: Optimize for Success

To ensure your store performs well, consider optimizing it for SEO and user experience. Utilize tools and resources available on Shopify and Envato to enhance your store's functionality and visibility.

SEO Optimization:

  1. Keywords: Use relevant keywords in your product titles, descriptions, meta tags, and URLs to improve search engine rankings.
  2. Image Alt Text: Add descriptive alt text to all product images to help with image search rankings and accessibility.
  3. Internal Linking: Create a logical structure of internal links to guide visitors and improve SEO.

User Experience:

  1. Responsive Design: Ensure your store looks great on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  2. Navigation: Create an intuitive navigation menu to help customers easily find products and information.
  3. Load Speed: Optimize images and use fast hosting to reduce load times and enhance the shopping experience.

Step 6: Promote Your Store

Now that your store is live, it's time to promote it and drive traffic. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Social Media Marketing: Leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your products and engage with your audience.
  2. Email Marketing: Build an email list and send regular newsletters, promotions, and product updates.
  3. Influencer Collaborations: Partner with influencers in your niche to reach a broader audience and build credibility.

Detailed Promotion Strategies:

Social Media Marketing:

  1. Create Business Profiles: Set up business profiles on relevant social media platforms.
  2. Regular Posting: Post regularly with high-quality images, engaging captions, and relevant hashtags.
  3. Stories and Live Streams: Use Instagram Stories and live streams to showcase new products, behind-the-scenes content, and special promotions.

Email Marketing:

  1. Build an Email List: Use signup forms on your website and offer incentives like discounts or free guides to encourage signups.
  2. Segment Your Audience: Divide your email list into segments based on customer behavior and preferences.
  3. Send Targeted Campaigns: Send personalized and targeted email campaigns to different segments of your audience.

Influencer Collaborations:

  1. Identify Influencers: Find influencers who align with your brand and have a following that matches your target audience.
  2. Reach Out: Contact influencers with a personalized message, offering collaboration opportunities.
  3. Create Authentic Content: Work with influencers to create authentic content that showcases your products in a genuine way.

Conclusion

Creating a four-figure Shopify store for just $50 is achievable with the right approach and resources. By leveraging Envato templates and using ChatGPT for customization, you can build a professional, high-quality online store without breaking the bank. Follow these steps to set up, optimize, and promote your Shopify store, and watch your business grow.


FAQ

Q1: Can I really build a Shopify store for $50?
Yes, by using an Envato Elements subscription for $40 and leveraging free resources like ChatGPT for customization, you can create a professional Shopify store for just $50.
Q2: What if I don’t know how to code?
No problem! Many Envato templates are designed to be user-friendly, and you can use ChatGPT to guide you through any necessary customizations.
Q3: How do I choose the best template for my store?
Look for templates that match your brand aesthetic, are highly rated, and offer the features you need. Make sure the template is compatible with Shopify.
Q4: Can I cancel my Envato Elements subscription after a month?
Yes, you can cancel your subscription anytime. You only need one month to download the template and any other assets you might need.
Q5: How can I ensure my Shopify store is successful?
Focus on SEO optimization, user experience, and effective marketing strategies. Regularly update your content and engage with your audience on social media and through email marketing.
By following this guide, you can build a stunning and profitable Shopify store on a budget. Get started today and take the first step towards e-commerce success!
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Chris Snowden

Author

Hi, I'm Christopher Snowden, a Shopify developer. I enjoy building and learning about e-commerce solutions that help businesses grow. With the rise of AI, I believe it is important for developers to understand more aspects of business and have a deeper understanding of how their skills translate to profit. Let's connect and collaborate! Follow me on social media to stay updated with my latest projects and insights.