This is the first lesson of our Shopify Online Store Creation from the Ground Up course. If you want to get the full educational plan – follow the link and subscribe to the course.
If you are looking for information on how to create a Shopify store, you have probably already considered other eCommerce platforms. Shopify is a reliable company that has been working for about fifteen years now and there are more than eight hundred thousand firms that have chosen it for their commercial websites.
If by any chance you are still not really sure about what platform to choose, check out detailed comparison articles we have on our blog: Shopify vs WooCommerce, Shopify vs BigCommerce, Shopify vs Etsy. Reading these articles will help you to choose the right CMS.
The registration process is very simple. You go to the Shopify website and see the free trial registration bar right on the homepage. Before buying one of the plans you can try using Shopify for free for fourteen days. Type your email into the bar and the account creation process will begin. The registration wizard will ask you for the name of your store right away, so be sure to think of it before starting.
Just follow the steps of the registration. You will have to answer a few questions about your selling experience, revenue, and the purpose of creating the site. It will also gather some personal data about you, your business address and your phone.
When the process is finished you land at your Shopify website’s dashboard. There you can see a window that offers you to start creating your website with adding a product, customizing a theme and choosing a domain. Let’s start with the theme.
Appearance matters a lot. Users evaluate the design of your Shopify online store and their impression will be the main argument to stay a little longer or leave. Probably, you are not a skilled web developer and won’t be able to build a whole website from scratch. Shopify is the CMS for people who don’t know how to code, so it takes care of the look. The ready-made theme, created by professionals, already has all the elements you need and is breathtakingly beautiful.
So, in case of the Shopify, you can choose a free or paid theme from the original shop or get a nice theme elsewhere (for example, in the TemplateMonster marketplace) and download it to the website. If you just started the online store creation, you can open the themes menu right from the homepage. There is a set of tips for beginners, so just open the “Customize theme” tab and hit the “Customize theme” button.
Besides that, if you would like to change the theme further, you will easily reach it by going to Online Stores > Themes. Here is the part of your online store’s menu where you can manage your themes. The currently used theme is displayed at the top of the list. To fill the theme library, you can either take a look at free themes or go to the theme store and buy the one you liked the most.
If you decide to take a look at free themes, there will be eight variants to choose from. That’s not much but could be quite enough to start with. I will experiment with Nova free Shopify theme. Installation is as easy as a piece of cake—you just click the theme you liked and then hit the “Add to theme library” button.
If you already found and downloaded the theme of your dream, you can freely use it. Click the “Upload theme” button, choose the file from your PC and upload it. Pay attention to the file format as you need it to be a .zip folder. When the theme is installed you will see a green notification at the top of the page.
All added themes will be displayed in the list of theme library. Every line of the list has an “Actions” drop-down menu that allows you to preview, publish, rename, duplicate every theme, as well as download the theme file, edit the code of the theme and remove it from the list. There is also the “Customize” button, and it is obvious from the title that it will take you to the customization panel.
The person who created the theme made it look attractive. However, you still need to do some customization to make your Shopify online store unique. You can do it in the customization mode by changing the color scheme, inserting your original content and doing other design changes. Let’s take a brief look at what could you do in the “Theme setting” tab of the customization menu.
The color scheme of the theme you are currently using is set here. The sets of colors are conveniently separated according to the place you use them — general, header, text and footer. The colors must be specified in hexadecimal format (for example, #aabbcc), but it is also possible to select a color from a palette provided. The colors picked from the palette are easy to apply on other parts of the page; just copy the hex code.
In this sub-menu, you can define the fonts that will be used on all the pages of your online store. You can choose the typography for headers, main menu items, buttons, and all the other texts. The number of available options is huge if you didn’t find the one you like; just click the “Load more” button. You can also change the size of the letters. To make reading the descriptions of the products easier for your audience, I would recommend you to choose sans-serif fonts for the “Base Styles” section.
I’m sure you noticed a tiny image that appears on the left side of almost every website tab you open. That is a favicon and if you have a logo you should think of putting it to the tab too. Here in this sub-menu section, you can do it. You need a 32x32 px image. There are lots of online favicon generators on the internet that could transform your logo into a favicon. For example, Real Favicon Generator or favicon.io.
Shopify offers you three types of carts that you can set in this tab—page, drawer and modal. If you choose “Page”, the user’s shopping cart will open in a separate page. “Drawer” option will make the cart open on the top of the page after the main content slides down. “Modal” variant will cause the shopping cart to open in a pop-up window. The drawer variant is the most convenient one for my taste, but you should choose what will fit your needs.
If you are only beginning to create your business, you won’t be able to fill this tab, which helps you to add social media sharing links to the website. They will lead the user to the appropriate social media and automatically help them to share your page with their timeline. Here you can also choose what picture will be shown in the post the users share. And at the bottom of the menu, there are a few settings of social media sharing buttons.
There’s only a single setting here; you can decide whether to show cents as a superscript or not. There’s also a notification that says you won’t be able to affect price with these settings if you are using a currency selector.
When the user decides what they want to buy from your store and chooses to pay for it, they will see a checkout window. In this tab, you define what exactly they will see. You can change the backgrounds of banners, logo images, backgrounds for order summary, colors and typography of the buttons.
This tutorial will be incomplete if I don’t tell you about the Shopify theme that is, to my mind, the best for an efficient online store. Apparelix is a multipurpose but clear theme that was created to meet the most complicated requirements. Downloading this theme, you get not a single theme, but a huge set of ready-made sections, which could be combined any way you like. It is made by professional web designers and is both good-looking and lightweight. Apparelix won’t affect the downloading speed of your website in any way. It is constantly updating and you can be sure that you use an up-to-date theme with all modern features and advantages.
Oh, crap. You opened the store some time ago and now you don’t want it anymore. Such things happen sometimes and you need to know what to do to get rid of your shop. That’s not really a problem and won’t take much time. Shopify bills you every month, so you need to close the store to avoid additional payments.
Before closing the store make sure you have no debts. If you haven’t paid your monthly bill for Shopify usage or any of the paid plugins usage, you won’t be able to close the shop. By the way, if you have some paid add-ons and want to use them on another website, remove them from your Shopify store manually. If you leave them, you won’t be able to use them anywhere else.
So, if you do all the preparations go to the dashboard and click the “Settings” tab at the bottom of the left-side menu. You will see a list of settings, available for you as an administrator of the website. Find the “Plan and permissions” option and click it.
Scroll the page down and you will see the “Store status” table. Here you can hire a Shopify specialist who will help you to deal with any issues you have with your shop, pause the store or close it. When you pause the store you get the chance to get back to it anytime you feel ready. After closing the store, you will have only thirty days to change your mind and reactivate it. After that, all the settings and content will be gone.
If you are really sure, click the “Close store” button, type in your password and confirm the wish to proceed. That’s all. Your Shopify online store is over and no one will be able to visit it anymore.
Those are the basics. Now you have learned how to create a Shopify online store, how to choose and apply a theme and what instruments there are to customize it. The store you created probably already looks good and is ready for adding the products and setting the prices. Carry on like that and soon you will have a great store that your customers will like to buy from.
This article is a part of Shopify Online Store Creation from Ground Up course by TemplateMonster.
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Damn... I wish I had such instructions 10 years ago... That would have changed my life!
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