Let me tell you about my first job ever. I was around 12 years old and I was a very frequent guest on different local city chats. Yeah, that was way before Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp, etc. The local city chat usually looked like a room full of people under different nicknames and everybody was chatting in one room, not in private chats.
So back then I was looking for a way to earn some dollars and buy a bottle of soda and snacks that my parents didn’t want me to consume.
I noticed the following situation: one guy tried to advertise his local e-commerce store and got banned for breaking one of the chat advertising rules. The rule was simple: any user could post 1 external link every 10 minutes.
So I sent an e-mail to the store owner and told him something like: ‘Hey, I know exactly how to market your store in our local chat. I am a marketer with 5 years experience, so if you are interested in my services, feel free to get back to me. My fee is very reasonable’.
Of course, he got back to me in a few hours and I offered him the following deal: ‘I can organize posting your store links each and every 10 minutes. Since you do not have time to do this, I will do it myself for a very small fee. Let’s make it 15 dollars a day! On top of that, I will send links to private chats if people ask for an advice about what TV or smartphone they should buy’. He agreed and I became a 12 y.o. marketer who was making an extra $450 per month. Not bad, ha?
Back then I was just a clerk and, of course, later on, I decided that I want to make my very own store!
Unfortunately, I did not have enough skill and knowledge to do that, but that was the moment when I decided to devote my life to web-development and web-design.
During the years I’ve been in the web design business, lots of people have asked me - which eCommerce platform is the ultimate choice? Especially for a new business. And while there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, Shopify is trying very hard to be that ultimate solution, for which everyone is looking - and I have to say, they are doing a pretty good job at it.
Shopify is filled with tools enabling one to launch an online store within mere minutes, without ever worrying about hosting or buying a domain name. The pricing plans offered by Shopify cater for everyone, from a starter store to a multi-million shop. You can safely call Shopify a perfect out-of-the-box solution.
First of all, you’ve got to understand one important thing about Shopify: their services cost money. Yes, that’s not like installing a free plugin and investing 0$ in your future store. Unfortunately, that’s a little more of a luxury thing, but they offer really good services for the amount of money they want.
These guys distribute their product using the SaaS model. It means that they sell their software as a service. You pay them a small amount of money on a monthly basis and they take care of everything on their end.
Basically, that’s the reason why you will not need to look for hosting, to install and to configure the software. You're getting a ready-made online shop in just a few clicks.
But let’s stop beating around the bush and come straight to the point: What do you need to do in order to create your Shopify store?
Create an account with Shopify
As I have already explained earlier, first of all, you need to create a Shopify account. I will show you how to do it step-by-step. Shopify offers a 14-day trial, so you will be able to look around and make sure you like working with their CRM prior to paying them, that’s pretty useful.
- Go to the https://www.shopify.com/, enter your e-mail address and click on the ‘Get Started’ button.
- Enter your password, store name and click on the ‘Create your store’ button.
- Shopify wants to know you better, so answer their questions and let them know if you already sell anything or if you’re just getting started. Once everything is filled in, click on the ‘Next’ button.
- Fill in your personal data and click the ‘Enter my store’ button.
- You will be redirected to your newly created store, the dashboard actually looks very similar to the WordPress one, so you’ll feel like at home! Well… I do!
Choosing your Shopify theme
It’s always important for the store to have a beautiful theme that will give the customers an opportunity to shop conveniently without any hassle.
As you know, we offer plenty of premium Shopify themes, so you’ll definitely find a template that will fit your needs. Let me show you a few of them!
How to install a Shopify theme
So let’s assume that you’ve already selected for yourself a perfect theme, we are currently on the dashboard page and it looks like this.
- Click on the ‘Online store’ on the left menu. You will be redirected to the page with the default theme.
- Click Upload a theme button in the upper right corner.
- Click Browse in the pop-up window and open the template folder on your computer.
- Select theme###.zip file.
- Click Upload button. In a few seconds, the new theme will show up in the list of the available themes for your online store.
- Click Publish theme button at the bottom of your new theme.
- Click Publish button in the pop-up window.
Congratulations! You have successfully installed a Shopify template. Now it is ready to work. You can open your online store in the browser and check how it looks.
How to setup your store
Setting everything up is not hard at all, let me show you in detail.
- Go to the ‘Online store’ - > ‘General settings’ tab and fill in the store name. That’s the name your customers will see on every page of your website.
- Now let’s set up the payment methods, so your customers can pay for the products with their Credit Card or PayPal (whatever you choose).
In order to do that, go to the ‘Online Store’ -> ‘Payments’ tab. You will see the following page.
Here you can decide if you want Shopify guys to take payments for you or not. If not, just simply click on the ‘Change provider’ and select the external providers that Shopify works with.
Basically, my advice would be to go with the ‘Shopify Payments’ option. Once you select it, you will be able to fill in your banking information and everything will be ready to work.
How to customize a Shopify theme
Click the "Customize theme" button to open the settings editor page where you can change the appearance and content of the theme. This is Live editor: you can track changes in the appearance of your store without reloading the page.
The main sections on your Theme settings page
In this section, you can upload your logo image and favicon (the icon that shows up in the address bar of the browser) for your online store. There are also options for enabling/disabling the logo on your checkout page and the copyright text in the footer area.
There is a section where you can change the typography settings, such as font family, font size, and color. You can modify the following settings:
- The main font style of your store pages
- Text links
- Product names
- Product descriptions
- Product price
You can use system fonts as well as Google Fonts.
Theme color scheme settings. The colors must be specified in hexadecimal format (for example, #aabbcc). Also, it is possible to select a color from a palette provided.
Layout & content
Basic content display settings. You can configure the display of the products list on the home page and on the category page, control the layout of the side columns (sidebars) and their contents.
In this section you can edit gradients (if they are available in your theme). We use linear vertical gradients in our themes. You can modify them by changing the top and bottom color markers.
Layout & content settings
Using the main settings of your content management you can do the following:
- Select the main navigation of the store (shown in the upper horizontal menu)
- Control the sidebars
- Enable the list of products on the front and category pages
Our templates include the Megamenu widget which helps to build a powerful and functional main menu of your store. The widget has many options that are available in the corresponding section. The menu includes 6 Items, each of which is configured in the corresponding sub-section. One can add a label with the text (Item badge) to each item:
- the usual custom link, without submenu.
- product catalog. One can set a link to a list of all products, the control of the dropdown submenu with the list of categories (Collections) is also available. Categories to display are selected by user.
- special products. One can set the category of products to display. The option to enable/disable the drop-down submenu with the list of the latest entries is also available.
- the usual custom links, submenu is not included.
This section contains the settings of the slider located on the front page (if the slider is included in your template design). You can enable/disable the slider, change images, edit description and links assigned to the slides.
In this section you can manage banners, blocks of links, social icons options and other content available in your theme. It is not required to have programming skills in order to edit these blocks – configuration is done in easy steps like adding text, selecting icons and uploading images.
This section contains the settings which control the display of Google maps on the pages of the store.
Address. Set the mailing address of the desired object, and the widget will display this place on the map with a marker.
The function of the map to display. You can enable or disable the display of the map on the home page or contact page.
If you want to use several currencies in your online store, you can manage them in this section. You should select Show currency selector and add three-letter currency codes (ISO 4217 standard) in the field Currencies you wish to support.
This section presents the settings for the newsletter subscription forms. Here you can configure the pop-up message that prompts you to subscribe (Newsletter pop-up). There many options for the detailed configuration where you can change the background image and text to meet your needs.
Also, you can select the subscription form layout:
- Built-in Shopify form. If you select this option, all subscribers' e-mails will be collected in the section Customers marked as Newsletter Subscriber.
- Mailchimp form integration. To work with mailing lists, you can use the Mailchimp service, it is enough to get a subscription form and input it in the Mailchimp form action URL field.
Mailing list (optional)
This section contains mail settings.
In this section you can manage the logos of the payment systems that show up on the checkout page. You can enable/disable these logos to meet your needs.
There is a built-in widget in our templates to display information about the use of Cookie Law. The widget can be managed in the Cookies Policy section:
You can enable/disable the widget, edit text, the period during which the message will not be displayed (by pressing OK button), as well as redirection link in case of user’s refusal (by pressing NO button).
This section presents the appearance settings for the order page. You can customize the banner, logo, page title, as well as the button colors.
Managing additional layouts of the pages. You can navigate to Themes > Template Editor > Layouts to add, remove or edit the layout of the pages.
- On the template settings page, please click the Theme options link.
- Select Edit HTML/CSS in the drop-down.
On the new page, you will see the theme language settings editor:
In this editor you can set up and edit translations for all the theme text. Our templates come with ready translations for 5 languages: English (enabled by default), German, French, Spanish, and Russian.
Template text translation
To translate template text, please complete the following steps:
- Enter translations into text fields;
- Press the Save button at the top right of the page.
To switch the template language:
- Press the Change theme language button.
- Select the language in the drop-down;
- Press the Save button.
Damn... I wish I had such instructions 10 years ago... That would have changed my life! What's your excuse in 2017? You have everything! Just pick one of our Shopify themes and go for it!
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments, we will definitely help everyone!