Shopify Theme Development

Shopify comes with several pre-designed templates, or themes, for websites. You can choose a theme that seems to have the tools you want your website to have, and basically has a style you like.

However, these themes are highly customizable. A Shopify theme can be developed to include other tools, more multimedia, additional pages or sections and more. You can also remove sections, tools and pages. shopify theme developer

This customization, addition and deletion of pages and tools is called theme development. You can develop a Shopify theme yourself, or hire a Shopify expert, like us at SEO Design Chicago.

We are experts who understand, and can teach you, how to develop Shopify themes.


What’s So Great About Shopify?

Almost every content management system, from Wix to WordPress to Squarespace, offers pre-designed templates and themes. 

But Shopify’s themes are specifically geared for those businesses selling products online, or offering services that can be booked through a website.

Shopify is a cloud-based e-commerce platform used by more than one million businesses around the world. With Shopify, it’s easy to get a website up and running quickly and efficiently. And it comes with customizable options. You can customize tools or widgets on your website (like adding a chat bot or product zooms). You can also add customized business management tools, so that you can make business tasks, like inventory management, easier. 

Although some parts of Shopify are easy-to-use, other parts are not. Shopify can get expensive if you’re paying for tools you don’t need. And your time is money. Do you have the time, i.e. money, to teach yourself how to develop a Shopify theme? If not, hiring us may save you more money in the long run. 

We do the following as part of our Shopify theme development services:

  • Choosing and customizing the right website template with unique color schemes, a logo and other elements of brand identity
  • Adding call-to-action buttons to encourage visitors to stay on your site longer and make purchases or inquiries
  • Figuring out which design widgets you need and which Shopify price point is best for you
  • Deciding which business tools, like product inventory tools, customer database tools, and shipping tools, to add to your package

At SEO Design Chicago we have years of first-hand experience to advise business owners. We’re also small business owners ourselves.  Of course, we’d love to work with you. That said, for some people and companies, Shopify experts aren’t necessary. If you have a natural knack for technology, if you aren’t intimidated by platforms that aren’t necessarily user-friendly, you may be able to develop Shopify themes yourself. 

But if you’d rather spend your time and money on the goods and services you offer, instead of the e-commerce side of your business, then working with Shopify experts is worth the cost. 


What Qualifications Should a Shopify Theme Development Expert Have?

A Shopify expert shouldn’t just be a tech wizard. They should understand the fundamentals of marketing, advanced web design, usability rules and how  businesses manage daily tasks. Experts should know how to create a site that specifically works for e-commerce. A Shopify expert should also have in-depth knowledge of PHP, JavaScript, and jQuery. They should read daily publications like Search Engine Journal and be excited whenever the researchers at Nielsen Norman Group release a new study.  We’re those kinds of experts. 

Good experts should know everything about the latest updates to Shopify. And if they don’t have a degree or certificate in business, they should at least know a lot about business management. Ask any potential Shopify expert not just about what they learned before, but how they continue to educate themselves. If they can’t answer, they probably aren’t really experts.

pictures of shopify theme development expert

But I Already Have a Pre-Designed Theme I Like. Why Switch?

Shopify does a whole lot more than give you a well-designed e-commerce site. Shopify can handle a ton of business management needs, from inventory to e-marketing to processing payments. And with Shopify, business owners can build and customize an online store on many platforms, including web, mobile, in person, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. Other platforms claim they can do this, and they can – to some degree. But Shopify does these things better, especially when it comes to mobile responsiveness.

How fast your site loads on a mobile device, and how it looks on a mobile device, affects where you place in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Google wants to make sure your website doesn’t just work on a desktop or laptop but that it also works on phones and tablets. 

Here’s a list of just a few areas where Shopify outshines other tools:

  • The ability to create e-commerce sites that are beautifully designed and structured in such a way that Google will easily index them and rank them higher in SERP
  • Quick ways to add products, pages, images, videos, user-generated reviews, and more
  • AI writing assistance tools
  • Tools to add testimonials, FAQs and about us pages

Aside from these website capabilities, there are also business management tools to take advantage of on Shopify:

  • Point of sale services for brick-and-mortar shops and pop up stores
  • Customer account management
  • Specialized inventory management
  • SEO tools
  • Marketing tools like the ability to make, send, and track email newsletters
  • The ability to create Shopify Shipping labels
  • Automatic alerts about low stock items
  • Cancel, refund, and restock orders

You’re probably doing a lot of the above tasks already, but you’re probably doing them using a variety of tools, like Excel or other websites. Every time you have to open Excel or find your calculator, you’re wasting valuable time. That time adds up. 

Entrepreneurs waste around 20 hours per week on little stuff. 73% of them wish they were spending their time on strategic, large picture issues. You can save more time by running all of your business stuff from one platform, with one login. That’s why so many businesses have turned to Shopify. Not only can we handle the customization of a Shopify theme for you, but we can also migrate your site from whatever platforms or tools you’re using now to Shopify. 

Website migration is hugely important. You don’t want to lose a single customer while you’re “in between” web hosting and development platforms. If a customer visits you when your site is down, they may think you’re out of business. We know how to migrate sites so your URL is never “off the internet,” you don’t lose SERP rankings and you don’t lose any important information about your customers or business. 


How Much Does Shopify Cost? 

If you are new to Shopify, we suggest you start with their basic plan and tinker around with it during the free trial period. You can look at various themes, pick a few you like, explore their business tools then call us, and we’ll chat with you about what plan you really need to pay for. We can also discuss what we’ll charge to either instruct you and your team on how to best use Shopify or what we’ll charge you to manage parts of Shopify for you. Shopify will charge you too, of course. They offer a number of plans based on your needs. 


Basic plans start at $39 per month and include:

  • The ability to pick and customize a pre-designed theme
  • Simple reports about your website and business
  • The ability to manage 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 77%
  • 2 staff accounts 


The next level up is called Shopify, and includes:

  • More theme options to customize
  • More advanced reports about your business and website
  • The ability to manage 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 88%
  • 5 staff accounts


The advanced plan costs $399 per month and includes:

  • Even more theme options
  • A tool to customize reports so that you can finally find answers to your long-burning questions about what makes your buyers purchase goods and services from you, or choose another business to satisfy their needs
  • The ability to manage up to 1,000 inventory locations
  • Shipping discounts up to 88% 
  • 15 staff accounts
  • A tool to show customers at checkout what they’ll pay for shipping


Then there’s a plan called Shopify Plus, which is best for very large businesses. That plan allows you to pick and choose which tools you want and need. You definitely want to hire a Shopify expert if you’re considering this option. 


How Many People Use Shopify? 

Here’s one way to prove that Shopify is as awesome as it sounds. Over 4.12 million websites are currently using Shopify to sell products and manage their business. We’ve helped dozens of companies migrate to Shopify or start new businesses on Shopify.

shopify store owners pictures 

Is a Shopify Theme Development Expert Really Necessary? 

Shopify is fairly easy to use. But it’s not as easy as Wix. Its drag-and-drop editor can give people the illusion that you don’t really need a real human to create a compelling and effective website. But you don’t want to stick with the template as is. If you don’t customize a theme with unique colors and branding, there’s a good chance another online business will be using the same template. You don’t want a website that’s the equivalent of Chick-fil-A. Every Chick-fil-A looks the same. You want your website to be one-of-a-kind. 


You Can Count on SEO Design Chicago As Your Shopify Theme Development Expert

Dozens of clients of SEO Design Chicago have said they’re glad we became their Shopify partners. One mistake people often make is thinking that once a site is set up, they don’t need to update it unless they want to add new products, pages, or services. This is not true. Google can detect how often a site publishes new content. That’s why we maintain a blog. 

If you want to learn more about Shopify and how theme development experts like us can help you get started or grow on the platform, reach out to us through our contact form or by phone.

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