How Long Does it Take To Build a Shopify Theme?

Are you a developer/designer eager to make money creating Shopify themes for clients? If so – then you’ll need to know what to charge. After all, a lot goes into building a Shopify theme from scratch – so you don’t want to sell yourself short.

You’ll also need to know what you’re getting into with themes. If you’ve never built a Shopify theme before – try out some tests before charging clients.

You can also upload original themes to the Shopify Theme Marketplace.

If you want to charge per hour – you’ll need to know the answer to this question: How long does it take to build a Shopify theme?

If you already have the design built in Photoshop and know how to use HTML – it won’t take long to build your Shopify Store. In that case, packaging a Shopify theme and getting it up and running can take 3-5 hours. If you’re starting from scratch – it’s more like a day and a half.

Read on if you want to learn more about what goes into building a Shopify theme. That way – you can determine if becoming a theme creator is an appropriate fit for you.

Understanding Shopify Themes

If you’re brand-new to Shopify – you might not know much about themes. A Shopify theme determines your store’s design, layout, look, and feel.

You can think of it as a framework that you use to further customize and build upon later. There are also foundational elements at play. Every page, image, product, and app will reside within your theme. In other words – the quality of your Shopify theme will make or break your store.

Creating Shopify Themes

Shopify chose to handle themes uniquely. Much like third-party apps, themes have a marketplace on Shopify. There, developers share premium themes with the rest of the community.

There’s a lot of demand for high-quality themes on Shopify. Since the core Shopify experience is quite limited – apps and themes fill in the gaps.

That poses a unique opportunity for designers and developers. You can earn money online by creating original Shopify themes. If you’re good with Photoshop and know HTML/CSS – you’ll be a natural at it.

There are free pre-built themes that users can apply – but these are undesirable for a few reasons. They’re extremely limited in terms of customization. You won’t get the chance to add your branded imaging or colors.

Also – pre-built stores have aesthetics in mind only. That’s only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a theme. An ideal Shopify theme should be visually appealing and practical in its layout. Also – it would help if you designed Shopify themes for conversions.

In other words – every element of the theme should have a goal – such as furthering your customers down the funnel.

The Building Blocks of a Custom Shopify Theme

All right – let’s say that you’re ready to start creating a custom theme from scratch. You’re either selling it on the marketplace or using it for your online store. Either way – you’ll need to do some planning to do things properly. It’s important not to skimp here – as a solid plan will lead to a better theme.

Planning for your theme goes beyond dreaming up visual aesthetics.

Remember – you’re designing an e-commerce store. Your goal should be to convert clicks into customers. Here are some things you should think about when creating a theme:

  • Which page will users start at when arriving at your store?
  • What do customers look for in your store the most? If it’s t-shirts – make sure the t-shirt collection link is in plain sight. You always want to give your customers what they’re looking for as soon as possible.
  • What do you think the first step should be in your store? Do you want users to see an internal search bar? Or would you prefer to entice customers by placing a promotional offer front and center? It should be obvious where you want your customers to click as soon as they enter your store.
  • How many clicks does it take to get to the checkout page? It would help to map out how many pages a customer has to go through to complete a sale. If it’s more than 3 or 4 – you’re doing something wrong. The last thing you want is for customers to lose interest and leave because your sales funnel is too long. Aim to try to get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Where are you going to place secondary elements? Beyond promotional offers and product pages, other page elements also need to have their place. These include testimonials, blogs, newsletters, and more. Try using a mega menu if you’re having a hard time placing it all on the navigation bar at the top. That’s an extended menu version that appears when customers hover over the link. You can tweak it, so it’s large enough to include every page on your store – including secondary elements.

Must-Have Pages for a Shopify Theme

When creating a theme – you’ll need to include some must-have pages to make it look right. Of course, users can add more pages once they pay for your theme and download it. Yet – it’s always a good rule of thumb to include the basics. That will give your customers a solid foundation to work from when they personalize the theme. Here are the pages you should have:

  • Homepage. Here, you need simple navigation, a value proposition, and clear calls to action.
  • Landing pages. These pages create a sense of urgency in your customer. They need attractive images and countdown timers. That will help push your customers further down your funnel.
  • Product pages. These pages have detailed images, descriptions, and reviews. They also need a simplified add-to-cart feature to make shopping effortless.
  • Collection pages. These pages contain specific brands, clothing collections, promotions, and more. It would help if you used them whenever you have similar products to group together under a pack.

Shopify Theme development with Coding Phase

If you are interested in a great course to learn liquid try out Shopify Theme Development by CodingPhase. Codingphase by Joe Santos teaches you all about the liquid programming language as you code alongside him to create a theme. I highly recommend this course as it’s easy to follow and has tons of useful information. We recommend subscribing to the diamond plan so you can have access to both the Shopify theme development courses and Shopify app development courses, while also getting access to a huge collection of programming courses you can take. You can also buy courses individually but you will end up spending more money than if you bought the diamond plan and got access to all of the Codingphase courses. If you want to get access to the Shopify theme development course and a huge collection of courses check out Codingphase at this link.

Key Takeaways: How Long Does it Take to Build a Shopify Theme?

Since you better understand Shopify themes, what do you think? Does building Shopify themes sound appealing to you? If so, you should pursue it by creating some test themes and seeing how they work. From there, you can either use it yourself or upload it to the Shopify Theme Marketplace. If you’d be interested in our guide on how to sell themes on Shopify visit this link here.

To get more Shopify developer tips see our developer posts here.

Davon Wilson

I'm a certified Shopify expert, you can usually find me on my computer coding, or thinking about business ideas. I'm an avid Ravens fan and an overall nice guy.

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