Shopify Theme Demo Important Things to Know

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Shopify is a SaaS eCommerce platform. This means that users are restricted in their ability to customize their online shops. However, Hydrogen may change this.

Hydrogen Shopify’s first React-based framework allows developers to create custom storefronts. The framework allows developers to create fast and flexible storefronts by using React Server components, server side rendering & caching API.

Demo stores are a great way to get familiar with the structure, components and framework. It also gives you a clear picture of how Shopify Hydrogen stores look and work in real life.

Shopify Hydrogen storefront demos

  1. Shopify’s Demo

The official demo has been uploaded to StackBlitz – an environment for developers. In seconds, the live preview can be downloaded from the right panel. This demo store cannot be viewed via mobile.

  1. Shopify Supply

This is not a demo store. It is an official Hydrogen store created by Shopify.

  1. Hydrogen Demo from Tapita

The Shopify Hydrogen frontend demo was created by SIMICart using Tapita Hydrogen Page Builder to drag-and-drop all pages.

  1. Hydrogen demo by rafaelcg.com

This demo frontend is intended for education purposes and shows how developers can create a basic custom storefront using Hydrogen.

  1. Hydrogen Demo By Sanity

This demo shows how Shopify Hydrogen stores can be integrated with Sanity.io – a tool which combines marketing data and products.

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Shopify Hydrogen project demos

This collection of demo projects from Github will help you to get to know Shopify Hydrogen’s parts & structures.

Shopify Hydrogen vs Shopify Normal Store: What’s the Difference?

Shopify merchants might find it difficult to understand Shopify Hydrogen and its related terms.

We make a quick comparison to highlight the key differences between Shopify Hydrogen & a Shopify normal shop, so that even non-tech-savvy Shopify merchants have a clearer picture.

Definition

  • Shopify Hydrogen – A framework for custom storefronts using UI components
  • Shopify is an eCommerce platform

Outsiders may be confused by the terms framework and platform.

Platforms can contain both software and hardware. This provides a platform for users to create and use their application. A framework, which is a software-only platform, provides developers with pre-made components to help them create their applications.

The platform is often viewed as a play area, where people can use slides and see-saws. The framework, on the other hand is the seesaw itself. With the provided woods and paints, you can make your own see-saw.

Let’s now return to Shopify.

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that offers themes, eCommerce features and apps to help store owners create online stores.

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Shopify Hydrogen, the framework, provides the structure, tools and components that developers need to create custom storefronts for Shopify websites.

Coding language

  • Shopify Hydrogen – Javascript with the Reacts framework
  • Shopify normal store: Shopify Liquid

Shopify’s only coding language is Liquid. Javascript, on the other hand is a universal coding language that can be used in millions of applications. Javascript is used by many applications, including Netflix, Candy Crush and Linkedin.

Shopify Liquids can be a solid coding language but it has some limitations in terms of performance. Javascript is a Javascript plugin for Shopify storefronts that allows faster web pages and opens up endless possibilities for creating unique website UI&UXs.

User-friendliness

  • Shopify Hydrogen – Developer-Oriented
  • Shopify Normal Store: Non-techie-oriented

The Hydrogen website’s demo and tutorials contain terms that are only for developers. Although anyone can create Shopify stores, it is not possible to create custom storefronts using Shopify Hydrogen.

Benefits

Hydrogen offers developers and merchants an innovative way to create dynamic Shopify eCommerce experiences. This solves many of the problems that Shopify stores have, such as a lack of flexibility or speed performance.

Let’s explore the benefits of Shopify Hydrogen.

Quick to develop

The official demo template includes nearly 30 components. It already contains the entire customer buying journey. Developers can now skip the setup and get right to code.

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Shopify Hydrogen also comes with ready-to use hooks, components, and utilities that connect to Storefront API. Data-fetching is simplified and optimized without the need for GraphQL queries.

Performance improvements

Shopify Hydrogen uses advanced web technologies to maximize speed and leverage performance.

  • Streaming server-side-rendering
  • React Server Components
  • Intelligent built-in cache and efficient data-fetching
  • Dynamically combine server side rendering, client-side fetching and edge delivery

Performance improvements will undoubtedly lead to higher Google Core Vitals scores, which in turn leads to better SEO results.

Greater versatility

Hydrogen is Shopify’s response to headless commerce. It is one of the most important eCommerce trends for 2022.

Headless commerce is the separation of the frontend and backend in order to realize unparalleled customizability and integration.

Hydrogen allows you to make frontend changes without having to affect backend functions. You can use multiple frontends to personalize Shopify and fix Shopify’s URL structure.

The headless architecture allows for customization and maintenance to be done simultaneously in both the frontend and backend. Developers and designers will be able to work more freely knowing that the frontend process won’t affect the backend.

Better personalization

Customers will be the future of eCommerce if they have the best experience possible.

Localization is the first step to personalization. A page is translated into various languages by buyers from different countries.

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Nowadays, however, eCommerce personalization is becoming more complex. Prices have been shown to dynamically adjust for different contexts and product recommendations were displayed differently towards diverse customers.

eCommerce websites are now trying to personalize every detail of their sites.

Ilya Grigorik (principal engineer at Shopify) explains modern eCommerce personalization by visualizing every page as an open Tetris board. Each “slot” can be customized to appeal dynamically to the visitors.

How does Shopify Hydrogen assist with personalization?

A Shopify Hydrogen storefront does not have a single structure. It is made up of a variety of UI components. Merchants and developers can customize each component to provide dynamic content and a personalized customer experience.

For example, you can create a block of product recommendations based upon customer data like past purchases or demographic information.

Personalized web stores can be very complex. This means that you need more dynamic and powerful web technology to keep your speed up. This is something Shopify has known for a long time. This is why Hydrogen has made every effort to make stores faster, including server-side rendering improvements, data-fetching, and dynamic caching.

Shopify theme demos

Many Shopify theme developers offer several demo stores that demonstrate their themes in action. This can be an important part of deciding which Shopify template to purchase.

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There are two types of demos

Shopify offers two types of demos: standalone demo stores or the possibility to see the theme in action on your shop.

Regardless of whether they are listed on the Shopify theme shop, most Shopify theme developers offer standalone demos. These demos are usually set up under the domain “myshopify.com”. They contain samples and content that will help you get a feel for how the theme looks and functions.

Shopify themes are also available in the official theme shop. You can pre-view them in your store.

This means that you will see the theme applied on your products. However, it is not visible to your customers until your purchase and publication of your new theme.

How to locate Shopify theme demos

It’s very simple to try out both types of demos if the Shopify theme that you are interested in is available in the Shopify theme shop.

Just locate the theme that you are interested in and click either the “View Demo”, or “Preview in Your Store” buttons.

The latter button will add the demo mode to your store. It allows you to integrate your products and content with the theme.

This is a great way to see how the theme will look in your shop with your actual products. It is also the best way to preview Shopify themes.

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You can browse the site if you don’t need any product or content. Instead, click the “View demo” link below the “Preview button. Or hover over the images to view the demo site that the theme designer created.

The only way to get themes that are not in the theme store (e.g Turbo) is to use standalone demos. These will typically be indicated with a preview button.

Shopify themes usually have at least two styles (previously known as “presets”) Select the presets by clicking the colored dots icons above the buttons. Then click the preview or view demo link to view that style.

You generally have access to all styles when you purchase a theme

It is easy to see all the possible themes styles and also the variations in settings and options.

  • Text alignment
  • Logo positioning
  • Layout of navigation menu and header bar
  • Animation styles
  • Parallax scrolling effects
  • Choose from a variety of colors
  • Typography settings
  • Options for pagination
  • The homepage has sections available

You should be aware that not all features and elements are available in all themes. If you need a certain feature or element for your store and it hasn’t been shown in the demo shops, you should check with the theme developer.

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If you don’t see the element (e.g. homepage contact form), it’s still possible to use the theme. It just wasn’t available in other styles or demo shops.

Limitations on the theme preview

There are some limitations when previewing a theme in your store.

Shopify allows only one set of products, collections, pages, and blogs to be available on any given store. You will need to preview the theme with whatever data you have.

Some layouts, custom styles, or column-based layouts that you have created on your current theme may not be available in the preview mode. These features may not be supported by the theme you are testing or may require slightly different coding techniques.

Preview mode will prevent you from accessing the HTML, CSS and Liquid codes for your theme files. Once a valid license has been purchased, this ability will be unlocked.

Things to Look For

There are many things you need to take into consideration when reviewing demo stores. Here is a quick list of things you should be looking for when reviewing demo stores:

  • Pay attention to the overall layout and structure of the theme. These elements are the most difficult to change, so make sure you choose a theme with the same structure and layout.
  • Make sure you preview the theme on a large screen computer, tablet or mobile device. To mimic different device sizes, you can simply adjust your browser window to make it narrower or wider. After adjusting the window, you may need to refresh it for more advanced themes.
  • You should pay attention to important elements like navigation and logo placement. These options are often more difficult to customize.
  • Compare the styles and see how flexible they might be. Although most of the options can be applied to all styles, it is a good idea check with the designer.
  • You should verify that additional functionality, such as currency converters, tabs and advanced filtering, back-in stock notification forms, recent viewed products, related products, tabs, advanced filters, tabs, advanced filtering and tabs are available. Some themes do not include all these features. To be certain, check the feature list and speak with the developer. Some features in themes might not be compatible with the app’s features.
  • Search the help centre of the theme developer for information on how to set-up and use specific features. This is a great way not only to verify that a theme has a specific feature, but also to check its limitations and the details of how it works. Many theme developers provide links to their help center and documents via the “Documentation” link on the theme store pages.
  • You can check how advanced layouts are made and whether you will need to use HTML. Although Shopify sections has made it easier to create robust layouts for homepages and other pages, there are limitations on how these layouts can be used on other pages. If you have a specific layout that you would like to replicate from one of the demo shops, please contact the theme designer.
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Shopify Partner Demo

It takes more than getting partners to sign the dotted lines. You must manage, optimize, scale, and scale influencer and affiliate partnerships throughout their entire lifecycle. Impact.com’s partnership management platform is an integrated, end-to-end solution. It allows you to automate and manage all stages of your partnership life cycle.
Shopify selected impact.com to be a certified partner app because we can align with your requirements and have a proven track record of success working with Shopify merchants. Shopify merchants can seamlessly integrate the app with the impact.com platform by joining 600+.

Ask for a demo to find out more about how your affiliate program can be launched without the involvement of developers