When any merchant buys a theme or gets a free theme from Shopify, then many questions arise like

Is there any specific theme structure?

Which programming language or template language is used to create a theme?

What if I want to change anything in the theme?

What are the best shopify themes to customize?

I assume you know about Shopify and its advantages and disadvantages.

You choose Shopify as it is best for your business.

If you don’t know about it, then go through this blog.

Shopify theme is used by merchants for their online store. Merchants manage the look and feel of their online store and customize as they want using the theme editor.  Shopify theme development best practices ensure that the website is according to your wish.

Shopify theme uses the Liquid template language to build and customize themes. Shopify theme development is perfect for vendors looking to customize the theme and update it according to the latest trends.

Shopify has its own structure of the theme. Merchants can hire the developer for theme development or customization of a theme.

Also Read: Why Is Shopify Development Trending For Ecommerce And Online Stores?

Theme structure:

Before Shopify theme customization, you need to understand the structure. It includes the following directives to manage different types of files.

  • assets
  • config
  • layout
  • locales
  • sections
  • snippets
  • templates


assets directory contains all the assets used in the theme including images, stylesheets, and javascript files.

Use the asset_url filter to reference theme assets in your templates.


It includes the settings_schema.json and settings_data.json files.


You can use this file to configure theme settings so merchants can easily access using a theme editor. It controls the organization and content of the menu in the theme editor.

You can get more information from here.


This file stores the theme settings data saved from the theme editor. It also includes the ‘theme style’, also known as presets. If presets are defined, then merchants can choose the style which is predetermined by the theme developer.


It contains all theme layout templates. By default, all other templates are rendered inside of theme.liquid file.

Shopify Plus members also have a checkout.liquid layout file.


This folder contains the files for localization. It used to translate the content of the theme. Among other files, this folder contains the default English locale file, which name is en.default.json.

To create a new locale file and read more information from here.


It contains the section files of themes like header sections, footer sections, collection, etc. It is reusable modules of content that can be customized and re-ordered by the merchants. Sections are the liquid templates that have access to the same global objects, tags, filters, etc.

For more information, you can get an idea from here.


Snippets are the bits of code that can be referenced in other templates of a theme.

We can use the liquid render tag to load snippets into your theme.


It includes all other liquid templates files including customer accounts file, 404(Not Found), article, cart file, and many more, etc.

So, I hope you understand the structure of themes.

Below are some essential tips for customizing the existing theme or develop a new theme.

1. Learn Liquid template: 

As I mentioned above, Shopify uses liquid template language. You need to learn about liquid.

As a template language, it acts as an intermediary between the content in a Shopify online store and the HTML content, which is rendered on the browser.

You can use a Shopify object to load dynamic content using liquid template syntax.

If you are new to a template language, there are some resources which are below:

  • Liquid Reference Documentation: A complete and comprehensive reference of liquid template, how to use tags, filter, objects, conditional login, and more.
  • Shopify Liquid Cheat Sheet: Simple and detailed cheat sheet for liquid markup on Shopify. It includes the syntactical elements and a description of their purpose. You can check the Global objects, URL filters, Page objects, and many more.

2. ThemeKit: 

A cross-platform tool for building Shopify themes. If you are starting a new theme or working with an existing one, Shopify Theme Kit will be easy to configure and it enables you to work locally and push theme changes to your store. It will save our time to develop a new theme or customize existing themes.

3. Git and Design Templates: 

You need to understand git. So it will be easy to manage your code. Here is a complete guide for understanding git with Shopify.

Design: A main important part of the application is designed. It will enhance your store.

You need to understand Sass(Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) with Shopify. You need to learn the basics of the SCSS syntax and how to work with SCSS and Shopify.

I hope this will help you to understand the theme structure for Shopify theme customization and how to modify the existing or develop a new theme.

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