What is Shopify OS 2.0?
Shopify OS 2.0 has brought us plenty of new, exciting features. Let's explore how they make store building easier, faster and better.
BY HANA DRDLA
Before Online Store 2.0, there was just Shopify. There were certain features that people were begging for for years, and suddenly… they were here. Shopify Online Store (OS) 2.0 is a version of Shopify that has brought us plenty of new, exciting features when compared to Vintage themes (which I'll call 1.0 themes in this article for the sake of clarity). It was rolled out in July 2021.
Shopify OS 2.0 has to do with the theme version being used and the ability of that theme to use certain Shopify features. The backend where you add products, create collections, create pages, add blog posts, etc. will be the same whether or not you’re using a 1.0 or 2.0 theme. It’s the theme version that allows you to use these new features or not.
Use theme sections to build the page layout on any page by adding them as easily as you do on the home page. Previously, beautiful page layouts could only be done easily on the homepage, leaving other pages looking quite boring without some development help. This was one of the main things previously keeping web designers off of Shopify.
Metafields are custom fields for you to store information about products, collections or customers. You can then easily pull this information to display on your website pages. (If you're coming from WordPress Elementor, these are like custom dynamic fields). You can have more than just a product “description” to work with. Add an “Ingredients” or “How to use” section for your product descriptions, have a place to neatly store this information, and then easily display it on your product page. Previously, this could be done with an app or with a clunky method using the bulk editor and custom code. Learn more about how to use metafields in our article, What are Shopify Metafields (and how to use them).
Easily create new page, product and collection templates to create different layouts, straight from the customizer with just a click. This allows you to have display different products and collections in different ways. Page templates allow us to store information about what sections are on that page for the new sections everywhere feature mentioned above. Previously, a new template had to be created through the theme code editor.
Now you can reorder block elements within a section by dragging the elements above or below one another. Want the Add to Cart button above or below the product description? Easy, just drag it into place. This reordering previously had to be done in the theme’s code.
Easily add apps to the page like you do with theme sections. Add and drag to reorder on the page, or even within a section. For example, add a review stars widget underneath the product title, or drag it above the title with ease. Previously, you would automatically or manually add the code to the theme, and would often have to tinker with the app code placement to get it right where you wanted it.
To summarize, you have a lot of code-free features that were time-consuming before and may have required a developer. This certainly doesn’t eliminate the need for Shopify developers, as the level of customization to stores is limitless, but it helps make the platform more accessible to everyone and helps make developers’ jobs a little easier since they don’t have to do things in a complicated, and unscalable way anymore.
Some ways to check if your theme is 1.0 or OS 2.0 is to see what features there are:
1. Check the theme code files. If the Templates folder is full of .liquid files, it’s 1.0. If the Templates folder is full of .json folders, it’s 2.0.
2. Sections everywhere? In the customizer, go to any page apart from the homepage, and see if at the bottom of the left sidebar you have the blue “Add section” button. If you do, you’re most likely using 2.0.
3. Page templates: In the customizer, use the top dropdown to navigate to the Pages list. Scroll down in this list. If you see a blue “Create template” button, then you’re using 2.0.
4. Section layout: In the customizer, look at your homepage sections on the left sidebar. Find a section that has blocks. Hover over them and see if the icon with 6 dots appears on the right. You can use this icon to drag and reorder the blocks. If you have this feature, it’s a 2.0 theme.
If you’re a web designer, you might still need to know how to work on 1.0 themes. The reason being that you might have a client who wants changes to their Shopify storefront, but they’re still using a 1.0 theme. In this case, you’ll have the chance to familiarize yourself with how to problem solve on 1.0.
If your client is doing a complete redesign, then suggesting that they upgrade to 2.0 is a good idea so that they can take take advantage of all the features Shopiffy continues to release. If they stay on 1.0, they’ll still be paying the same monthly cost without the ability to use all of Shopify’s amazing features, and it will take you longer to do some tasks, therefore costing them more.
However, if your client isn't ready to undertake a theme version upgrade yet, you can still take advantage of Shopify’s “sections everywhere” feature with some tweaks to your theme code. Read how with our “How to Add Sections Everywhere on Shopify 1.0 Themes” tutorial.
If you are starting a new store, then yes, you absolutely should be choosing an OS 2.0 theme. Shopify OS 2.0 will make building the store faster, and allow you to take full advantage of all of Shopify’s features. There’s no reason to stay in the past and limit scalability.
The short answer is yes, absolutely, yes. Updating your theme will allow you to take advantage of the features above, and make updating and growing your website much faster to do going forward. That means saving time and money if hiring a developer.
The good news is that it doesn’t cost as a much as a new build or complete re-design. The reasons it doesn’t cost as much:
At Luna Templates, we rebuilt our website onto OS 2.0 in about 1-2 work days. We have a several theme customizations and custom sections built, but we didn’t have to do this from scratch like the first time! We also stuck to the same theme, just upgraded the version, so there was no redesign.
If you found this helpful, you might like to check out our Shopify Store Launch Kit.