Shopify announced an upgraded theme architecture for the Online Store, which will provide easier and more flexible customization options for merchants and new opportunities for developers.

Shopify also talked about brand new developer tooling, like new integration with GitHub, an updated Shopify CLI and Theme Check, that will improve how you build themes at Shopify.

Check a few quick questions and answers regarding these updates:

QUESTION: In theory, could we start building a store for a merchant now that is due to launch in ~12 weeks and be comfortable using Online Store 2.0?

ANSWER: Yes. Online Store 2.0 will be available to all merchants by the end of July.

QUESTION: “Hi, how do we tell clients they need to pay us to rebuild their store from Dawn again? Is there any support available with upgrading custom themes from a fresh Dawn on GIT?”

ANSWER: “Dawn is meant to be a reference for Theme Development and OS2.0 features. You don’t necessarily need to rebuild your clients’ themes from Dawn, but rather can use it as an inspiration for theme development going forward. Any existing theme can be made to work with OS2.0 features, including sections everywhere. Existing themes will also continue to work without any changes. We recommend you duplicate your current theme before making any code changes.”

QUESTION: “Can you access dawn on Shopify theme store?”

ANSWER: “Currently, Dawn is not on the theme store. The theme store release date is TBD. The initial release is developer-focused and the code is available on Github at”

QUESTION: Which version do I need to select on a new dev store to get the dawn “Shopify theme serve” to work?

ANSWER: None. You don’t need to select a developer preview. Dawn and OS 2.0 are available on all new development stores.

QUESTION: How will new sections work with translations? How will merchants be able to translate content added to those sections?

ANSWER: All schema translations can now be extracted in separate locales/*.schema.json files. More information can be found here:

QUESTION: “Can the new sections be gradually integrated into existing themes or we’d need to start from scratch with the new system?”

ANSWER: “Support for sections can be developed on a per-template basis in existing themes.”

QUESTION: Can we still use legacy themes with newly created dev stores?

ANSWER: Absolutely, legacy themes will continue to work.

QUESTION: Will there be naming guidelines for standard meta fields so they can work across different themes?

ANSWER: Yes. As Shopify introduces new standard meta fields you can start expecting these meta fields to exist at a specific namespace and key. You can see the standard meta field we currently support, and what namespace and key they use. See for more details.

QUESTION: Hi, are sections and only sections are allowed in the new JSON structure in the files (page, collection, …) ? not possible to have snippets?

ANSWER: Only sections can be added to JSON templates. Snippets can still be leveraged inside of sections.

QUESTION: “Is there any concept of a Netlify-like branch preview? How can we share these ephemeral development themes with other teams, such as QA?”

ANSWER: When you run Shopify theme serve you’ll get a shareable URL to the preview. Deployments can be set with the Github integration + Github actions. More info on the serve command here:

QUESTION: Does this mean that I need to buy a new 2.0 theme going forward or can current themes be upgraded to 2.0? As I’ll need to factor in extra costs?

ANSWER: Current themes can be upgraded to 2.0 – you can either update those yourself if you feel comfortable (via JSON templates) or wait for your theme developer to update, likely later this summer.

I’m guessing we can combine this with the section rendering API to create some really rich collections now?”

ANSWER: Yes! We’re doing this in Dawn. You’ll see that when filtering a collection, we only re-render the main section of the page rather than reloading the full page. The section rendering API also received some upgrades today, like being able to render up to 5 sections, and support for rendering sections as a response to POST requests like cart updates:

QUESTION: “Has upload speed for the new Shopify theme push CLI been improved?”

ANSWER: Yes! We actually re-wrote the update to reuse HTTP sockets and some other goodies, it’s way faster.

QUESTION: Will the Github integration work before OS 2.0 migration?

ANSWER: The GitHub integration works with themes that follow this folder structure.

QUESTION: “Is it necessary/required to use Shopify CLI for working with OS 2.0 ?”

ANSWER: “Nope! We hope it makes it easier, but it’s not required.”

QUESTION: As I have shown on live events and the new development store, the new Dawn theme has a different format for the template. So it will affect the old theme or not? What I meant is after releasing a new update for all merchants old theme will work or not?

ANSWER: Existing themes will continue to work in the new UI. Unlocking additional Sections Everywhere functionality will require merchants to explicitly install a Sections Everywhere theme (or add JSON files to their existing themes).

QUESTION: “with the new Sections Everywhere, can we share information between Sections (or even one level up from a Section to the Template)?”

ANSWER: “Section templates are isolated from each other, but they all have access to data provided by the page. For example, all sections on a product page can access the product. Likewise, meta fields are a good tool for sharing data between sections.”

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