How do I update my Shopify theme?
Note: While you have access to lifetime theme updates with every theme purchase, Archetype themes does not provide customer support to manually update your theme because of the complexity introduced with the addition of 3rd party apps and customizations. This article will guide you on how to do this yourself, or with the help of 3rd party experts or an app!
Updating your theme to the latest version is important in order to take advantage of the latest theme features, bug fixes and Shopify enhancements. However, it can be challenging as Shopify currently does not have a way of automatically updating your theme to the latest version if any code changes have been introduced. This is why we put this guide together. Merchants typically have 3 options when it comes to updating their theme to the latest version.
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This is a great option for shops that have only made modest changes to their theme code. The following steps will help you bring over things like theme settings, however, homepage sections, custom product templates and custom page templates will need to be set up again in the new theme. As in previous theme versions, any third-party apps or custom code will need to be reinstalled into the new theme files.
First download the latest version from the Shopify theme store here. It will be installed in your theme library as an unpublished theme.
- To copy all your sections and settings over from your old theme, open the code editor for your old theme (Actions > Edit code), find the Config folder from the sidebar and copy everything from settings_data.json
- Now open the code editor for the new version of the theme and paste everything into the same file, Config/settings_data.json, and Save the file.
Are you on a newer theme version that supports Online Store 2.0? Check here.
If so, you can copy over your homepage sections by opening the code editor for your old theme and copy everything from templates/index.json and pasting into the same file in the new theme version.
For Online Store 2.0 themes, you can also copy over the templates for pages, products, and collections by copying over the contents of the JSON template for each and pasting the contents of those files into the same file in the new theme version.
Custom templates can be brought over using the exact same process, however, you'll need to create the JSON template in the new theme files since they won't exist there by default. More details here from Shopify on creating new templates in the new theme.
If you're on an older theme version that doesn't support Online Store 2.0, homepage sections and product templates will need to be created in the new theme manually.
- If you've installed any apps or made any other code customizations, you'll now want to make those code changes to the new theme as well.
- When you're ready to go live, Publish the theme.
Theme Updater App
Archetype Themes has partnered with Out of the Sandbox to include support for all of our themes when using their Theme Updater app. For shops with minor customizations, the Theme Updater app can help automate some of the manual steps required in a theme update -- a big time saver! In many cases, the app can also carry over simple changes that have been made directly to the theme code.
The app will transfer over all shop settings that have been configured through the Theme Editor. It will also attempt to transfer over any customizations that have been made directly to the code, however, if you or your developer have made extensive or complex customizations to the theme files themselves, then these will still need to be manually transferred to the updated theme.
Merchants who have purchased any Archetype Theme will automatically receive a 14-day free trial of the Theme Updater app. This is a full-featured 'Pro Plan' good for 14 days that allows you to preserve most settings and customizations when updating along with identifying code conflicts. Install the app. Register your Archetype theme and you're set! Visit Out of the Sandbox Theme Updater app FAQ page for more details.
Working with an Expert
We partner with several Shopify Experts who offer theme update services. Either of the teams at Storetasker or HeyCarson are great options. Each team is made up of experienced, vetted Shopify developers who can take on more complex update scenarios that can manifest when lots of apps or lots of customizations have been introduced into your theme code. Both teams have the added benefit of being familiar with all Archetype Themes.