How to Edit Shopify Code: A Step-by-Step Guide
By Sam Thomas Davies Head of Content
@ Sleeknote

This article provides a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to edit Shopify code. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, understanding and customizing your Shopify store’s code can significantly enhance its functionality and design. By making careful edits to the underlying code, you can create a unique and personalized online store that aligns perfectly with your brand. In this guide, we will cover all the essential aspects of editing Shopify code, from the basics to more advanced techniques, troubleshooting common issues, and collaborating with developers for complex modifications.

Understanding the Basics of Shopify Code

Before diving into the world of editing Shopify code, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental concepts and terminology. This section will give you a brief overview of Shopify’s code structure, including theme files, liquid syntax, CSS, and JavaScript. By familiarizing yourself with these concepts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate and modify your store’s code effectively.

Shopify’s code structure is organized into theme files, which control the appearance and functionality of your online store. These theme files are written in a language called Liquid, which is Shopify’s templating language. Liquid allows you to dynamically generate content and make use of variables, conditionals, and loops.

Why Edit Shopify Code?

Editing Shopify code offers several advantages, such as customizing your store’s theme to align with your brand aesthetic, enhancing functionality through custom features or integrations, and optimizing performance for faster load times. It allows you to tailor your store’s design, layout, and user experience to meet your specific requirements, providing a unique and memorable shopping experience for your customers.

One of the main reasons to edit Shopify code is to have full control over the design and branding of your online store. By customizing the code, you can create a visually appealing and cohesive website that reflects your brand identity. This can help establish trust and credibility with your customers, as a well-designed store often gives the impression of professionalism and attention to detail.

In addition to design customization, editing Shopify code allows you to add custom features and integrations to enhance the functionality of your store. Whether it’s integrating with third-party apps or creating unique features from scratch, having the ability to modify the code gives you the flexibility to meet your specific business needs. This can include anything from advanced product filtering options to personalized customer experiences through tailored checkout processes.

Preparing Your Shopify Store for Code Editing

Prior to making any changes to your Shopify store’s code, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions and ensure you have a backup of your theme files. This section will guide you through the steps to create a duplicate theme and introduce you to essential tools for code editing, such as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and version control systems. By following these preparation steps, you’ll minimize the risk of errors and potential data loss.

Creating a duplicate theme is an important step in preparing your Shopify store for code editing. This allows you to make changes to the duplicate theme without affecting your live store. In case anything goes wrong, you can always revert back to the original theme.

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are powerful tools that can greatly enhance your code editing experience. IDEs provide features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging capabilities, making it easier to write and manage your code. Some popular IDEs for Shopify development include Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, and Atom.

Exploring the Different Sections of Shopify Code

Shopify code is organized into different sections, each responsible for a specific aspect of your store’s functionality and design. This section will provide an in-depth exploration of these sections, including the theme.liquid file, template files, snippets, and assets. Understanding these sections will allow you to locate and modify the relevant code for making specific changes to your store.

One of the key sections of Shopify code is the theme.liquid file. This file acts as the main template for your store’s theme and controls the overall structure and layout. It includes HTML, CSS, and Liquid code that determine how your store looks and functions.

Customizing Your Store’s Theme with Code

One of the primary reasons to edit Shopify code is to customize your store’s theme. In this section, we’ll discuss various ways to modify the theme’s layout, design elements, and overall appearance. You’ll learn how to adjust the homepage, headers, footers, navigation menus, and other essential components to create a visually appealing and user-friendly online store.

Additionally, we will explore how to add custom functionality to your store by leveraging Shopify’s Liquid templating language. This will allow you to create dynamic features such as product filters, personalized recommendations, and advanced search options. By understanding the code behind your theme, you’ll have the power to tailor your store’s functionality to meet the unique needs of your business and provide an exceptional shopping experience for your customers.

Making Changes to Layout and Design Elements

Layout and design play a vital role in attracting and engaging customers. This section will delve into the specifics of editing Shopify code to modify layout and design elements such as grids, columns, sections, images, and videos. By understanding these techniques, you’ll have the flexibility to create visually stunning product pages, collection pages, and other content.

One important aspect of modifying layout and design elements is understanding responsive design. With the increasing use of mobile devices, it is crucial to ensure that your website looks and functions well on different screen sizes. By using CSS media queries and responsive design techniques, you can create a seamless user experience across various devices.

In addition to layout and design, typography also plays a significant role in the overall aesthetics of your website. Shopify provides a range of customizable typography options, allowing you to choose fonts, sizes, and styles that align with your brand identity. By carefully selecting and styling your typography, you can enhance readability and create a cohesive visual experience for your customers.

Modifying Typography and Color Schemes

Typography and color schemes greatly contribute to the overall look and feel of your store. Through code edits, you can customize fonts, font sizes, colors, and other typographic elements. This section will walk you through the process of modifying typography and color schemes to align with your brand identity and enhance the readability and visual appeal of your store.

When modifying typography, it is important to consider the readability of the text. Choosing a font that is easy to read, especially for longer paragraphs, can greatly improve the user experience. Additionally, adjusting the font size and line spacing can also enhance readability.

Color schemes play a crucial role in creating a cohesive and visually appealing design. By selecting a color palette that aligns with your brand identity, you can create a consistent and professional look for your store. It is important to choose colors that complement each other and provide enough contrast for easy legibility.

Adding Custom CSS Styles to Your Shopify Store

While Shopify provides a range of pre-defined style settings, there might be instances where you require additional customization using CSS. This section will guide you on how to add custom CSS styles to your Shopify store, allowing you to fine-tune various aspects of your store’s appearance beyond what the built-in options provide.

Custom CSS styles can be added to your Shopify store by accessing the “Theme Editor” in your Shopify admin dashboard. Once you are in the “Theme Editor,” navigate to the “Actions” dropdown menu and select “Edit Code.” This will open the code editor where you can make changes to your store’s CSS file.

Within the code editor, locate the “Assets” folder and open the “theme.scss.liquid” file. This file contains the CSS code for your store’s theme. You can add your custom CSS styles directly to this file.

When adding custom CSS styles, it is important to use proper CSS syntax and selectors to target the specific elements you want to customize. You can refer to Shopify’s documentation or consult with a web developer for guidance on CSS syntax and best practices.

After making your CSS changes, save the file and preview your store to see the updated styles. If you are satisfied with the changes, click “Save” to apply the custom CSS styles to your live store.

Integrating Third-Party Apps and Code Snippets

Shopify’s extensive library of third-party apps and code snippets offers endless possibilities for enhancing your store’s functionality. This section will demonstrate how to integrate and customize these components within your store’s code. Whether you’re looking to add social media integration, product reviews, or other advanced features, you’ll learn how to seamlessly incorporate them into your store.

One of the key benefits of integrating third-party apps and code snippets is the ability to expand your store’s functionality without having to build everything from scratch. With Shopify’s library of apps and code snippets, you can easily find pre-built solutions for common features like email marketing, inventory management, and customer support. This not only saves you time and effort but also ensures that you’re using tried and tested solutions that have been developed by experts in the field.

Furthermore, integrating third-party apps and code snippets allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. As the e-commerce landscape evolves, new features and functionalities emerge that can greatly enhance the user experience and drive sales. By leveraging third-party solutions, you can quickly adopt these innovations and stay ahead of the competition. Whether it’s implementing a chatbot for real-time customer support or integrating with a popular payment gateway, you can easily keep your store at the forefront of technology without the need for extensive development work.

Optimizing Your Store’s Performance with Code Edits

Performance is a crucial factor in providing a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for your customers. In this section, we’ll explore various techniques for optimizing your store’s performance through code edits. From minifying and compressing code to lazy loading images and implementing caching mechanisms, you’ll discover how to improve your store’s loading speed and overall performance.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Editing Shopify Code

While editing Shopify code can be exciting, it’s not without its challenges. In this section, we’ll address common issues that may arise during code edits and provide troubleshooting tips to help you overcome them. From syntax errors to compatibility issues, you’ll gain valuable insights on how to diagnose and resolve potential problems.

Best Practices for Editing Shopify Code Safely

Editing code comes with a certain level of risk, especially if you’re not following best practices. This section will outline essential guidelines to ensure the safety and integrity of your Shopify store’s code. By adhering to these best practices, you’ll minimize the chances of breaking your store’s functionality and data.

Testing and Previewing Changes Before Going Live

Before applying code changes to your live store, it’s essential to thoroughly test and preview them in a controlled environment. This section will teach you how to set up a development store, use preview modes, and leverage Shopify’s theme editor to ensure code changes work as intended before making them live.

Backup and Restore Options for Shopify Code Modifications

Despite careful preparation and testing, errors can still occur during code edits. This section will introduce you to backup and restore options, enabling you to revert to previous versions of your code in case of unexpected issues. By implementing these methods, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can easily recover from any mishaps.

Advanced Techniques for Customizing Shopify Themes with Code

For those seeking more advanced customization options, this section will explore techniques beyond basic theme modifications. You’ll learn how to create custom sections, implement AJAX functionality, and harness the power of Shopify’s API to create seamless integrations with external systems or build custom apps.

Beyond Theme Customization: Enhancing Functionality with Code Edits

Editing Shopify code extends beyond design and layout customization. This section will show you how to leverage code edits to enhance your store’s functionality. Whether you’re looking to implement advanced search functionality, create custom product options, or customize the cart and checkout process, you’ll discover how to achieve these enhancements through code modifications.

Collaborating with Developers: Working with External Resources for Complex Modifications

For complex modifications or projects that require expertise beyond your own, partnering with external developers can be invaluable. This section will provide guidance on how to collaborate effectively with developers, including communication best practices, sharing access to your store’s code, and managing version control. By leveraging the skills and experience of developers, you can tackle complex modifications and achieve your store’s desired functionality with confidence.

By following this comprehensive step-by-step guide on editing Shopify code, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to take your online store to the next level. Whether you’re looking to make subtle design tweaks or undertake more ambitious customizations, this guide will empower you to create a visually stunning and highly functional Shopify store that reflects your brand’s identity and optimizes the user experience for your customers.