Theme architecture versions

In July 2021, Shopify released a new theme architecture called Online Store 2.0. Themes that use the previous architecture are called vintage themes. Vintage themes have two types: sectioned and non-sectioned. Your theme architecture version determines the file types that make up your theme, the ways that you can customize your theme, and the ways that apps can integrate with your theme. Your theme architecture version might also give you access to new Shopify features.

Shopify offers one free Online Store 2.0 theme called Dawn. Learn more about Dawn.

Upgrading to Online Store 2.0 isn't mandatory. You can continue using a vintage theme if it meets your business's needs.

Online Store 2.0 features vs. vintage theme features

Compare theme features
Feature Vintage OS 2.0
Sections on the home page
Customize the content on your online store's home page. Add, rearrange, or remove sections to create your page layout.
Sections on every page
Customize the content on most of your online store's pages. Add, rearrange, or remove sections and blocks to create unique page layouts.
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Enhanced app support
Install or change apps without touching any code. Add app functionality anywhere in your theme using app blocks.
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Richer content using dynamic sources
Add dynamic, specialized information to any setting in your theme by connecting the setting to a dynamic source. A dynamic source can be a resource attribute or a metafield value.
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Collection filtering
Allow customers to filter collections in your store by availability, price, and more.
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Determine your theme architecture version

You might want to know which theme architecture version your theme is using in the following cases:

  • you're trying to determine whether an app or app feature is compatible with your theme
  • you want to use one of the features only available to Online Store 2.0 themes
  • you want to know whether a certain customization tutorial applies to your theme

The theme architecture version is specific to each theme in your theme library. You might have both Online Store 2.0 themes and vintage themes in your theme library at the same time.

Steps:

  1. Select Products > Default product. This opens the default product template.
  2. Look in the sidebar, below the product template sections. If you have an Online Store 2.0 theme, then an Add section button appears below the section list.
  3. If no Add section button appears, then you might have a vintage sectioned theme or a vintage non-sectioned theme. Follow the steps in Determine your vintage theme architecture version to learn which vintage architecture version your theme is using.

If you're using an Online Store 2.0 theme, then you can add sections to your product page.

Determine your vintage theme architecture version

After you know you're using a vintage theme, you should also learn whether you're using a sectioned or a non-sectioned theme. This helps you understand which customizations are available for your theme, and which set of steps to follow within any theme customization tutorials.

A way to check in the theme editor is to check if you can drag and drop to arrange the layout of your home page. If you can drag and drop elements, then you have a sectioned theme.

To make sure which version you are using, check the Sections folder within your theme code.

Steps:

  1. Check the folder structure in the sidebar:
    • If there are files in the Sections directory, then you're using a sectioned theme.
    • If there aren't any files in the Sections directory, then you're using a non-sectioned theme.

Learn more about your theme version

After you determine your theme version, you can explore documentation and customization guides that apply to you:

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