Shopify is a complete commerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage a business. Create and customize an online store, Sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops.
When starting your Shopify online store, it all comes down to the theme you choose. Most of these themes cost quite a lot of money and can be quite a drawback when starting your store.
Thankfully Shopify offers a few free for life themes that you can use. Of course these themes will not fit the needs of any store. For example if you are building a large store with lots of products sorted on categories and collections, you may have to look at one of the more complex themes that can meet your needs.
Here is the list of all the free themes offered by Shopify:
You can find them here.
By working with all of them and also testing various features on development stores using these themes, I can say that the best theme remains the Debut theme. It also comes by default installed when you create your store, so no need in adding the theme.
To reach this conclusion I have looked into multiple factors:
- Page speed. A store using the Debut theme without any custom changes can achieve a page speed score between 90-100 which is almost perfect
- Code structure. In case you need to make any custom changes to the theme, you will notice how organized and well-written the code is. It makes it so easy to know exactly where to look and what to change.
- Responsiveness. Like all Shopify themes, Debut theme is a mobile-friendly theme.
- Customization. Lots of options when it comes to customizing your store. For a small business you could build the whole store without ever needing any custom changes
- App compatibility. By following a default theme structure, theme>templates>sections>snippets, any app you install on the store will work without messing up something.
- Rich snippets. Debut theme comes with up-to-date JSON+LD structured data built-in. Some adjustments may be necessary, but this is a major win since you will get rich snippets on Google without extra work or costs.
The only "bad" thing I have noticed for the Debut theme yet, are the sliders. It uses the "Slick" JS library for the sliders which is not by far the best one they could have used since it lacks lots of customization features and it is not that good in terms of performance.
As a personal suggestion, you could replace the slick sliders with Flickity. It is more performance-friendly and has more features.
Of course this requires some technical knowledge to implement, but if you are a bit tech-savy, I am sure you will pull it through.
Although this is in my opinion the best of these free themes offered by Shopify, they can all be the best if the one you choose meets your needs.
Drop a comment if you think this article did or did not cover al the aspects or if you have a different opinion on the matter.