Opening up opportunities for all kinds of Shopify merchants to experience more flexibility in handling their store, Shopify Unite 2021 is about revising Shopify's infrastructure, tooling, and technologies that make the future of commerce possible. 

From unlimited customizations on every page to easy integration of Shopify Apps to flexibility in handling meta details, Shopify Online Store 2.0 allows you to offer the best customer experience with effortless actions. 

If you aren't still on Shopify, then it's time for you to migrate to the Shopify platform platform with HulkApps Shopify experts to build and maintain a store with flexible options quickly.


Speaking of which, the answer to 

Why should you upgrade to Shopify Online Store 2.0?

As the future of commerce relies on creative expression at every touchpoint, Shopify announces Online Store 2.0 to give Shopify merchants greater levels of flexibility and customization. From the infrastructure changes to the introduction of new tools, here is the list Shopify Online Store 2.0 majorly focuses on: 

  • Upgraded theme architecture
  • Flexible store content
  • Enhancements to the theme editor
  • New developer tools
  • A new reference theme

While discussing the technicalities of these new tools and features, we'll also explain the difference between Shopify 1.0 and Shopify Online Store 2.0.

  • Upgraded Theme architecture

Until the Shopify 2.0 release, you might have felt a limit in designing your store with default Shopify functionalities, but that changes with Sections Everywhere in the Shopify Online Store 2.0 release. Unlocking a range of new opportunities, Shopify has changed how storefront renders templates so that you can personalize every aspect of a store. Using a JSON template file, you can render a page type, which lists the page sections and stores data related to the settings.

Adding more flexible options to maintain your store efficiently, Shopify introduces "Theme app extensions with app blocks," meaning you can add or delete a Shopify app without touching the theme code. 

  • Flexible store content

As the heading suggests, Shopify 2.0 "Improvements to metafields" is about adding metafields and properties without using APIs or code or Shopify Apps. Isn't it interesting? Like you can add the exact content you need on the product page, like including a size chart or ingredient list effortlessly. Apart from this, you can also insert standard metafields and known resource properties as setting defaults. 

Learn why Shopify 2.0 Metafields and CLI are the game-changer in Shopify Online Store 2.0.

  • Enhancements to the Theme editor

Shopify 2.0 breaks down the need to drill down into different sections to find the functionalities by providing so much flexibility and improvements. The Shopify 2.0 "Enhanced Theme Editor" will now display a tree view of all the content on a page in the sidebar so you can easily hide the unnecessary blocks and update the hierarchy of a page. 

  • New developer tools

With the introduction of the Shopify GitHub integration, updated Shopify CLI tool, and Theme Check, Shopify Online Store 2.0 helps you streamline developing, testing, and deploying the themes changes.

  • A new reference Theme

Tying together all the features described above, Shopify launches Dawn Shopify theme, Shopify's first source-available reference theme built with semantic markup with HTML and CSS. The Dawn Shopify theme will maximize flexibility while minimizing complexity, which means you can easily make changes that they deemed fit for your business. 

Simply put, 

The difference between Shopify vs Shopify Online Store 2.0 Theme

Features Shopify Shopify Online Store 2.0 
Default Theme


Shopify Debut Theme



Shopify Dawn Theme


Preferred Language

Shopify Liquid 

Shopify JSON

Default Sections

Only on Home Page

Shopify Home Page


Available for every page

Shopify Sections Everywhere


Shopify App assets Shopify developers needed to host themselves Shopify CDN hosts all the assets submitted via theme app extensions
App integration logic  Build integration logic for every Shopify Vintage theme Theme app extensions for developers via App Block 
Meta fields 
Coding Hardcode metafields into themes or rely on APIs to make changes to product pages. Use dynamic sources to insert standard metafields and known resource properties as setting defaults.
File Picker Options  Colour, Data and Time, File, JSON, Measurement, Number, Rating, Reference, Text  True or False, URL  + Images, PDF files
    Meta Field Access  Created, whitelisted via the Admin API, and be able to retrieve all your metafields via the Storefront API Developers can gain access to the contents of Settings/Files
    Theme Editor 
    Updated Theme Editor  Need to drill down into different sections to update the hierarchy of a page. Easily update the hierarchy of a page i.e. the editor now displays a tree view of all the content on a page in the sidebar. 
    Liquid input setting - Add custom Liquid code to pages directly from the editor
    Developer tools
    Development Tool  Theme Editor Shopify CLI
    Version control   - Shopify GitHub integration
    Theme Performance Theme Check and Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome + Lighthouse CI GitHub Action
    Identify issues in theme code. Improved Theme Check
    For more information on getting started with Shopify Online Store 2.0, including requirements, read our step by step Shopify 2.0 migration article.

    Apart from the technical features, 

    Learn why Shopify Dawn Theme UI/UX  is better than Shopify Vintage Theme ? 

    When it comes to creating the perfect store, the design of your site plays a crucial role.  Although Shopify Vintage themes allow you to move beyond the cookie-cutter style, you are sometimes limited by the themes' functionalities.

    Designed and developed to provide you more control over the layout of every page and element on your site, Shopify Dawn Theme not only meets the new web and UX standards but it helps you find the right balance to construct a perfect store. 

    Below, we look at the main differences between the Shopify Debut and Dawn Shopify themes. If you want to know the full advantage of the new Shopify Online Store 2.0 reference theme - Dawn, visit our Shopify Dawn theme review blog to learn more.

    Debut vs Dawn
    Sticky Option No sticky column The product page has a dual-scroll experience on large screens. 
    Color Code No frame work, just Titles, buttons, forms and others Framework of colour structure is available
    Slide Show Available Replaced with a section that allows for common patterns of more than one image, piece of text, and call to action.
    Header/ Logo Limited flexibility and wrap into burger icon when header collides with Navigation Flexible with Sticky options  and also the header doesn't detect the collision instead it wraps as triple lines.
    Image Cropping Customized a section and the images can get   cropped sometimes within the container Image integrity is a key design principle which rarely forces images to be cropped or overlays content on them.


    While learning about Shopify and Shopify 2.0 can help you understand the impacts Shopify Online Store 2.0 can bring to make the future of commerce easy, here are a few listed benefits for merchants and developers.  You can also learn more about Shopify 2.0 theme architecture with Shopify 2.0 themes.

    Benefits of Shopify Online Store 2.0 for Merchants:


    Shopify Online Store 2.0 - Merchants


    • Customizable sections for all templates
    • Meta field addition just got easier  with dynamic resources.
    • Enhanced ability to modify the checkout section
    • Flexible way of adding app sections


    Benefits of Shopify Online Store 2.0 for Shopify Developers:

    • New developer toolset
    • Improved app integration options
    • Development enhances
    • Updated theme environment


    Shopify Online Store 2.0 - Shopify Developers



    For more details, read our detailed blog on benefits of Shopify 2.0 for merchants and developers.


    Apart from helping performance and scale, Shopify Online store 2.0 mainly aims to make Shopify more possible to build better commerce for everyone. 

    So if you want to migrate to Shopify Online store 2.0 with all your customizations included or start fresh with Dawn Shopify Theme,  contact HulkApps Shopify Online Store 2.0 experts