Shopify Online Store 2.0 Theme Update

Everything You Need to Know

Back in June 2021 Shopify announced plans for their full theme overhaul, formally named OS 2.0 (Online Store 2.0). Having been a long-term request from shop owners, Shopify has been working on an update for their theming system, even going back all the way to 2017. Unfortunately, it was a large overhaul and they had to scrap the first idea well into Beta testing (we tested out that original version and it was good, but not perfect).

A year or so after it was announced, Shopify began rolling out the new update. One benefit of this update, you didn’t have to upgrade your theme or do anything. You could just keep going as if nothing had changed. This is a huge reason we love Shopify over other e-commerce platforms like Magneto. Most other platforms FORCE you to upgrade to the newest version and rebuild everything. Ugh!

What has changed?

Let’s get into the details a bit. Shopify changed a bunch of things under the hood.

Sections Everywhere

Most merchants are familiar with the idea of adding and removing sections to their Homepage, as this has been supported for years. The OS 2.0 update allows merchants to utilize these same behaviors (adding / removing / moving sections) on ANY page in your store. Imagine being able to customize EVERY product page to be unique and have specific sales content to a single product or line of products. With OS 2.0 you can!

Note: We typically suggest you make a template for each product line and add content to this overall product line template. Adding a template for EVERY product in your store is just impossible to manage.

App Blocks

No longer are you stuck copying/pasting code from Apps into your theme to make them work. Just add the App from the Theme Editor. Just this alone was a huge update, removing the barrier to entry for new Apps that may have been a little too complex for a merchant to self-install.

Note: We still do not suggest just installing apps without knowing what the app may do to your theme, and ALWAYS make a backup of your theme before installing an app.


Alongside the launch of OS 2.0 was a visual way to edit and add METAFIELDS to your store. Prior to this update you would have to work with a developer to add METAFIELD content to your store, plus use some App or browser extension to edit your METAFIELDS. Allowing for easy editing of METAFIELDS in your store enables your team to highly customize each page without having to create a template.

Note: We still do not suggest just installing apps without knowing what the app may do to your theme, and ALWAYS make a backup of your theme before installing an app.

You can actually add these METAFIELDS inside the Theme Editor by clicking on the little stacked circle icon.


Use a METAFIELD to specify special shipping requirements or even add instruction manual contents to a page.

Page Speed Improvements By upgrading to OS 2.0, your website will be a little faster. OS 2.0 does things behind the scenes a little cleaner and manages the data better. You will most likely see a 3-5 point bump on your Google Page Speed ranking by updating to OS 2.0 in your existing theme.

What do I do with this information?

Online Store 2.0 is a huge update, but as stated above, it isn’t something that is just enabled in your theme if you have an older theme. You really have three options moving forward:

  1. You can just keep going with your current theme and do nothing.
  2. You can have a developer update your theme to be OS 2.0 compatible. Most themes don’t take a huge effort to migrate, but it is a mid-sized project (can be done in stages).
  3. The last option is to use a new theme from the Shopify Theme store that is already setup for OS 2.0.

Remember, we can do hard things!