What are Shopify templates?

Templates are files in your theme that give pages in your online store a consistent look and feel. Templates are constructed of sections, which are the distinct areas of a web page. Sections are constructed of blocks, which provide the content of each section, like headlines, images, and buttons. For more information on theme structure, see Shopify Theme Structure.

Often times, a single template will power several pages on your store. For example, you might have a single product template that is "assigned" to hundreds of products. Shopify uses this framework so that editing store pages that require the same look, feel, functionality, or layout is easy and manageable at scale.

In the Shopify Theme Editor, you can discover which templates are applied to which products, collections, and pages, and then edit them to customize the information displayed to your customers. Editing a template applies the changes to every product, collection, or page that uses that template. For example, if you add a newsletter signup form to a collection template, then all collection pages that use that collection template now display the newsletter signup form.

Which templates can I test with Shoplift?

Shoplift allows merchants to test any template in their theme assigned to any page in your store:

  • Homepage templates

  • Collection page templates

  • Product page templates

  • Page templates

  • Blog templates

  • Article templates

  • Cart page templates

  • Search page templates

Shoplift reads your live theme from Shopify, so only templates from your live theme will be available for testing. If you have multiple themes on your store, templates from other themes won't be available to test with Shoplift until you publish that theme.

Are some templates incompatible with Shoplift?

All Shopify templates can be tested with Shoplift, but depending on how your theme was built, or if you use page builder apps to build your store pages, you may have more or less flexibility when making changes for testing in the Shopify Theme Editor.

Liquid vs. JSON templates

Shoplift supports all Shopify themes, whether custom or from the Shopify Theme Store. However, there are a few important things to note. Templates are based on either a liquid or JSON architecture. This refers to the filetype of each template, as well as the code the template file uses. Templates constructed in liquid are based on the older template architecture, and are much more limited in their customization abilities. Templates constructed in JSON are the newest architecture provided by Shopify, and unlock significantly more editing capabilities in the Shopify Theme Editor, such as drag-and-drop sections. To determine if your template is compatible, see theme compatibility.

Page builder templates

We fully support most page builder apps! However, there are a few things to know when setting up a test with page builders. Templates created with page builder apps (i.e. Replo, Pagefly, etc.) may create liquid templates, JSON templates, or a mix, depending on the type of template you are building (like a homepage or product page template). Most often, pagebuilder templates cannot be easily edited in the Shopify Theme Editor, and you must make changes in the app that created the template.

How does template testing work?

To ensure a consistent shopping experience during testing, a test running on a selected template will show to visitors on every product, collection, or page assigned to that template in Shopify.

Here's an example: you have 50 products, and you want to test adding a list of benefits to your product pages. Rather than create 50 tests, where you are making this change on each page individually, Shoplift allows you to select the template assigned to those products and add the list of benefits to the variant.

Any shoppers who are placed in the variant bucket will now see that benefits list on all product pages across your entire store, as opposed to seeing it on a page-by-page basis depending on if they are served the A or the B variant.

If you'd like to test products, collections, or pages individually, you can isolate it to its own template by following these steps.

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