Getting started: Shopify basics

Before you dive into customizing your theme, there are some core components that you’ll need to set up in your Shopify admin.  Here, we’ll cover some basic Shopify settings that will give your store a firm foundation and allow you to make the most of what our themes have to offer. We also recommend checking out Shopify’s help manual for a full overview of how to use their platform.

Table of Contents

Add a product or two (or more!)

add-products

All Pixel Union themes are equipped to house large product collections, but some of them are also specially designed for single products (for example, Launch).

In any case, the process of adding a product remains the same. To get started, go to Products > Products within you Shopify dashboard. Then click Add product.

At minimum, you’ll want to add a title, description, images, and price for your products.

Title and description

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The product title is what your customers will see on your store.

Write a title long enough to be meaningful to your customers but short enough so as not to overwhelm your customer or the page. Any important info that doesn’t fit in the title can be written in the description.

The product description is displayed on product pages. Shopify has some great tips on how to write product descriptions that sell.

Images

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Shopify suggests your product photos be at least 1024 x 1024 pixels and no more than 2048 x 2048 pixels (for square product photos).

We’d also recommend that your product photos be saved as a .jpg — other formats like .png can slow down your load times, whereas jpegs are compressed for an ideal balance between file size and image quality.

Bulk upload

While you can upload product images one by one as you add new product pages, you can also head to the Admin > Settings > Files section of your Shopify dashboard and use the bulk upload tool to upload many product images at once, then add them to the appropriate products later. The Shopify Manual has all the details for you.

Variants

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Shopify allows you to add different variants of products — say, different colors or sizes of one product. These product variants will be displayed in a dropdown on the product page.

Scroll down to the Variants section of the product edit page and click Add variants.

You’ll need to add an option name and option values. The option name designates the kind of variation (size, color, etc.) and the option values designate the specific variation (large, yellow, etc.)

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For example, “Color” would be the option name, and its option values would be “Red, Blue, Yellow”.

Remember to click Save 🙂

Price and Inventory

Finally, you’ll want to enter in the product’s price and your inventory levels.

Shopify can automatically track you inentory for you. In the Inventory section, click the Inventory policy drop-down menu and select the option Shopify tracks this product’s inventory.

If you have a product without variants, update the price under Pricing.

If you have product variants, you’ll need to update their price under Variants:

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Create some collections

Collections are used to organize your products according to type (e.g. Shoes, Socks, Summer Sale items, etc.), allowing your customer to easily explore your products.

From your Shopify admin, click Products, then click Collections. Then click Add Collection.

Title and Description

The title is the only mandatory field. Name your collection, e.g. “Shoes”.

Type a description for your collection. This will be visible when your collection is displayed on your website.

Collection image

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The collection image may be displayed on your home page or the collection page. Click Choose image to upload one of your own images for your collection.

Conditions (Select Products)

Manually select products

To manually add products, click Add products in the Products section.

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In the Add products drop-down list, click on each product that you want to add to your collection:
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Automatically select products

In the Conditions section, click Automatically select products based on conditions. Use the dropdowns to set the condition(s) that a product must match to be added to the collection. For example, you can create a collection for all products that contain the word “shirt” in their title.

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Make menus

Menus are displayed in your header and/or footer navigation.

To edit your menu lists, go to Online Store > Navigation in you Shopify dashboard.

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By default, you’ll find two pre-populated menus: Footer menu and Main menu. Each menu has its own link list. To edit these links lists click Edit menu.

Dropdown menus

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A dropdown menu displays a list of links when the customer hovers over it with their mouse.

Here, we’ll show you how to create a dropdown menu from the “Catalog” link in your main menu.

To create the dropdown menu, click Add menu and name the menu “Catalog”. This menu link list will display when customers hover over the “Catalog” link in your main menu.

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Once you click Save, the dropdown menu will now appear when visitors hover or click on the dropdown trigger.

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Create pages

Shopify stores come with a web page creation tool, which you can use to generate static pages.

From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Pages.

About Us

Shopify has default “About Us” page made for your, with some tips on how to tailor your own. Click on the post title to edit the page to your liking, then click Save.

Contact Us

You may also want to add a contact page. Start by going back to Pages. Then click Add page. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a box titled Templates. Use the dropdown to set the template to page.contact. This will add a contact form on the page for your visitors to get in touch. Now, simply add a title and some content. Then click Save.

Set up a blog

Shopify has a great built-in blog, which we believe is a really powerful tool for your ecommerce business.

Go to Online store > Blog posts from within you Shopify dashboard. By default, Shopify as a pre-existing Blog create for you called “News”.

Click Manage blogs in the header to either edit the News blog or create a new one.

Once you’ve selected which blog you want to edit, click add blog post.

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Add a title, content, and a featured image. The featured image will be displayed around your site and on the blog index.

We also recommend adding an excerpt. Click Add excerpt under the content field. The excerpt will be shown when your blog posts are featured on the home page or blog index. We suggest you either create a short summary of the post (~50 words) or paste in the first ~50 words of the post.

Once you’re all done, toggle the option to make your post Visible to publish it, then click Save.

Integrations

Our themes integrate with a few other apps, including Instagram, Twitter, and MailChimp. They are all free and you’ll simply need to sign up and make an account with them.