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This portion of the lessons teaches you how to make sure your store is designed well.
One of the biggest reasons a customer abandons a store is because the design is confusing, hard to read, annoying, or disorganized. It makes you look unprofessional.
Believe it or not, I still find glaring broken links and other problems on websites that are actually making a million dollars a year. It's an easy thing to miss, but it can have a huge impact.
Things like all black backgrounds mess with people's eyes. They make the site tough to read. A plain, white background is best behind your products.
I wrote at length about this in my book in the year 2000, and it is still true today.
In this lesson, let's install the logo you created in the previous lesson so that we can brand the site effectively to get people thinking about your products.
Step 1) Go to your Admin Home page
Click on "Online Store"
You'll see "Themes" highlighted You'll see what your present theme looks like right now on the right side of the page. It even shows you a preview of its look on a mobile phone. The default theme installed (at the time of this blog post) is "Minimal."
Tip: A theme is the same as a template for your store. It represents the overall, global design of the store. In other words, where things appear on the pages of your store.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose a different, free theme for your store. You'll also learn how to install your new logo.
In lessons after this one, you'll learn everything you need to know about changing the look of your store to meet your personal preferences.
Tip: There are some themes you can purchase from the Shopify Themes Store. I'm not trying to discourage you from doing that in the future. I just don't think it's such a great idea at first. These free themes will make you knowledgeable about how to change colors and move things around. That's the most important thing to know in the beginning stages of your store. Later, if you so desire, purchase a theme you like from the Shopify store. After you feel comfortable with what each section in a theme is, you'll be able to personalize your store even more then.
Step 2) Let's install a theme I've grown to like working with called "Supply." It has some easy to figure out elements in it. Your goal right now is to get your store up and running as fast as possible. You may decide another free theme meets your store's needs better. You'll be able to do that later like a pro.
Scroll down to the bottom of this Themes page to the box that says "Free Themes" and click on the "Explore Free Themes" button.
A popup box will come up that shows you 10 or more free themes.
Step 3) Scroll down to look for the Supply theme. Click on the image of that theme. Another box pops up. This explains what the theme does and gives you a choice of Styles (color combinations) for this theme.
Supply happens to be a theme for sites with a lot of products in their catalog. I'm choose the Blue version style of this theme.
Step 4) Click on the "Install Supply" button. This takes you back to your themes page.
Tip: Just clicking on "Install Supply" doesn't install it as your theme just yet. You still have to click on something else to make it an active theme on your site.
Locate "Supply" in the list of themes installed on your page. Click on the link to the right called "Actions" and click on "Publish" from that box that pops up. Click on the Publish button to complete the installation of Supply as your theme.
Step 7) Supply is now displayed as your Theme in the middle of the screen, with a corresponding preview. Click on the customize button that is highlighted in purple so you can get to the theme editing portion of the site.
You'll now see the design elements of the theme you'll be working with on the left side of the screen. You should also see a live preview in the middle of the screen as you work with it.
There's a menu on the left with buttons you'll be working with more later. The button we're concentrating on in this lesson is the Header button.
The preview looks very plain with just gray boxes right now. You'll fill these in during a later lesson.
Step 8) Locate the email you received from Shopify that said your logo is ready. Once you get to the logo, right-click it and save it someplace you'll remember (Desktop or pictures folder or whatever makes sense for you).
Click on the Header button on the left menu of your screen. Another window opens where you'll see a section called "LOGO." Click on the "Select Image" button you see. A list of images you've already uploaded to your store shows up. (if there are any yet). Click on the gray square at the top of the list of images that has a + sign in it. Locate your logo file on your computer and upload it.
Once you've uploaded it, you can see a preview of it in the header of the site. Below the upload button where you uploaded the image, you'll see a box called "Custom logo width." If your logo looks too small or big, type in different numbers in this box to make it bigger or smaller.
Tip: I have found that a width of about 400 for the logo seems to look nice. Your choice may be a bit different.
You'll notice our logo looks very subdued because of the dark blue background. In the video of this lesson, I quickly changed the color of the header to make things look better. I'll teach you more about that in the future lessons on designing your theme.
Click on the Save button after you've adjusted the width, and you're all set for this lesson. Now when you go to your domain, your logo will show up on every page.
To view the instructional video for this lesson, you can find it here:
See you in the next lesson!
Click here to go on to Chapter 5: What Does A Million Dollar Store Look Like?