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Shopify 2.0 vs 1.0: Differences Explained & Upgrade Process

Shopify has undergone a major update, bringing us Shopify 2.0. This revamped platform offers significant advantages over its predecessor, Shopify 1.0. Our article “Shopify 1.0 vs 2.0” breaks down the key differences between the two versions, explaining what’s new and improved in 2.0. We’ll also guide you through the upgrade process so you can make an informed decision about migrating your store to the latest and greatest Shopify experience.

Shopify 2.0 Vs 1.0: Quick Overview

Launched in 2006, Shopify 1.0 was the original version of the popular eCommerce platform. It is designed to be user-friendly for anyone to create an online store. It offered a selection of themes you could choose from and customize to a certain extent. However, customization was mostly limited to the homepage, and adding new features often required coding knowledge or hiring a developer.

Launched in June 2021, Shopify 2.0 is a significant upgrade that offers more flexibility, speed, and functionality for online stores. It introduces a new theme architecture and a powerful theme editor, making it easier to create a unique and engaging shopping experience for your customers. 

In short, Shopify 2.0 offers a significant leap forward in terms of customization, performance, and functionality compared to Shopify 1.0. 

Read more: What Is Shopify and How Does It Work

What Are The Differences Between Shopify 2.0 Vs 1.0

Shopify 1.0 and 2.0 aren’t actually different versions of Shopify, but rather two ways of referring to Shopify’s architecture. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

Features Shopify 2.0 Shopify 1.0
Language Shopify JSON Shopify Liquid
Default Theme Dawn Debut
Default Sections All Pages Only on Home Page
Development Tool Shopify CLI Theme Editor
Shopify App Assets Shopify CDN will host the assets submitted through the theme app extension. Developers require to host the assets
Coding Structure Usage of dynamic sources to add meta fields and resource properties for setting defaults. Usage of hardcode meta fields in the theme. Or rely on APIs to make changes in product pages.
Theme Updates Effortless methods to update the hierarchy of the page. Merchants require visitors to visit different sections to update the hierarchy of the page.
Theme Performance Additionally, Lighthouse CI GitHub Action Theme Check and Shopify Theme Inspector for Chrome
App Integration Theme App extensions via app block Build integration logic for each theme
File Picker All features of Shopify 1.0 + PDF files and images Color data and time, JSON, measurement, rating, number, text true or false, reference, URL.

Speed and Performance

Shopify 2.0 significantly enhances speed and performance compared to its predecessor. One of the key improvements is the optimization of the codebase, which results in faster load times for storefronts. This not only improves the user experience but also positively impacts SEO, as search engines favor faster-loading websites.

On the other hand, Shopify 1.0 had a more basic infrastructure, which could result in slower performance, especially for stores with extensive product catalogs or high traffic volumes. Shopify 2.0 addresses these issues by providing a more robust and scalable architecture that can handle large amounts of data and traffic more efficiently.


Customization capabilities have seen a substantial upgrade in Shopify 2.0. The introduction of Sections Everywhere allows users to add, remove, and rearrange sections on every page, not just the homepage. This provides greater flexibility in designing unique and engaging storefronts without needing extensive coding knowledge.

In contrast, Shopify 1.0 offered limited customization options. The sections feature was restricted to the homepage, and making significant changes often required knowledge of Liquid, Shopify’s templating language, or hiring a developer. Shopify 2.0 democratizes customization, making it accessible to a wider range of users.

Marketing Tools

Shopify 2.0 comes with enhanced marketing tools that are designed to help merchants grow their businesses more effectively. One notable addition is the Shopify Email feature, which allows users to create and send branded email campaigns directly from the Shopify admin. The new version also integrates better with various marketing platforms, making it easier to manage campaigns across different channels.

Shopify 1.0 had basic marketing tools that often required third-party apps to achieve similar functionality. With the built-in tools in Shopify 2.0, users can streamline their marketing efforts, saving time and potentially reducing costs associated with third-party services.

Mobile Optimization

In today’s mobile-centric world, mobile optimization is crucial. Shopify 2.0 significantly improves mobile responsiveness and ensures that stores look great and perform well on all devices. The platform’s new themes are built with mobile-first design principles, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for customers using smartphones and tablets.

Shopify 1.0, while functional on mobile devices, did not emphasize mobile optimization to the same extent. Many themes required additional tweaks to be fully mobile-friendly, which could be a hassle for store owners. Shopify 2.0 eliminates these issues, offering a more consistent and user-friendly mobile experience out of the box.

App Integrations

Shopify 2.0 offers improved integration capabilities, with a new app extension framework that makes it easier for developers to create and integrate apps into the Shopify ecosystem. This framework allows apps to be more seamlessly integrated into the admin interface, providing a more cohesive user experience.

Shopify 1.0 had a robust app ecosystem, but the integration process could sometimes be cumbersome, with apps operating as standalone entities rather than being fully integrated into the Shopify admin. Shopify 2.0’s new framework addresses this by allowing for deeper and more intuitive integrations.

Learn more: Discover Shopify App Store – A Comprehensive Handbook 2024

New Opportunities with Metafield

One of the standout features of Shopify 2.0 is the enhanced metafield capabilities. Metafields allow merchants to add custom fields to various parts of their store, such as products, customers, and orders. Shopify 2.0 introduces a user-friendly Metafields Editor, making it easier to manage these custom fields without needing to rely on third-party apps or custom code.

In Shopify 1.0, metafields were available but required the use of third-party apps or manual coding to implement and manage. This often limited their use to more technically savvy users or those who could afford to hire developers. Shopify 2.0 makes metafields more accessible, allowing all merchants to take advantage of this powerful customization tool.

The Advantages Of Updating To Shopify 2.0 For Merchants

The aim of Shopify 2.0 Features is to enhance the Performance of your online store and provide improved infrastructure for customers. This is achieved by offering merchants extensive customization and flexibility. The following are a few elements that enhanced the experience:

  • Better Theme Architecture: Before, merchants had restrictions in customizing their online store. This is due to the default Shopify theme and limited customization options. Yet, the storefront has been altered by Shopify 2.0. The shop front can be personalized in every way possible.
  • Seamless Integration: This function permits you to incorporate your theme. You can do this without making changes to your theme’s code. Apps are separated into sections for improved personalization.
  • Easy Meta Field Management: Users can include meta fields using the new theme editor. Users can do this without APIs, custom code, or applications. Include original content, like pictures or PDFs, on product pages and media.
  • Faster loading speed: This is a key advantage that contributes to user experience, conversions, and SEO.
  • Editing and customization: The components are arranged in a basic tree structure, which eliminates the need to navigate through unnecessary codes.
  • Improved app control: Users can enhance the appearance and the feel. They can do this by utilizing appropriate shopping applications for excellent customization.
  • Improved payment procedure: Developers can incorporate Shopify apps into the checkout procedure while ensuring security. This will offer a new interface for the brand and a quicker payment option.

Best Practices for Switching To Shopify 2.0

Now, before stepping into the world of Shopify 2.0, let’s take a look at some of the must-known tips:

How To Know What Version You Are On?

There are several methods to determine the version of Shopify you are utilizing. The most reliable method to determine your Shopify version is by exploring your code editor. The following are the procedures:

  • Sign in to your account
  • Visit the Online Store > Themes
  • Click on Actions > Edit Code
  • Access Config, locate “settings_schema.json”, and find the “theme_version” in the file.

If you are not at ease with the code editor, you can also verify your Shopify version through different methods.

  • If your theme was made before June 2021 and you haven’t installed updates, it’s likely you are still utilizing Shopify 1.0. 
  • In your theme customizer interface, select the Add Section (+) option and check for the presence of an App section. If you can add App sections, you are using Shopify 2.0.

Steps To Upgrade Shopify 1.0 to Shopify 2.0

There isn’t a direct upgrade path from Shopify 1.0 to Shopify 2.0 because they’re fundamentally different versions. However, you can achieve a similar result by migrating your store to Shopify 2.0. Here are the main approaches:

Method 1: Manually migrate  (For the technically savvy)

This method involves manually transferring your store data, products, content, and settings to Shopify 2.0. It’s the most time-consuming and technical approach, recommended for users with experience in coding and data management

Here’s a breakdown of the manual migration process:

  • Data export: Begin by exporting your product data (including descriptions, images, variants, and pricing) from Shopify 1.0. You can also export customer data (names, addresses, order history) and blog content (posts, pages, and comments).
  • Theme development: Shopify 1.0 themes won’t work on Shopify 2.0. You’ll need to build a new theme from scratch or hire a developer to adapt your existing theme.
  • Data import: Once you have a new theme and your data exported, import the data into your new Shopify 2.0 store. This might involve using CSV files or Shopify’s bulk import tools.
  • Customization and testing: After the import, customize your new Shopify 2.0 theme to match your brand and ensure everything functions properly. This includes testing product listings, checkout process, navigation, and content pages.

Pros and cons of this method:


  • Most cost-effective option if you have the technical skills.


  • Very time-consuming and requires technical expertise.
  • Risk of errors during data export and import.
  • New theme development can be complex.

Method 2:  Get a 2.0 theme from the Shopify Theme Store

If you don’t have a custom theme and want a simpler solution, consider using a pre-built Shopify 2.0 theme from the Shopify Theme Store. This approach offers a simpler and less technical solution compared to manual migration

Here are how to use this method: 

Step 1: Choose a 2.0 Theme

  • Browse the Shopify Theme Store: Look for themes labeled as Shopify 2.0 compatible. Pay attention to features, design, and reviews to find a theme that suits your needs.
  • Purchase and install the theme: Once you have selected a theme, buy and install it on your new Shopify 2.0 store.

Step 2: Customize the Theme

  • Adjust theme settings: Use the theme editor to customize the layout, colors, fonts, and other visual elements to match your brand.
  • Add your content: Populate the theme with your product information, images, and custom pages.

Step 3: Migrate Your Data

  • Export and import data: Similar to the manual migration method, export your data from Shopify 1.0 and import it into your new Shopify 2.0 store using the import tools available in the Shopify admin panel.

Step 4: Test and Launch

  • Test all functionalities: Ensure that all aspects of your store, including checkout and product pages, are working correctly.
  • Go live: Once satisfied with your setup and testing, launch your new store.

Pros and cons of this method: 

  • Pros:
    • Easier and faster than manual migration.
    • No coding required for basic setup.
    • Wide variety of themes available with different styles and features.
  • Cons:
  • Limited customization compared to a custom-built theme.
  • May require some manual data migration for complex content.
  • Theme purchase cost involved.

Related topic: Top 40 Best Shopify Themes

Method 3: Hire a Shopify migration services 

If you’re not comfortable with the technical aspects of migration or simply don’t have the time, consider hiring professional Shopify migration services.  These agencies specialize in helping store owners move their stores to Shopify 2.0.

When it comes to migration services, Mageplaza sets the bar high with its remarkable quality and performance. Mageplaza is a leading eCommerce solution provider with over 10 years of experience in the field. They have served 200,000 merchants globally, delivering exceptional service and expertise. Their experienced development team holds numerous technology certificates, ensuring that your migration is in capable hands.

Here are some benefits of using Mageplaza’s service: 

  • Expert handling of data migration: Mageplaza’s team ensures all your data, including products, customers, and orders, is accurately transferred to Shopify 2.0.
  • Custom theme setup and design: They will help you choose and customize a 2.0 theme that aligns with your brand identity.
  • Seamless integration of apps and functionalities: Mageplaza ensures that all your essential apps and functionalities are seamlessly integrated into your new Shopify 2.0 store.
  • Ongoing support and maintenance: After the migration, Mageplaza offers ongoing support to address any issues and ensure your store runs smoothly.

Now, reach out to Mageplaza through their website to discuss your migration needs!


Interesting QAS About Shopify 2.0 vs 1.0

For the last part, we will solve some questions most people face with when switching from Shopify 1.0 to Shopify 2.0:

Q: My theme indicates that I’m using v18.0.2, signifying that I am indeed on Shopify 2.0, correct?

A: Incorrect. One common misunderstanding is that having a theme version higher than 2.0 means you are utilizing Shopify 2.0. The version of your theme and the version of Shopify’s theme architecture are separate components. Put simply, you may still be using the v18.0.2 version of your theme. This only works with the features of Shopify 1.0. You might also have a fresh theme that is at version 1.0.1. Yet, you are still utilizing the latest Shopify 2.0 features and capabilities. It can be difficult to determine when your theme began supporting Online Store 2.0 functionality. Thus, we recommend contacting your theme developer to determine the specific version of your theme.

Q: How much should it cost to switch over to Shopify 2.0 from 1.0?

A: The cost to switch over to Shopify 2.0 from 1.0 can range from $2,000 to $20,000. Here’s a breakdown of the factors that can affect the cost:

  • Complexity of your store: If your store has a lot of custom code, products, or data, the migration will be more complex and expensive.
  • Theme compatibility: If your current theme is compatible with Shopify 2.0, the migration will be easier and cheaper. You might not even need to migrate if your theme is already compatible.
  • Need for developer assistance: If you need to hire a developer to help with the migration, this will add to the cost.

Q: Will my current store cease to function if I am using Shopify 1.0?

A: Although we suggest transitioning to the new version, your current theme/store will still be functional. Yet, there are restrictions when it comes to utilizing any new features that Shopify releases.

Q: Is it necessary for my business to make an upgrade?

A: The advantages mentioned earlier can persuade anyone that all Shopify e-stores should upgrade to OS 2.0. Truly, Shopify 2.0 comprises many significant updates. This provides e-commerce sellers with fresh functionalities. It improves the customer’s user experience as well. Before hastily updating your store, consider your customers’ needs and preferences. What do they need and what do they prefer? Will they approve of the update? If most of your clientele are older individuals, they may not welcome the change of your website. This is because they tend to prefer what they are familiar with. Plus, they also have a distaste for very contemporary designs. Yet, if your clientele consists of younger individuals, they will appreciate the modern, stylish aesthetic of your store. Thus, it is probable that you will enjoy upgrading to Shopify 2.0. Consider whether your customers will approve of it.

The Final Words

Shopify offers developers more tools and extensions to improve user experience in their stores. Understanding the benefits of both Shopify 2.0 and 1.0 is crucial when making a decision. Comprehend the characteristics, structure, and theme add-ons to ensure they meet your requirements. Expert help may be necessary for optimal guidance and assistance!

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