Use the following lists of requirements when creating your theme.

All themes must meet all of the following requirements to be published on the Shoplazza Theme Store. If your theme is missing any of the requirements in this list, then your submission will be rejected and you will need to make further changes to your theme before it can be resubmitted. To reduce your chance of rejection, you should also test your theme thoroughly.

Themes must be thoroughly tested before submission to ensure functionality and quality. Themes that have not been tested thoroughly enough will be rejected without further review, and repeat offences may result in a suspension and/or permanent rejection.

Learn about the theme review process and how to submit your theme to the Shoplazza Theme Store.

1. Theme Store exclusivity

Themes on the Theme Store must be exclusive to the Shoplazza Theme Store and can't contain external marketing material, so merchants can continue to benefit from the highest quality themes and the newest features.

All themes must meet the following exclusivity requirements:

  • Themes listed on the Shoplazza Theme Store can only be distributed through the Shoplazza Theme Store. Themes on the Theme Store must not be distributed on other marketplaces.

  • Themes on the Shoplazza Theme Store can't contain designer credits, such as a link to a theme developer's website, or any affiliate links in the theme files.

2. Uniqueness from free Shoplazza themes

If you're building a theme based on our reference theme, Nova 2023, then your theme needs to be substantively different from Nova 2023. You must make meaningful changes and innovations to the design and functionality of the theme. Below are some cues that we look for:

  • The original Nova 2023 codebase must be difficult to identify when contrasted with your theme's code.

  • The identity of your theme submission should be unique. You should use Nova 2023's design cues only as placeholders, to replace or redesign as you build your theme.

  • Your theme should have a clear industry focus.

  • Your theme should have an inventive art direction that distinguishes it from Nova 2023. You should make changes to icons, layout, color schemes, image handling, and other elements, in all major areas of the theme.

  • Your theme should have a cohesive look and feel across all templates (for example, the index page, product and collection pages, blogs, search, and the cart). A user shouldn't be able to access a section or page that's in a cloned, default state. Using these default resources makes your themeless cohesive.

3. Features

Feature-rich themes support the varied needs of merchants and enable each merchant to use a theme in a way that fits their business.

All themes must support the following features:

  • Sections Everywhere - Refer to Templates, sections, and blocks.

  • Discounts - Display discount amounts for individual items and for entire orders in the cart, checkout, and order templates. Discounts must be supported on the Cart page.

  • Search filtering - Use search filtering so that customers can filter on collection and search pages based on product availability, price, type, vendor, and variant options. You need to support search filtering on collection pages and search pages.

  • Images for social sharing - Add a page_image object for social sharing so that merchants can display a thumbnail image in their post when they share a link to their online stores on social media, such as on Facebook or Pinterest.

  • Multi-level menus - Add nested menus so that merchants can create multi-level drop-down menus.

  • Newsletter forms - Add newsletter signup so that merchants can collect customer email addresses to use in email marketing campaigns.

  • Product recommendations - Add a section to your product pages that displays an automatically-generated list of product recommendations. Displaying recommended products to customers makes it easier for them to discover new products, and can help to increase online store sales.

  • Rich product media - Add rich product media such as embedded videos, and Vimeo or YouTube videos to a theme's Product page.

  • Search box or a link to search - Include a search template.

  • Variant images - Enable themes to use variant images so that merchants can associate an image with a product variant.

4. Templates, sections, and blocks

Merchants can use sections and blocks to arrange page templates, which provides more flexibility in their store's content, and allows them to control the look and feel of their online store without needing to edit code.

Template support requirements

Themes must support the following templates and their formats:

  • theme.liquid (layout file)
  • 404.liquid
  • collection.liquid
  • index.liquid
  • page.liquid
  • product.liquid
  • search.liquid
  • settings_schema.json (config file)

Section support requirements

  • All templates must support sections (JSON templates), with the exception of Customer Account pages, Gift Card pages, and Checkout, which don't need to support sections.

5. Lighthouse performance and accessibility

Performance and accessibility are important factors for merchants when they choose a theme for their online store. Optimizing your theme for performance and accessibility is key to the success of the merchants that you support, and the experience of their customers.

Lighthouse performance and accessibility requirements

  • Themes must have a minimum average Lighthouse performance score of 60 across the theme's product, collection, and home page, for both desktop and mobile.

  • Themes must have a minimum average Lighthouse accessibility score of 90 across the theme's product, collection, and home page, for both desktop and mobile.

When verifying performance and accessibility scores, sections must contain actual images and content. The sections can't be empty.

Testing the performance of your theme

You can quickly test the performance of your theme before you submit it to the Shoplazza Theme Store by running performance tests against a benchmark shop.

Testing the accessibility of your theme

You can quickly test the accessibility of your theme before you submit it to the Shoplazza Theme Store by running accessibility tests against a benchmark shop.

6. Pages

Including well-designed page types in your theme enables merchants to build all of the elements they need to run their online store.

Product page requirements

  • The product page must contain the following product information:

    • product.title (not truncated)
    • variant.price
    • product.description
  • All product images must be displayed and viewable. Different image ratios shouldn't break the layout.

  • Variant images must be shown when the associated variant is selected.

  • The product page must contain the following buying functions:

    • Variants are split up into separate options for users to select.
    • The ability to select a quantity.
    • An Add to cart button (often disabled or replaced when an unavailable variant combination, or sold-out variant, is selected).
    • A callback function to update the price, compare-at-price, and sold-out messages for the currently-selected variant.
    • The first available variant loads on a page.
  • The product page must support the following features:

    • Product recommendations
    • Rich product media

Collection page requirements

  • Attributes of the collection object that must be outputted:

    • collection.title (not truncated)
    • collection.description
    • collection.image
  • Products must be listed in a grid or list, with the following attributes of the product object output:

    • product.title (not truncated and links to product.url)
    • product.price
    • product.images
    • At least one piece of media for a product
  • The product grid must not break because of product images of varying aspect ratios.

  • Must provide the ability to sort the products inside collections.

  • Must display a message if a collection has no products in it.

  • If a product has variants with different prices, then use the product.price_varies to show the price variation. For example, show the range between product.price_min and product.price_max.

  • Must use pagination or lazy loading.

Collection List page requirements

  • Attributes of the collection object that must be outputted:

    • collection.title (not truncated)
  • Must use collection.featured_image. If a collection image doesn't exist, then load the featured image of the first product in that collection instead.

  • Must use pagination or lazy loading.

Cart page requirements

  • Must display details of the line_item object, including:

    • line_item.title
    • line_item.variant.title
    • line_item.image
    • line_item.price
    • line_item.quantity
  • The cart.total_price must be visible.

  • Must include a checkout button that submits the cart form.

  • Must refresh all line items when the quantity is updated to ensure the total updates correctly.

  • Must provide the ability to change the quantity of each line item.

Page requirements

  • Must include:
    • page.title
    • page.content

Blog page requirements

  • Attributes of the blog object must output the blog.title.

  • Each article must display the following information:

    • article.title
    • article.image
    • article.content

Search page requirements

  • Must return a message if there are no search results.

  • Must use pagination or lazy loading.

404 page requirements

  • Must have a clear message stating that the page wasn't found.

  • Must have options for how to proceed, such as a search bar or a link to the homepage.

Password page requirements

  • Must include the following information:
    • the logo or
    • shop.password_message

7. Consistency and functionality

Building a theme that functions properly and consistently ensures that merchants can rely on the quality of your theme.

All themes must meet the following functional requirements:

  • The following actions must be functional at all times - even when JavaScript is disabled:

    • Navigate through the main menu and any submenus
    • Adjust the inputs in the product form
    • Navigate to the cart page
    • Access the checkout
  • Any link in the code that points to one of Shoplazza's domains can take multiple attributes, but must include a rel=nofollow as one of them.

  • The appropriate licenses must be obtained for all third-party plugins and images.

  • Themes must not include functionality that is dependent on a third-party app.

8. Browser compatibility

Ensure that your theme lets merchants access the same information and experience across different browsers.

Desktop browser requirements

A theme's layout, browsing experience, and purchasing actions must support the following desktop browsers and releases:

  • Safari - latest two releases for Mac
  • Chrome - latest three releases for Mac and PC

Mobile browser requirements

A theme's layout must meet the following mobile browser layout requirements:

  • Themes must be mobile responsive.

A theme's layout, browsing experience, and purchasing actions must support the following mobile browsers and releases:

  • Mobile Safari - latest two releases for iOS
  • Chrome Mobile - latest three releases for Android and iOS

Webviews and other application requirements

Themes must support browsing and purchasing actions when rendered in webviews for the following applications:

  • Instagram - latest release for Android and iOS
  • Facebook - latest release for Android and iOS
  • Pinterest - latest release for Android and iOS

9. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Effective SEO helps you build better relationships with your audience, improve the merchant experience, and drive more people to your theme.

All themes must meet the following SEO requirements:

  • Themes must contain the code snippet for Title, Meta Description, and Duplicate Content from the SEO for Theme Designers.

  • Themes must include Google's rich product snippets. To test your structured data, use Google's Structured Data Testing Tool.

  • Themes must not include a robots.txt.liquid template.

10. Settings

It's important to organize and name things in a way that won't confuse merchants who are building a store with your theme. Using clear, simple names and a simple setting structure for elements such as sections and presets makes your theme easier to use and navigate.

Basic requirements

  • Must have a favicon setting.
  • All settings must have a label.
  • Must have a theme_info section.

11. Naming themes and theme styles

Choosing a great name for your theme is important when submitting it to the Theme Store. Your theme name helps merchants understand your theme, and ultimately, helps them choose your theme as the right one for their unique needs.

Theme and theme style naming requirements

  • Theme names must be distinct from Shoplazza products. You can't use the same name as, or similar to, Shoplazza products, events, or branded content. For example, don't name your theme Shoplazza, Shoplazza theme, etc.

  • Theme names must be distinct from company names. You can’t include the name of your company or the Shoplazza Partner account in your theme name. Your Partner account name is displayed automatically on the theme listing page.

  • Theme names must be distinct from websites, e-commerce platforms, and SEO-related benefits. For example, don't name your theme Slideshow, Performance, Mobile, or Sales.

  • Theme names must be distinct from industries and collections in the Theme Store. For example, don't name your theme Fashion, Electronics, or Jewelry.

  • Theme names must contain 14 characters or fewer.

Theme name guidelines

Use the following guidelines to help you choose the right name for your theme:

  • Summarize, or allude to, the purpose of the theme.

  • Give the merchant an idea of what to expect when using the theme, the core ideas behind the theme, and the theme's target demographic.

  • Use a noun for the name. Nouns are more suitable for creating product names that stick, have identity, and create a lasting impression. A noun can better define the focus of the theme, and offer a better understanding of the shopping experience being offered.

  • Use a name that's easy to spell and pronounce. This will help merchants with recall and search.

  • Work across different dialects. Since some words and phrases can have different meanings in different regions, you should consult an idiom dictionary.

  • Use a name that's different from theme names on different platforms.

Theme style name guidelines

Use the following guidelines to help you choose the right name for your theme style:

  • Reflect the design and aesthetics of the theme style.

  • Use an adjective for the theme style name. Adjectives are great for describing colours, fonts, and design.

  • Compliment the theme name, not compete against it. Merchants often mistake theme styles for theme names, which causes confusion when they contact support to request help with their themes.

  • Use a common thread to connect multiple style names for one theme.

Increasing clarity and discoverability

For clarity and discoverability, consider the following guidelines when naming your theme and theme style:

  • Don't use trendy names. Trends fade, and theme names should transcend trends.

  • Don't use unusual spellings. Not only are unusual spellings more difficult to remember, but they’re also more susceptible to autocorrect errors, and they limit discoverability by merchants.

  • Don't use lengthy names. Even if you’re trying to be descriptive, creating a long name can hurt a merchant’s ability to remember what your theme is called.

  • Don't use the same name as a theme on a different platform.

  • Don't use the same name for both the theme and the theme style.

12. Theme versions and release notes

Theme versions help merchants easily identify which theme they have, so that they can determine which features are available, or if there are more recent versions to update to.

When you submit your theme to the Shoplazza Theme Store, either for the first time or for an update, the theme needs to have a version number and release notes that highlight the main features of the version.

13. Demo stores

Setting up a demo store is a great way to showcase your theme's features and functionality, and to provide merchants with real-world examples of how they can use your theme. A demo store that's beautifully designed and functions flawlessly lets merchants explore and interact with your theme and helps them understand if your theme is right for them.

To build your demo store, you can use a Shoplazza development store free of charge.

Demo store requirements

  • All themes must include at least one demo store.

  • Each preset requires a demo store. You can use up to 5 demo stores for each theme.

  • Each demo store has the Bogus Gateway enabled, and all other checkout options disabled.

  • All demo store pages must use authentic text content. Don't use Lorem Ipsum or onboarding text. Don't include profanities.

  • The powered_by_link link can't be altered and must contain only powered_by_link.

  • Affiliate linking isn't allowed.

  • Any link in the code that points to one of Shoplazza's domains must include a rel="nofollow" attribute.

  • To avoid potential merchant confusion, demo stores can only showcase elements and functionality that are built into the theme. For example:

    • Don't use embedded text or buttons in images, except for the text on physical products, infographics, badges, or Instagram images.

    • Don't use animated gif images.

    • Don't use apps. In some cases, special consideration applies to Shoplazza’s product reviews and free translation apps. If you're showcasing multi-language options using translation apps, then all content must be translated.

Demo store recommendations

When designing your demo store, consider the following recommendations to help you showcase the full potential of your theme. The following recommendations aren't mandatory requirements that need to be met for submission.

  • Ensure that the proper rights have been acquired for all images and content.

  • Identify the source of any product images used in the product description.

  • Use the latest version of your theme in your demo store.

  • Incorporate built-in Shoplazza features to showcase the power and capabilities of your theme.

  • Illustrate the versatility and variability of your theme, by including examples such as a product that's on sale, a sold-out product or variant, or a product with multiple variants.

14. Documentation and contact forms

Having clear, detailed, and accessible information about your theme helps merchants feel supported and helps to reduce support issues. Creating organized and effective documentation is important to your overall success as a Theme Partner.

Documentation and contact form requirements

  • You must provide theme documentation and a public support contact form.

  • You must have your theme documentation and contact form ready before launching your theme.

  • You must link your documentation and contact form to your theme listing page in the Shoplazza Theme Store.

Merchant-facing theme documentation

You need to keep your documentation up to date as changes occur within Shoplazza and you update your theme. As you support merchants using your theme, be sure to identify any gaps in your theme documentation and make updates as necessary.

Your theme documentation should include an FAQ section and any other relevant information that you feel could help address potential support questions that merchants might have.

Contact forms

Your contact form lets merchants contact you. You should include your contact form in your theme documentation. If you use a modal for your contact form, then make sure that it's mobile-friendly and linkable from the Theme Store. Try to avoid fields that ask merchants about budgets, phone numbers, project types, or other unnecessary questions. You can have a form outlining your agency work on a separate page, but the contact form that you link to from the Theme Store should comply with the following guidelines

(First and Last) Name Field
Email Address Field
Store URL FieldInclude an example URL for clarity, such as
Description of Problem Field.This should be a text-area field.
File Upload FunctionAllow merchants to highlight their issues with images.
Auto-responder FunctionThe auto-responder is triggered when the contact form is submitted to reduce the number of merchants contacting Shoplazza and Theme Partners asking if their support requests have been received.
Theme NameProvide the theme name if you offer multiple themes.
SubjectIf you include this field, then it should auto-populate the email subject line.

15. Supporting your theme

As a Theme Partner, you're responsible for supporting merchants who use your theme. Being merchant-focused, providing quality support, and having a collaborative attitude with Shoplazza are essential for the success of your theme.

Merchant support requests are submitted through your contact form, which you should link to from the Shoplazza Theme Store and your theme documentation.

Merchant support requirements

  • You must assist merchants with their theme-related questions.

  • You must reply to support requests from merchants within two business days.

  • If there is a technical issue with your theme, such as a broken layout, a dead link, or a logical error, then you're responsible for fixing the issue in a timely manner.

  • You must fix critical bugs immediately or your theme may be temporarily removed from the Theme Store.

Estimating the support workload

Being a Theme Partner is a full-time job, and supporting merchants who use your theme is a large part of that. All of our current Theme Partners have dedicated support teams working for them. If you become a Theme Partner, then you’ll need to consider how to balance Theme Partner work with any other jobs that you're currently doing. New Theme Partners typically underestimate the amount of time that they'll need to allocate to support.

To understand how much effort is required to support a theme, Shoplazza merchants currently generate thousands of support tickets each month for the paid themes in the Shoplazza Theme Store, and support requests continue to grow as more merchants join the platform.