Shopify Dawn Theme – A Complete Guide

Shopify Developers are expecting a good change from Shopify’s Online store 2.0. According to some Shopify experts, there will be a notable change in theme customization, flexibility ease etc. Dawn theme is one of the most popular things being discussed in the Shopify community right now.

What is the Dawn Theme?

Before exploring the Dawn theme, let’s first understand the background of it. Shopify’s Dawn theme is the first source available reference theme designed by Shopify’s development team. It means it will ultimately replace the default Debut theme shortly. Dawn’s repository can easily be viewed at GitHub.
shopify dawn theme

Shopify developers created this theme with HTML, CSS, and minimal use of JavaScript. The reason behind the minute use of JavaScript is to lessen the complexity and ensure the optimal experience of the theme.

If you are an eCommerce store owner, you might be excited about the revolutionary updates announced in Shopify Unite 2021. In this article, we will discuss Shopify’s upcoming Dawn theme. According to some sources, this theme will ease the work of developers and store owners.

Features of Dawn Theme

Below are the major features of the Shopify Dawn theme. So if you want to give your store a new Shopify design but have some questions before starting with the latest updates, you are in the right place.

1. Open Source Theme

‘Dawn’ is the first Shopify design source theme for open source. Developers are exploring more features of this theme nowadays.
It is estimated that 90% of visitors to Shopify stores use the Evergreen browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. These browsers often update automatically to the latest version, which means, these users have access to the latest features. Therefore, the focus is on the semantic market, with HTML and CSS to create 100% optimal experience.

2. Designed for Modern Browsers

evergreen browsers
Using advanced JavaScript and its latest capabilities improves website design and experience.

3. Visual Art Design

Dawn’s theme is focussed on creating a creative look. With continuous improvement, the development team has worked to create the best possible experience for your store’s customers; the focus here has been to enhance the customer experience of ‘shopping flow’ in Shopify stores.
These include; collection filter, product selection, product specification, and navigation.

4. Sustainable Themes

One of the goals of theme developers is to create minimal and savable themes in Shopify store so that basic functionality and platform APIs are constantly updated to require less code. One way to achieve this is to use the card API. In addition, you may now request that the translated parts be returned with their standard response. By making this change, you can now reduce the number of lines of code needed to manage cart.

5. Performance

Finally, there is the basic process of operation. In the past, the functionality of this feature may have been added, but ‘Dawn’ retailers are now able to access the latest features in Shopify design very quickly by default.

6. Working With Developer Tools

Along with Shopify’s latest design – ‘Dawn,’ the team has developed several new tools to make theme developers more productive.
It is important to drive high sales and conversions. On average, if you improve the first page, a 7% increase in conversions is seen through Shopify, so first look is important.

7. Storefront Rendering Engine

Many factors go into building a fast store, retailers are continuously indulged in improving the store’s performance. Shopify’s stores are now operating on an engine called a ‘storefront rendering engine’ which can improve the performance of your store upto 5 times.

Exploring the Shopify's Dawn Theme Editor

Let’s start exploring the dawn theme editor better to understand the customization features available in this theme. First, you have to click on the customize button to enter the editing room. The template editor of Dawn theme has been divided into three sections;

1. Left Panel

The left panel shows the blocks you want to add to your template, like Headings, buttons, text, etc. You can change any page you want to edit from the upper drop-down menu.
left panel

2. Preview Section

The preview section is the middle place of your editing panel, where you can preview all the changes you’ve made to the template.

3. Right Panel

This is one of the main customization areas where you can add images, adjust placements, modify the sizes, etc.
right panel

How to Use Dawn Theme for Best Results?

Dawn theme will be the replacement of Shopify’s debut. It means it will have all the features of the debut, including some added enhanced features. The question arises, how the people able to utilize these functionalities will. Let’s walk through the steps involved in setting up the Shopify Store with Dawn.

1. Add Big Banners

Big banners in an online store build a good engagement. It increments the change of users to dive deeper into your store, and ultimately it increases the conversion rate. There is a large collection of banners images with text and without the text in Dawn for easy customization.

2. Feature Products to Homepage

The best products of your store must be featured on your homepage. It increases the chance of your conversion. Customers will first glance at your best products, and more likely, they’ll click ‘add to cart.

4. Add Good Content

Content is the backbone of everything on the internet. Use SEO-based content to increase the visibility of your product on popular search engines.


Moreover, lengthy content depicts that your product is more worthy.

5. Enhance the Mobile Experience

Increase the engagement of your visitors by paying attention to the mobile-friendliness of your online store. Most online shoppers use mobile nowadays. Therefore, it is indispensable to deliver the best mobile experience.

How to Optimize Your Store Technically Using Dawn Theme?

Here are a few tips for developers to speed up your Shopify store.  It will improve the Google Lighthouse rating, and as a result, user experience will be enhanced.

1. Edit Your Pictures

Themes take care to serve the various sizes of your images depending on the device and network, using size attributes. Merchants, on the other hand, are responsible for uploading customized images. There are free services to do that online like Canva, Crello etc.

2. Upload photos First

Almost every store/theme has a banner image on the top of the homepage. In addition, almost all of them have a featured image that they display at the top of the product page. These images are usually your main paint color.

3. Check your Font Size

Find out how big the fonts are. If you think you can keep the shape consistent, consider using different fonts if they are too big.

4. Separate large CSS and JS files

If you find that your theme or application files are too large or take too long for the browser to download and run, try separating them.
Create new files and split code into them. This will prevent longer browser-operated activities and improve the Full-Time Blocking Time.

5. Undo / sync . JavaScript

This is for external JS files of your theme or applications. Use sync in script tags, making sure the new set won’t break anything. For example, an app can upload a live chat widget. You do not need the whole page to wait for this to load first. On the other hand, if you slow down the JS library for loading images lazily, the browser can download all of these images immediately, which you do not want.

6. Avoid apps you Don't Need

Apps are the ones that can make a store efficient. They are not customized for your store in particular. They upload CSS and JS files to all pages even when not required. Extend the complete network data that needs to be transferred for the page to be loaded. Most apps don’t even try to load the goods. And many of them download the entire jQuery library, even if your theme already has it. Consider custom code instead of installing the entire app if you only want a small feature. Some features can take up to 5kb of custom code, and many of these apps require 40-100kB assets instead.

7. Clean your JavaScript

Consider removing unused JavaScript (usually in theme.js). If you find that there are too many libraries you do not need, remove them.
For example, you do not use sliders, but there is a complete slide library with plugins; just remove it!


Dawn Theme is set up to launch with all new features for Merchants as well as developers. With this, we can assure you that Shopify is stepping into the world of next-generation eCommerce stores. With the most interactive user experience to date, Shopify fans are excited to interact with its features.



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