How to upgrade a theme ?
We often release new versions of our themes. Those new versions either fix bugs, introduce new features, improve performance (or sometimes remove features that were problematic).
Unfortunately, there is no way to upgrade easily a theme in Shopify, and for good reasons. Because you can install app, modify the code of the theme, and do all kind of changes, if Shopify would auto-upgrade your themes, all your custom changes would be erased.
As a consequence, when you download a theme from the theme store, you automatically download the latest version. The good news is that you can re-download a theme as many times as you want, for free.
The upgrade process is a little long, and we actually recommend you to not do it if you don't experience any major issue with the theme (your theme will still continue working, even in 5 years). Please note that our support does not include backporting new features into older version. The only exception are critical bug fixes (a critical bug fix is a bug that prevent you to do any sale), which we can apply on older versions.
If you still want to upgrade, here are the steps.
While optional, we always recommend you to create a back-up of your current published, working theme, just in case.
To do that, in the Themes page, click on the three dots icon for your published theme, and click on "Duplicate":
Once the theme has been duplicated, you should see the copy in your list of unpublished themes. You can give it a more meaningful name like "Theme - backup".
You can now re-download the theme from the theme store. To do that, open the theme page you are using in the theme store, and click on the "Try theme" button. Shopify will re-install the latest version of the theme:
This will ensure that the new theme is not visible to your customers yet.
Now, you should have the new theme as an unpublished theme. You can rename it to a more meaningful name so you can more easily modify it, like "New theme".
You will need to customize it again, by re-specifying your colors, reconfiguring the home page...
Apps and custom code
if you have installed any app that required changes to the code, or if you have hired a developer to do custom changes, you'll need to re-do the change or re-hire those person to do the changes again, as the theme you've just downloaded is a new one, like the one you've downloaded at first.
Test the new theme extensively and make sure everything works as expected. Once you're ready, simply publish the new theme as the main theme.
We highly recommend you to not delete the old theme and to keep it two or three months, so that you can always go back to the old one if something bad happen.