Master Shopify Theme Development with Theme Kit

Master Shopify Theme Development with Theme Kit

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Setting up Shopify Theme Kit
    1. Shopify CLI vs Shopify Theme Kit
    2. Installing Theme Kit
    3. Creating an API Key
  3. Configuring the Development Environment
  4. Using Theme Kit Commands
    1. Theme Download
    2. Theme Watch
    3. Theme Deploy
    4. Theme Configure
  5. Exploring Theme Structure
  6. Best Practices for Theme Development
  7. Shopify CLI Overview
  8. The Benefits of Using Shopify CLI
  9. Comparing Theme Kit and Shopify CLI
  10. Conclusion


Welcome back to another video tutorial! In this video, we will learn how to set up our development environment using Shopify Theme Kit. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, this guide will walk you through the process of using Theme Kit to develop your Shopify themes.

Setting up Shopify Theme Kit

Before we dive into the details, let's understand the two main ways of developing a Shopify theme: Shopify CLI and Shopify Theme Kit. In this video, we will focus on Theme Kit, as it offers a simpler and more straightforward approach for beginners compared to CLI. Although CLI is recommended by Shopify, it has been known to have some issues that developers often struggle with.

Installing Theme Kit

To start using Theme Kit, you will need to install it on your computer. If you are using a Mac, you can easily install it using Homebrew. If you are using Windows, you can follow a similar installation process using Coco. Once installed, you can access all available Theme Kit commands through your command-line interface (CLI).

Creating an API Key

Before Theme Kit can communicate with your Shopify store, you need to create an API key. To do this, navigate to the app directory in your Shopify admin panel and click on "Manage private apps." If this is your first time creating an API key, you will need to enable it and agree to the specified conditions. From there, you can generate an API key with the desired permissions.

Configuring the Development Environment

Once you have Theme Kit and the API key set up, it's time to configure your development environment. Start by creating a new folder on your computer and saving your configuration settings in a file named config.yaml. This file acts as a bridge between your code editor and your live Shopify theme. You can find a template for the configuration settings in the Theme Kit documentation, or you can customize it based on your specific needs.

Using Theme Kit Commands

Now that your development environment is configured, let's explore some of the most commonly used Theme Kit commands.

Theme Download

The theme download command allows you to retrieve the entire structure of your Shopify theme, including all the files and folders, to your local machine. This is useful for making changes to your theme locally before deploying them to your live site.

Theme Watch

The theme watch command is one of the most frequently used commands. It enables a watch mode that continuously monitors your local theme files for any changes. When changes are detected, Theme Kit automatically deploys them to your live site, making them immediately visible.

Theme Deploy

The theme deploy command is used to override the entire theme on your Shopify store with the local version you have developed. This command is useful when you want to replace the existing theme entirely with your customizations.

Theme Configure

The theme configure command simplifies the configuration process by automatically creating a config.yml file for you. This is especially handy if you don't want to manually input the configuration settings.

Exploring Theme Structure

Your Shopify theme has a predefined structure that cannot be modified. This structure consists of various sections, templates, and assets that determine how your theme looks and functions. You can access and edit this structure through the "Edit Code" section in your Shopify admin panel. Understanding the theme structure is essential for efficient theme development.

Best Practices for Theme Development

When developing Shopify themes, it's essential to follow best practices to ensure efficiency, scalability, and maintainability. Some best practices include using version control, utilizing theme sections, optimizing theme assets, and testing your theme thoroughly before deployment.

Shopify CLI Overview

In addition to Theme Kit, Shopify also offers Shopify CLI as a development tool. Shopify CLI provides additional features and functionality that can enhance your theme development experience. In the next video, we will explore Shopify CLI and compare it to Theme Kit to help you decide which option suits your needs best.

The Benefits of Using Shopify CLI

Shopify CLI offers several benefits for theme developers. It provides a streamlined workflow, easier deployment, improved testing capabilities, and a more efficient development experience overall. We will explore these benefits in more detail in the next video.

Comparing Theme Kit and Shopify CLI

Both Theme Kit and Shopify CLI offer powerful tools for developing Shopify themes. While Theme Kit provides simplicity and ease of use, Shopify CLI offers advanced features and greater flexibility. In the next video, we will compare the two options side by side, helping you decide which one is the right fit for your development workflow.


In this video, we have learned how to set up our development environment using Shopify Theme Kit. We covered the installation process, creating an API key, configuring the development environment, and using various Theme Kit commands. In the next video, we will explore Shopify CLI and compare it to Theme Kit, giving you a comprehensive understanding of both options. Stay tuned and happy coding!

I am a shopify merchant, I am opening several shopify stores. I use ppspy to find Shopify stores and track competitor stores. PPSPY really helped me a lot, I also subscribe to PPSPY's service, I hope more people can like PPSPY! — Ecomvy

Join PPSPY to find the shopify store & products

To make it happen in 3 seconds.

Sign Up
App rating
Shopify Store
Trusted Customers
No complicated
No difficulty
Free trial