23 search results for “Gavin Ballard”

How to Optimize Themes for Performance

How to Optimize Themes for Performance


If you’re doing conversion rate optimization for a client on their Shopify store and get a lift of 1%, that’s a huge win. You’ll be popping champagne and discussing what their business can do with tens of thousands of dollars of extra revenue.

So why is it that another tactic that often has the potential for a similar impact on a store’s bottom line often goes completely ignored?

I’m talking about performance optimization — the art of making websites load, render and respond faster.

In this post, I’m going to tell you why performance optimization should be on your agenda as you build your themes, and the tools and techniques you can use to turn a sluggish site that frustrates customers into a fast one that converts them.

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4 Theme Features Every Client Will Ask For

4 Theme Features Every Client Will Ask For


When I start talking to new clients about a potential redesign for their Shopify store, they’ll often turn up with a wish list: sliding full-screen images; slickly animated image popups; Instagram feeds scrolling across the page.

Way too often the client’s ideas actually constitute a “Frankenlist” – a set of features cobbled together from every website they’ve seen without any real thought behind how they should work on their site, or why they’re there in the first place.

In this article, I’m going to pick out four things I’ve commonly seen on Frankenlists, and try to provide suggestions on working out when and how to best implement them in a way that complements your client’s site.

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Best Practices for Developing Scalable (and Sustainable) Shopify Themes

Best Practices for Developing Scalable (and Sustainable) Shopify Themes

Best Practices for Developing Shopify Themes: Email

It happens to the best of us: deadlines loom, stress rises, and sometimes we rush our work just to make a client happy. Though this might result in a beautiful custom theme for your client’s new ecommerce business, you’re now left with the pieces — no comments to continue working on custom code, too many nested snippets, and lots of large, complicated lines of Liquid.

To help you out, we've curated a few lessons learned from Shopify theming veterans — Disco’s Gavin Ballard and Shopify’s Carson Shold.

In this blog post, you'll find:

  • Best practices to improve your design process
  • A free theme planning spreadsheet to help build your Shopify themes
  • Six tips to keep your JavaScript, Liquid, and CSS tidy while coding

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How to Win Shopify’s Commerce Awards 2017: The Judges Weigh-In

How to Win Shopify’s Commerce Awards 2017: The Judges Weigh-In

shopify commerce awards

The December 31st deadline for this year’s Shopify Commerce Awards is fast approaching. Regardless of whether you develop apps, design ecommerce sites, craft marketing masterpieces, or dream up your client’s UX/UI, we want to hear from you!

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What the esteemed panel of judges is looking for in submissions.
  • Tips for those submitting their work to the competition.
  • Examples of what the judges deem exceptional work.

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How Accessing the Partner Ecosystem Can Help You Grow Your Business

How Accessing the Partner Ecosystem Can Help You Grow Your Business

Becoming a Shopify Expert

One aspect of growing a web design or development business that’s often overlooked, is building relationships within the Shopify Ecosystem. That’s why we sat down with Shopify Experts and Plus Partners, and asked them how they approach their successful two-way relationships with Shopify. They reveal why it’s important to bring the same professionalism and value to your status as a Shopify Expert as you would to any client project.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Actionable advice on starting a two-way relationship with Shopify, and how it helps you grow your business.
  • What makes a solid Shopify Expert profile, and how small tweaks can attract more leads.
  • Best practices for marketing yourself as a Shopify Expert.

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Here’s What Happened at Unite, Shopify’s First Partner and Developer Conference

Here’s What Happened at Unite, Shopify’s First Partner and Developer Conference

Unite Roundup Livestream

Shopify Unite 2018

Tickets for Unite 2018 are sold out! In the coming weeks, we’ll have more information on how you can take part virtually in Shopify’s third annual Partner and Developer Conference, running May 7-9. In the meantime, relive the magic of last year’s conference.

Watch last year's keynotes

Last week we kicked-off our inaugural Partner and Developer Conference:

Unite. Hundreds of partners from around the world joined us in San Francisco for two days of inspirational talks and dynamic conversations that explored Shopify’s roadmap and the future of commerce. In the words of Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke, “it was probably the most overdue conference in the tech industry.”


One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was how important our partner ecosystem is to the success of our platform. That’s why we decided to livestream the main stage talks on Day 1 of the conference — to share the action with all of our partners who couldn’t be at Unite in person. It’s also why we recorded all of the main stage talks and gathered them together to share with you today.

In case you weren’t able to tune in during the livestream — or if you just want to relive the excitement — here are the recordings of the main stage presentations and product announcements from Day 1 of Unite.

Create more value than you capture: The Shopify Partner Ecosystem — COO Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s COO, explains the importance of Shopify’s Partner and Developer ecosystem.

The future of commerce — CEO Tobi Lütke

In this keynote, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke shares Shopify’s vision for the future.

Introducing the Online Store Editor & Scripts — Jean-Michel Lemieux

Jean-Michel Lemieux, Senior Vice-President of Engineering, demos the new Online Store Editor and Shopify Scripts. The Online Store Editor will give designers the ability to build more innovative, customizable, and merchant-friendly themes, while Shopify Scripts will allow designers to write server side code on Shopify, giving them even greater control over the way their online store functions.

Add commerce to any site with the Javascript Buy SDK — Monika Piotrowicz

Monika Piotrowicz, Director of Front End Development, introduces the JavaScript Buy SDK. This SDK allows designers and developers to add buy buttons to any website — including WordPress and Squarespace, or JavaScript apps.

Build for mobile with the iOS and Android Buy SDKs — Brandon Chu

Brandon Chu, Product Manager at Shopify, introduces Shopify’s iOS and Android Buy SDKs. These SDKs will allow developers to create native mobile shopping experiences, and include Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Introducing the new Sales Channel SDK — Satish Kanwar

Satish Kanwar, Director of Product at Shopify, introduces the new Sales Channel SDK. Starting today, developers can begin building new sales channels for Shopify, so merchants can use Shopify to sell anywhere their customers are.

AMA with Tobi Lütke

Director of Apps, Atlee Clark sits down with Shopify CEO and founder Tobi Lütke for an Ask Me Anything session. Questions range from how prominent computer programming is in his daily routine to the significance of Virtual Reality on the future of commerce. 

Here’s what our partners are saying about Unite

Apart from the crazy amount of social chatter on Twitter and Instagram, a few of partners wrote some detailed reviews of their experience at Unite. Check out what they had to say!

My Shopify Unite Download by Deb Hopkins, The Genie Lab.

Shopify Unite Recap by Gavin Ballard, DiscoLabs.

Thank you to the Shopify team #ShopifyUnite by Andrew Chan, Aftership.

Mircoapps at Shopify Unite by microapps.  

The Future of Commerce: 4 Things We Learned at Shopify Unite by Matthew Bertulli, Demac Media.

That’s a wrap!

Unite 2016 was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to do it all again. Want to make sure you’re there in 2017? Sign-up to our Unite mailing list to be the first to receive exclusive updates about next year’s conference.

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Holiday Reading List: The Top 10 Stories of 2015 from Shopify Partners

Holiday Reading List: The Top 10 Stories of 2015 from Shopify Partners

Shopify Partners Holiday List

The end of the year is often a time for reflection as many of us look back on our experiences and achievements from the previous 12 months. The web design and ecommerce industries have witnessed some major evolutions over the past year, and 2016 is already shaping up to be a monumental time for all of us.

But before we shift our focus to the future, the content team at the Shopify Web Design and Development Blog is still reflecting on the incredible journey we’ve been on with you throughout the past year. And in our haze of nostalgia, we’ve decided to share the top stories of 2015 from Shopify Partners for you to enjoy over the holidays one last time.

Why You Should Specialize in Ecommerce

why you should specialize in ecommerce

Over the past few years, the web design market has evolved and has become increasingly saturated. It’s becoming more difficult than ever to thrive as the owner of a web design firm. Luckily, there is a solution: specialization. This 2015 favourite gives an eloquent overview of why any web designer should consider specializing in ecommerce.

10 Things I Learned About UX by Being Drunk

UX Drunk

Designing an effective user experience is a tricky thing, especially if your user is under the influence. Website auditor Richard Littauer shares his advice about user experience design from his role at The User is Drunk. 

The Ultimate List of Color Palette Generators for Web Design

color palette generators

With the beautiful array of tones, hues, and shades, colour is one of our greatest assets for creative expression as designers. Experimenting with new and bold colours can liberate our minds and drive us towards innovation. Here’s our list of the best and free-to-use online color palette generators to inspire you to move outside of your colour comfort zone for the remainder of 2015 and beyond.

How to Optimize Themes for Performance

Optimize Shopify themes

As web designers. we often focus our optimization efforts on one main metric: conversions. But the reality is that we have the power to provide major impact for our clients by optimizing site performance as well. This simple tutorial by Gavin Ballard provides a few techniques for ensuring every Shopify theme you build performs as well as it looks.

10 Outstanding Ecommerce Website Designs for Creative Inspiration

ecommerce website design

Sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration to sink your teeth into a new project. We want to help you with that process, so we shared some of our favourite ecommerce websites designed by Shopify Partners in this inspirational roundup. Feast your eyes!

Using JavaScript to Super Power Your Client’s Shopify Store

Using javascript for shopify

JavaScript is a powerful language that seems to evolve nearly every week. It can help add countless functionalities to an ecommerce website that cannot be achieved with HTML, CSS, and Liquid alone. This tutorial shows you some actionable techniques to use JavaScript for super powering your client’s Shopify store.

How to Create a Compelling Web Design Portfolio

Web Design Portfolio

A web design portfolio website is a must-have for anyone working in the creative industry. Not only will it help you share your work with the world, but it also allows you to build a personal brand that you can be proud of. Last month, we shared a few tips to help you design a portfolio that is both effective and compelling to prospective clients.

5 of the Best Prototyping Tools for Your Web and Mobile Designs

Prototyping tools

In 2015, prototyping and mockups became a hot topic across the web design industry. For good reason too — prototyping is an integral part of the design process that lets you and your team review concepts and share feedback in the early stages of a project. But with new prototyping tools being released every few weeks, we curated a list of our favourites to help you find the perfect one for your workflow.

Using Git to Simplify Shopify Theme Deployment

Using Git for Shopify

Earlier this year, a few Shopify developers wanted to make theme deployment and version control easier for our partners. The results were sophisticated integrations with Git, Beanstalk and Deploybot. If you haven’t tested any of these out, it’s never too late to learn.

10 Web Design Tools to Discover Beautiful Fonts for Your Next Project

Web design tools for fonts

Your choice of typography can make or break a design. The fact that it can help you convey themes, emotions, and the personality of a brand, makes font choice an incredibly important part of your design process. That’s why earlier this fall, we shared some of our favourite typography tools to help you discover beautiful fonts for any project.

Cheers to an amazing year, and to the next one we’ll share together in 2016. Happy holidays, and have a great New Year everyone!

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