How to update your Underground Shopify theme

The web is a constantly changing environment. Daily, browsers, API's, and Shopify requirements are changing and improving. Here at We Are Underground it is a high priority to keep up with all the new changes and requirements to keep our themes top notch. Throughout the life of a theme, we will release new, updated versions. These updates will include changes to the old version of the theme sometimes adding new features, improving current features or fixing bugs. Once you have purchased a theme from We Are Underground (in the Shopify Theme Store or from us here on our site) you will have free access to these newer theme versions for the life of the theme.

We strongly encourage you to keep your theme up to date, that way you always have the best version. If your current version theme does not support sections (or if you've made changes to the files or theme settings), you will need to update your theme manually.

In this tutorial, we will go through the process of updating a theme to a new version while still retaining current customizations and settings. Watch our quick video tutorial or follow our step-by-step instructions.

Before you can begin the process of updating your theme, you will need to evaluate the current status of your published theme.

Does your current theme use and support Sections?

Does your current theme use and support Sections? If you're unsure then go to your Shopify admin select  Online Store > Themes > and click the blue Customize button next to your theme. Compare your theme editor to those shown below.

If you have an  unsectioned theme the steps for updating are the same, however, we have put together a separate tutorial geared towards unsectioned theme updates here "How to Update Your Unsectioned Underground Shopify Theme".


Video Tutorial


Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Download New Version of Theme

If you bought the theme from the Shopify store

Go to the Shopify Theme Store and log into the Shopify account you used when you first purchased the theme, then on our themes page here  Underground Themes find and select your theme.

Once you've found and selected your theme, click  Add latest theme version. This will add the new theme to the Themes page in your Shopify admin.

If you bought the theme from the We Are Underground Website

Send us an email through our  contact form (and attach your original receipt) and we'll send you the theme file (.zip).

Save the zip to your computer's Desktop. Go to your Shopify admin select  Online Store > Themes > click the Upload theme button under More themes. Select the theme file from your computer and click Upload.

The theme will appear as unpublished on the  Themes page of your dashboard.

Step 2: Copy theme settings


From your Shopify Admin select  Online Store > Themes > right-click on the blue Customize button next to the current theme version and open in a new window. Then right-click on customize next to the new theme version and open in a new window.

Resize these windows so they can fit next to each other side-by-side. In the theme editor in both themes click on  Theme Settings and begin going through each category in Theme Settings copying over settings from the older version to the newer version. Be sure to click Save when you're done.

Step 3: Copy section settings


In the theme editor of both themes click on  Sections and begin going through each static section (Mobile Navigation, Header, Footer) and each homepage section, copying over settings from the older version to the newer version. You will most likely have to delete unused homepage sections and add sections that are missing from the newer version. Just compare the section order between themes and you will catch any differences. Be sure to click Save when you're done.

Once you have completed copying the static section and homepage section settings, you will need to copy section settings for the other templates as well. Click on the  template picker menu and choose the next template in the list and copy over its settings. Do this for all the templates in the template picker menu.

Step 4: Migrate custom code


Next, you'll need to migrate any custom code that has been added to the theme files. In the Theme Editor for both themes go to  Theme Actions > Edit Code, then navigate to the theme file custom code was added to. In this example, we have added some custom CSS to the very bottom of the stylesheet.css.liquid file.

Copy the custom code from the older theme file and paste it into the same spot in the newer theme file.

You will need to repeat this process and copy over all custom code that you want to keep from the older theme. If the custom code has not been well documented this can be a bit tricky, try contacting the original developer who made the changes to see if they have a record of the changes.

For future updates it will make the process much quicker and easier if you make clear, searchable, comments in your custom code, you could even keep a simple Changelog that lists the change, where the change was made, the reason for a change, the date it was changed, and by whom it was changed. This can be a very valuable resource.

Step 5: Uninstall and Reinstall apps

Next, you will need to  Uninstall any apps that add code to a theme, and then re-install them from the Shopify App Store. If you're not sure whether an app needs to be re-installed, then contact the app developer for support. To contact the app developer, find the app on the Apps page of your Shopify admin, click View details, and then click Get support.

Step 6: Publish

Once you have completed copying your theme settings, theme sections, custom code, and reinstalling your apps, go through the theme carefully and double check everything is correct. When you're happy with the  new theme, go to Online Store > Themes, next to the new theme version, click on Actions > Publish. This will take the older version of the theme and move it to the draft themes and then make the newer version the live published theme.