It’s tough to know if Shopify’s Debut theme is any good based on the demo store provided by Shopify. They get expert designers to create a branded store based around some cool products, they can make anything look good!
You may be more interested in current live Debut theme store examples so you can get a more realistic view of how the Debut theme will look for your own store. What’s the point of building your store if you’re not going to like the finished product and start all over again!
First of all, is Debut a good Shopify theme?
Shopify’s Debut theme is clean, congruent and minimal making it an ideal choice for beginners with smaller stores who don’t require many advanced sales features. It comes with a default and light style option for users to choose from to suit their store type.
Don’t assume because Debut is a free Shopify theme that it’s not adequate to build a successful eCommerce business. A ton of very successful stores use the Debut theme as you’ll see below.
What you will have to be aware of is Debut is a simple theme. Most stores using the Debut theme will purchase additional apps which may end up costing more than you expect.
Decide which apps you will require before building your store. Many paid themes will cost you more upfront but will have more apps built into the theme itself which may end up saving you money in the long run. For example, the Booster theme is $399 for lifetime access but comes with a ton of free apps which would cost $280 a month if purchased separately.
Is Shopify Debut Theme 2.0?
Shopify’s latest 2.0 theme engine has some advanced features including an improved theme editor which will make the process faster and more customizable. It’s not necessary to upgrade to the newest version but that’s a personal preference.
Debut theme is NOT the latest 2.0 version of Shopify. Debut theme is still running on Shopify’s version 1 engine so you will not have access to the additional features at this point.
Shopify has 18 free themes to choose from with 9 of them being the latest 2.0 version. The only way to upgrade to the newest version is to switch to a 2.0 theme.
Which of Shopify’s Free Themes are 2.0?
|Shopify 2.0 Version||Shopify Vintage Version|
Shopify Debut Theme Examples
Now the part you’re here for, the Debut theme examples. In these examples, I’ve tried to include a good variety of store types and niches. This way you can a better idea of which niches the theme is more suitable for and whether it is right for your niche.
1. Garage Strength
Garage Strength is a Shopify store selling strength programs for athletes from a variety of sports. Most of the products they sell are digital programs, courses and books but they do sell some physical equipment.
They’ve utilized the Debut theme effectively and included a blog for their readers to help the user experience and SEO.
Check out Garage Strength here.
2. James Corwin
James Corwin is an art store specializing in wildlife artwork. James Corwin is not only an online store, they have several store locations around the US which they have included in the Debut theme.
They have included additional categories such as events, workshops and conservation information showing how versatile Debut theme can be.
Check out James Corwin website here.
3. Healthy Hey
Healthy Hey is a health and nutrition Shopify store that has used the Debut theme effectively. With nutrition products, it’s hard to sell these items unless you can prove to the consumer why and how the product will benefit someone’s life, and Healthy Hey has done that.
They’ve used the Debut theme to implement informative content on the homepage, videos and a helpful blog.
Pebbl is a little different from the example stores listed above in that it’s a one-product Shopify store. The entire store is based around a portable seat without legs. For some more one-product store examples, check out my article here.
Pebbl has used the Debut theme very effectively and they’ve branded the store perfectly. This store shows that you can use Debut theme for any store or product type if you know a little about design.
Dresstive is a Shopify store selling a wide range of Indian-style clothing and accessories for men and women. This store has a massive selection with over 5,000 items for sale.
They do have a physical store location in India but do ship worldwide. The thing that makes this store look so amazing is the beautiful images they have used throughout the website. High quality images on a website can make any theme look amazing whether it’s a free or paid theme.
6. Honey Flow
Honey Flow is a Shopify store that sells wooden bee hives accessories and I must say I really want one of these. You can literally turn a tap and get fresh honey right from your backyard.
This is an example of how successful a Shopify store can be using a free theme such as Debut. Don’t assume you need a paid theme to build a profitable Shopify store.
7. Gorgeous Fabrics
Gorgeous fabrics is the next Shopify store example using the Debut theme. Ths store sells a wide range of fabrics for different types of clothing.
Gorgeous fabrics has the Debut theme to not only sell their products but to advertise classes they run at their studios, create a blog and sell gift cards.
The only additional Shopify app they appear to be using is Free shipping bar.
8. House of Dear
House of Dear is a Debut theme store selling various hair care products. They’ve nailed the design of this store which would definitely increase the product’s perceived value.
House of Dear has used the Debut theme to include social proof, social media and show their customers how effective their products are.
Cons of Debut Theme on Shopify
There’s a reason Debut is the most used Shopify theme. It’s free and it can look amazing with the right design. There’s always a catch and I’m going to cover the cons of the Debut theme and who might not want to use it.
- It’s a very minimal theme and depending on the type of store and the type of products you want to sell it may not be adequate.
- Debut theme is not as customizable as some other themes.
- Currently, Debut theme is not running Shopify’s latest 2.0 engine which means you will miss out on some of Shopify’s latest features.
- Debut theme is not packed with the latest features to increase conversions and provide the ultimate customer experience.
- There are several complaints from users that the Debut theme is not optimized efficiently for mobile users.
- Although Debut theme is free, you wil most likely need to purcase a few apps. This Automizely 30 in 1 app is an amazing option in my opinion.
I personally like Debut theme the best out of Shopify’s free themes. As you can probably tell from the store examples above, if a store is designed and branded right, Debut theme can look very professional.
One common aspect of most stores using Debut themes is they often require several apps as the Debut theme is a basic theme. Often these apps can cost small monthly fees but over time these monthly fees can really add up.
There are themes such as Debutify and Booster which are expensive initially but they have so many built-in apps that they may save you money in monthly fees and may increase your conversion rate which will make you more money anyway.
I have a review for the Booster theme here if you’re interested.
In my opinion, the number 1 reason to purchase a paid theme instead of using a free theme is the additional features and apps it comes with. If you use high-quality images on your store, a professional logo and add the necessary sections such as social proof and review, there is little difference between a free or paid theme.