Why the new Flex Shopify theme is great for developers, designers and agencies

by Michael P. Hill

Why the new Flex Shopify theme is great for developers, designers and agencies

Flex, our latest Shopify theme, is not only a great choice for merchants who love tinkering with a myriad of settings to get a store just so, but also for developers and agencies wanting to stretch their creativity and build something truly unique for their clients.

At the forefront of these developers are “Flexperts,” as we lovingly call them. These folks were selected to preview Flex and help us improve it before it was fully ready for prime time.

However, there will no doubt be a growing community of “Flexperts” who build a wide variety of Shopify stores using the Flex Shopify theme as a base — and we can’t wait to see what they build!

If you’re a developer, agency or designer creating Shopify stores, Flex offers endless potential to create quality, creative and unique shops for each of your clients.

  • First, with a slew of new features, settings, and options, there’s plenty of room to get creative and toggle features on and off as needed — without editing a line of code. Not only can you meet clients’ needs better, but these settings also make it easier to make each of your projects look more unique.
  • For quick starting points or proof of concepts, Flex provides the opportunity to pre-load the content we use on our demo stores. This feature gives you a fast way to have a site up and running that looks great.
  • Ultimately, one of the main goals of Flex is to reduce the amount of time you have to touch theme code. We’ve done this by including more settings, layout options and other elements controllable through the “customize” interface, rather than always having to open the Liquid files.
  • As a developer, you should be well versed in writing custom CSS and the new ability to assign unique class names to sections as well as insert inline CSS is a great way to get that pixel-perfect look you’re after. 

Finally, running multiple copies of Flex on your store, combined with the forthcoming testing environments feature in Shopify, will also open the possibility of using Flex as a way of building working prototypes and mockups for winning projects or getting client approvals on changes.

Client considerations

Once you’ve gone live on Flex with a client store, it’s important to consider what happens when your client starts poking around under “customize.”

Ideally, you can simply advise clients to ignore that button and let you, as the expert, make any changes.

However, most store owners will want to be able to do at least some changes themselves, so education about what’s what can be key.

A good idea is to provide training and documentation via screencasts or screenshots to illustrate how the store owner can update or change a specific area of their site along with warnings about settings that shouldn’t be changed.

How to get Flex

Just like Turbo, the Flex Shopify is available exclusively on the Out of the Sandbox website. Flex is not available in the Shopify theme store.

However, you can still buy with confidence. Flex is designed, developed and tested by the same great team behind all of Out of the Sandbox’s ever-popular and award-winning Shopify themes.

All of our themes, including Turbo and Flex, meet or exceed Shopify’s guidelines for theme development and are updated to comply with any new Shopify requirements regularly.

Licensing Flex

As a friendly reminder, each Shopify account must purchase a separate copy of Flex in order to be compliant with our terms of service and in line with international copyright law.

When using Flex for clients, always be sure you’re using a properly licensed theme to avoid the downfalls of using a pirated Shopify theme.

Finally, don’t forget our affiliate program where your clients can buy the license while you receive a portion of the purchase price.

We also have a list of FAQs about best practices in licensing Shopify themes for clients.

Get started with Flex

To get started with Flex’s features, it’s always best to explore the theme itself in order to see how everything works and discover all the options it has to offer.

If you’re eventually looking to work with a large number of clients on Flex (or any other Out of the Sandbox theme for that matter), you may want to consider buying a copy that you can use to experiment with the settings and create dummy or “working” mockups for clients to preview.

Then, you can purchase additional licenses as needed each time you land a client.

We look forward to seeing how you let your imagination unfold and bend the rules with Flex! Once you’ve gone live, feel free to send us a link at flexshowcase@outofthesandbox.com.

 

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill