But what exactly is theme registration, how does it work and why is it important?
Shopify theme registration is a way to link your Shopify theme license to a specific Shopify store.
When you purchase a premium Shopify theme, either directly from a theme developer or the Shopify theme store, you’re purchasing a license for the theme, which is valid for use in a single shop. However, theme registration is a new and separate step to be made after this purchase.
It’s important to note that you can only register a theme once per license. If you want to use the same premium Shopify theme on a second store you’ll need to purchase a second license for it.
While not all Shopify themes support registration, Out of the Sandbox has updated its themes to support registration via our exclusive Shopify theme updater app.
To find out if a non-Out of the Sandbox theme supports registration and how to do it, check with the theme developer.
Why register your Shopify theme? There are several key advantages to completing this easy process:
Registering is an easy process that starts with installing the Shopify theme updater app from the official Shopify app store.
There’s no cost to install the basic version that lets you register your theme. In addition, despite its name, you don’t have to use the theme updater app to update your theme; it can be used solely for the purposes of theme registration.
If you prefer to handle updating your theme manually (or not at all), you can still safely install the theme updater app and register your theme without having the app affect your live store in any way. In fact, the app runs silently in the background and doesn’t make any changes to your license, registration, store or theme unless you specifically take action to do so.
That said, we do encourage you to consider trying out the free app tier the next time you need to update your Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme. It’s a great way to save valuable time and it can even move over custom code.
In the rare cases where custom code can’t be moved, you can subscribe to the paid pro plain — which also has a free trial — to get a list of the filenames and line numbers that the app couldn’t transfer. While you’ll then need to move over this code manually, it’s a great way to narrow down the issues the app finds.
Once a theme is registered to a specific store, it’s permanently connected to that Shopify account and storefront. In most cases, theme registrations don’t need to be transferred, except in one case: You, as the original purchaser of the theme license, completely close the original store (and delete the theme from it) and create a new store that is also owned by you on a separate Shopify account.
In this case, you can request a registration transfer from Out of the Sandbox under the following terms:
It’s worth noting that, if you decide to close your Shopify store and reopen one, you can use your existing Shopify account but simply update the settings and theme to reflect the new business name and content.
This can actually be easier for a variety of reasons, since not only does it not require re-registering or transferring your theme, but it avoids the hassle of setting up payment gateways and other administrative functionality all over again.
In addition, in many cases, you may be able to “recycle” most of the old content from your old store to a new one on the same Shopify account — so this option is always worth considering.
Continuing to use an unregistered theme can be problematic for a variety of reasons:
Your online shop may be flagged as one without a valid paid license for the theme and therefore potentially in violation of copyright laws; this could lead to investigation and even a Shopify DMCA takedown notice.
In addition to our 50 tips to prepare your Shopify theme for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Out of the Sandbox has partnered with our friends at Pixel Union to produce a free ebook packed with actionable tips and advice to help you sell more this holiday season.