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We’re always looking for ways to help developers, designers and agencies save time. If you’re working with clients and building ecommerce sites, time is money.

Are you well versed in HTML, CSS and JavaScript? Creating and editing themes for the Selz online store channel is intuitive for developers like you. 

We write and edit store themes in Liquid. This open-source templating language is used by Shopify, Salesforce, Adobe and hundreds of other respected software houses. It’s a modern language that our theme designer and developer partners love working with. 

Historically, there were only two ways for developers to create bespoke themes or customize existing themes. First, work online using the Selz integrated development environment. Second, work on your theme offline without a preview.

We’ve just made theme creation and editing better and faster with our new app for developers: Selz Theme Kit. 

A pair of glasses held up to a screen full of code for this article about the selz theme kit vs the shopify theme kit

What is Selz Theme Kit? 

Selz Theme Kit is an application that allows developers to modify theme templates and preview changes in an entirely local environment.

What are the benefits? 

Working with a preview is critical to a fast and iterative development cycle, and the Selz Theme Kit allows you to do just that. This tool lets you work from a local, hot-reloading setup that bypasses the need to recompile a live store to preview theme changes. You’ll find yourself customizing Selz Liquid themes much faster. 

It is designed to offer the same effective functionality as Shopify Theme Kit. Our kit will also allow you to preview the individual template files and preview the effects of block settings. 

Through Selz Theme Kit’s previewer, Liquid-driven views are populated with mock data, simulating how your theme templates would render in a live store context. You can choose from built-in defaults or create your own reusable custom configurations to test functionality. 

Our theme kit also makes it easy to manage versions and theme revisions using version control software. This means developers can apply familiar workflows to developing websites and commit changes with confidence from a local development setup.

A female developer working on code a a computer for this article comparing the selz theme kit to the shopify theme kit

How does the Selz Theme Kit compare to the Shopify Theme Kit for developing Liquid themes? 

If you work with Liquid themes for Shopify you will be familiar with the Shopify Theme Kit.

Selz Theme Kit is our own spin on Liquid theme editing in a local environment. It offers similar benefits to Shopify’s kit, but (in our humble opinion) it’s better.

We built the Selz Theme Kit with cross-platform usability in mind so more developers and agencies can get results with it.

We are proud to have it supported across all major development platforms, including: 

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux

It also doesn’t require you to have an account on our platform to get started.

An image of the Selz Theme kit User interface for an article comparing the new theme kit to the shopify theme kit

How the Selz Theme Kit works

Shopify Theme Kit relies on Shopify’s servers to rebuild the theme being developed and display on a live store whenever local changes are made. 

With Selz Theme Kit, it’s possible to preview Liquid templates locally, which helps you focus on the rapid development of the individual components (ie. templates, blocks and other code snippets) that make up a theme.

You can still upload theme changes for preview on a development store whenever you need to. This allows developers and their clients to preview the final solution while the site is still in development.

Like the Shopify Theme Kit, our theme kit gives you the option to copy, configure and rename an existing theme (or boilerplate) via the command line. 

Selz Theme Kit’s theme generation utilities make it easy to get going with theme development by either:

  • Creating a new theme from a boilerplate starter that is tailored to work on the Selz platform
  • Cloning any existing custom Selz theme
  • Continuing development on an existing theme

Once a theme is ready to apply to a store, all you need to do is execute a couple of built-in scripts from the command line to package and deploy your new theme to a Selz account.

A developer working at his desk with a great view for this article comparing the Selz theme kit to the shopify theme kit

Transferring themes from Shopify to Selz

If you’re used to working with themes in Shopify you’ll feel right at home with Selz. This process is simple and powerful because the Liquid syntax at the core of templating is the same. While there are some small differences between data drops and the modular content blocks used, the core principles for Shopify themes easily transfer to Selz. 

Agencies with Shopify themes can capitalize on a wider market with Selz. Liquid developers can easily style a theme from scratch on the Selz platform or use familiar technologies to convert an existing Shopify theme.

You can learn more about how the Selz Theme Kit works here

If you’re making ecommerce solutions with the Shopify Theme Kit, we want to help you connect with a wider market through the Selz partner program.

About the author

Bertie Rogers

Bertie Rogers is a Busines Development Manager at Selz, developing the freelance and agency partner network, and he writes articles in collaboration with our skilled team of developers.