Shopify Hydrogen Examples: Demo and Live Stores

Shopify Hydrogen Examples: Demo and Live Stores

What is Shopify Hydrogen?

Shopify has recently made some huge announcements and outlined some new ways forward. One of the most exciting announcements for developers was the introduction of v1 of Hydrogen and Oxygen (Shopify's native hosting platform).   

Hydrogen is the official Shopify Headless framework built on top of React and Vite. Hydrogen is heavily focused on the use of React Server Components, server-side rendering, and caching API to bring in snappy and flexible storefronts.   

As developers, we have all gotten used to templates to save time and energy when building out a new project and learning from other developers. Here are some amazing examples of stores (demos and live) that are built on the Hydrogen Framework.  

 

Let's take a look at some example stores:

 

1. Shopify Supply

    Shopify Supply Shop Image

     

    Shopify has recently launched their own Merch store, called the Shopify Supply store, which carries hoodies, backpacks, mugs, and other Shopify branded items. This is the first official store created on Hydrogen and hosted on their very own Oxygen platform.

     

    2. Hydrogen + Sanity CMS Starter Template Store

    Hydrogen + Sanity Demo

     

    Have to give it up to Sanity with this amazing demo store they launched for the Hydrogen release. Not only is it one of the best online experiences I have seen, but they are providing some of the best tools you need to make your Headless store using Hydrogen complete. Sanity CMS is definitely one of the top CMS platforms used alongside Headless eCommerce stores.

     

    3. Allbirds Live Store

    Allbirds Live Store using Hydrogen

     

    Allbirds have been a long-time Shopify merchant that has seen some amazing growth and has even listed on the NASDAQ last year. Allbirds has been experimenting with Headless architectures using Shopify but have recently gone all-in on the Hydrogen framework as explained in detail in this case study.

     

    4. Demin Tears Live Store

    Demin Tears Hydrogen Store screenshot

     

    Demin Tears is another Shopify merchant that has been featured on the Hydrogen case study. Definitely a noteworthy store for some inspirations!   

     

     

    So what are the differences between a Shopify Theme and Shopify Hydrogen?

    Merchants might find it difficult at first to grasp the idea of a Headless store and why Hydrogen and Oxygen might be needed. After all, technology is not something that merchants want to worry about. Many of them have decided to choose to be hosted on Shopify for that very reason. However, the eCommerce space is extremely competitive and in order for merchants to continue growing, they will need to continuously evolve their storefront. 

     

    Basics Differences

     

    Theme  Hydrogen

    Easily editable using the theme customizer

    Has access to all apps in the Shopify Marketplace

    Requires more development resources for setup and maintenance
    Has access to limited apps in Shopify Marketplace
    Strict code architecture Flexible coding environment
    Built for convenience 
    Built for speed and Flexibility

     

     

    Technology

     

    Theme  Hydrogen

    Required to use Liquid

    Supports any React Frameworks

    Difficult to build advanced features Easily build custom solutions
    Easy to learn and master Must have experienced developers
    No-code solutions possible Developers required for setup

     

     

    Time and Performance

     

    Theme  Hydrogen

    Required to use Liquid

    Supports any React Frameworks

    Difficult to build advanced features Easily build custom solutions
    Easy to learn and master Must have experienced developers
    No-code solutions possible Developers required for setup

     

     

    Conclusion

    While the Shopify Hydrogen announcement is super exciting for developers and tech enthusiasts, it might not be the best solution for all merchants. I would highly recommend you to weigh the pros and cons of both solutions before making the switch to Hydrogen. Personally, I enjoy building Headless storefronts much more than working with themes and can see how the theme architecture is quickly becoming out dated in the tech-driven world, hence the investment by Shopify.