While our “original” set of themes — Responsive, Retina, Mobilia and Parallax (plus the newer Artisan) — will always have a special place in both our hearts and those of the merchants who use them, we’d be remiss to not mention two other powerhouses in our theme arsenal.
Turbo, which was first released in 2016, was the first Shopify theme Out of the Sandbox offered exclusively outside of the theme store.
This marked a milestone in Shopify theme development — because it allowed our design and development teams to explore new options and features, including many that can save merchants money by eliminating the need for certain third-party apps.
Flex, released in 2019, followed in Turbo’s footsteps in an even bigger way — by providing incredibly flexible design options unlike any other Shopify theme Out of the Sandbox has offered. Flex is also exclusively sold outside of the Shopify theme store, making it possible for it to feature advanced features that go above and beyond even the most advanced Shopify themes sold there.
Whether you’ve been using one of our “classic” themes or are totally new to Shopify or Out of the Sandbox, Turbo and Flex are packed with great features that make them a great choice for any store looking to grow (this also includes merchants who use Turbo and may be thinking about switching to Flex).
Same great quality as the Shopify theme store
First, it’s worth pointing out that, while they are not sold in the official Shopify theme store, both Turbo and Flex are designed and developed by the same awesome team that created Responsive, Retina, Parallax, Mobilia and Artisan — which, combined, are some of the top selling Shopify theme store themes of all time.
- This means the themes are designed and developed with the same standards that Shopify requires of any theme approved for the theme store.
- Out of the Sandbox also voluntarily updates Flex and Turbo to conform to all Shopify requirements in terms of new features or support. All of our themes supported, for example, Shopify’s dynamic checkout buttons, before the deadline required by Shopify.
- Our development team is also committed to making Turbo and Flex compatible with new Shopify theme features as they are released — including multi-currency support, the new theme settings interface and sections options.
Advanced features using creative approaches
Just like the creativity that fuels the passion behind so many Shopify theme stores, Flex and Turbo have also introduced advanced and extended features that often require our design and dev teams to think creatively and “outside” the box, if you will.
For example, creating multi-tag filtering (which is available in both Turbo and Flex), without requiring an app, required some innovative thinking between the entire Out of the Sandbox team.
Switching to the Turbo Shopify theme
All that said, making the switch to Turbo can have many advantages to your store:
- Option to use the “Ludicrous” performance mode, which includes a page preloading feature that intelligently attempts to predict what page your visitors will visit next and loads those pages almost instantly upon a click.
- Access to mega menu, multi-tag filtering, predictive search and more advanced features.
Who should switch to Turbo?
While Turbo is a premium Shopify theme that’s terrific for stores of all types and sizes, stores that might want to consider making the switch include:
- Large inventory stores or stores that will benefit from adding the ability to filter by tag, color or other characteristic on collection pages.
- Stores with larger collections or ones looking to keep visitors interested by automatically loading more products as they scroll down.
- Stores that need a mega menu and don’t have a theme with one.
- Shops looking for a faster, smooth user experience.
- Merchants who want to eliminate the costs associated with some third-party apps — plus possibly benefit from speed and performance improvements associated with removing apps.
- Stores that see a high volume of search oriented browsing and could help improve user experience with predictive search.
Switching to the Flex Shopify theme
As mentioned, Flex is Out of the Sandbox’s latest release and brings a plethora of advanced design options and features that have never been offered in one of our Shopify themes.
- A variety of header and footer options (including a sidebar).
- SVG icon options integrated throughout the theme, including the “icon bar.”
- A built-in icon library and the ability to add your own custom SVG icons or request that a new one be added in a future theme update.
- The ability to add your own custom CSS on a per section basis.
- Easy to adjust spacing options on many sections.
Who should switch to Flex?
Flex is a great Shopify theme for almost any store, but here’s a list of stores that might be a good candidate to consider switching.
- If you’re using Turbo but don’t need the “Ludicrous” speed option.
- Entrepreneurs or store designers who need more control over the design of a store, including pixel-perfect spacing and easy to add custom CSS at the section level.
- Merchants that need flexible options for product page layouts to help engage customers with detailed content information.
- Store owners or designers who are looking for a “quick start” with a Shopify theme, as Flex comes with a dozen ready to go designs, that include placeholder content and free stock imagery.
- Finally, keep in mind that many of the same benefits listed above for Turbo are included in Flex, including predictive search, mega menus, multi-tag filtering and “infinite scrolling.”