There are two ways to build a Shopify storefront:

  • Traditional storefront using the Online Store channel and Liquid
  • Custom storefront

The option to build a custom Shopify storefront has been around for years. The platform has extensive APIs which can be combined with any modern tech stack of choice like NextJS or Gatsby. While the APIs allow a lot of flexibility, building a custom storefront from scratch can be a difficult, time and resource consuming process.

What if there was a way to benefit from the flexibility that headless offers but also have a solid foundation that matches much of what comes out of the box with the Online Store channel and the traditional Shopify themes? This is where Hydrogen comes in.

Hydrogen is Shopify’s opinionated way to build a custom storefront. It is a React based commerce framework that helps developers quickly setup a new headless store.

Related: Best Shopify Hydrogen Stores For Inspiration