WooCommerce has been around for far too long in the eCommerce domain. Its credibility can only be summed up in the fact that each year, more and more brands are opting for WooCommerce for their eCommerce business. The convenience, open-source build, and security make WooCommerce one of the most desirable eCommerce platforms.
The flexibility, plethora of features, analytical capabilities, SEO friendliness, the fact that it is free, and the various products you can sell make WooCommerce the premier platform for any eCommerce merchant. WooCommerce is seen as the most reliable and complete solution for all things eCommerce.
When it comes to aesthetic themes and beautiful templates, there is no limit to what you can achieve with WooCommerce. Every merchant can find the perfect design for their store in the WooCommerce themes marketplace. Easily find the best theme that perfectly complements all your business needs.
If you were to purchase a theme from the WooCommerce marketplace, you could also request an installation. You could order expert assistance if you don't want to spend time installing the template. The experts will create a new database, upload and install the WordPress engine, activate your template, install and activate all the plugins needed, and test everything.
WooCommerce could very well be the best platform to start an eCommerce store. It not only comprises some of the best features but also holds the most visually appealing templates. The stunning and user-friendly themes are bound to elevate user experience and increase conversions. Use ThemeForest, Template Monster, and ThemeStore to find an excellent library of categorized themes that match your industry, business, and products.
The Importance of Theme In eCommerce
The theme decides the aesthetics or overall look and feel of an eCommerce store. The theme essentially creates the navigation and the user experience on a WooCommerce store. It is the theme that decides how your users will interact with the website.
Owners tend to dedicate enough time to selecting the right theme or even customizing it. They will go to any extent to prevent their website from looking dull and monotonous. The theme will add that extra attractive spark, fluidity and create a seamless experience on the website.
The theme you use will impact your site's usability and influence the way customers see your brand. The theme will become the interface of your eCommerce website. The theme is the component that dictates the visual design of your WooCommerce store. The theme will use a combination of custom templates, layouts, styles, and images to generate the best look and feel.
The theme dictates the visual front-end elements like the layout of your home page. The template you select will contain the colors used in the header, the font styles, carousels, content blocks, and so much more. All the features like menus, search field, banners, sliders, footer, filters, and more are all part of the theme.
The theme also controls how responsive or mobile-friendly your site is. Owners not only want their themes to look creative and captivate the audience, but they'd also want it to look professional. The theme, to some extent, provides the site structure. Ultimately, the theme you pick must align with what your business hopes to achieve online.
Some merchants settle for stock, out-of-the-box, or native themes. However, most merchants would instead aim for a hybrid theme or will probably customize a theme from scratch for their eCommerce website. Let's take a look at the various options available to eCommerce store owners.
What Are the Different WooCommerce Themes Available?
Third Party Themes
When it comes to third party themes, especially free third party themes; updates and support is a significant drawback. Although such third party themes can speed up your website's creation, they will lack adequate back end support.
Low on cost and very economical, to the point that many are free. Not only that, third party themes come in thousands of varieties. Many of these themes also have an industry-specific focus. In other words, they are designed exclusively for specific industries. Thus, such themes will generally come with all the plugins you'd need.
If you are starting out and testing your products' in the market, then opting for a pre-built third-party theme will prove economical. The upfront costs on these themes are relatively less. A lot of these themes are even faster to implement. Plus, third party themes are also often tried and tested by many other WooCommerce merchants.
Many have in-built functionalities that save you time. This includes widgets or plugins that you don't need to search for. A few of them are social media sharing, forms, side panels, slides, and much more. There is an extensive lineup of quality and dynamic themes. A few of them may even turn out to be mobile-friendly and are faster to implement.
Third-party themes also aren't free from demerits. Some third-party themes are difficult to customize. It may be poorly coded, and tweaking it will be problematic. Many of these themes have unproven vendor support. Thus, if anything goes wrong, store owners will be left to fend for themselves. Plus, you may have to deal with all the bugs in the code.
The bugs can then severely affect the user experience, SEO rating and pose a security risk to the store. Some of these themes are still sitting with redundant features. If that wasn't enough, many of them even offer outdated functionalities that are not suitable for the latest version of WooCommerce. Often, store owners may not find the required features for the site structure or plugins to work.
Plugin compatibility or mismatch with the theme is a common issue that owners face with third party themes. Maintenance and management of the theme will become an issue, especially from a security point of view. Furthermore, many of these themes are overloaded with features that confuse visitors and create navigational problems.
You might face some compatibility issues with a theme. In this case, a functionality might not appear correctly or will look out of place. Read the theme documentation carefully. On top of that, look out for hidden malware on some themes. Pirated themes can create errors on your server. Check to see if you're not picking a nulled theme. Nulled themes are illegal and may contain viruses.
Custom themes are what you want when you desire a particular design for your eCommerce website. Easily distinguish yourself from the crowd with a tailor-made theme. If you're aiming for a never-before-seen unique design, you'll want to hire a developer or eCommerce team to create a custom-coded theme from scratch.
The principal advantage of getting a customized theme is owners get precisely what they want. The store looks exactly how you imagined it. You get a website that is truly nothing like anything that exists out there. Also, owners don't need to waste time and effort on hacking and modifying another theme.
Instead, the same time and effort is invested in developing a new and original theme. You rely less on external plugins and extensions, as the developers will adjust their functionalities into the theme. Furthermore, the security of custom themes will be much better compared to pre-developed themes that come with security loopholes.
The lean coding and limited source code makes it a lot easier to integrate SEO into a customized theme. A custom theme ensures the latest updates, in-time management, and glitch fixing. The theme developer invents a suitable theme that is efficient, convenient, and easy to edit. They do not bloat the theme, hence find it easier to maintain it later.
If the extent of customization is excessive, it will prove to be a little more expensive. Businesses that have more complexities will find custom development a little heavy on their pockets. Various languages like Ajax, CSS, RTL, and HTML5 can create such a complex theme from the ground up.
Thus, in many instances, companies leave this as a last resort. Brands will only opt for customized themes when any of the available themes do not fulfill their objectives, or small tweaks aren't as feasible. The chances are that there will always be a theme out there that will provide you the features you desire.
In many cases, the development work will stretch longer than usual, and therefore the investments may also increase. Plus, you would always need the developer or eCommerce team who created the theme to assist with any issues. Custom themes cost a great deal because of the time and effort that goes into such a project.
Over the years, there has been a rapid growth in eCommerce theme availability on the internet. Of course, there are the third party themes that you can utilize, but what about themes that are native to WooCommerce. On the WooCommerce marketplace, you'll find many highly creative and fluid templates that will do wonders for your eCommerce website.
Native eCommerce templates come in extremely handy, as they help save time in development and make the creation of an eCommerce store design fast and efficient. Many of these templates are highly simplistic, basic, and easy to install. The template comes with support for multiple languages, a plethora of payment solutions, feature upgrades, and more. Almost all of them are safe and secure.
Your store may likely want a unique, trendy, and exclusive template. In that case, picking one of the native free eCommerce themes will fail to provide that exclusivity. Free themes come with limited functionalities and are often unable to cope with the demands of growing companies. For such businesses, developing a full-fledged, powerful, and dynamic eCommerce theme is the best way to go.
Then, the variety of such themes sitting on WooCommerce may also be a concern. You may not find too many styles that sync well with your brand's identity. If that were the case, you'll have to tweak the theme, which again takes you down the customization path. To modify and adjust the theme to your liking will also take forever to accomplish.
Using a Builder In the Theme
Divi, Elementor, and WPBakery are some great theme builders for designing your eCommerce store. They are often equipped with customizable templates and tons of great features. Such tools often contain image galleries, drag & drop elements, form creators, and so much more. However, if you are not going to utilize any of this, it may create a lot of extra code.
The excess code will then slow down your website. Not only that, but it will also make the admin interface of the page editor very cluttered and confusing. All this is due to the extra features you don't require. However, a theme builder that has decent support can address these issues. Many premium WordPress themes come with page builders pre-installed.
Builder is a theme plugin that allows you to create page layouts using a drag and drop user interface. So, if you were to use a theme that goes with one of these plugins, you'll get the ability to edit the theme from a page builder. Using this, you could control your site, save time, and enhance your results. Easily access and design all the pivotal site sections from one place.
Using a page builder to create landing pages may end up producing a lot of unwanted code. If you ever tried to switch the theme, those pages will require a lot of cleaning up. However, customers also have the option to purchase these page-builders separately. If done, they'll be able to use it with other themes as well.
Things to Consider While Selecting a Theme for Your eCommerce Store
The WooCommerce theme will play a crucial role in your website's SEO friendliness. Poorly coded HTML could affect your website's ranking in search engines. As such, opt for themes that are already SEO optimized. There exist Google-friendly themes that are created with SEO in mind. Check to see if the theme generates proper HTML5.
The latest themes utilize HTML5 markup and CSS3 to make your eCommerce site fast, clean, and easily-discoverable by search engine bots. Furthermore, these coding standards allow you to add different tags to your content, attach rich Google snippets, and create other sorts of SEO magic that help search engines index your pages.
Many themes in the WooCommerce marketplace allow the addition of relevant keywords to some aspects of your site. Beyond this, you could even make other powerful and creative hacks to make your website easily-discoverable. The SEO juice of your eCommerce store is what wins you traffic, conversions, and revenue. Don't neglect this aspect when picking a theme.
In this day and age, a mobile-friendly website is not optional. Brands are going the omnichannel way, and mobile websites will play a massive role in that transformation. Identify red flags in your theme that prevents your eCommerce website from going fully mobile-ready. Fortunately, most themes are mobile-friendly.
However, there are still sellers who are selling fixed width themes that are limited to desktops. Ensure you finalize the right theme. Local searches mostly happen on mobile devices. In this case, users are likely to access your site from a smartphone. Not finding a website that is compatible with that device will lead to immediate abandonment.
Your customers access the site from different browsers; now, you wouldn't want to favor one particular browser. What you will do instead is test your website across all popular browsers. eCommerce owners do not want a broken website on browsers.
Most developers test their themes rigorously with sophisticated browser compatibility testing tools. However, there may be a few that don't comply with different browsers. In this case, run some tests to check the theme on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. Test the templates on mobile browsers as well.
While some developers provide extensive support for their themes, many free themes don't come with the same type of support options. Many themes don't even allow you to contact the theme creator for any assistance. Hence, if anything goes wrong, you'll have to either figure it out on your own or rely on an external developer.
Ensure that you pick a theme that has good documentation and support options available. Many themes provide a lifetime of updates, fast support, and step by step documentation. Beyond this, some themes even offer a six month support period that you can easily extend to twelve for a small premium.
Your brand identity must reflect on the theme that you select. Not only that, but the theme must also be in sync with your unique business objectives. The ideal website template is the one that covers all the goals you have in mind from your eCommerce store. Determine the KPIs and narrow down to the themes that complement them best.
It would help if you had clear, smart goals while choosing a design template. A firearm website may not have the same look and feel like a pharma website. Your customers, too, want a different level of interaction. Thus, the functionalities you want to incorporate will vary depending on the business type. Create a checklist of features you want before you start looking for a theme.
Owners can alter styles, functions, layout, templates, and more. You can implement much or as little customization as you wish. One of the simplest ways to tweak your theme is via CSS. So much so that you can even change the entire layout. Thus, owners can get to work and modify the theme and change their website's appearance at will.
The theme you select must resonate with your target audience. The intuitive interface must guide and create a seamless browsing experience for your visitors. The theme must match your customer's expectations. Besides being stunning and loaded with imagery, your website should generate a sense of ease in finding the information about the product.
If you are changing a theme or modifying the current one, it will prove beneficial to analyze browsing sessions on a tool like HotJar. The session recordings, heat map, mouse flow, and other features will tell you how users interact with your website. Using this as a reference point, you can reposition various page elements. Move the CTA's, social sharing buttons, review box, gallery, and more.
WooCommerce store owners can choose a customized theme that lets them create a whole new and unique website experience. Custom themes allow you to design an online business with a distinguishable landing page, structure, website, and several other elements to help you stand out from your rivals.
A pre-built theme will restrict the look and feel of your website. Owners are limited to what's already present in the theme. It may become a hassle to edit the theme later for extra functionalities. They are low on cost. So, if affordability is a concern, then pick a generic theme. However, the lack of support and infrequent updates may leave you vulnerable.
Whatever be the theme, in the end, you want it to align with your business backbone. The features, functionalities, and overall framework must compliment your business needs. When you start the selection process, make sure to list down everything you hope to achieve from the theme. The best theme is the one that is symmetric with your business.
Visitors expect an optimized user experience, coupled with a beautiful design at every stage of their eCommerce journey. Themes play an integral role in that and help to facilitate the success of an eCommerce store. The last thing an owner wants is to make the integration of themes too difficult for themselves or too repulsive for the visitors.