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Buying a ready theme for your eCommerce website? You may mess up...


Our extensive experience in developing eCommerce websites took us through lot of pain areas. One of them is dilemma over using a ready theme or do custom design. Here is a low down on what to do.

You decided to develop eCommerce store. Finalized your eCommerce platform to be Magento (or Woocommerce or Prestashop or Opencart...). Next step; you started drooling over those great looking ready to plugin themes from popular theme markets like Themeforest or Templatemonster. You selected a nice looking template to buy.... wait think again.

Do you really need a theme? or you can go with custom design.

Here are 5 reasons you should not go for ready themes.

1) Are you prepared to stick with theme design

Theme designs are complete packages of template skins, banners, javascripts, CSS for colour and design. The moot question is: Are you prepared to stick with your ready made theme design without much change. Example: suppose you have a completely different design in mind for cart page or you require some different effects than what is provided in the selected theme or your internal pages have custom looks. If so your developer will try to do some retrofitting on the theme which may mess up the entire design..

2) Don’t select the theme just because it has a Great looking demo home page

On theme market , theme designers go all out to make themes visually appealing. Stock photographs , nice looking models , eye popping effects… But remember all these stock images will never remain a part of your final design. You need to have your own banner designs and photographs. As high as 80% of original content of the theme may be junked and replaced with your content. In that case do you have media and artwork ready ?

Take for example: Theme has a homepage with 10 banners. Do you have the replacement for these banners ready?

3) The added baggage of javascripts.

Themes come with a huge baggage of javascripts generally embedded for great effects like sliders, pop ups, light box effect etc. May be you don’t require these. If so the originally embedded javascripts will remain as useless dumps in your pages.

4) You still went in for a ready theme. But you do have many custom design requirements. This is what may happen if your designer starts retrofitting your theme.

  1. Changes in themes default css or classes may affect whole theme structure. It may look good in one page but mess up other page wherein same class is used...
  2. Your developer may try and add another JS for a custom requirement. This js or Jquery may conflict with your existing one.
  3. Themes come with many features like color options, fancy sliders, widgets etc. You may not need them . In case developer tries to comment out the code and that could invite bugs.

5) Mess-up due to theme update.

Let's say your Developer is able to customize the theme as per your requirement and 6 months down the line the new theme version is releases. You quickly apply the update. The new update will not handle your custom code resulting in a big mess.

So what is the solution:

You can check out the theme. Select it and than assess what are your customization needs. If you need to change more than 5% of the original theme I would not suggest you to buy it. Rather give the theme reference to your developer and suggest him to custom develop it.

Do let us know your comments on : [email protected]

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Buying a ready theme for your eCommerce website? You may mess up...
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