When it comes to choosing a – Magento theme for your ecommerce store, you will either have the option to choose a free or low cost pre-made theme or a bespoke Magento theme. There are pros and cons to both options, some of which we have discussed in greater detail below.
If you choose a pre-made Magento theme, make sure it is a good fit for the products and services you sell.
Pre-made Magento themes
Pre-made Magento themes are usually free or priced very affordably, making them great for new ecommerce businesses on a tight budget. The fact that the template has already been made also means you won’t be waiting for weeks or months to get your store up and running. There are thousands of different pre-made Magento themes to choose from, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to select one that suits the products and services you sell.
However, before downloading a free or low cost pre-made theme for Magento, it is worth considering some of the possible drawbacks. The first is that other businesses will be using the exact same theme, so your ecommerce store won’t stand out. It could also make customers question your professionalism and may potentially put them off making a purchase from your site.
Another issue with pre-made Magento themes is that they are not always fully supported. This can be a real problem if you come across a bug or find that the theme is not compatible when you inevitably have to upgrade your Magento store to a newer version.
Bespoke Magento themes
If you want your Magento ecommerce store to reflect your brand identity and stand out amongst your competitors’ sites, a bespoke Magento theme provides the perfect solution. You will be able to work closely with a Magento developer to build your theme from scratch, ensuring that it is tailored to your brand values and attractive to your target audience.
The web developer will be able to optimise your Magento theme in line with SEO best practice and ensure it is capable of achieving the best possible conversion rates. There will be no limit (apart from your budget) on your Magento themes design or features. The design will be completely unique to you and your business.
Another benefit of building a bespoke Magento theme is that you will be able to benefit from the Magento developer’s expertise and knowledge. When it comes to fixing errors or upgrading your Magento website, you will have a developer you can rely on for assistance.
The only downside to having a bespoke Magento theme designed is the cost. It costs far more to have a bespoke theme created than it does to download and install a pre-made template. However with so many benefits, you will have to decide whether the price is worth it.
What to look for in a quality Magento theme
Whether you choose a pre-made or bespoke theme is completely your decision. Either way it is important to check that it has all of the features and qualities to do it’s job of representing your business online and attracting visitors.
A user-friendly interface is essential to a good online shopping experience.
In order to stand a chance at achieving high conversion rates, your Magento theme needs to have a user-friendly interface. The easier it is for visitors to use your website and navigate to the information they need, the more likely they are to stick around and buy your products. A user-friendly interface will be one of the main contributors to the overall user experience provided by your ecommerce store.
Today it is important that all Magento merchants choose a responsive theme for their ecommerce stores. Having a responsive theme will ensure your site is optimised for viewing on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, providing a consistent user experience throughout. See The Importance of Selecting a Responsive Magento Theme for more information.
Thankfully Magento is already an SEO friendly platform, however it is important to make sure that your Magento theme is equally as good. Clean and organised HTML / CSS code is essential to boosting your website’s SEO. There is always a risk with downloading pre-made templates as you cannot be 100% sure of whether the code used to develop it is SEO friendly, like you can with a bespoke design.
Not all pre-made themes will be SEO friendly or optimised for conversions.
Choosing a Magento Developer to build your custom theme
If you are looking for a pre-made Magento theme, you will find a great selection on the Magento Connect website. If however you have made the wise decision to opt for a bespoke Magento theme, you will need to find a qualified and experience Magento developer to build it for you. Below we have shared tips on how to choose a great Magento developer.
Find a certified Magento developer
If you want a custom Magento theme of the very best quality, we highly recommend working with a certified Magento developer. They are the very best of the bunch and we are lucky to have a few of them on our team! Get in touch if you’d like them to build a bespoke Magento theme for your website.
Check portfolio and references
Something we would also encourage you to do is ask to see a web developer’s portfolio. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work and the type of projects they have previously worked on. Say for example two web developers were offering the same quality service at the same price, but one had worked on other websites in your industry and the other hadn’t. The sensible decision would be to go with the developer that has experience working on similar themes to the one you require for your Magento site.
Checking references is also a must! Don’t just go on a website’s testimonials; actually ask to see written statements from their clients. This will allow you to check that the developer is as reliable and reputable as they are claiming to be.
Before you decide on a particular web designer to build your Magento theme, it is likely you will want to shop around for quotes. This can prove to be very useful, as it will ensure you secure a fair price for your custom design.
If you are looking for a bespoke Magento theme at an affordable price, get in touch with Online Media Direct today. You can either call us on 01706 830 965 or submit a Magento project enquiry on our website.