Magento Custom Theme vs. a Readymade One for Your Magento Store

Decided to set up your own web store, but not sure what option — custom design or readymade design theme — is better for your online business?
Magecom
Magecom

Specialists qualified in SEO and SMM, content marketing, web design, branding, marketing latest tendencies and trends.

The e-commerce industry is expanding rapidly. This direction is actively interested not only by entrepreneurs but also by those who already have an operating business because the Internet can become an excellent addition to the existing sources of customers.

Decided to set up your own web store? Congrats, you are on the right way to increasing your sales numbers. However, that would be a lie claiming that ecommerce site development will turn you into a millionaire: there is a huge number of factors affecting your business success.

In this article, we will cover an important topic — choosing a design template. For a website, it is as important as the design of a shop window for an offline store because the quality of the presentation of your products depends on it. In a recent study from Forrester, a designed interface can raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and a better UX design can make conversion rates up to 400%.

Types of Magento Themes

Unlike the Ready-made (standard/default) Magento theme, the customized one allows you to create a custom design for your online store using various design elements such as CSS or images.

You can use as many elements as you like to create a different look for specific pages, display some sample items that cannot be added to the cart, and customize some aspects of the store required in certain countries.

On the one hand, creating a good-looking site that will encourage your customers to buy is pretty tough, especially if your money is tight. But there is a way out even for small budgets — so-called readymade themes.

On the other hand, having a unique and business-specific design increases your chances to engage prospectives and have better revenues.

You know your business better, so it’s up to you to decide whether to have a custom design or use a readymade theme. However, we can help you somehow by specifying some advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Readymade Magento Theme

Getting a ready-made design is an excellent solution for those who make their first steps in ecommerce. If you browsed various online resources about design, you indeed came across tons of different website templates available for downloading and further customization. However, this option has its pros and cons.

Pros:

      • Affordable. Working off readymade themes is much easier, quicker, and, what is of no small importance, it costs up to $200.
      • Support. As developers from all over the world design these themes, it’s more likely that you will be able to get the help of those developers while solving problems you may encounter. 
      • Ability to see what you get: the theme is already designed and coded, so you know how it will look installed on your server.
      • It requires less time. You don’t need to be a developer to apply the theme to your site. However, if you feel you can’t handle this task by yourself, you can always turn to experts who can do it within a couple of hours for you (when we speak only about theme installation).
      • Built-in features. Most ready-made themes are initially provided with many functionalities like a blog, a day’s product, mega-menu, daily deals, etc., built into them, so there is no need to create them separately.

Cons:

      • Lack of originality. Using the theme not designed by your requirements (and not primarily for you) is far cheaper, but consequently, it’s not the original one. Different users can buy the same theme, and your website becomes just “one of…”, but not “the only.”
      • Brand representation. One of the most disappointing things about readymade themes is that they’re designed to keep the general functionalities in mind, and it’s hard to customize them to represent your brand’s uniqueness. Therefore themes, which your competitors could use won’t work for a long time.
      • Customization limitations. If you opt to use a readymade theme, you must admit the lack of customization possibilities without additional development. In most cases, you will change some elements, but there is little room to play. So if you intend to give your site a unique look and feel, you’ll need some help from a Magento designer.
      • Poor coding. The theme can contain bugs that will require additional investment into fixing them.

Ready-Made Solutions: 5 Best Magento Themes

Magento is very famous with entrepreneurs as it has an incredible number of themes. It is always the best solution to customize a theme to suit your site’s needs, but here are some inspiring examples of Magento 2.0 themes that we suggest looking at.

Topico

This template has compelling customization options and is suitable for any store. It also supports all the necessary SEO standards and has a fully responsive, flexible, and modern thematic design, making it compatible with all mobile devices.

Eren

It is a responsive fashionable Magento 2 theme with customizable admin settings. Suitable for any store. It maintains SEO standards for electronics. Also, its responsive design can be compatible with all mobile devices.

Complex

Complex is a Magento 2 Responsive Technology theme with customizable admin settings and a flexible and thoughtful design. Suitable for any store.

Gecko

It is a fully responsive theme for shopping on any device such as laptops, tablets, or mobile phones. The theme comes with a highly customizable admin panel that allows you to manage and customize on the go, flexibly for both developers and store owners.

Digitalstore

It is a premium responsive Magento theme with extremely customizable admin settings. Suitable for any type of store and is the starting point for your projects.

Custom Magento Design

If you want to develop your design — you get complete freedom in ideas, only your fantasy, and sometimes your budget can limit you. Of course, this option has its advantages and disadvantages as well.

Pros:

      • Unique website design. There’s a direct relation between your business success and the originality of your website. You will undoubtedly reach the top if you can create something memorable and give a pleasant user experience.”
      • Full control over the site’s look and functionality. Being a creator of your design, you’re able to make changes, control the visual feel of your website, maintain functionality you consider to be necessary.
      • SEO-friendly code Your website will be done with SEO in mind, ensuring better rankings and even getting ahead among your competitors. Better rankings result in a more significant number of visitors and ROI growth.

Cons:

      • Longer development time. Making your website from scratch takes up much more time as you need to create a design first and then implement it.
      • Higher costs. Making a website using a custom design requires developing it following the business demands. So, it will need extra costs for hiring a developer (unless you are a professional developer) and further website maintenance.
      • Unpredictable result. You never know what your website is going to look like until the designing process is finished.

Magento Theme Development

There is also an option between buying a readymade design template and hiring us to customize it, so your site design and functionality will be adjusted to the needs of you and your customers and reflect brand identity. It will save you some money on design and development (compared to developing a completely new design template), but it also has hidden dangers as well. No one can guarantee you that the theme you’ll select is appropriately coded. Sometimes bug fixing requires such a significant amount of time that it would be more efficient to create a design from scratch.

Conclusion

As you can see, your decision about a custom design or a readymade theme depends on many factors, especially budget and timeframe. You can always start small and follow an MVP path using a readymade theme to see how it goes and make any changes later. If you are OK to wait for results longer and invest time and money, then go for a custom design. Good luck, and always remember we’re there to help you out!