Pre-designed themes offer a quick way to setup a website and can significantly reduce the cost of building a new store. Although this ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not one you’d want to take if you’re aiming to stand out from the crowd, it makes economic sense when you’re just starting out though. Almost all pre-designed themes allow for endless customization, so you can modify the theme to suit your brand and business.
Perhaps one of the most striking features of Magento is that it has some of the most elegant e-commerce themes. As the platform continues to become popular, more and more designers are choosing to build both free and premium Magento themes to meet increased demand.
With that being said, I’m going to tell you why a premium theme is the best choice for your store.
Premium Themes Are the Best Themes
When it comes to benefits, premium themes offer plenty.
- First up, almost all premium themes come with first-rate support, something that is markedly missing with free themes.
- Furthermore, premium Magento themes are very reliable. This is because premium theme designers take the time and effort to test their commercial theme on multiple platforms prior to putting them out on theme markets. Few designers are willing to go through this trouble for a free theme.
- Premium themes come with noticeably more features and functionality compared to free themes. For instance, a custom page builder is a common feature on many premium Magento e-commerce themes. This is a rarity in free themes.
- Stiff competition among designers of premium themes has led to improved overall theme quality, in terms of layout and features. There is plenty of variety too so you’re most likely to find a theme that suits your store’s unique needs with a few searches.
- Premium themes offer more specificity depending on the genre that your store deals in. For instance, there are premium themes designed specifically for online wine stores, bookstores, digital products, mobile apps, apparel, luxurious accessories, multipurpose stores, and practically everything that can be sold online.
Premium Theme or Custom Built Theme?
Undoubtedly, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to the pros and cons of using a premium theme versus a custom-built theme. Of course, a custom-built theme offers many advantages such as highly customized features, specificity to the last detail, more control over design, layout, and features, as well as flexibility.
However, for a startup on a tight budget, a custom-built website can greatly eat into your startup capital and in most instances, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to go down this route when you have not tested the waters with your new online business.
Typical custom-design web projects cost anywhere between $2000 and $15,000 for a medium-sized e-commerce store, depending on scope. And once the website is commissioned and accepted, the designers may charge additional hourly rates for support or additions that were not in the original specification.
The biggest advantage of a custom-built website is that it is designed to meet 100% of your specification. And if it is properly designed to fit with all your needs, chances are you will not need frequent modifications or upgrades.
Bottom line is premium themes are a great option for an affordable starting platform while custom designs might be a necessity when your business has picked up and you need to go an extra mile to retain customers. In that case, it makes more sense business-wise to invest in a custom-built website.
Support For Premium Themes
While premium themes typically come with sufficient documentation, you will quickly learn that some things require serious technical support from the designer. Thankfully, the majority of premium Magento theme designers provide satisfactory support as it helps with their reputation and ratings on the various theme market places.
Most premium theme designers provide free regular updates and upgrades, and they remain actively involved in support forums for their products, which brings us to an important point as far as support is concerned.
If a designer from whom you purchased a theme leaves a marketplace and pulls down their products, they’ll inevitably stop offering support and in that case, you might need to hire a good coder to implement any changes or upgrades that you need. So keep this in mind when buying a premium theme.
Another important benefit of premium themes is that the vast majority are built on standardized frameworks, which goes a long way in cutting out compatibility issues with the different application platforms.
Even when a designer does not use a framework (which is rare), they try to maintain a high degree of legibility when coding so as to make it easier for whoever will be making future modifications.
The following is a collection of the best responsive Magento themes you can use to get your new store off the ground.