Choosing Magento Themes. Revision Points
Exclusive and attractive commercial sites are impossible without high-quality themes.
Magento site owners have a great advantage over other e-commerce merchants as they can use the power of the vast Magento community and choose among numerous Magento theme providers.
Let multiple offers make you confused and overwhelmed sometimes, but it is certainly better compared to no choice at all.
At the first sight, all themes are great and you already imagine the way they will look like in your site, but hasty decisions, unfortunately, bring no benefit, as a rule. You should better start your patient examination from some obligatory features possessed by most high-quality themes.
Step 1. Advanced Functionality
For now, it is a must-have functionality, even if you do not get much traffic from mobile devices. Things will certainly change soon and a responsive theme is the first step towards these positive changes.
Note: 30% of mobile customers will likely abandon a transaction, if they do not face mobile-friendly experience (Source: MoPowered)
If you seek true satisfaction for your customers, this functionality is indispensable. Sharp images without any distortions make store look professional and trustworthy.
Retina ready Magento themes make your site look professional
Most Magento themes offer multicolor and easily-customizable color schemes, including several predefined ready-made options.
Some theme providers offer multiple built-in layout options (1, 2, 3 column layouts in one theme) for home pages or the whole site. Usually we use a certain layout scheme, but multiple options are definitely an advantage.
The overwhelming majority of Magento themes includes powerful admin panels, which allow Magento owners to use all built-in features without any coding. Make sure your theme provides the same.
E-commerce nature imposes multiple additional requirements on Magento themes, which are specific to commercial shops.
Step 2. Technical Characteristics
Magento version compatibility defines a technical opportunity to use a theme in your store. Most theme aggregators, as TemplatesMonster and ThemeForest, already offer the themes compatible with Magento CE 1.6 and higher versions. So, you should consider that the stores with lower Magento versions are constrained in their choice.
Included Magento extensions and forms
Themes do not only define the visual embodiment of the store, but also provide sales functionality and determine shopping usability. So, theme providers strive to use many functionality extensions in order to make their themes useful and competitive. Advanced menus, enhanced product galleries, AJAX navigation and pagination, contact and subscription forms, and etc. create complete store’s functionality, but the particular list of these features depends on your needs and goals.
Multiple available languages are especially important for global merchants. According to the corresponding researches, customers highly appreciate product descriptions in their native languages.
Choose Magento themes supporting multiple languages and currencies for global sales
Multiple available currencies make shopping more comfortable for foreign customers and prevent cart abandonment.
Note: 13% of customers abandon their carts due to prices presented in foreign currencies. (Source: Statista)
Numerous customizable static blocks provide advanced opportunities to arrange site content and make your shop even more exclusive and user-friendly.
Most Magento themes provide grid and list Magento category views, and the absence of one of this options will considerable reduce your catalog functionality.
Each additional feature brings extra functionality to your store and, accordingly, more satisfaction to your customers. They may include social icons, back to top buttons, commenting systems, Google web fonts, SEO options, AJAX carts, search boxes, new/bestseller/related product blocks, cloud zooms, etc.
Step 3. Final Assessment
Make sure the theme provider included installation and customization guides into the package of your theme. Otherwise, you will need to search it and waste your time.
If you are not a developer, you will hardly be able to evaluate the art of coding inside the theme and be forced to rely on the reputation of the vendor or theme reseller. You can also gain additional useful information from customers’ reviews and you should also consider used coding standards (HTML5, CSS3, Bootsrap, etc) inside the theme.
Clear and structured theme code is the ground for advanced customization
Many theme features, mentioned above, are actually built-in customization options, which aim to make your Magento store individual and attractive. But well-structured and clear theme code provides additional opportunities for seamless and correct code-level customizations.
Frequent and regular updates indicate a serious intentions of the theme provider to deliver high-quality support and development of the theme.
Cross browser support
Multiple browsers compatibility is vital for high-quality Magento stores. Usually theme providers test it for most used browsers: IE8, IE9, IE10, IE11, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, etc.
Price options differ drastically from one theme to another. For example, TemplatesMonster offer themes at an average price of $180, while ThemeForest’s price for Magento themes is about $80 in average. But their catalog contains only 320+ themes, as opposed to TemplatesMonster which offer 830+ ones. The Magento extension marketplace – Magento Connect – counts 720+ themes, including free ones, and the price dispersion is considerable here – from 0 to $180.
Live demo is the first place where you can try the chosen theme yourself and make sure that your choice is correct. Live demos are not provided sometimes, but if available, don’t miss it.
As you see, choosing a Magento theme is a tough job, but we hope that the points above will help you choose a proper theme or just make a clear picture of Magento theme characteristics.
Being a high-quality extensions provider ahaedWorks offers 40+ Magento themes in its catalog. We guarantee professional design, easy installation and customization of our themes. They are fully compatible with all Magento components and our own extensions. Please refer to the themes’ demo and try them live!