eCommerce Themes For WordPress
WordPress is a highly-extensible platform that can also be used to run an eCommerce store, thanks to plugins such as WooCommerce. Additionally, you can determine the look of your WordPress website using themes, which are essentially customizable design templates.
You can find thousands of free options in the WordPress Theme Directory, or purchase a premium tool from third-party marketplaces such as ThemeForest. Either way, it’s worth looking for dedicated themes designed to work with specific eCommerce plugins. These often provide extra features such as product page templates, customer-facing order management, and more.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the features and pricing you should expect from any quality eCommerce theme. Then we’ll show you five popular options to help you begin your search. Let’s get started!
The Pros and Cons of eCommerce-Specific Themes
Many eCommerce plugins, the most popular being WooCommerce, offer some basic styles that will work with any theme. However, we don’t recommend this as a first-line approach. If you run an online store, an eCommerce-specific theme can help you guarantee a much more cohesive user experience.
You’ll usually find that dedicated themes offer customizations and features related to eCommerce, sometimes even providing additional options that you’d normally have to pay for. You may get access to various checkout and payment options, a well-stocked extension library to let you add on extra functionality, and a range of customization options to ensure that your store matches your business’ current branding.
The main drawback is that eCommerce themes are often only designed with one solution in mind (usually WooCommerce, given its popularity). More general-purpose eCommerce themes can be hard to come by. With that in mind, it’s important to check to see whether your chosen theme and plugins are compatible.
Poorly-built eCommerce themes can also negatively affect the user experience. We recommend testing your chosen theme for responsiveness, especially on mobile devices. The customer experience should be simple and intuitive regardless of the device being used. That’s why taking the time to optimize for usability will benefit your business in the long run.
How Much Does an eCommerce Theme Cost?
Much like other WordPress themes, dedicated eCommerce solutions can vary in cost. There are basic free themes available, which are a good starting point for newer companies.
Premium themes typically cost anywhere from $29 to upwards of $125. The average price is around $50 to $75, and you’ll often find there’s little to differentiate themes in various premium price brackets.
When it comes to free versus premium themes, paid options should always be held to a higher standard. You’ll want to look for detailed designs, multiple template options, and thoroughly-tested interfaces that perform well regardless of each visitor’s device. Also, premium themes usually offer a greater level of support, and are updated more regularly than their free counterparts.
eCommerce Theme Compatibility
As we mentioned earlier, it’s vital to buy a theme that’s compatible with your eCommerce solution. However, you should also check version compatibility as well. Trustworthy plugins such as WooCommerce receive major version updates every so often, which can render old themes obsolete if they’re not updated to match.
As a general rule of thumb, you should determine how well an eCommerce theme plays with the latest version of WordPress, your eCommerce plugin, your choice of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin, and your social sharing plugins (if you use any).
To find this information, take a close look at the theme’s sales page. These often list WordPress and major plugin compatibilities. If the information is not explicitly listed somewhere public, you can send the theme’s developer a message instead.
You can also create a personal checklist of ‘must-haves’ before starting your theme search. For example, you may want to be able to include a search bar in the header area. These criteria will help you narrow down your options further.
WordPress eCommerce Themes
With a lot of eCommerce themes and child themes to choose from, it can be tough to decide how to focus your search. That’s why we’ve sifted through what’s out there, in order to identify some of the best options.
Since WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin, the majority of themes are designed to support it. Below, we’ll outline the features of five excellent eCommerce themes that work with WooCommerce, including:
These represent a mix of both free and premium eCommerce themes. You’ll also find a range of features and functionality on offer, so you’re sure to find something that meets your specific needs.
Storefront is the official free WooCommerce theme, offering a simple yet solid shopping experience for your customers. You can use it as a base to design your own theme, or choose from the developer’s affordable selection of stylish child themes.
You can also use Storefront as a benchmark for comparison with other free and premium eCommerce themes. This theme is a good example of what you should be looking for, as it upholds both WooCommerce and WordPress best practices
Pros: It’s a comprehensive eCommerce theme, is completely free, and is built by trusted WooCommerce developers
Cons: It’s arguably bland out of the box, and requires the purchase of a suitable child theme if you want to create a unique-looking site.
Shopkeeper is another popular premium theme for WooCommerce. It sports many templates, and offers drag-and-drop functionality for designing your own pages. If you want a bold look for your eCommerce site, Shopkeeper is a great option.
Pros: This theme includes a drag-and-drop page builder as a standard feature.
Cons: It may be complicated to customize and set up for some users.
Outfitter Pro is a part of the Genesis Framework package from StudioPress. This is a clean, modern theme that was built to seamlessly integrate with WooCommerce. It comes with plenty of pre-built options to help you get up and running faster, including ready-to-go landing and pricing pages.
Pros: This theme has several out-of-the-box theme and layout options, to save you time during setup and design.
Cons: Packed with features, Outfitter Pro might be overwhelming for beginners.
Cost: $129.95, or is included for free with any WP Engine hosting plan (along with many other StudioPress themes).
Finally, Neighborhood is a flexible theme with a number of intuitive and useful options. It also features a demo child theme, which you can use to create a design to match your exact requirements – and one that won’t disappear when you update the theme.
Pros: This theme is optimized for stores with large inventories.
Cons: Its functionality may be excessive for some smaller stores.
Optimize Your eCommerce Experiences With WP Engine
Choosing a theme can be fun and exciting. With so many options, it may seem like you’ll never be able to pick just one. No matter what theme you choose, however, you’ll get the best performance by utilizing WooCommerce hosting with WP Engine, and utilizing our favorite WordPress developer resources.
Our comprehensive options will help to ensure that your site is fast and reliable for your visitors. Additionally, WP Engine plans come packaged with the Genesis framework and more than 35 StudioPress themes!