Choosing between ready-made and custom-made theme for your Magento storefront is crucial, and it all depends on your needs.
If you need a high-level customized website with complex product figurations and specific functionality, a custom-made theme is perfect for you.
And, if you need something more standard for a business that has just taken off, a ready-made theme will be the choice for you.
However, both custom-made and ready-made themes have pros and cons. Let’s dive deeper and take a closer look at both of these great options for your Magento store.
Ready-made themes are pre-designed for you. They are meant for Magento users who are just starting and may not be ready to create an expensive, custom theme. However, there is still a wide variety of ready-made themes available, and choosing one is still exciting and fun. Once you choose the theme, you can begin choosing the details like color and typeface. Although these designs aren’t “custom,” they still make any store look great.
Here are some pros of ready-made themes:
Ready-made made Magento themes are very user-friendly because they have been made for thousands of stores. Developers design these themes with users in mind because they want people to be able to create the best eCommerce store possible. Ready-made designs are going to have responsive web design, good loading times, and a variety of easy-to-use tools. Having an user-friendly platform is vital for eCommerce users, so they like this aspect of ready-made themes.
- Low Cost
This is a huge factor that greatly influences eCommerce owners. Because these themes have been created to sell to thousands of stores, they can be sold at a very low price. These themes are usually sold for around $100-$200, but they are still very high quality. eCommerce owners are drawn to these low prices and like they quality of these ready-made themes.
- Good Support
Extensive support is part of ready-made themes. You will be able to chat with developers about your questions and they can help you troubleshoot any issues you may have. Keep in mind that the level of support that you get is dependent on the theme developer that you purchase from. Some support is better than others, but most of the time you’ll get the support you need.
Here are some cons of ready-made themes:
- Inconsistent Quality
When you buy your themes ready-made, you’re taking a bit of a gamble on the quality. Depending on who develops your themes, you may not end up with something that you love. Themes that are said to be high-quality may have slow loading times and lots of unnecessary features that you won’t ever use. You may have to try a few ready-made themes before you decide on one in particular. And, even if you do like one of these themes and mold it to fit your store, it still won’t have that high-quality of a custom-made theme.
- Limited Customization
Using a ready-made Magento theme won’t give you the customization that your brand needs. These ready-made themes allow you to make adjustments to things like layout, color, and typeface, but no dramatic changes. When comparing ready-made and custom-made themes, ready-made themes have very limited customization.
- Functionality Constraints
With pre-made themes, you can add some additional features and can install certain extensions that you need. However, you won’t be able to add custom features that you’ve made yourself.
Custom-made Magento Themes
Now that we’ve discussed some details about ready-made themes, let’s take a look at custom-made themes!
Did you know that Coca Cola runs on a Magento custom-made theme?
If you don’t want to shape your eCommerce site around a ready-made theme, you can hire a web developer or use a development team to create a custom theme just for you. This is going to be much more expensive than using a ready-made theme, but your site will look amazing and your brand will stand out. Your site will look exactly how you want it to look because your site is essentially going to be built from the ground up.
The high cost of custom-made themes can turn people away, but they also several advantages. Let’s compare some pros and cons.
- Exclusive Design for your Brand
Custom-made themes are entirely yours. The developers that work with you will create a storefront that shows off your branding, highlights your products, and works great for your customers. The theme will be user-friendly and will attract both old and new customers. Also, your site will be unique – no one else will have the same storefront that you do.
- Highly Customizable
You can add as many special features and elements to your website as you want. As your team builds your theme, you can decide what you want to add and you can make changes. After the theme is built, you can even add more features as time goes on. Your storefront is going to grow and you’re going to have new features you’re going to want to incorporate. With custom-made themes, you can add features at any point.
After adding plugins, payment gateways, and certain APIs to your website, your development team will make sure that your theme has fast loading time and is compatible with everything you’ve added on. Compatibility can be an issue for ready-made themes, but you can be confident in the compatibility of a custom-made theme.
- Takes a Long Time to Create
Custom-made themes take time to create. While web developers and designers do work quickly, the process takes time, hard work, and collaboration. These themes can take months – or even up to a year – to complete. It all depends on how complex your theme is and what kind of changes you ask your development team to make.
- High Cost
Hiring a professional web development team to create a Magento site is not cheap. The lowest you can spend on something like this is around $4,000, but if you want the best of the best, the price can climb to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Maintenance and Support Fee
Once your site is finished, it will need routine maintenance. Unless you have lots of experience with web design, you’ll need to pay your development team for this kind of support.
Ready-made vs. custom-made…which should you choose?
This decision truly all depends on your needs. If you’re just starting, a ready-made theme is probably perfect for you. If you’re a little more experienced and have found your niche, you may want to consider a custom-theme and plan on budgeting that into your business.