Top 3 themes for your e-commerce store in 2019
Top 3 themes for your e-commerce store in 2019
With over 30% of the world’s websites powered by WordPress, the chances are high that if you are looking into E-commerce, you will at least investigate using WordPress. It’s primary competition, Magento and Shopify; both require either significant monthly fees or the work of seasoned developers who can be quite expensive. WordPress has thousands of free and relatively inexpensive paid themes available as of January 2019.
With so many themes available, which one do you choose? As WordPress developers, we try to test out hundreds of themes so we are in a better position to recommend themes we would use ourselves. We typically build everything custom from scratch to meet internal performance benchmarks, but for clients who want to get their hands dirty or on a smaller budget we like to have recommendations. This article is the first in a series of industry-specific theme recommendations. Stay tuned for more!
If you want to sell products online, a good WordPress theme can make a world of difference in your online sales. What many people do not know is that Woocommerce, the defacto e-commerce solution for WordPress that comes in the form of a plugin, slows down your website as it requires more resources than other plugins due to a large number of resources (scripts and styles) loading on every page.
Speed is an essential factor when it comes to visitor conversions and google search results. Keeping that in mind, here are three themes we recommend for your online shop. Taken into consideration is the style, options available and the loading speed of the theme.
As an aside, there are ways to tune WordPress sites, including WooCommerce e-commerce sites to get them to load faster. The development team here at StatenWeb have been doing this since WordPress’ inception back in 2003. Contact us today for a free quote!
Storefront is the Official WooCommerce theme which you can download for free from wordpress.org.
Designed by the WooCommerce team itself, you can quickly set up an online shop for your products/services. One of the best selling points of Storefront is that since the WooCommerce team itself developed it, there are no conflicts between the theme and official WooCommerce plugin, especially during major WooCommerce updates. We have seen some horrors on upgrading poorly developed themes and extensions!
Also, it’s more than a theme; it’s a platform for your online store, based on the Underscores Starter theme used by Automattic which is an industry standard. The theme allows you to have an intuitive, flexible and responsive grid system site with schema markup for your website’s technical SEO performance.
Easy to use and customize, the theme has enough options to change the look of your site, and also contains a focused e-commerce homepage where you can display product categories, recent, featured, on-sale, and top-rated products easily.
Want to sell something specific or need a template for your store? WooCommerce offers 14 free and paid child themes of Storefront to start your project. Want to customize your site even more, but don’t want to code? Eleven free and paid Storefront extensions can allow you to create the site you want without writing a single line of code, such as parallax and hero images, mega menus, reviews, distraction-free checkouts, and pricing tables. Alternatively, you can get the Powerpack bundle extension to customize and edit your header/footer components, check out options, home and product page configurations globally.
The best part? Since the theme, WooCommerce plugin and some extensions are free. You can install and test it out on your site in real time to decide if you want to purchase the extensions. With over 200,000 active installations, you cannot go wrong.
Based on the recommended practices by Baymard, a leader in user experience, Shoptimizer is one of the most optimized WooCommerce themes. Also, well deserved, with a 91% google speed grade and a 96% speed grade from GTmetrix out of the box it is ready for performance. It also has built-in functionality to optimize your CSS file sizes and the often intimidating Critical Path CSS.
Beyond fast loading speeds, the theme has been explicitly designed to increase conversions by including a distraction-free checkout built into the theme. It also offers the ability to include trust badges and testimonials for assurance during the checkout.
When your visitors are browsing your website and are on the product page, research shows that 64% of users begin thinking of shipping costs. I know I do. Shoptimizer makes it easy to include this (and other) information below the ‘buy now’ button so it can be seen easily without having to scroll or click further.
Want to include a timer for individual products? Shoptimizer includes an animated timer in the theme to speed up the potential purchase. So if your potential customers want even more information, but don’t want to call you, Shoptimizer also includes a ‘Request Call Back’ feature which is especially important for complex products which require additional information before purchasing.
Have long single product pages with lots of content? Shoptimizer makes it easier for your visitors to stay focused, it includes a sticky bar with the product thumbnail, title, price and “add to cart” button as they browse.
Since organic traffic is the primary source for most websites (and if it isn’t, it should be), SEO has become increasingly important, and Shoptimizer includes it in the theme by adding additional fields for WooCommerce categories for better SEO spidering. Also, since Google has changed the way they index websites in 2018 to mobile first, mobile page speed and load time are prioritized in the theme, including mobile-optimized images.
However, that’s not all! With auto-complete search, page builder support, mega menu support, pre-designed pages included, and designed for accessibility with a 94/100 google lighthouse score, this is a theme we highly recommend.
A personal favorite, OceanWP is a relatively new and multipurpose theme to create a variety of layouts and websites easily, even just using the free version itself. Fast loading and with a vast amount of customizable options included in the free version, make it one of the most recommended themes with over 1 million downloads already.
Fully responsive, it is one of the fastest themes available, with SEO base built in and is e-commerce and translation ready. With made in Woocommerce integration, like cart popups, floating add to cart bar, off-canvas filter, and quick product view, it aims to reduce external plugin usage that generally slows down websites. It includes a theme panel where you can quickly enable or disable CSS and JS scripts that you are not using to increase loading speeds even more!
Whether you are a developer or just someone who wants to design the site yourself, OceanWP makes it easy by importing 64 paid and free demo sites with one click to have your website up and running within a few minutes.
Designed to be compatible with most page builders, and with free and paid extensions, this is the perfect theme for people who want to customize and create many sites.
We at StatenWeb can either build a custom solution for e-commerce or help you optimize your current solution using one of the themes. Contact us today!