Should You Buy A Shopify Theme?

Have you heard of an e-commerce platform called Shopify, through which you can build your online store? Here in this article, we will learn more about Shopify and its themes and whether they are worth buying or not. Shopify themes come in both free and paid versions. The free versions are rather the toned-down versions that do not have all the functions and features that a paid theme offers.

There are many benefits of buying a paid theme which might appear to be an extra investment but will prove its worth in the long run.  With the free themes, you can design a basic version of your online store but to make it more impressive and showcase more products, you will need a paid theme from Shopify.

Among the paid themes that Shopify has, it also includes some premium themes which come at a higher cost. These themes have been created by the Shopify team,  keeping in mind the advanced requirement and the functions for building an online store that is as per the latest market trend.  Also, since most customers prefer a high-speed site,  SEO optimized content, and easy and convenient use on mobile applications,  you will need the premium theme to build your online store in line with these requirements.

The cost of the themes varies depending upon how the themes can be customized. Both the options for the change in the layout and adding more elements to the features account for the costs associated with it.  Many things might come as a recurring cost as well.  Shopify has thousands of apps on its platform that can be installed to add more features to the already existing theme.

The first important thing that you have to decide while designing an online store is to select a Shopify theme for yourself.  Mostly this selection of the theme is guided by the product that you want to showcase in your online store.  However, you can also add the theme depending upon your budget and your business requirement.

Free themes by Shopify

There are 9 free themes that Shopify offers.  If you want to set up a new online store on Shopify by creating an account, then, you will be provided with the debut theme which forms the basic background for all the stores that you want to set up for the first time.  This will also be provided to you if you undertake a 14-day free trial to try your hand at getting accustomed to Shopify.

This theme can be directly installed from the Shopify platform and is provided to every store owner by default.  However, these things do not tend to meet the needs of the trending e-commerce business and do not contain an edge to make your online store play out well in the competitive market.

Special features of the premium themes

Customizations

Free themes are quite general and do not offer many options for customization. On the other hand, the premium themes offer many options in terms of layout designs and other elements of the theme. You will also get several options for home pages, product pages, and other custom pages where you can incorporate customer reviews and blogs for your website.

When you are using a premium theme you will get added benefits in terms of managing the entire look of your online store right from the admin area.  You will be provided with the backend editor where you can make the changes regarding various elements of your online store like the addition of icons, use of text,  adding a detailed product description, and so on.  The best part is that whatever changes you are making on the backend editor will not be reflected on the online store unless you save the changes.  You are also given the option of a front-end editor where you can see how your store is going to look and how the customer shall view it. Once you are happy with the presentation of your store, you can save the settings and that will give you the final look of the store.

Functionality

The premium themes come with many functional aspects that will help you manage your online store and also upskill it whenever you feel the requirement for it.  The features that are associated with the premium themes help you manage the store while receiving heavier traffic,  a peak in the number of customer accounts,  and also with more orders being placed.

Premium themes come with a very strong business analytics feature. It is very convenient for you to download reports suggesting your business pattern over some time.  referring to the reports will help you make modifications in adjustments in your business pattern that might prove beneficial in the long run.

premium themes also have certain features like boosting up cells, navigation enhancements,  product galleries, and easy integration with other tools and cross-vertical interactions.  These added features help to convert any visitor to your store into a potential customer very easily.

Features of premium themes are their syncing ability with modern browsers that makes the sites faster, search engine optimized, and provides a better customer experience by offering a lot of leverage to the customers. 

The free themes, on the other hand, do not come with any of these advanced features. To incorporate all these with the free and the basic themes might be difficult as it would require major changes in the codes?  this is also going to be a very much time-consuming process and might and the rate of glitches in the entire Store.

 Support

The free themes do not come with any support and future updates. This is a significant disadvantage as you would not be able to get any sort of help from Shopify in case you come across any issue while maintaining your online store.  Since you do not get any of the updates, you will be stuck with the basic model of the store which will not offer you much scope for improvement.

The premium themes, on the other hand, come with free support and updates. Annually these updates are automatically pushed to the online store with the help of an app that can be downloaded from the Shopify platform. The support system which is provided is very strong which you can refer to in any issues via live chat email and phone calls. 

Regular updates help to add enhanced features to the store and you can use these updates to improve the look and feel of your online store. The updates are also a great help when it comes to SSL certification that improves the authenticity of your site. With regular updates, you can rest assured that the customer data is sincerely saved on the store which nobody can have access to.

Advanced background coding

Each background theme is created with advanced coding that ensures that all the designs are streamlined with the help of optimal coding.  This means that all the functions work very well with all devices, makes it fast loading, and SEO friendly.

 The search engine ranking is also higher if the codes are carefully selected. 

Purchase of the themes

Shopify comes with both free and paid themes,  and thus it is up to owners decide which theme they are going to opt for.  The paid themes are mostly a one-time purchase which comprises the standard as well as the premium themes. However, some developers and marketplaces charge a recurring price for these themes.

These themes come with 1-year support and free upgrades.  In some after the completion of one year cases the developers may charge for any kind of support or updates that apply to the themes.  Though there are lots of features that come along at the time of purchase of these themes, some added functionalities can be added to the payable themes as well.

The applicability of the different themes varies according to the industry and product niche.  D

Different kinds of products have different requirements for themes as well as how they have to be showcased.  Therefore, while setting up the online store one has to decide which theme will work perfectly with the kind of product that you want to display on his online store.

As and when your business grows you might also come across requirements to add functions that were not part of the usual theme that was purchased.  In that case, you might have to upgrade your current theme by adding certain functionalities to it or by shifting to another theme that you feel will be more suitable with your current business requirements.

You do not have to pay anything extra when you are transcending to a different theme. However,  if there are too many features that need to be changed,  and not all of them are part of the new theme that you might have to pay some extra money to get those features enabled.

Conclusion

A general recommendation will be to invest in a premium theme,  since setting up your store on a premium theme will give in the edge that is required for the current market place.  If you are a first-time investor and you are not sure about how your store is going to perform,  then you might opt for a free or a standard theme with low investment.

Any which ways,  setting up a store using a Shopify platform is much more cost-effective than investing with the developers for creating a website from scratch. At the time of purchase of the themes, you are provided with the codes that work behind the themes.  This gives you an extra edge and you can work ok with the codes for final modifications in the output or adding elements to the already existing theme.

You have to remember that before making any such changes on the Shopify theme you have to make sure that these changes work properly and smoothly with the working of the store.  You can apply third-party apps or other software subscriptions to enhance the functionality of your existing Store.  Though most of the Shopify themes were perfectly compatible over cross-vertical platforms and third-party apps,  invest your time to understand the compatibility of these features with the Shopify theme that you are working with to have a smooth interface.

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