How to create your Shopify Store theme

Exploring Standard, Customized, and Bespoke Themes
BizAge Interview Team

A Shopify theme is your online store's visual and functional foundation, key in enhancing customer experience and driving sales. If you're considering Shopify for your e-commerce brand but are unsure whether to start with a custom-built or ready-made theme, this guide is for you. 

We explore three distinct Shopify theme options, detailing their benefits and considerations. Key factors such as mobile responsiveness, loading speed, and customization capabilities are emphasized. By the end of this guide, you'll be well-prepared to select the ideal Shopify theme to enhance your store's appeal and attract more customers.

1. Standard Themes

What are Standard Themes?

Standard themes are pre-designed templates available in the Shopify Theme Store. They come ready to use and are designed to cater to various industries and styles.

Pros of Standard Themes

  • Ease of Use: These themes are user-friendly and can be quickly set up with minimal effort.
  • Cost-Effective: Many standard themes are free, while premium options are relatively affordable.
  • Professional Design: Created by professional designers, these themes are visually appealing and optimized for performance.
  • Regular Updates: Shopify regularly updates these themes to ensure compatibility with new features and security updates.

Cons of Standard Themes

  • Limited Customization: While you can make some changes through the theme editor, the scope for customization is limited compared to other options.
  • Generic Look: As these themes are used by many stores, your site might look similar to others using the same template.

Best For

  • Small Businesses: Those with limited budgets and technical expertise.
  • Quick Launch: Businesses looking to launch quickly without extensive development time.

2. Customized Themes

What are Customized Themes?

Customized themes start with a standard theme as the base but are modified to better fit your brand's specific needs and preferences. This can involve altering the layout, color schemes, typography, and adding unique features.

Pros of Customized Themes

  • Brand Alignment: Greater ability to align the theme with your brand identity.
  • Flexibility: More control over the design and functionality compared to standard themes.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Customizations can improve the user experience by tailoring the site to your target audience.

Cons of Customized Themes

  • Higher Cost: Customizations may require hiring a developer, which can increase costs.
  • Complexity: More complex than using a standard theme, requiring time and technical skills.

Best For

  • Growing Businesses: Those looking to differentiate their store from others and provide a unique shopping experience.
  • Specific Requirements: Businesses with specific needs cannot be met by standard themes.

3. Bespoke Themes

What are Bespoke Themes?

Bespoke themes are entirely custom-built from scratch, designed specifically for your business. They are created by professional web developers and designers to meet your exact specifications.

Pros of Bespoke Themes

  • Unique Design: A completely unique design that sets your store apart.
  • Full Control: Total control over every aspect of the design and functionality.
  • Scalability: Built to scale with your business, accommodating future growth and changes.

Cons of Bespoke Themes

  • High Cost: The most expensive option due to the extensive design and development work involved.
  • Time-Consuming: Takes the longest to develop and launch compared to standard or customized themes.
  • Requires Technical Expertise: You need to work closely with developers and designers, requiring more involvement.

Best For

  • Established Businesses: Those with a substantial budget looking for a highly distinctive online presence.
  • Complex Requirements: Businesses with unique needs cannot be addressed by standard or customized themes.

Choosing the Right Shopify Theme: Key Factors to Consider

Selecting the right Shopify theme is crucial for aligning with your business goals and capabilities. Here are the key aspects to evaluate:

Assessing Business Stage and Goals

Evaluate your current business status: are you launching a startup or expanding an established enterprise? Consider how your chosen theme can support future growth and facilitate potential international expansion.

Evaluating Resource Availability and Expertise

Review your team’s capabilities: do you have in-house designers and developers for ongoing maintenance, or would you need to partner with a Shopify Plus agency for support and customization?

Determining Project Timeline

Assess the urgency of your website project: do you need a rapid setup to start sales quickly, or is there flexibility for a meticulously tailored solution that resonates with your brand identity?

Allocating Budget Resources

Evaluate your financial capacity: can you invest in a custom theme for sustainable long-term benefits, or would a personalized solution better suit your current budget limitations? Determine which choice delivers optimal value for your brand.

Considering Additional Factors

  • Future-Proofing: Choose a theme that can scale with your business, seamlessly integrating new Shopify features and updates.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Prioritize themes that ensure smooth navigation, fast loading speeds, and mobile responsiveness to enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Brand Cohesion: Select a theme that reflects and reinforces your brand’s visual identity and voice. Customization options should facilitate a unified and branded user experience.
  • Functional Requirements: Identify essential features such as advanced filtering, integrated marketing tools, or multi-currency support. Choose a theme that supports these functionalities out of the box or through customization.
  • Support and Maintenance: Assess the developer’s commitment to ongoing support and updates. Regular updates and reliable support can streamline maintenance and prevent potential issues.

Considering these factors, you'll be well-prepared to choose a Shopify theme that enhances your store's appeal and attracts more customers.

Summary: Choosing the Best Shopify Theme for Your Store

Now that you've explored your options, it's time to decide. Each option offers unique benefits tailored to different business needs. Consider these choices and select the Shopify theme that aligns best with your business objectives and supports your e-commerce success.

Standard Shopify Theme

Quick Setup and Budget-Friendly: Ideal for new startups or small businesses looking for an affordable way to establish their online presence and start selling promptly.

Customized Standard Shopify Theme

Personalized Yet Cost-Effective: Perfect for businesses aiming for a branded appearance without the expense of a fully custom theme. Customize to enhance your brand identity and stand out in your market.

Bespoke Shopify Theme

Tailored to Your Specific Needs: Suited for established brands or businesses requiring unique features and complete control over design and functionality. Ideal for those needing a theme that perfectly reflects their brand.

Evaluate these options carefully to choose the Shopify theme that best suits your business goals and effectively enhances your online presence.

Need Assistance with Shopify Themes for Your Store?

VT Labs, a certified Shopify Partner agency, excels in creating personalized e-commerce solutions to elevate your brand online. Whether you need quick advice or a comprehensive e-commerce setup, we're here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn how our custom Shopify solutions can boost your business.

Written by
BizAge Interview Team
July 9, 2024
Written by
July 9, 2024