from our blog

Do I need a custom Shopify Theme?

Posted by Computan

Shopify, themes, custom

We  know how it’s so convenient to go with off-the-shelf, free themes instead of  custom-made ones, but is it because we can’t miss what we don’t know?
Shopify would be the fastest and cheapest way to set-up your own ecommerce store, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s got all the things you’d expect from an ecommerce store- from that shopping cart we’re all so familiar with, to simple and easy payment/checkout or browsing options. But in the end, no matter how fancy and functional your brand-new house could be, you do need to set it up and make it your own. There’s a plethora of free themes that Shopify offers, but when is that “aha!” moment when you realise that the off-the-shelf items don’t really cut it for you, and you need a custom-made Shopify theme? (think of it as a family member being too tall and there’s no other way to go about it but have a custom-made bed).
 
So here would be the top 3 reasons you would need a custom-made Shopify theme-
 
1.  When you can’t find what you want, you get it made for you. Our experts at Computan can take a standard theme and modify it to suit your needs instead of building it from scratch. However, depending on your business needs and the complexity of your platform, modifying a custom theme could cause issues later on, especially when it comes to upgrading (adding some extra planks at the end of the bed can only go on for so long).  Even then, it’s not a big deal to make custom-made themes and to keep upgrading them as per demand. Not like it’s music theory, I’d say, if we had been rocket scientists.

 

2.  If you want to enrich your Shopify store with say, detailed 3D, 365 degree video previews of the product smack on the front page, blogs, slideshows or other rich content essential to you on your desired locations, what do you do? If you don’t want your website to look like every other website- perhaps by wanting suitable product bundles beside an enlarged picture, for example, or customer reviews right beneath the product, then you are in need of a custom-made Shopify theme. The general market isn’t for you anymore.

 

3. Every business wants a stable and secure platform with maximum up-time and reduction in profit loss due to security breaches. Free themes, besides being too acclimatized to general opinion and demands, aren’t really bug-free, and there’s no support offered to deal with that. Moreover, your nightmare of the website crashing might turn into reality if you don’t see to this issue staring at you in the face. Your website might suffer down-time, slowness or glitches. We know what a normal person would do with such websites. We exit. The Computan team designs custom-made themes that ensure a bug-free, secure experience.

 

People are telling you not to go for custom-made themes. Here’s what we’ve got to say to that: When we thought to share reasons you should go for Shopify and were doing some research on it, we stumbled upon articles and people who were against it and thought, “Why not play the devil’s advocate and address this interesting viewpoint?”

 

The writer of this article was completely ignoring the fact that getting a customized theme doesn’t mean changing what’s already there. If that weren’t so, then all the elaborate defenses would be nullified. Getting a customized themes means making something that’s a good fit for you- from scratch. Their manner of writing indicates that changing something at its basic level is as blasphemous as changing your DNA code. However, such skills should be admired and appreciated- and are not to be feared. We’re not changing the DNA code after all! It’s just some computer codes.

 

So this is us addressing each on of their points one by one-
 
Upgrading becomes a huge pain
We’re not sure if you’ve heard of this before, but if you compromise on quality by not going for experts, wait till an amateur botches it up for you. In one of our previous articles. We’ve already covered how upgrading could be a pain, but only if you mess around with a ready-made theme, instead of building it up from scratch, totally to your liking. So if we’re able to make custom-made themes, upgrades is a piece of cake! It’s not a pain and no one’s telling you to ditch upgrades or do the work yourself.
 
You’ll save tons of time
…but a stitch in time saves nine. When you look at other websites and pine for all those personalised touches you could have had to have your own unique image, and customers don’t seem particularly excited about your generic website, well, you’d realise how much that momentary relief cost you.
 
It’s expensive
At face value, even buying an extra pair of shoes seems like a pain, but when your shoes don’t fall apart at the most critical time, you realise how your investment was worth the trouble. Moreover, whoever wrote the article might have had a different budget and perception of “expensive”. Every other online seller is going for custom-made themes, and they wouldn’t, if it was so expensive. They would have fallen apart and ranted about it. As far as our team’s experience of 20 years into the business goes, no business has fallen apart just because they got a custom theme.
 
You’re getting the best practices already
Unless something is a stem cell or an enchanted object that magically morphs into whatever you need and desire, few things can be a perfect fit you. You’d have to be one in a million.
 
It’s usually not necessary
If it really comes down to it, nothing would be “necessary” if we take every school of thought into consideration, but we still do what is necessary to us. If you feel like you want a certain feature or layout, then you go get it! A custom-made theme isn’t a vain attempt at visual perfection. It’s about convenience and implementing your marketing strategies effectively. Recommendations for a low order volume have been made, but that doesn’t reflect the vision of a true entrepreneur, who would always visualize their business to be expanding and having back-ups for higher order volumes.  No one should tell us otherwise.
 
You’ll be better focused on your business
Every aspect of business- including your website is part of the business. It doesn’t matter what you have got to sell if the means to sell isn’t up to the mark. One would be a fool to only focus on how their website looks like, and I believe the article wasn’t intended for fools at all.
 
You can always customise later
One of the qualities of a businessman/businesswoman is their strategic planning and proactiveness. If something needs to be done in time, then there should be no reason to unreasonably delay it just because it can be done later. That’s just a sign of tardiness and a procrastinating attitude
 
What’s our final take on it?
Well, the need for a custom-made and more enriched Shopify experience was recognized by Shopify, itself, so it went on to create Shopify Plus- for those people who are willing to pay what it takes to get what they really want. However, Maestrooo, a high-end design and development studio, well known for its Shopify themes, and also Shopify Plus’ partners, does not do requests for proposals, outsourcing or catering to brands that aren’t big, or “worthy” enough for their work…but guess who does? Computan. They started out just like us, but went onto other things. On the other hand, we intend on sticking to what we do and how we do it.
 
Axel, one of the owners of Maestroo has said, “We started building Shopify themes even before building custom solutions for clients on Shopify.” So, if Shopify, itself has incorporated this view into its business, it completely negates any arguments that custom themes are not mandatory. He has also stated that listening to customers and listing their needs also helps us understand what’s missing, to give us a better idea about the next theme. In fact, although their expertise lies in all sorts of design and development, they spent 40% of their time only working on custom work and themes in 2016, so that’s one big “hint” that customized themes should be taken seriously. Michael, the other owner of Maestroo, says, “What I love the most is doing themes.”

So, it seems that there’s barely any doubt left that there’s immense support and evidence that custom-made themes would win this argument.
Computan

Written by Computan