WooCommerce: How to Choose the Right Theme

WordPress truly powers the web. With over 75 million active websites currently using WordPress, it’s no wonder it’s such a natural choice for so many online businesses. When it comes to eCommerce, WordPress makes it exceptionally simple with WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is the go-to eCommerce solution for WordPress. It’s easy to install, free to use, and full of customization options that make it easy to design your own eCommerce store quickly. With thousands of easy-to-use themes, how do you know where to begin?

It’s worth being strategic when you choose your WooCommerce theme. The right theme is easy to use, enticing to your audience and helps build your brand.

Before you invest your time and money in a theme, make sure you know exactly what to look for. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose the right WooCommerce theme for your site. 

1. Know Your Features

First, you need to consider the features that are most important to you. Which features do you need to be successful? Which can you live without? If you’re choosing a theme instead of a custom design, odds are you’ll need to make some form of compromises.

Start by thinking about your ideal design. It could be helpful to make a list of must-haves. For instance, you might want a theme with multiple columns or customizable landing pages. You might want a design that’s minimal or you might want something a bit more over-the-top. Create a list with these key features so you know how to narrow down your search. 

2. Check Responsiveness

We live in an increasingly mobile world. In fact, in the past 6 months, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online with their mobile devices. If your website isn’t responsive to all screen sizes, you’re missing sales. 

Don’t just assume all WooCommerce themes are responsive. While it’s true that most modern themes created recently are built to be responsive, they still might not function perfectly on smartphones and tablets.

What’s the best way to know for sure? Simply try it yourself. Load the theme on your own phone or adjust the screen size to see if it passes the responsiveness test. 

3. Avoid Theme Bloat

Theme bloat is a common problem for new website owners. Packing your website with features might sound like a great idea, but you might be bloating the website. By bloated, we mean you’ll negatively affect your website’s performance.

A startling 53% of people will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, so you can’t afford any slowdowns. 

Fancy features like music players, sliders, and huge images might seem worthwhile, but these things slow down your website. Not only that, but they might create security weaknesses, making your website vulnerable to virtual attacks. It’s important to ensure everything you have on your website actually needs to be there. 

4. Optimize for Search Engines

Is your WooCommerce theme SEO (search engine optimization) friendly? It’s easy to think that people will be naturally drawn to your online store if you create a great website with great products, but that’s not usually the case. People need to find you, and they do that by searching for products or content on search engines. 

See if your theme has any customizable SEO features. Built-in SEO can mean a number of different things such as:

  • Customizable meta descriptions and titles
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Quick site speed
  • Simple navigation and search

Pay attention to these key things to make sure you can promote your website through search engines effectively. Otherwise, you might find yourself struggling with low traffic numbers.

5. Include Social Proof

Social proof can improve your sales conversion rate. Since we’re talking about eCommerce, we’re mainly focusing on reviews.

Your product reviews matter, and you need a WooCommerce theme that takes full advantage of the reviews you have while making it easy to get more. 

It’s probably unsurprising that 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchase decisions. When choosing a theme, assess how it shows reviews. Are they easy to read? Do they show the best reviews first? These are the important questions to ask since social proof can make all the difference when it comes to landing sales. 

6. Create a Customizable Checkout

Finally, one last thing to ensure your WooCommerce theme is suitable is a customizable shopping cart and checkout process. In the world of eCommerce, abandoned carts are a real problem. People will make it all the way through the shopping process only to end up not making a purchase. 

WooCommerce provides a basic shopping cart and checkout process, but this is hard to customize without any coding experience. If you find a theme with a customized, well-designed checkout page, this is a great way to reduce cart abandonment. Even better, you can add branding elements that help your website stand out and build trust. 

Where to Find the Best WooCommerce Themes

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about how to find the right theme for your WooCommerce site. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all, but you’re now equipped to make the best decision for your business. 

There are two main options when it comes to WooCommerce themes: free and premium themes. Unless you have a very small budget, it’s worth paying for a WooCommerce theme. You can find a high-quality, customizable theme for anywhere between $30 – $100 which is a small price to pay for the right features. 

There are many free repositories and premium marketplaces where you can download or purchase WooCommerce themes.

To get started or test your new project, we recommend using Storefront (developed and maintained by WooCommerce itself). It’s a free theme, with the basic and necessary ecommerce features, and can be customized via its simple settings.

If you’re ready to step up and move to the next level, then you might look into Qode Interactive for example, which features 300+ WooCommerce-ready premium themes, such as Bridge, Stockholm, and many more.

Paying for a premium theme means more ongoing support from the developer, better security protection, and more customization. You’re now ready to find the theme of your dreams and get your website up and running!

Launch Your WooCommerce Site

Are you ready to officially launch your WooCommerce site? Before you install your theme, make sure you pay attention to this guide. The more planning you can take into consideration when choosing the right theme, the better you’ll be. 

It’s easier to focus on things like responsiveness, SEO, the checkout process, and more when you’re first getting building your website than later down the line.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect fit. You can always use a plugin or other customization to bring any extra features to light on your website after you’ve found the best theme for you.

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Rodolfo Melogli

Business Bloomer Founder

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as an independent WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza. Follow @rmelogli

10 thoughts on “WooCommerce: How to Choose the Right Theme

  1. Thank you for all the great content! A couple questions, please:
    1. What are your thoughts on WooCommerce sites built with page builders like Oxygen, Beaver Builder, Elementor, DIVI, etc? A large percentage of your partners’ and supporters’ websites use page builders, especially Beaver Builder and Elementor. I hear they really speed up development, without much of a hit to performance.
    2. What are your thoughts on frameworks for WooCommerce, especially the Genesis framework?
    3. Is Storefront your favorite starter theme, or something else?
    Thanks again,

    1. 1. What are your thoughts on WooCommerce sites built with page builders like Oxygen, Beaver Builder, Elementor, DIVI, etc? A large percentage of your partners’ and supporters’ websites use page builders, especially Beaver Builder and Elementor. I hear they really speed up development, without much of a hit to performance.

      I use no site builders. I use Gutenberg now

      2. What are your thoughts on frameworks for WooCommerce, especially the Genesis framework?

      Genesis is great

      3. Is Storefront your favorite starter theme, or something else?

      Yes, this site runs on Storefront

  2. Hi Rodolfo,

    You used to recommend Shoptimizer theme by CommerceGurus. Is that no longer the case? Thanks, man!

    1. Oh yes, I still recommend it of course. That theme is focused on sales conversion while these might be focused on design and ease of use.

  3. Hi Rodolfo, thank you!
    I’m starting with WordPress and your articles have been useful to me.

    Could you recommend a minimalist, clean, not overloaded with css/js effects theme?
    I like the storefront theme, but I would like it to be more customizable with different product view layouts, or more options to customize the checkout, etc.

      1. Thanks, it seems that shoptimizer covers my needs.

        1. Great!

  4. Great article. I agree with your point about buying a premium theme. You know they are supported, the code base is generally much more secure, you are almost guaranteed better support and many other benefits.

    1. Thank you!

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