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Custom Shopify Theme vs Pre-Built Shopify Template: Pros and Cons

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Custom Theme v/s Pre-built Shopify Theme
Posted by HTMLPanda

Thinking of building a scalable Shopify-based e-commerce store but getting confused between choosing a custom Shopify theme vs pre-made Shopify template? No worries. This blog discusses the pros and cons of both and helps you decide what to choose and why.

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce development platforms in the world. More than 1.7 million merchants sell products online using the Shopify platform. Having said that, in the first quarter of 2021, Shopify’s total revenue was $988.6 million

So indeed, Shopify website development is becoming more and more popular as the days pass by. And there are strong reasons behind that. Shopify is easy to use, offers oodles of features and tools, comes with low-cost entry, supports multiple languages, provides impeccable customer service, and much more. That’s why Shopify is one of the best choices for e-commerce development.

However, when it comes to choosing a theme, most e-commerce business owners get confused between a pre-made theme vs custom Shopify theme. Why? Because when you build an e-commerce store, you want your visitors to offer an easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing online store; thus, providing an unforgettable shopping experience. 

That’s the reason why you need to spend some time, research well, and then pick the theme for your Shopify-based e-commerce store development. 

There are mainly two options to consider when it comes to building your online store on Shopify — picking a pre-built theme or going with a custom Shopify theme. Whatever you choose, it’s better to know the ins and outs of both custom vs pre-built Shopify themes first. 

So without any further ado, let’s explore the pros and cons of both and make the right decisions. Ready? Let’s dive in then!

What Is a Pre-Built Shopify Theme?

When you go to the Shopify theme store, you see a variety of pre-packaged templates having pre-built layouts. You can use these templates and build an e-commerce store in no time. Shopify pre-built themes are the plug-and-play solution that you can easily install in your Shopify admin and simply get started. It’s that simple! If you’re starting an e-commerce business with no long-term goals, you can go with pre-made Shopify themes. 

Pros of Pre-Made Shopify Theme

Easy to Use

Pre-built themes are (without a doubt) super easy to set up and use. You literally don’t have to do anything. Just install the preferred theme, set up your online store, and start selling. Anyone with zero coding knowledge or no technical expertise can set up a Shopify-based e-commerce store within a few minutes with pre-built Shopify themes. 

Cost-Effective

Going with the pre-built Shopify themes is one of the most inexpensive approaches to build an online store. There are plenty of free pre-made Shopify themes available for you to choose from. Even though you choose to go with a paid Shopify theme, it won’t cost you much. All in all, the best thing about choosing the pre-built Shopify theme is it’s affordable.

Faster Time to Market

Along with saving your effort and money, a pre-made Shopify theme also accelerates your e-commerce website launching time. A pre-built Shopify theme only requires installation and configuration to go live. Depending on the configuration time as per your e-commerce needs, you can have your online store ready for your customers in a week or maybe less.

Cons of Pre-Built Shopify Theme

Common Layouts

Yes, we do agree that there are numerous Shopify pre-built themes out there, but they’re all generic. Why? Because they’re designed commonly rather than with a specific vertical in mind. You don’t know how many other merchants must have picked the same theme for their e-commerce business. So in that way, your online store will be no unique.

Limited Functionality

When it comes to scalability and functionality, pre-made Shopify themes offer limited customization options and functionality. A small or new business might work well with that but talking about businesses that require complex functions, they will surely suffer if they go with choosing pre-built Shopify templates.

What Is a Custom Shopify Theme?

When you create a Shopify theme from scratch for a unique online store and high-quality user experience, that’s a custom Shopify theme. A fully custom Shopify theme is designed specifically for your business objectives. Experienced website development agencies highly recommend going with a custom theme to businesses that have long-term plans on the market. Custom Shopify theme means having a unique and stand-out online store.

Pros of Custom Shopify Theme

Tailor-Made Theme

A custom Shopify theme is designed, keeping your user’s needs and business goals in mind. Therefore, a custom Shopify theme is tailored to your modern e-commerce business requirements. With that said, with a custom Shopify theme, you will get a unique design that reflects your brand perfectly. A custom theme has got everything you need to stand out.

Clean Code

The best thing about a custom Shopify theme development is, it only uses the code that’s needed for the site’s operation. No unnecessary code means faster loading time. Plus, it also helps you with ongoing maintenance and your online store’s scalability. How? Well, the clean codebase in the back-end and added features don’t contribute to slowing things in the front-end.

Higher Functionality

Custom Shopify theme focuses on features that are tailored to your e-commerce business needs and essential to your business and industry vertical. For example, if you want to create experiences that allow a customer to buy a product online and then pick it up from a nearby store, you can only do that with a custom theme and not a pre-built Shopify theme.

Cons of Custom Shopify Theme

Time Taking

We can only think of one drawback of having a custom Shopify theme, and that’s time taking. Well honestly speaking, great things take time to build, and the same is the case with custom Shopify theme development. When you create something that’s tailored, you need to invest some time to make it perfect. A custom Shopify theme can take up a minimum of 5 weeks or even more, depending on your e-commerce business needs.

Custom Shopify Theme vs Pre-Made Shopify Template: What to Choose?

Every e-commerce business owner wants a visually appealing, fast loading, and highly functional website having smooth navigation and numerous functionalities. Having said that, if you go with a pre-built Shopify theme, you may get everything but not uniqueness and functionalities. However, if you go with a custom Shopify theme, you will get anything and everything, but it will cost you money. 

So if you’re a small business that doesn’t have long-term e-commerce business plans, go with pre-made Shopify themes. But if you are going to be in the market for a long period and compete with others out there, you need to be unique. Hence, you will need a custom Shopify theme. Whatever you choose, choose wisely.

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