PUBLISHED: Dec 28, 2014 3 min read

Advantages of Using a Custom Design over a Magento Theme

There are countless sites that offer pre-designed Magento Themes for you to purchase, install, and use on your Magento eCommerce site. However, these themes may not be the best fit for you, and can actually cost you more in the long run.

At first glance, Magento themes and designs seem too good to be true; they are moderately priced, responsive, and usually offer some type of global customization (like being able to change colors and fonts). However, these themes rarely account for any customization you may have in place, or want to add in the future. For example, most themes we have come across only style the main Magento pages (home page, category page, cart, check-out). These themes will usually not work on any special pages you have (like for gift cards) or if you have a customized cart and checkout. Here at iFuel Interactive, we love the One Step Checkout extension, and we have found that many of the popular themes on the market today will not style the One Step Checkout.

Another reason why a Magento template may not be the best fit for you is that the theme will not take into consideration any customization or unique functionality you have in place. Does your site offer a special product preview? Do you have any custom sliders, generators, or advanced JavaScript? More often than not, these themes will not support anything outside the realm of standard Magento. Plus, you may limit yourself to what you can do in the future too; you can force yourself into a glass ceiling situation and not allow your site to grow and mature over time (and as your brand grows).

One of the biggest concerns we have about using a Magento theme is quality control. When you buy and install a third party extension, you have no idea about the underlying code that makes up the theme. It is a scary possibility that by installing these themes, you are polluting your Magento site with code that has not been well written (and could even pose as a security risk).

With a custom Magento design, you get a style that matches your brand exactly, as well as the peace of mind knowing that it will accommodate all the features and customizations you have in place on your site (or will want to add). More often than not, the design team works very closes with the development team to ensure that the end product will be one cohesive site, and not feel like a design was forced into place.

Lastly, with a custom theme, you will have access to the design files so that should a change need to be made, everything will be readily available at your fingertips; no need to guess where some file is, or hope that a future change will “still match.”

Still have questions? Drop us a note and we’ll be more than happy to help!