Guest contribution by Egor Artimenya
In business, an attractive image is essential. In an age of fierce competition in the retail industry, having a remarkable and exceptional storefront is important. Obviously, Magento’s default theme cannot offer the same level of individuality and customization as a custom theme.
On top of that, custom themes often come with a wide variety of predefined customization options, lots of third-party extensions that come with the theme, and other perks. But how do you know which theme is right for you?
If you have just migrated from Magento 1 to Magento 2, you are probably wondering how to choose the right theme and whether Magento 2 performance is a big issue here.
Well, the bad news is that choosing the right theme isn’t easy. Choosing the wrong theme can easily kill your conversion rate. We’ll show you how to recognize theme issues early on. With our help, you will install a fast, reliable and easy to use theme.
Problem 1. The theme does not work well on smartphones
Mobile users make up at least half of all potential buyers, and when your store doesn’t provide a good mobile experience, your sales will suffer. What Kinds of Problems Can Bad Themes Cause? Here’s a rough estimate:
- inadequate transformation of the design from desktop to mobile,
- User interface elements that are difficult to use or find,
- buggy behavior, inability to complete a purchase,
- popups and other design elements that barely work on smartphones,
- too much code, takes a long time to run on mobile.
Designing for a touchscreen interface is not the same as optimizing your theme for a desktop experience. There are a few crucial things that you should look for in a good mobile-friendly theme.
The physical size of the screen:
Introduces clear restrictions on the size, complexity and location of all design elements on the screen. Even though the screen is suitable for small fonts and complex design features, keep in mind that the user will have to do everything with their fingers which can be nimble and small (when talking about teenagers and young adults) or clumsy and bulky (some men and women, elderly people). If you fail to serve the entire audience, some of your customers will abandon the store and leave.
The tap-based interface:
Biggest challenge for most designers because it’s so different from a trackpad or keyboard-mouse combination. The theme should adapt accordingly to new input methods instead of just blindly copying the desktop experience in the mobile environment. For example, it’s better to hide large navigation menus behind burgers, move UI elements that can be mapped if placed too close, change the size of crucial elements, rearrange the navigation and other elements.
The portrait orientation is a different thing from the album. It’s obvious, isn’t it? And yet, so many designers ignore the fact that users switch between perspectives when they switch platforms. As a result, design elements that looked stunning and impressive on the desktop may become too small or even ineligible in mobile portrait mode.
Problem 2. The theme is poorly written and optimized
When you have a pretty face, a lot can be forgiven. But not in retail. A slow Magento store is a bad Magento store, no matter how pretty. Ecommerce works when it’s fast, responsive, and does it all with the snap of a finger. After all, how many impulse buys are you willing to sacrifice to look good? Five? Ten? A thousand?
It’s wasted money and lost opportunities when it comes to looks. If your Magento theme isn’t well written and is slowing you down, get rid of it. You can turn to the Magento performance optimization service company for qualified assistance. This is not an easy task. It eats away at your profits. A pretty theme can cost you more than you might imagine. A great image attracts customers, but speed sells them stuff.
Problem 3. The theme hinders SEO
In general, Magento 2 handles SEO quite well. Problems arise when an inexperienced team comes up with a theme that doesn’t have correct titles or loads too slowly.
The title issues stem from Magento assigning h2 tags to product listings on category pages. Incorrect title assignments shouldn’t cause you to lose sleep, just make sure your Magento theme doesn’t bother them on critical pages.
The biggest problem with SEO is performance. In the reality of 2019, SEO is pretty closely tied to store performance. A slow website is penalized for its performance and compared to the competition, it will not rank high enough in Google’s SERP. Keep this in mind when determining what theme you want to use for your store.
Problem 4. The theme is incompatible with your extensions
Magento is a sandbox in the sense that you yourself choose which toys you want to play with. You choose your own theme, extensions, payment methods, shipping partners, assign roles and accounts inside the store. You are in control of so much that it can get overwhelming at times.
Depending on the nature of the new extensions, they may be compatible or incompatible with the theme of your Magento store. Sometimes the theme overwrites the same location the extension is using. This means that you must manually resolve the conflict to enable the correct use of these two items.
Issue 5. The theme is lacking in updates or support
Good documentation, cross-browser support and support for newer Magento versions, helpful customer support – you will need all of these to resolve issues quickly and reliably.
You can’t expect too much from smaller theme developers or free Magento themes, which obviously puts you in a tough spot when you need to update to a new version of Magento or fix compatibility issues. With no documentation or support, you’ll have to test everything yourself and fix any issues on the go.
Create the best user experience possible
Choosing the right theme isn’t about how your store looks. I mean, looks are important. But the purpose of the theme is to help you sell more by creating the best possible user experience you can offer.
Not all developers follow Good Magento Development Practices in creating themes. So, in a market full of offers, we want you to be comfortable and choose the theme not only by its appearance, but also by its merits.
Egor Artimenya is a web developer at Onilab, a Magento development company that cares too much about theme conversions. He is a proud collector of over 1,000 memes files and the owner of an adorable pet, Red Uganda Knuckles.