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- WooCommerce StoreFront
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Do you run an ecommerce store on WordPress? And do you use WooCommerce as your ecommerce plugin of choice? If it is a yes for both, perhaps the best WooCommerce theme for you is the free StoreFront by WooThemes themselves.
Why you might ask. After all, there are a lot of nice WooCommerce themes out there that can qualify for the title of the best WooCommerce theme. In terms of looks, there are definitely much better-looking themes out there, but let us explore after the break on why WooThemes’ StoreFront takes the cake as the best WooCommerce theme in existence this 2016.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: An Introduction
WooCommerce[^1] has come a long way ever since its launch in 2011. Initially branded as a WordPress only plugin that real ecommerce store owners won’t use, the rise of WordPress saw the meteoric rise of WooCommerce. And with it, the number of WooCommerce themes launched on ThemeForest increased dramatically.
But the problem with WooCommerce themes on ThemeForest is the fact that not all themes are well coded. In fact, some of the best selling themes look really commercial while not working well with official WooCommerce extensions by WooThemes. In fact, some don’t even work with WooCommerce extensions on the WooThemes’ website. This brings us to the next part.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: SuperStore And StoreFront
Having bought numerous themes and plugins from both WooThemes and third-party developers, we found that themes made by WooThemes themselves work best with their extensions. Originally it was WooThemes’ Superstore that we used. The Superstore theme was their first ecommerce focused theme, while the rest back then was more for blogging or corporate.
Then in order to make it more modular, WooThemes then released the StoreFront theme. Having installed and used the StoreFront theme, together with a few of the StoreFront add-ons and a StoreFront child theme, we found that StoreFront’s design and quality more than compensate for the price of buying them. Plus, they work well with the extensions bought from WooThemes.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: How about some best selling themes?
While a theme might be a best seller on ThemeForest, it doesn’t mean that it might be good for your online store. These themes might be heavy in terms of loading up a lot of code while loading your site, while not being fully compatible with WooCommerce, you would be better served with official WooCommerce themes by WooThemes (i.e: SuperStore and StoreFront).
Being code heavy means themes like Avada are flexible with multiple headers designs and all, but it also means it takes longer to load while having more potential for conflict with plugins.
If you have the budget, then perhaps commissioning a development agency to custom build a WooCommerce theme for you would be even better, as you get to choose the looks of your site. That might, however, cost you somewhere between USD 15k to 30k to have the site built.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: What extensions don’t work well with third party themes?
When WooCommerce was refactored, the WooCommerce team decided to have a lot of hooks, so that other developers could build their stuff and make it work with WooCommerce. This made WooCommerce popular in a short while as other developers found WooCommerce as a collaborative work.
In the same way, when WooCommerce themes are launched, they come with hooks for the extensions to work. Without these hooks, these extensions might just not display nor work the way they are intended to do.
In our testing, we found that extensions like the WooCommerce Recommended Engine, WooCommerce Composite Products, WooCommerce Quick View, WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro and WooCommerce Cart Add-Ons, might not work with the majority of themes out there. Some might get about two of these extensions to work, while the others on the light might not do so well with the theme.
As we do not have the full range of WooCommerce extensions, it is hard to say if there are more WooCommerce extensions which aren’t properly supported by third-party WooCommerce theme developers.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: What can third-party theme developers do?
If you are a WooCommerce theme developer, we recommend ensuring your theme follows the WooCommerce standard and works well with WooCommerce hooks that official extensions are expecting. If the customer suddenly finds the theme not being able to work with his/her favourite extension, they might get upset.
The Best WooCommerce Theme: What can ecommerce store owners do?
Having worked with ecommerce store owners, we say ditch the flashy and ensure your theme developer does a good job instead. With themes like Superstore and Storefront, you won’t go wrong. And extensions for Storefront is relatively affordable compared to hiring a development agency to build your site for you.
While it might not look the most commercial, StoreFront promises 100% compatibility with official WooCommerce extensions. This makes StoreFront our choice as the best WooCommerce theme out there. With some add-ons and a child theme, StoreFront makes your online store look good while costing only a little.
– Works well with official Woocommerce extensions
– Add-Ons and Child theme transforms the site
– Could look better
– Yearly renewals
Summary: The WooCommerce StoreFront Theme is a free theme from WooTheme that works well with WooCommerce and official WooCommerce extensions.