Should you choose dedicated graphics or a template? We advise you which option to choose for your online store
How to ensure an attractive design of an online store? Is it optimal to only commission the development of an individual project? Or maybe the templates aren't so bad? What to choose for your store that will run on the PrestaShop engine? The issue of choosing a template or an individual design is quite important and anyone who wants to set up an e-shop or renovate its graphic design must solve this dilemma.
However, before we make the final decision, it is worth knowing the differences between these solutions. Let's see what their advantages and disadvantages are. Only then will it be possible to make a fully informed and rational decision.
By listing the basic differences between a template and a project created from scratch, you can start with the price and implementation time of a fully operational online store. The implementation of an e-store whose design is based on a template may take approximately 100 hours. However, a front-end developed from scratch is basically an individual matter, quite difficult to estimate, but it will certainly take much more time than implementing a store with a template design. And the time that should be spent on preparing an optimally functioning e-commerce will of course also translate into the final cost of the project. We must also bear in mind that the time needed to publish an online store online will be much shorter if it is implemented from a template. Which means that the e-store will start generating sales faster.
A ready-made template, just like everyone else, unremarkable, devoid of individuality, without a brand framework, etc. These types of associations may often accompany thoughts about a ready-made "template". However, the willingness to use such templates is not their disadvantage at all. Many e-businesses can successfully use this path. First of all, it is a much more economical solution, which will be a key feature for many e-commerce companies. Moreover, the fact that they are ready does not mean that they cannot be properly configured or modified so that they do not resemble the initial view. The potential for "customization" is very large, by adjusting CSS you can greatly individualize the front-end graphic design. What's more, such a ready-made template has the same development potential as an individual project. However, they also have some disadvantages. First of all, their plugin in the form of one or another page builder may slightly slow down the operation of the online store itself, especially in the mobile version. This means that a lot of work will need to be done to optimize your website.
There is one more thing that you need to pay special attention to when considering using a "ready-made". Namely, we should verify how long the template author has been providing technical support services. Please note that such templates can be very extensive to meet the needs of a wider group of e-sellers. Therefore, when any problems arise, and in online sales you have to take this into account, servicing and repairing smaller or larger defects will not only be time-consuming, but also expensive.
It is quite significant that the creators of ready-made templates focus primarily on ensuring that their designs look great on desktops. However, the mobile version is treated somewhat neglected, i.e. it is underdeveloped. Therefore, if we are looking for such a template, we should not skip checking how it looks on a smartphone or tablet. Although the template authors provide several mobile views, we will not necessarily be able to verify all the details. Most often, however, it turns out that almost every ready-made template requires more or less work on optimization.
And why can't you skip the mobile version? Currently, most users browse the web using their smartphones, which they carry with them virtually everywhere. Moreover, today's mobile versions of online stores or sales applications are so attractive, functional, useful and intuitive that users willingly place orders using their smartphones. Currently, mobile traffic has exceeded that generated by desktop devices. And if we look at specific industries from a closer perspective, these proportions may be even more favorable for mobile traffic. In the fashion industry, mobile devices generate over 90% of traffic. So ignoring this trend is a very serious business mistake.
An individual project is developed for a specific need, which is to solve a given problem and satisfy not only the needs reported by the client, but also market needs. Conscious use of the potential of the PrestaShop platform allows you to implement a project that will be fully personalized on many levels. It will allow e-business to find its way in a competitive market, in a more or less saturated industry, skillfully exploiting market gaps.
By working on an individual project at every stage of its implementation, we have an influence on the entire creative process. Therefore, mock-ups of the template are created, its elements are designed, and individual functions or e-shop solutions are verified in the test environment. Therefore, you can freely modify these or other variants, check what the sections look like, which can ultimately be rebuilt to increase, for example, the intuitiveness of the website. As soon as the project is accepted, it is forwarded for implementation. One of the greatest advantages of an individual project will be its uniqueness, which in the long or short term will translate into the recognition of the online store. A precisely designed UX is also important.
What about the disadvantages? We certainly have to take into account the much higher cost of implementing the original solution. A large part of the budget will be allocated to the author of the project. It should also be borne in mind that graphic design significantly delays the start of online sales. Individual projects may require writing special modules or extensions.
It is not possible to clearly rule out one or the other solution. Both a graphic template and an individual design have their advantages and disadvantages. Before making a choice, we should think it through thoroughly and verify many factors. We have to face budget possibilities, but also functional requirements, uniqueness of the project and implementation time. If we want an optimally economical solution, a template will be the right option, but it does not take away the chances of finding your own e-business and achieving success. However, if the budget is not a barrier and it is important to stand out from the start and implement individual and advanced functions, it will be appropriate to choose an original layout. Therefore, it will be a good practice to study your needs with e-commerce specialists in order to make an informed choice that best suits the needs of the e-store.