Custom Shopify Design vs Paid Templates: Which one is best?

Shopify is the world’s leading eCommerce platform. Thousands of vendors, big and small, use it to launch and maintain their online shops and businesses. 

More and more vendors even decide to migrate from other platforms to Shopify. We deliver a smooth migration to Shopify from any platform while maintaining your SEO.

One of Shopify’s great features is that everything can be customised. In this article, we will present you with three Shopify options when it comes to your online store’s theme.

Bespoke Shopify theme options

When setting up your Shopify store, you have three options for the theme of your eCommerce. You can either:

  1. Use a premade template 
  2. Modify a Shopify theme
  3. Custom design Shopify theme

Let’s look at each of these a bit more.

Pre-made Shopify templates – A cheap and time efficient theme for small businesses

Small businesses or beginners usually decide on using premade Shopify templates for their stores. What is great about these Shopify themes is that they can be free or cost significantly less than hiring a Shopify website design agency. 

Vendors and business owners with a limited or smaller budget usually choose a premade Shopify theme to save money and time. Additionally, this option requires next to no experience in creating websites and eCommerce stores.

One of the cons or downsides of this simple option is the fact that it seldom stands out. Yes, it is functional, it gets the job done. But on the other hand, when hundreds of other stores use the same template you used, how likely are you to stand out and capture the attention of customers? 

This is why some businesses make a compromise and go for the middle ground, which is a modified Shopify theme.

Shopify Theme Library

Modified Shopify themes – Edit a pre-existing template to make it your own

You can buy a premade Shopify template and play around with it. Some people do it alone, while others hire an expert Shopify designer and developer. 

With the modified Shopify theme, you still have the basics but you can change the code, add certain apps, modify the interface, the photos, and various other options and buttons. This means that you can work with a basic template and tweak it as you’d like with very little experience in the field.

One of the greatest downsides of a modified Shopify theme is the fact that once you modify it, it does not automatically update and solve potential bugs. To avoid compatibility issues, you will need to keep your online store up to date.

In other words, you are either on your own or need to hire someone to do your maintenance. 

Another potential downside is the so-called ‘’code bloating’’. With these modified Shopify themes, the codes can get long and clumsy, especially if they are not done by a Shopify template designer. In turn, it can significantly slow down the page and negatively impact the user experience. 

That is why this middle ground isn’t that popular. Vendors either go for a fully premade Shopify template or hire an expert Shopify designer to create a custom Shopify theme.

Custom Shopify Theme Editor

Custom design Shopify themes – Get exactly what you want

Having a Shopify theme agency do all the work for you and prepare a custom-designed Shopify theme is the go-to solution for bigger brands. It costs significantly more than using an off-the-shelf template, but it pays for itself in the long run.

When your business develops, you may find that the premade Shopify themes do not satisfy the needs of your brand or your vision anymore. You can feel limited and unable to fulfill your initial ideas and concepts.

To take it up a notch, you might decide to invest in a professional Shopify theme designer. Need a Shopify theme that delivers? Our expert team designs beautiful, optimized templates exactly the way you imagined them.

Benefits of getting help by a professional Shopify theme designer

The only downside with a custom Shopify theme, if you can call it that, is the time and money. Good design takes time and hiring professionals is never cheap. However, you know that you are investing in yourself, your brand, and your future. 

When you hire a Shopify theme agency or a Shopify theme designer and developer, you will get someone who will know how to make your page work perfectly. 

Forget about clumsy code bloats and customers getting angry at the website loading too long. You will have someone to take care of it all, from the usability and user experience to making it look polished. 

A professional will also help you ensure that your Shopify SEO is on point with search engine optimised content so that your online store ranks highly on Google and Bing, among others.

Custom Shopify Website Development

Custom Shopify design vs. Shopify templates: The final verdict

People’s opinions are divided between ready-made Shopify templates and hiring a Shopify web designer or a Shopify design agency. 

There is, sadly, no right answer. All options have great sides to them, but also certain downsides. However, if you want to play it safe and guarantee a store that stands out, works perfectly, and keeps customers coming, hiring a Shopify theme agency is the way to do it.

We cannot decide for you and say that one or the other is a better option for your brand. Ultimately, it is up to you to plan your business development for your online store, budget, and vision.