BigCommerce Themes: How to Pick the Right One

A cartoon woman shopping online and adding an item to her cart

When you started your business, you probably spent a lot of time perfecting your logo. After all, your logo is the first impression someone has of your business. But did you put as much thought into the other key element that will impact potential buyers’ first impressions? Yes, we’re talking about your ecommerce theme. 

In this guide on BigCommerce themes, we will review:

  • The basics of what a BigCommerce theme is
  • Why picking the right theme is important
  • Seven key elements to consider when choosing a theme
  • How to get help updating or installing a theme. 

If you’re not running your store on BigCommerce, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to selecting the best Shopify theme for your site. 

What is a BigCommerce Theme?

An ecommerce theme is a packaged store design that store owners can install and customize. The theme controls the look and feel of a website. If you’re comparing it to a car, the ecommerce platform, in this case, BigCommerce, is the powertrain. The platform makes everything run. The theme is the trim and body options that make up the car’s appearance. 

Themes vs. Frameworks

BigCommerce bases its themes on the Stencil system. Stencil is BigCommerce’s templating engine and language. Developers use Stencil to connect their designs with BigCommerce’s functionality. When shopping for a theme, it’s important to determine if you’re getting a theme or a framework. Stencil supports both. 

A theme is a fully-built store. You can install it and start selling without further development. A framework is more like a set of building blocks you can use to build your store. The framework includes basic templates for all main components like product pages and checkout but requires further development to finalize the design. 

If you’re looking for the fastest solution with the least amount of development work, pick a theme instead of a framework. 

Why Choosing the Right Theme is so Important

Picking the right theme is important because the design of your store can have a significant impact on your business’s success. A site’s theme impacts the design and functionality of your store. The BigCommerce theme you select determines a lot about the overall user experience. 

Sites with a bad user experience often struggle with:

The right theme can solve user experience issues by making the purchase experience seamless and easy to follow. Themes also can impact site speed, and faster sites tend to rank higher in search results. 

A cartoon woman adding items to her cart from a mobile responsive ecommerce site

7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your BigCommerce Theme

You’ll want to consider factors specific to your business and its needs when choosing a BigCommerce theme. You also can use the checklist below to evaluate your options to ensure you pick the right theme.

7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your BigCommerce Theme:

  1. Aesthetics. Does it match your brand’s look? Will the colors clash with your logo or products? Can you easily change things like fonts or colors to match your brand? 
  2. Customizability. What aspects of the theme can you customize? How easy is it to customize branding? Are there options for building custom pages? 
  3. Budget. How much does the theme cost? Can you customize it without paying for additional development help? If you need help, how much will you need to budget for BigCommerce development?
  4. Compatibility. Is the theme mobile-friendly? What browsers does it support? Have you tested it on multiple devices and browsers? Remember that the majority of ecommerce traffic is mobile. So you need to make sure your store works for small screens. 
  5. Fresh and Unique Look. Is the theme modern looking? Will it make your business stand out? Be careful when choosing a free theme or a popular paid theme. Check your competitor websites to make sure they’re not using the same theme. If you select one of the more popular BigCommerce themes, how can you customize it to give your store a unique look? 
  6. Functionality. Does the theme support all the functions you need for your store? For example, if you know you need complex product filtering or have your heart set on a homepage slideshow, make sure the theme supports these features. 
  7. SEO-Friendly. Is the theme SEO-friendly? Themes control the code for your entire website. From meta tags to alt tags for images, make sure your theme supports basic SEO best practices. 

Previewing BigCommerce Themes on Your Store

The most important tip for selecting the right BigCommerce theme is to try it before you buy it. If you’re shopping in the official BigCommerce theme marketplace, you have the option to preview a theme before purchasing or installing it. The preview will give you an idea of how the theme would look on your store with your products.  

Help Selecting or Installing a BigCommerce Themes

If you need help selecting or setting up a new BigCommerce theme, our team of BigCommerce developers is ready to help. Sometimes themes are pretty straightforward to install and set up. But, if your theme requires a lot of customization, it might be best to get expert help. Misconfigured or poorly coded theme files can crash a site when it receives an influx of traffic. 

The Mindsize team gives you peace of mind that your site and theme will consistently deliver the best user experience for your customers. Contact us today to get started customizing your BigCommerce theme.