Ecommerce Design

The Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes for Your Next Project

Maddy Osman / 14 min read
best wordpress ecommerce themes

The Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes for Your Next Project

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With so many new ecommerce shops sprouting up left and right, you’ll want to do whatever you can to set your shop apart from the competition.

Distinguishing your ecommerce website is not just about design — it’s just as important (if not more so) to also provide a great shopping experience.

When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of customers claim that a good customer experience is more important than price.

Don’t get stuck in a rut by assuming that bigger companies have an advantage over you. Though they have more resources to hire developers and secure access to top-of-the-line tools, the internet has democratized basic access to everything you need to find success as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

There are a variety of ecommerce platforms to choose from (both paid and free), but if you want to keep costs low while retaining freedom in terms of design customization, using WordPress as your content management system is your best bet.

With WordPress powering your website’s front-end processes, anyone can get an ecommerce website up and running in no time.

Since the WordPress platform is open-source (anyone can contribute edits and extensions), the market is bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands of pre-made, customizable themes.

How to Choose a Great WordPress Ecommerce Theme

Deciding on the ideal WordPress ecommerce theme for your needs isn’t an easy task. When deciding how to choose an ecommerce theme (there are over 1,000 ecommerce-enabled themes on Envato Market, alone!), it can be confusing to determine the most relevant features for your store.

So before you pick a WordPress ecommerce theme, consider the following:

1. Navigational Ease.

Ease of navigation contributes to a good website experience.

A study from Gerry McGovern found that 70% of people rely on navigation rather than search when looking for something on a website (because it’s easier and faster to click on available website links).

Additionally, 37% of customers will leave a website if they don’t like the layout design or find it to be too difficult to use.

When choosing a WordPress ecommerce theme, ensure that the route from the home page to checkout is clear, and aim to follow the 3-click rule (where visitors can find desired information/shop for specific products within three clicks).

2. Fast Loading Time.

Page load speed is an important factor when it comes to SEO because of its contribution to a good user experience (it’s also an official Google ranking factor, though only the absolute slowest pages are currently affected).

In fact, 57% of customers will abandon your site if they have to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

You can use the free PageSpeed Insights tool to determine if there are any major speed-related issues that may affect your ability to rank in terms of a given ecommerce theme.

Before deciding on any theme, run the theme’s demo website through PageSpeed Insights (Pingdom Tools and GTmetrix are also useful tools for diagnosing speed issues).

Design and all else equal, choose the fastest loading theme for SEO purposes.

Additional tips for maximizing WordPress themes for quick page load:

3. Website Security.

When you run an ecommerce store, you’ll be tasked with protecting people’s sensitive information, like credit card details and delivery addresses.

Most of WordPress’s security functionality is dependent on your web host, and can be improved by installing an SSL certificate and various security plugins.

However, you’ll also want to consider the choice of your theme as part of website security in that themes that are not updated often are more prone to security breaches.

Some themes may also contain their own security features and accreditations. For example, the Divi theme comes with a Safe Seal from Sucuri.

4. Mobile-Responsive Design.

Websites are viewed on in a variety of devices, screen resolutions, and browsers, so the ideal theme must be able to look good and function well, no matter what.

If optimizing the user experience (UX) isn’t enough of a pull, consider Google’s mobile-first initiative when it comes to ranking. Most modern WordPress themes have responsive design covered as a given, but it doesn’t hurt to do your own mobile audit of a theme’s demo page to see if there are any glaring issues.

Understand how Google sees a theme in terms of mobile-friendliness by running it’s demo URL through the Mobile-Friendly Test.

Once you launch your ecommerce website, make sure to connect it to Google Search Console to receive warnings if any of your pages have clear mobile-friendliness issues.

5. Clean Code.

To avoid SEO problems, it is important that your chosen theme is developed according to the latest coding standards, especially since bloated code can slow down site indexing on search engines, while also affecting the user experience.

Use the W3C Markup Validator to check a theme demo for potential markup errors.

6. Additional WordPress Ecommerce Theme Considerations.

  • Paid or free: In most cases when it comes to starting a WordPress website, free themes are fine. That said, when starting an ecommerce shop on WordPress, you’re going to want to uplevel and invest a bit. For one, premium themes are updated often, and as a result, are more secure. Second, premium themes tend to have better design aesthetics out-of-the-box (and ease of customization). Last, premium themes offer included customer support if you need it (free themes do not offer any built-in support).
  • Accessibility: While accessibility isn’t a Google ranking factor yet, “Accessibility and good site design go hand in hand”, says Lance Hayden of Perficient Digital. It’s important to give everyone the best site experience, regardless of any limitations they may face when interacting with the internet.
  • Developed for SEO: While the above practices are, in general, SEO-friendly, you’ll want to consider a WordPress ecommerce theme that was developed specifically for SEO. For example, themes with Schema.org markup make it easier for search engines to feature your website in relevant search results.

A few final thoughts when choosing WordPress ecommerce themes:

  • When deliberating between various options, put the user experience first.
  • Ensure that your chosen theme is flexible enough to accommodate customizations that you intend to make to personalize your website. For example, some themes have a rigid homepage template that you won’t be able to truly make yours unless you hire a WordPress developer (which may then cause issues whenever you need to update the theme).
  • Test your prospective theme for compatibility with the plugins you plan to use.

Want more insights like this?

We’re on a mission to provide businesses like yours marketing and sales tips, tricks and industry leading knowledge to build the next house-hold name brand. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

The 7 Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes

Hunting down the best WordPress ecommerce themes wasn’t easy. After all, there aren’t a whole lot of them in market. The ones we’ve pulled together below come highly recommended by content & commerce experts –– i.e. WordPress ecommerce developers.

The Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes
  1. Shopkeeper by getbowtied
  2. Make by The Theme Foundry
  3. Storefront by WooCommerce
  4. Genesis by StudioPress
  5. Flatsome by UX-themes
  6. Essence Pro by StudioPress
  7. GeneratePress by Tom Usborne

Let’s dive in to each one:

1. Shopkeeper by getbowtied.

best wordpress ecommerce themes shopkeeper

With over 25,000 lifetime sales, Shopkeeper is an ecommerce-ready theme that’s perfect for showcasing a portfolio, products for sale, or both.

The recently released version 2.0 includes:

  • Support for the Gutenberg editor.
  • Four new layouts for product pages and a product image gallery with zoom and lightbox functionality.
  • Youtube video support in product galleries.
  • New blog layouts and improved light/dark color customization options.

The Shopkeeper theme is fully-responsive and flexible. It includes a drag-and-drop page builder plugin (WP Bakery), which allows you to see the changes you make on your website in real time, as well as the Slider Revolution plugin for creating sliders.

That said, just because these plugins are included, doesn’t mean that they’re the gold standard for proper SEO. There are better page builder plugins on the market and some experts claim that sliders can actually hurt the user experience.

Chad Barnes, Head Honcho at SEO Skyrocket

“For ecommerce, I love Elementor. It’s one of the few WordPress site builders (as opposed to a mere page builder), which allows deep customization of WooCommerce products and archive pages and WordPress archive, post, page, search, and 404 pages.”

Sometimes, a WordPress ecommerce theme isn’t the best due to the sum of its parts. You might want to disregard the extra included plugins in favor of just focusing on the core theme product.

Shopkeeper is $69 and comes with 6 months of support. It’s available for download on Envato Market. Check out the demo here.

2. Make by The Theme Foundry

best wordpress ecommerce themes make

Loved by WordPress experts like Chris Lema and used by well-respected publications like Wired, you can’t go wrong with Make.

After all, Make isn’t just a theme: it’s also a site builder that enables those without web development experience to achieve whatever particular design aesthetic they’re after.

When you build an ecommerce website with Make, you’re getting clean code — not bloated shortcodes that may end up slowing down your page load speed.

Hundreds of Customizer options make it easy to change even the most specific page design elements with ease. Furthermore, Make’s grid-based design ensures that your website scales beautifully, no matter the device.

Over 800,000 small businesses use this WordPress ecommerce theme and it’s the ideal choice for someone looking to scale over time, thanks to pricing tiers that start at free.

Make’s free tier offers somewhat limited customization, with additional builder sections and advanced layout options available when you upgrade to Make Plus for $99/year.

To unlock Make for use on unlimited websites, check out the Plus Professional plan, for $299/year.

3. Storefront by WooCommerce.

best wordpress ecommerce themes storefront

Storefront is a basic but popular WooCommerce theme.

Because it was created by WooCommerce, you can rest assured that integrations between the WooCommerce plugin and WooCommerce extensions will work seamlessly.

Also, it’s free!

Since it’s perhaps the most basic WordPress ecommerce theme on the market, it is the perfect starting point to build up and customize your ecommerce site — without getting bogged down by too many details.

It is similar in that regard to BigCommerce’s Cornerstone theme, which is a basic theme build for developers to build on top of.

A few useful Storefront features:

  • SEO-friendly, built with valid schema markup to enhance site SEO performance.
  • Responsive.
  • Accessibility-ready.

Storefront has been downloaded over 2.5 million times to date, and has over 200,000 active installations. Because it’s the most basic theme and it’s free, note that functionality is somewhat limited. You have to buy extensions to achieve certain functionality and will likely want to level up to a different theme after you get past the initial learning curve of launching an ecommerce store.

Katie Keith, Co-Founder at Barn2

“[I love] the official WooCommerce Storefront theme because it’s lightweight, easy to use, and can be used very simply as it comes (which is free!), or you can extend it or change the design with premium add-ons and child themes.

Storefront is created by the same company as WooCommerce, so you can be confident that it will always be compatible.

We use it for the demo sites for all our WordPress plugins.“

Patrick Rauland, eCommerce Educator, LinkedIn Learning

“It’s hard to separate eCommerce from WooCommerce in the WordPress world.

Storefront is a great theme for WooCommerce but won’t work for every platform.

If you’re using WordPress as a content marketing platform and hosting your store elsewhere then you want to use the best theme for content.

That’s arguably Twenty Nineteen, since it’s designed to work perfectly with Gutenberg.

If you’re starting a new blog for your store, I’d go with Twenty Nineteen.”

Ben Gillbanks, Founder of Pro Theme Design

“I make and sell premium themes, so Storefront is a great example of best practices for integrating WooCommerce.

Even if you don’t use the theme, as a developer there’s a lot you can learn from it.”

Ryan Connolly, CEO at Red Ape Media

“Hands-down, StoreFront is my favorite theme to use. Being maintained by the core developers of WooCommerce, you can guarantee best practices for SEO & responsiveness, with superior code quality.

Customizing StoreFront is simple with a wide variety of resources available to the public on how to do so. Although at first glance, the theme may seem too plain for a clients’ needs, StoreFront can easily be transitioned to become a highly customized, complex child theme.

I’ve yet to encounter a PSD that caused any issues being converted into a StoreFront child theme.

With great code quality comes great Page Speed. I won’t get into the benefits that excellent page speed can have on user experience and SEO, however, if best practices are applied during child theme development, the outcome will be a blazing fast store (especially when paired with proper cache configuration and a CDN).

Lastly, given that you’ve followed best practices for your child theme, you’ll notice that any and every update to the StoreFront parent theme itself should cause no issues for years to come.

Just as an example, I had a StoreFront child theme created locally (with fairly heavy customization), that had no conflicts or surprises whatsoever after updating to the latest StoreFront version.”

4. Genesis by StudioPress.

best wordpress ecommerce themes genesis

Genesis is a multipurpose theme that can be used for ecommerce. The Genesis theme is one of many popular themes offered by StudioPress, but it’s the one most recommended for beginners.

Although it’s simple, Genesis is packed with a lot of punch, also making it useful for more advanced developers’ needs.

Genesis features include compatibility with Gutenberg, mobile responsiveness, and many theme customization options.

The Genesis framework is secure, quick-loading, accessibility-ready, SEO-optimized, responsive, and provides a number of layout options. Purchasing the Genesis theme grants users access to unlimited support and updates.

If you wish to purchase the Genesis theme on its own, expect to pay $59.95. If you want access to all StudioPress themes (like if you operate several websites), you can get them all for a one-time payment of $499.95.

Note that if you host with WPEngine, access to to 35+ StudioPress themes is included in your monthly hosting package.

5. Flatsome by UX-themes.

best wordpress ecommerce themes flatsome

Flatsome is another responsive and multipurpose theme with many potential uses. You can use it for a company website, portfolio, or an ecommerce site (or a combination of these).

Flatsome is one of the most popular WordPress ecommerce themes on the market, downloaded over 88,000 times on Envato Market. It’s touted as the #1 best-selling WooCommerce theme.

Some of Flatsome’s best features include:

  • WordPress 5.0 support via UX Builder (the theme company’s page builder tool).
  • SEO, speed-optimized, and mobile-responsive.
  • Over 300 predefined layouts and sections via Flatsome Studio. These assets can be accessed externally (so as not to bloat your theme). New layouts options and sections are added every week.

Because it’s developed by one of Envato’s Power Elite Authors, you can rest assured knowing that it’s constantly updated.

When you purchase the theme, it comes with a built-in slider and banner system ($29 value).

Pricing starts at $59/year and includes 6 months of support from the developer. Check out a demo here.

6. Essence Pro by StudioPress.

best wordpress ecommerce themes essence

Essence Pro is a theme primarily designed for health, wellness, and lifestyle niches, with included features specifically meant for ecommerce. Like other StudioPress themes built on the Genesis Framework, it is beautiful, fast, accessible, and reliable.

Furthermore Essence Pro is Google AMP-compliant (contributing to a fast page load speed), Gutenberg-optimized, and mobile-responsive. It works well with both WooCommerce and the BigCommerce WordPress plugin.

For the Essence Pro framework, expect to pay $129.95 for both the theme and the Genesis Framework. Alternatively (and as stated earlier), you can opt to purchase all StudioPress themes as a bundled lifetime deal or access them complimentary as part of a WP Engine web hosting plan.

Check out a demo here.

Matt Ahlgren, Founder and WordPress Developer at WebsiteHostingRating

matt ahlgren

“I’m a big fan of StudioPress and their Genesis Framework. 99% of WordPress sites I build and work with use a Genesis child theme.

The Genesis Framework is built with security, SEO and speed in mind, plus the StudioPress community and help available is great.

Speed is particularly important, because the faster your WordPress ecommerce site loads, the more conversions and sales you’ll get. That’s why StudioPress is my favorite.

One of my favourite WordPress ecommerce themes right now is the Essence Pro Theme. It’s a stunning looking, simple and clutter-free theme that works for almost any type of niche.”

Cathi Bosco, Creative Director at C&D Studios and Co-Founder DocsWithApps

“The StudioPress Essence Pro Theme is accessible and AMP-compliant.

It’s fast & beautiful: built on a reliable framework that is easily customizable and simply works well with BigCommerce out of the box!”

7. GeneratePress by Tom Usborne.

best wordpress ecommerce themes generatepress

If speed is a priority for you (and it should be), then GeneratePress might be your ideal WordPress ecommerce theme.

GeneratePress is secure and stable, offers clean code, and does away with unnecessary bloatware. Besides these factors, it is SEO-ready, with valid HTML and Schema.org structured data.

It is also accessibility-friendly, responsive, and offers a straightforward integration with the WordPress customizer (perfect for beginn9ers).

Using GeneratePress means that you’ll have access to active support from the theme’s developer, with an average of three theme updates per month. It has over 1.7 million downloads to date, with over 100,000 active installs.

GeneratePress is completely free to use, but if you want access to add-ons (including their demo Site Library), expect to pay the $49.95 price tag, which comes with a year of support and updates, and can be used on unlimited websites.

Brian, CMO at Kinsta

brian CMO

“My favorite ecommerce WordPress theme right now without a doubt is GeneratePress. Tom, the developer, has an obsession with performance and speed as do I. Once I found it, I never looked back.

I run two ecommerce sites (Easy Digital Downloads) where I sell premium WordPress plugins, and both are using GeneratePress.

It’s fast, it’s super easy to customize, and the support is fantastic. GeneratePress saves me time and money!”

From The WordPress Community: Pre-Built vs. Custom Themes

The question remains: is it better to use a pre-built premium theme or commission a completely custom design?

Here’s what WordPress experts have to say on the topic:

Katie Keith, Co-Founder at Barn2

“For small and medium companies or startups, a pre-built theme is ideal – but only if you’re prepared to be flexible about the design.

There are some fantastic WordPress Ecommerce themes available (particularly themes for the WooCommerce plugin) and you can choose from a wide range of designs to suit different brand identities.

Most of them nowadays are very flexible and can be adapted to suit your brand and your individual requirements.

However, if you have very specific needs or a pre-existing design that you wish to match, then you might be better off investing in a custom theme.

I would only ever recommend a custom theme if you have the budget for a highly experienced developer who will create a robust, lightweight theme that won’t cause problems for your site.

There are far too many unskilled ‘developers’ offering their services to build custom themes for low costs, and very low quality. If that’s all you can afford then you’re better off with an off-the-shelf theme.”

Leah Ashley, Business Manager, Copper Leaf Creative

leah ashley

“The purpose of the theme on YOUR website is to display YOUR content.

Trying to shove all your content/products/etc. into a prebuilt theme often leads to compromises and a “lumpy looking” site because the off-the-shelf theme wasn’t built for YOU and your needs/desires/products.

For ecommerce, I think it’s better to customize a theme because reinventing the wheel sucks, but sometimes those customizations can make all the difference in how a site looks, feels, and acts, thus better presenting your products and business and making an overall better (and more authentic to your brand) user experience.”

Tessa Kriesel, Developer Outreach Manager at Pantheon

Tessa Kriesel

“It depends on your needs and where you are obtaining the pre-built themes.

If you are using a theme from a reputable, skilled developer and you need no to little customization—then a pre-built theme is the way to go.

I personally like to know that my WordPress sites are lean, mean, performance machines and prefer to go the custom route to ensure that I am not including any unnecessary code, plugins or bloat.”

Patrick Rauland, eCommerce Educator, LinkedIn Learning

“This [choice] depends a lot on your industry.

For some products, you’ll need to spend a lot of time:

  1. Explaining how the product works (need a large text area).
  2. Showing the product (need a large image or many images).
  3. Showing social proof.
  4. Showing video reviews.

If you have any specific needs, it can be to your advantage to build a custom theme. But if you are selling t-shirts or something else that’s commonly sold online, you can probably use a pre-built theme.”

Chad Barnes, Head Honcho at SEO Skyrocket

“It’s hard to argue against custom because, if done right, they can dramatically increase security, reduce the need for plugins, improve page load speed, and allow online sellers the freedom to consider their target buyer and design and build a site specifically for that target buyer.

That said, most online retailers cannot afford a purely custom site. Beyond that, many online retailers are (rightly) concerned about losing their custom developer whereas building with the right pre-built template provides the stability (and ongoing support, updates, etc.) of a larger, more established developer (e.g. Elementor, Elegant Themes, Beaver Builder).

Most of our clients opt for the latter and is, in fact, what we chose for our own ecommerce site, SkyrocketWP.”

Danny Cooper, Lead Developer at FontsPlugin

“A custom theme will always be faster and more efficient, as it doesn’t need to load plugins and functionality that you won’t use.

Pre-built themes in contrast often come bundled with tens or hundreds of customization settings, many that you don’t need.”

Ben Gillbanks, Founder of Pro Theme Design

“For a normal shop – I’d say it doesn’t really matter either way.

Integrating WordPress ecommerce plugins is relatively straightforward these days. Assuming you don’t want to do anything super custom, then the plugin will output all the html you need. And with the new editor, and block support for the plugins coming soon, it will be even easier to build a custom site with any theme.

If you’re not technical then I’d stick with a theme made by the developer behind the plugin (such as Storefront) but if you know what you’re doing then you can make something just as good relatively easily, and then you can more easily customise it to fit your requirements.”

Brian, CMO at Kinsta

brian CMO

“Since GeneratePress is more of a framework than a theme, I would have to go with custom. 

However, you don’t have to be that technical anymore to build your own custom site, that is the great thing about WordPress.

With themes like GeneratePress, you can pretty much create whatever you can imagine. Having a hard time? Add a plugin like Elementor to make it even easier.”

Ryan Connolly, CEO at Red Ape Media

“I firmly believe that a custom theme is ideal in nearly all situations. Every store is unique. Most stores have different functionality requirements. Even though some themes may provide a plethora of customization options, it’s typically fairly noticeable when a theme is used, especially when one may be familiar with another site using that exact theme.

One of the main concerns when it comes to pre-built themes is performance. Many themes come with a lot of unnecessary bloat that can hinder the user experience, which may lead to a higher bounce rate. Some pre-built themes do provide solid performance, but often times a custom created theme can provide a store with performance benefits that pre-built theme developers are unable to achieve due to the need of meeting the built-in customization requirements of a mass audience.

Lastly, relying on pre-built themes can cause issues during WordPress updates (as we saw from the recent WordPress 5.0 release that introduced the Gutenberg editor). Small updates are much more likely to cause issues with pre-built themes as opposed to ones custom tailored to the client. Waiting on theme developers to update can be frustrating for both the store owner, and a potential customer who may be experiencing a bug.”

Karol K, Blogger and Writer

karol k

“Pre-built gets you faster to your ‘minimal viable website.’

As a business owner, you want to begin selling as soon as possible. Then you can come back to your site later on, redo some stuff, improve based on your results.”

Final Thoughts: The Best WordPress Ecommerce Themes for Your Next Project

A great website experience is necessary for creating ecommerce conversions.

If customers don’t like your website design, cannot search through your product catalog easily, or find your site load speed too slow, they’ll likely turn to another ecommerce shop to get what they need.

Choosing the right WordPress theme for your ecommerce shop can make or break your success.

The good news? Just because you choose one to get started now doesn’t mean you can’t switch it out later as you learn what works best for your business.

What’s your favorite WordPress ecommerce theme and why? Tweet your thoughts at @BigCommerce, and we’ll share the most insightful pieces of advice!

Want more insights like this?

We’re on a mission to provide businesses like yours marketing and sales tips, tricks and industry leading knowledge to build the next house-hold name brand. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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    Maddy Osman

    Maddy Osman

    Writer, Researcher

    Maddy Osman is a writer for BigCommerce specializing in search engine optimized content and deep dive articles that help readers and companies achieve their goals. You can learn more about her process at The-Blogsmith and follow her on Twitter: : @MaddyOsman

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