If you’re an eCommerce merchant looking to move your online store to BigCommerce, you may be wondering if you should choose a pre-designed theme or go for a fully customized site built from the ground up.
The BigCommerce Theme Marketplace is chock full of themes – both free and premium – that are available from 3rd party developers as well as BigCommerce themselves. While you probably can find a theme that fits your business needs and can easily be tweaked to meet your brand and feature requirements, there are other things you need to consider such as:
- Cost & Time to Open
- Programming Standards
- Future Updates
- Core Web Vitals
- ADA Compliance
We’re going to break each of these five areas down discuss how they differ in a pre-designed theme versus a custom site built off the BigCommerce Cornerstone framework which is the foundation for all site development on the platform.
|Cost & Time to Open: Pre-Designed Theme
|Cost & Time to Open: Custom Design
|Programming Standards: Pre-Designed Theme
|Programming Standards: Custom Design
|Future Update: Pre-Designed Theme
|Future Updates: Custom Design
|Core Web Vitals: Pre-Designed Theme
|Core Web Vitals: Custom Design
|ADA Compliance: Pre-Designed Theme
|ADA Compliance: Custom Design
While a pre-designed theme may get you up and running on your new BigCommerce store quickly, there are often times when choosing this option ends up costing the store owner the same amount of money and time as a custom-built store.
This is often due to the fact that once programming begins, the developer finds code that needs to be rewritten to bring it up-to-date, functionality needs to be added that wasn’t included as part of the theme, or other time-heavy modifications to the theme to make it fit the needs of the merchant.
Additionally, once launched it may be determined that the new store is receiving failing CWV scores and more time is needed to clean up code and resolve performance issues due to the theme was originally programmed.
As a developer who has migrated over 100 eCommerce stores from various platforms to BigCommerce, it is our recommendation that established merchants opt for a custom site built off of Cornerstone.
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Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at email@example.com.