We’ve all seen those pre-built Magento themes. They promise expert coding with all of the latest bells and whistles, a flawless UX experience and they seem to be designed with the user in mind. The promise they hold is that all you need to do is plug them into the backend and they’ll be ready to launch with minimal effort! Unfortunately, that is never the case. In fact, most of the time these themes are trouble from the moment your card is charged that too-good-to-be-true price of $49.95.
They’re not as affordable as you think.

Support & Maintenance

Here’s the scenario: You’ve hired a freelance developer for 20 hours to integrate your pre-built theme. Once he starts implementing your custom features, he realizes that the code that came along with the theme is completely illegible and difficult to accommodate. Whom can he turn to? Most of the time, these pre-built themes are developed by designers who know minimal code and are not aware of Magento or even e-commerce best practices. Even worse, many of these themes do not come with any form of support, are equipped with outdated plugins or are years old. At this point, you’ll be dumping money into fixing the mess that someone else, someone you don’t even know, has made.

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At Le Site, we have an internal team that can efficiently cater to every support and maintenance needs, because they’re the ones that built your site! Our certified Magento team can easily understand your issues, as they’ve seen it all and know all the best practices.

Code Quality

Code quality is one of the biggest money pits companies fall victim to when dealing with pre-built themes. Unfortunately, these issues are usually not visible until it’s too late.

With pre-built pages, ineligible code can be grandfathered in to your site. Hundreds of 404 errors, unexplained performance issues and defective language plug-ins are sometimes only visible when the sites are pushed live, which isn’t only a headache, but a huge security risk. As an e-commerce company, delivering a safe and secure platform to your users should be the number one priority. But dealing with code that does not operate with plug-ins can leave major errors around your site, making it almost impossible to identify the culprit. Poor code quality can affect other things like site and page load times, which can be detrimental for e-commerce sites and SEO that can impact traffic.

Certified Magento team members understand the importance of well-written code and have spent years of gaining expertise through a solid experience on writing clear and concise coding. This means that new coders working on the same website will work with legible code developed by certified professionals.

Limited Flexibility

Even if you do find a pre-built theme that responds to your needs, what happens when you want to expand? Or when competitors introduce revolutionary ways that make shopping easier for consumers that should also be integrated within your e-commerce platform? Unfortunately, chances are your theme will not be able to support these updates or anything else to make your company stand out from the crowd. A site built from scratch, created with all the tools and plugins your company needs, and built for growth, can stand the test of time and evolution. Fixing the mess of adapting a pre-built theme to a new concept and UX experience can take a long time, which means more money!

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If money is truly an issue and a pre-built theme is your only option, follow our advice:

  1. Read the comments and see what other purchasers have to say.
  2. Research the owner and favour those themes that have been developed by a certified professional.
  3. Be sure the theme comes with some form of customer service.

In our opinion, building a Magento theme with a team of Certified Magento professionals alongside a QA team ensures few performance flaws, maximum security, a clear, concise code with a healthy SEO, low page load times and easy updates through plugins. Simply put, it’s the best value for your money!