- Jul 21, 2016
- by Brad Litwin
OpenCart is one of the most popular eCommerce shopping cart programs out there because it’s easy to setup, cheap to operate, and flexible. The software offers everything you need to create a fully-functional online store and can be further modified using extensions and integration.
But there is one area where OpenCart can give you problems: users often have trouble finding template designs that work for them. Yes, it’s possible to create your own custom templates for OpenCart, but the process requires more technical skills than many new shop creators possess, and the cost of a designer can be prohibitive. To work around this issue and minimize costs, most shop owners should use pre-built templates.
If you’re planning your new OpenCart shop or looking for a fresh look, then checkout these four place to find unique, well-built OpenCart templates. Each of these shops has some unique characteristics and variation in the types of templates they offer. But they all offer high-quality templates that will work with your hosting and look good on different devices.
Themeforest offers one of the largest collections of templates and themes online. It’s best known for it’s WordPress themes, but they also carry hundreds of OpenCart templates as well. On Themeforest, you can search for templates using different keywords, technical requirements, and layout preferences. The search and filter capabilities also allow you to narrow your options based on pricing, popularity, and how recently the template was updated. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or want to have a lot of options, then Themeforest is a smart place to go for OpenCart templates.
In terms of theme quality, Themeforest is known for attracting top-notch designers that support their themes with plenty of documentation and updates. Most themes you find will be stuffed with features and be aligned to newer design trends like responsive design, sliders, popups, etc. Templates from Themeforest are often a good idea if you don’t want to manage a lot of different extensions and vendors because they pack a lot functionality into the designs.
2. Template Monster
Template Monster is another large marketplace featuring themes and templates for the most popular content management systems. Similarly to Themeforest, Template Monster offers you the ability to search, filter and sort templates to find the right fit for your store. However, Template Monster also works hard to categorize it’s OpenCart templates and offers filters for software compatibility: the categories let you narrow your results quickly and the compatibility information ensures you don’t waste time on templates that don’t work for you.
Template Monster templates tend to be very well-designed and have a professional look to them. The site also prides itself on having certain requirements like responsive design, Vqmod support, and lazy loading. These requirements mean that the theme will work well on mobile and be easier to modify without altering core files. If you’re looking for a standard-looking and stable template, then Template Monster is a good place to shop.
3. Zero Carts
Zero Cart doesn’t offer as large a selection of OpenCart templates as the two sites we’ve already discussed. But they do offer more than one hundred themes and their site offers a different shopping experience. Rather than displaying templates in a typical store layout, Zero Carts curates themes in lists based on price, design features, and business type. On Zero Carts’ pages you’ll get more information about the theme category and more discussion of what makes the themes standout. It’s a very different shopping experience, but it also makes the site good for research and figuring out what type of designs you like.
The themes on Zero Carts run the gamut from conservative to super-niche. You don’t have as broad a selection as other shops, but you can find designs with more character.
4. Creative Market
Creative Market is the smallest shop on this list. At the time of writing, they had roughly twenty-five templates available. They are being included because they offer themes from smaller, independent designers that you might not find anywhere else. While the selection is much smaller, you’ll find that the designs are often more eye-catching than what you see on other sites. The smaller selection also makes it easier to browse and preview templates without feeling overwhelmed.
You’ll find that the designs and coding of Creative Market templates are comparable to what you see on the other sites. The main difference is that the features aren’t standardized, so you can’t assume that every template you see has all the same bells and whistles.
Use Templates to Make Your Store Standout
With OpenCart, you can trust that you’ll have the business features you need to sell products with very few headaches or limitations. That said, the template you choose will have a lot of influence on your success because the look of your store can either convince people to stay and shop, or drive them away. If you want to succeed, then you’ll need to find a template that appeals to target audience and supports key selling tools.
The sites mentioned here will give you a wide selection of affordable, stable and interesting designs to choose from. Take the time to think about what you need, review the pros and cons of each template, and select the one that matches your style and your audience.
Quick Note: Other Things to Consider
OpenCart and a good template will give you a great looking store with a good shopping experience, but there are some other factors you should keep in mind. Having competitive prices is essential if you’re selling easy-to-find items, and good customer service is how you turn first-time shoppers into repeat buyers. If you’re planning on building a long-term business, then also think about your hosting. A service like A2 Hosting’s, OpenCart Hosting can help you optimize the site for better performance and stronger security. Having the right hosting will mean less chance of your site going down or being attacked.
Thinking about using OpenCart for your site? Click here to see the hosting services A2 Hosting offers for OpenCart!