Create or buy Shopware 6 themes yourself? Everything you need to know about Shopware 6 template development

by Meike Müller

To use Shopware as a sales channel, you also need a so-called Shopware template, which determines the design and also some functionalities of your online store. Choosing the right template is crucial for the success of your Shopware store. For this reason, sooner or later you will be faced with the question of whether to use a ready-made store theme or develop your own. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to make this decision.

Reading time 5 min

What to expect in this article:
  1. What is a theme?
  2. Buy a theme or create your own?
    1. Advantages and disadvantages of buying a theme
    2. Advantages and disadvantages of creating your own theme
  3. Tips for buying a Shopware theme
  4. Or would you rather create it yourself? Requirements for creating your own theme
    1. Step-by-step: How to create your own Shopware theme
  5. Our conclusion
  6. FAQ: Questions and answers about Shopware themes
    1. What is Twig?
    2. What does "SCSS" stand for?
    3. Is programming knowledge required for Shopware theme creation?
    4. How can stylesheets based on SCSS be used as a theme in Shopware 6?

What is a theme?

Generally speaking, a theme is a collection of different graphic elements that determine the appearance of a user interface. For example, there are also themes that can influence the appearance of your online store.

A theme represents a self-sufficient unit within a system, which can be outsourced as an independent module and loaded individually. This approach makes it easy to replace the theme without affecting other functional components of the system. As a result, changes to the appearance of the system can be made with minimal effort, which is particularly advantageous when adapting to different requirements and target groups.

You also need to choose a theme for your Shopware online store. A lot has changed from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6. Shopware 6 already has standardized templates that you can easily select. The standard theme is responsive so that your customers can use your online store on their desktop, smartphone or other end device. You can also set a few customizations for the standard theme. In general, however, there are only minor changes such as colors and logos. The recognition value is therefore very low. If you buy one of the many Shopware themes, things look better. Of course, developing your own Shopware theme is even better. This ensures that your store design is 100% unique.

Buy a theme or create your own?

With your online store, you certainly want to focus on individuality and make your company or brand stand out. Is a purchased Shopware theme suitable for this? Or would it be better to create your own theme from scratch to make every aspect of your online store as individual and tailored to your target group as possible? There is no general answer to these questions. It all depends on which products or services are involved and which characteristics make up your target group. More complex products in particular may require a more specialized presentation that is not covered by a standard theme. However, it is just as likely that a purchased theme will suffice. Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages, which we have now compiled for you. This will help you with your decision!

Advantages and disadvantages of buying a theme

Buying a theme Advantages Buying a theme Disadvantages
  • No great effort: One advantage of buying a ready-made Shopware template is that you hardly have to spend any time programming and developing the design and any functions. You buy these directly in a complete package and only have to install the template and customize it for you.
  • Support from the developer: If you have any problems or questions about the template, the template developers usually provide support and updates. However, you are of course also dependent on this happening promptly. There is usually no guarantee of this.
  • Professional design and proven functions: Of course, you have the choice of which template you want to buy. As there are already many template designs available, you have a wide choice and are sure to find one that looks professional. This is because the developers usually know what they are doing. For more specific designs and functions, however, it can sometimes be difficult to find exactly what you need.
  • Limited customization options: This is probably the biggest disadvantage of buying a ready-made template. You can only customize it to the extent specified by the template developer. Specific requirements are generally not covered and there are only standard configuration options. As a Shopware template can be purchased by many other users, there is also the possibility that your online store will look visually similar to other stores that use the same template.
  • Limited updates and further development: Shopware and other extensions or plugins can evolve over time and introduce new functions or security updates. If the template provider does not offer regular updates and further development, your template may become outdated over time. This can lead to security risks and deny you access to new functions or improvements.
  • Costs: As a rule, a purchased theme initially appears cheaper than developing it yourself. However, there are still costs involved and, depending on the professionalism and functionality, the prices for a template can be relatively high. You should also bear in mind that you will also incur costs for customizations and extensions. Of course, you can still get away cheaper here, but you should not underestimate the "costs" point.
  • Limited support: Although many template providers offer support, the quality and responsiveness of support can vary. While we have also highlighted this as an advantage, as you may well come across very dedicated developers who are quick to address your issues, there is also the possibility that you may not always receive an immediate solution or assistance with questions or problems. This can lead to frustration, especially if you need urgent support.

Advantages and disadvantages of creating your own theme

Creating your own theme Advantages Creating your own theme Disadvantages
  • You can easily cover specific design requirements with your own theme. A unique appearance of your webshop is definitely a given with your own theme development!
  • Flexibly customizable: Another advantage of creating your own Shopware template is not only the initial customization, but also the ability to adapt the template at any time. You can also easily add new functionalities.
  • Independence: It is also important to emphasize that you are not dependent on updates from the developers of purchased Shopware themes. There may be updates to the Shopware store system that need to be transferred to the themes. With a purchased template, you would be dependent on the developers of this template implementing this update promptly. If not, in the worst case scenario this could mean that your online store does not work properly or is not accessible at all. With your self-developed theme, you can take the implementation into your own hands.
  • High scalability: If you have control over your store theme yourself, you can also adapt it to the growth requirements of your online store. You can design the architecture and code accordingly to ensure high scalability. This allows you to easily expand your online store and add new features as your business grows.
  • Performance optimization: You can also set up your store for high performance and implement all requirements for optimal search engine optimization. You can ensure that your store always loads quickly and is found in search results.
  • Time required: Developing your own Shopware theme takes time. Especially until it looks the way you want it to and has the functions you have previously worked out.
  • Resources and expertise: It is of course a prerequisite that you and your team have the resources and programming skills to create your own theme. If you have no experience or knowledge of web development, it can be difficult to create a functional and well-optimized theme. Otherwise, you also have the option of working with a Shopware agency that specializes in theme creation.
  • Support in the event of errors or problems: If you are responsible for the theme yourself, then you also need to be on hand to help your customers with errors or problems with your online store. This is because errors can always occur unexpectedly, for which you should have a solution ready. If you work with a Shopware agency, the situation is of course different. In this case, you can also contact the agency's developers in the event of errors, who can support you immediately with a team of several people (if necessary).

Tips for buying a Shopware theme

If you are considering buying a Shopware theme, there are a few things that are important to consider. We have compiled these things for you so that you know how to find the perfect Shopware template.

  1. Compatibility: Make sure that the theme is compatible with the latest version of Shopware. An outdated theme can lead to problems and may not support all the functions and features of the newer Shopware version.
  2. Design and customization options: Check whether the theme is visually appealing and meets your requirements. Also pay attention to what customization options the theme offers to adjust the design and functionality of the store.
  3. Functionality: Check whether the theme offers all the necessary functions to display your products and services appropriately and facilitate the purchasing process for customers.
  4. Support and documentation: Make sure the theme provides detailed documentation and/or developer support in case you need help with setup or customization.
  5. Performance: Fast page loading is important for the user experience and also for search engine rankings. Check whether the theme has been optimized to ensure a fast loading time and speed.
  6. Reviews and customer feedback : Check the reviews and feedback from other customers to see if the theme is reliable and meets expectations.
  7. License terms: Check the theme's license terms to make sure it can be used legally and correctly.

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that the Shopware theme you choose meets your needs and has a positive impact on your business.

Or would you rather create it yourself? The requirements for creating your own theme

Before you start developing your own Shopware theme, you should consider a few aspects in advance to ensure that your own template is a success. Here you will find all the important approaches for planning your template.

  1. Your brand identity: When designing your online store, you should of course make sure that it is in line with your brand. Use the same colors to create recognition value.
  2. Creativity: Of course, you should not ignore what is currently fashionable. Existing trends appeal to the masses. However, you should also check whether parts of this mass also belong to your target group. It is also important that you get creative in order to stand out from your competitors.
  3. Your target group: As we have already mentioned, it is important that your theme is tailored to your target group. After all, you want to generate conversions, i.e. sales, in your online store later on. Define your target group in order to tailor your Shopware template precisely to them.
  4. User-friendliness: When planning the theme, you should always pay attention to the user-friendliness of the user interface. Use familiar designs for menus and navigations or place them in places that are intuitive for the user. It's important that your customers don't have to search and can find their way around quickly. You should definitely bear this in mind when being creative.
  5. Responsiveness: Your online store is not only visited on one device. So make sure that your Shopware store with your own theme also works on every device.

These were just a few aspects that you should consider before creating a theme and take into account when creating it. If you would like to know more about custom Shopware theme creation, you can contact us at any time. We will be happy to help you plan your own theme. Of course, we will also actively support you with the implementation.

Step-by-step: How to create your own Shopware theme

We would now like to give you a rough insight into how the creation of your own Shopware template works. First of all, it should be said that technical and design skills are necessary or at least an advantage when developing the template. We have listed the most important skills below.

A few steps to the Shopware store theme:

  1. First of all, you should check whether you have all the necessary programs and tools you need for Shopware theme creation. If not, you should install them. For example, the Visual Studio Code development environment, the Shopware CLI tool and the current Shopware version are important for development.
  2. Now use the Shopware CLI tool to create a new Shopware theme. Enter a name for your theme and select the base theme you want to build on. You can either use the default theme or another base theme that you want to customize for your own theme.
  3. Customize the theme: Now you can start customizing your theme. Use CSS, Twig and JavaScript to customize the design and functionality of your store. You can also create new template files to add additional features or further customize the look of your store.
  4. Add the theme to your store: Once you have finished creating your theme, you need to add it to your store. Simply copy the theme folder into the "themes" directory of your Shopware store.
  5. Activate the theme: As soon as the theme has been added to your store, you need to activate it. To do this, go to "Settings" > "Theme Manager" in your Shopware backend and select your new theme from the list of available themes.
  6. Test your theme: Now you should test your theme extensively to ensure that it works correctly and displays correctly on all devices and browsers.

It is also important to note that Shopware has certain requirements for the themes that can be used in their store. You should make sure that your theme meets these requirements so that it works correctly and is accepted by Shopware.

Creating your own Shopware theme requires a certain amount of technical know-how, but with practice and patience you can create an appealing and functional theme that fits your brand and offer perfectly.

These skills are a great advantage in Shopware theme development

  • A basic understanding of the programming languages HTML, JavaScript and CSS as well as the Shopware Template Engine, which is used to display store pages in Shopware
  • Git is a useful tool when it comes to changing the code. With a general understanding, administration is much easier. This means that all changes to the theme can be documented and tracked
  • Creativity and design skills are also a prerequisite. You should already have an eye for design and layout so that you end up with a coherent template for your online store. Of course, you can also take inspiration from other online stores as long as you don't copy anything.
  • SEO knowledge is also an advantage so that you can take important aspects of search engine optimization into account when creating the theme and can be found easily in search results later on.
  • You should also be familiar with Shopware. A good understanding of the features can help you to fully exploit the potential of the store system.

Our conclusion

We hope that this article has given you a good insight into the world of Shopware themes and that you can now weigh up all the pros and cons of buying or developing one for yourself. The decision as to whether you should buy a Shopware 6 theme or create one yourself simply depends on many factors that you need to evaluate individually for you and your company. Both options have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered. If you as a store owner want a customized solution for your online store and want to have full control over the design and functions, the individual development of your own theme is the best choice. Configuring your own theme allows for much more versatile customization options and allows you to cater precisely to your target group. However, developing your own theme also requires more time, resources and technical skills. You must be prepared to familiarize yourself with Shopware 6 theme development and possibly use external support or developer services. However, this extra effort can be worth it as you can create a unique online store experience tailored to your needs. We are happy to support you in the development process of your own individual template for your Shopware 6 store. Feel free to contact us!

FAQ: Questions and answers about Shopware themes

Finally, we would like to answer a few questions about Shopware template development to give you all the information you need about Shopware themes. In the end, you can decide whether you want to develop a template yourself or buy one. If you still have questions, you can of course contact us at any time. We will be happy to help you!

  • What is Twig?

    Twig is a modern template system that is used in many web applications, including Shopware. It is a fast and flexible template engine that allows developers to quickly and easily create dynamic and complex templates.

    Twig offers a variety of features and tools including a simple syntax, a wide range of template tags and filters, custom extensibility and a clear separation of logic and presentation. Twig allows developers to create templates that are easy to read, maintain and extend.

  • What does "SCSS" stand for?

    SCSS stands for "Sassy CSS" and is an extended syntax for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). It is a CSS preprocessor language that offers a variety of features that are not available in pure CSS. SCSS allows developers to write and organize CSS files faster and more efficiently.

    In Shopware, SCSS can be used to create custom Shopware themes to customize the look and feel of Shopware applications. With SCSS, developers can write and organize CSS code more efficiently by using variables, nested rules, mixins and inheritance. This makes it easier to manage and customize recurring CSS rules.

    Another advantage of SCSS in Shopware is the ability to import multiple CSS files into one file. This can help to better organize the code and achieve a faster loading time.

  • Is programming knowledge required for Shopware theme creation?

    Yes, programming knowledge is required to create a Shopware theme. The creation of a theme usually requires a certain amount of programming, especially in the languages HTML, CSS and JavaScript. A basic understanding of these programming languages is essential in order to edit the template files and customize the theme according to your own wishes. Even though there are now many templates and plugins available for Shopware, some understanding of programming is helpful to understand the process of creating the theme and to ensure that themes work properly. Ultimately, it will be difficult to create a customized and well-functioning theme without knowledge of programming.

  • How to use stylesheets based on SCSS in Shopware 6 as a theme?

    To use stylesheets based on SCSS in a Shopware 6 theme, you can follow the steps below:

    1. Create a new Shopware 6 theme or open the existing theme you want to use.

    2.navigate to the theme directory. By default, the theme directory is located under themes/Frontend/YourThemeName/.

    3. create a folder called src in the theme directory (if it does not already exist) and another folder called scss in it.

    4. inside the scss folder you can create or import your SCSS files. You can create one or more SCSS files to organize your styles.

    5. to convert the SCSS files into CSS, you need to make sure you are using an SCSS compiler. For example, you can use Node.js and the SCSS compiler such as Sass or node-sass. Install the required packages according to the respective instructions. 6.

    6. create an input SCSS file, for example main.scss, and import any other SCSS files you have created, as well as any external libraries or styles.

    7. run the SCSS compiler to convert the SCSS files to CSS. This step will vary depending on which SCSS compiler you are using. A common method is to run the compiler from the command line or a build tool like Webpack or Gulp.

    8 ) Once the SCSS compiler has converted the SCSS files into CSS, you will receive a CSS file (e.g. main.css).

    9. copy the generated CSS file into the public directory of your theme. This directory is usually located under public/theme/yourThemeName/. Make sure that the file is stored within a corresponding subfolder such as css or assets.

    10. link the CSS file in your Shopware 6 theme. To do this, you can use the style tag in the corresponding template files or integrate the CSS file via the Shopware asset management system.

    After you have followed these steps, the stylesheets based on SCSS will be used in your Shopware 6 theme. You can now edit the SCSS files and, if necessary, run the SCSS compiler again to convert the changes into the CSS format and display them in the frontend.

Was ist dein Projekt? Wenn du uns darüber erzählen möchtest, rufen wir dich zurück!

from 30.05.2023

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

Du möchtest immer am Zenit der Technik bleiben? Keine News und Blogbeiträge mehr verpassen.
We also have the following interesting posts from our tech blog for you on this topic
Headless CMS: The guide to your headless content management system

What is a headless content management system? Here you will find all the information, advantages and challenges as well as an introduction to various systems!

Website relaunch SEO: How to keep your rankings

A website relaunch is coming up and you're worried about your Google ranking? Here you can find out everything about the perfect website relaunch without SEO mistakes!

How to successfully create a Shopify store: step by step to your own online store

Learn how to create a successful Shopify store step by step and launch your own online shop with confidence. Our comprehensive guide walks you through the process, empowering you to build a thriving e-commerce business from scratch.