Create Shopware 6 themes yourself or buy them? Everything about Shopware 6 template development

30.05.2023
by Meike Müller
E-Commerce
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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 face the question of whether to use a ready-made store theme or to develop your own. In this article you will learn everything you need to know for this decision.

Reading time 5 min

What to expect in this article:
  1. What is a theme?
  2. Buy a theme or create one yourself?
    1. Advantages and disadvantages of buying a theme
    2. Advantages and disadvantages for creating your own theme
  3. Tips for your purchase of a Shopware theme
  4. Or do you prefer to create your own theme? Requirements for creating your own theme
  5. Step-by-step: How to create your own Shopware Theme
  6. Our conclusion
  7. FAQ: Questions and answers about Shopware themes
    1. What is Twig?
    2. What does "SCSS" stand for?
    3. Are programming skills required for Shopware theme creation?
    4. How can I use stylesheets based on SCSS as a theme in Shopware 6?

What is a theme?

Generally speaking, a theme is a set of different graphic elements that determine the appearance of a user interface. For example, there are 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 allows an uncomplicated exchange of 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 the Shopware 5 version to Shopware 6. Because in Shopware 6 there are already standardized templates that you can easily select. The standard theme is designed responsively, so that your customers can use your online store on the desktop, but also on the smartphone or another device. You can also set a few individualizations for the standard theme. Generally, however, only minor changes such as colors and logos are made. The recognition value is thus very low. If you buy one of the many Shopware themes, it looks already better. Even better, of course, is the development of your own Shopware theme. With this, the uniqueness of your store design is 100% given.

Buy a theme or create it yourself?

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 should you rather create your own theme from scratch to be as individual and tailored to the target group as possible in every aspect of your online store? Generally, these questions cannot be answered. It depends mainly on what products or services you are dealing with and what characteristics make up your target group. Especially more complex products may need a more specialized presentation, which is not covered in a standard theme. However, it can be just as well that a purchased theme is quite sufficient. Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages, which we have therefore now compiled for you. This will help you to decide!

Advantages and disadvantages of buying a theme

Buying a theme advantages Buying a theme disadvantages
  • No big effort: One advantage of buying a ready-made Shopware template is that you hardly have to spend any time on programming and developing the design and any functions. You buy them directly in a complete package and only have to install and customize the template for you.
  • Support by the developer: If you have problems or questions about the template, there is usually support from the template developers and also updates. Here, of course, you are also dependent on the fact that this happens in a timely manner. There is usually no guarantee for this.
  • Professional design and proven functions: Of course you have the choice, which template you want to buy. Since there are already many template designs, you have a wide choice and certainly find one that looks professional. Because the developers usually know what they are doing. For more specific designs and functions, however, it can be difficult to find exactly what you need.
  • Limited customization: This is probably the biggest disadvantage of buying a ready-made template. You can only customize it to the extent that the template developer specifies. Specific requirements are usually not covered and there are only standard configuration options. Since 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 may evolve over time and introduce new features or security updates. If the template provider does not offer regular updates and advancements, your template may become outdated over time. This can lead to security risks and deny you access to new features or improvements.
  • Cost: Usually, a purchased theme may seem cheaper than developing it yourself at first. However, there are still costs and depending on the professionalism and functionality, the prices for a template can also be relatively high. Also, you should note that for customizations and extensions also costs come to you. Of course, you can still get away cheaper, but you should not underestimate the point "costs".
  • 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 encounter very dedicated developers who will quickly address your issues, there is also a chance that you may not always get 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 cover specific design requirements with your own theme without any problems. A unique appearance of your webshop is definitely given with your own theme development!
  • Flexible customization: Another advantage of creating your own Shopware template is not only the first individualization, but also the possibility to customize the template at any time. You can also add new functionalities without further ado.
  • Independence: It is also important to emphasize that you are not dependent on the updates of the developers of purchased Shopware themes. It may be that there are updates to the store system Shopware, which must be transferred to the themes. With a purchased template, you would be dependent on the developers of this template to implement this update in a timely manner. If not, this can mean in the worst case 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.
  • Optimize performance: You can also make your store highly performant and implement all the 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 and has the features you want and have worked out before.
  • Resources and expertise: It is of course a requirement that you and your team have the resources and programming skills to create your own theme. If you don't have experience or knowledge in web development, it can be difficult to create a functional and well-optimized theme. Otherwise, you would still have the option of working with a Shopware agency that specializes in theme creation.
  • Support in case of errors or problems: If you are responsible for the theme, then you must also be directly available in case of errors or problems of your customers with your online store. Here, unexpected errors can always occur, for which you should then have a solution ready. If you work with a Shopware agency, the situation is of course even different. Then you can also contact the developers of the agency in case of errors, who can support you immediately with a team of several people (if necessary).

 

 

Tips for buying a Shopware theme

If you are thinking about buying a Shopware theme, then there are a few things that are important to consider. To help you know how to find the perfect Shopware template, we've put together these things for you.

  1. Compatibility: make sure the theme is compatible with the latest version of Shopware. An outdated theme can cause problems and may not support all the features and capabilities of the newer Shopware version.
  2. Design and customization options: Check if the theme is visually appealing and meets your requirements. Also check what customization options the theme offers to adjust the design and functionality of the store.
  3. Functionality: check if the theme offers all the necessary features to present your products and services appropriately and facilitate the buying process for customers.
  4. Support and documentation: make sure that the theme offers detailed documentation and/or support from the developer in case you need help with setup or customization.
  5. Performance: fast page loading is important for user experience and also for search engine ranking. Check if the theme has been optimized to ensure high loading time and speed.
  6. Reviews and customer feedback: check 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 considering these factors, you can make sure 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 make your own template a success. Here you can find all 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 so that you create a recognition value.
  2. Creativity: Of course, you should not ignore what is fashionable at the moment. Existing trends appeal to the masses. However, you should also check whether parts of this mass also belong to your target group. In addition, it is important that you also get creative in order to stand out from your competition.
  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 to align your Shopware template exactly to them.
  4. Usability: When planning the theme, you should always pay attention to the usability of the user interface. Use familiar designs for menus and navigation or put them in places that are intuitive for the user. It's important that your customers don't have to search and find their way around quickly. In your creativity, you should definitely keep this in mind.
  5. Responsiveness: Your online store will not be visited exclusively 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 you should think about before creating a theme and keep in mind when creating it. If you want to know more about custom Shopware theme creation, you can always come to us. We will be happy to help you plan your own theme. Of course, we will also actively support you in 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 already necessary or at least advantageous when you develop the template. We have listed the most important skills below.

In a few steps to the Shopware store theme:

  1. First of all, you should check if you have all the necessary programs and tools that you need for Shopware theme creation. If not, you should install them. Important for the development is for example the development environment Visual Studio Code, the Shopware CLI tool and the current Shopware version.
  2. Now you 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: When you are done creating your theme, you need to add it to your store. Just copy the theme folder into the "themes" directory of your Shopware store.
  5. Activate the theme: Once the theme is 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 make sure it works properly and displays correctly on all devices and browsers.

It's also important to note that Shopware has certain requirements for themes to 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 some practice and patience, you can create a responsive and functional theme that perfectly suits your brand and offering.

These skills are of great advantage in Shopware theme development

  • A basic understanding of the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS programming languages , as well as the Shopware template engine used to render store pages in Shopware
  • Git is a useful tool when it comes to modifying the code. With a general understanding, management becomes much easier. This way, all changes to the theme can be documented and tracked
  • Creativity and design skills are also a requirement. You should already have an eye for design and layout, so that in the end a coherent template for your online store results. You can of course also orientate yourself on other online stores, as long as you don't copy anything.
  • SEO knowledge is also an advantage, so that you can consider important aspects of search engine optimization directly during the theme creation and later be found well in the search results.
  • You should also know a bit about Shopware. A good understanding of the features of the store system can be helpful in exploiting its full potential.

Our conclusion

We hope this article gave you a good insight into the Shopwaretheme world and that you can now weigh up all the pros and cons of buying or developing one for yourself. The decision whether you should buy a Shopware 6 theme or create it yourself simply depends on many factors that you have to evaluate individually for you and your business. Both options have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered. If you are a store owner and want a custom solution for your online store and have full control over the design and features, custom development of your own theme is the best choice. The configuration of a custom theme allows for a much more versatile customization option and allows you to cater exactly to your target audience. However, custom theme development also requires more time, resources and technical skills. You must be willing 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. Please 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. So you can decide at the end, if you want to develop a template yourself or if you prefer to 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 used in many web applications, including Shopware. It is a fast and flexible template engine that allows developers to create dynamic and complex templates quickly and easily.

    Twig offers a variety of features and tools including simple syntax, a wide range of template tags and filters, custom extensibility, and a clear separation of logic and presentation. With Twig, developers can 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 provides a variety of features 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 benefit 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 faster loading time.

  • Are programming skills required for Shopware theme creation?

    Yes, programming skills are required to create a Shopware theme. Creating a theme usually requires some programming, especially in the HTML, CSS and JavaScript languages. A basic understanding of these programming languages is essential to edit the template files and customize the theme to your liking. Even though there are now many templates and plugins for Shopware, some understanding of programming is helpful in understanding the process of creating the theme and ensuring that themes work properly. Ultimately, it will be hard to create a custom 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 at themes/Frontend/yourThemeName/.

    In the theme directory, create a folder called src (if it doesn't already exist) and inside that create another folder called scss.

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

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

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

    Run the SCSS compiler to convert the SCSS files to CSS. This step varies depending on which SCSS compiler you use. A common method is to call the compiler from the command line or a build tool such as Webpack or Gulp.

    Once the SCSS compiler has converted the SCSS files to CSS, you get 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 at public/theme/yourThemeName/. Make sure that the file is placed inside an appropriate subfolder like css or assets.

    Link the CSS file in your Shopware 6 theme. To do this, you can use the style tag in the appropriate template files or include the CSS file via Shopware's asset management system.

     

    After following 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 to CSS format and display them in the frontend.

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Meike
Meike
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.

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