Byuing a theme for web-to-print

14/07/2011

One of the main reasons to go with our Magento web-to-print package is the unlimited customization of the user interface. It means you will need to buy a custom theme and then integrate web-to-print into it. This post gives some points on how to choose a good theme.

Visuals

Q: Does this theme fit the functionality and the layout of your website?

Set up your web-to-print portal with our default web-to-print theme first and upload some templates to get a clear idea what the interface will look like and how many fields there are.

Configure the layout and widgets the way you want with the default theme.

This will give you a clear idea of what will be on your website. Now you can start looking for themes that fit the layout.

It is a good idea to create mock-ups using the desired layout and the styles of theme you want to purchase.

Code

You are unlikely to have access to the code of a commercial theme before paying for it. Ask a web designer to analyze the layout for you:

  • Does the theme use Magento class names? (Yes = good)
  • Does the theme use unconventional layout? (Yes = more work)
  • Does the theme rely on JavaScript for building the layout? (Yes = problems)
  • Does the CSS look clean and logical?  (Yes = good)
  • Does it have a demo site running on a version of Magento you want to run it on? (No = drop it now)

In any case, you should expect styling issues and possibly some JS functionality issues with the theme. Having someone to help you fix them is essential.

Reputation

  • Do they actively support the theme?
  • Do they offer more than one theme?
  • Is there any feedback? Does it look genuine?
  • Send an email to their support and see if they reply.

The main question is probably this:

  • Does the seller offer a refund?

Danger zone

Some themes are free or very cheap because they contain viruses, hidden links, back doors or other nasties.

Some theme makers intentionally leave bugs in them to sell you additional services.

Most themes are of average quality, contain occasional bugs, are poorly supported, but work just fine after a bit of tidy up. Allow approximately 1 – 2 days of additional development time for this.

See also: