I recently asked “What is your favorite WooCommerce theme?” on Twitter.

I know a lot of agencies and developers that work with WooCommerce on a regular basis, so the replies are based on experience with hundreds of projects.

The 5 themes that came up the most were:

Are these the best themes for WooCommerce in 2021? I decided to test them in several categories and see, so you can decide for yourself. In this post you’ll find how each theme looks for standard WooCommerce pages like shop, product detail, cart, and checkout, as well as a speed test.

Some other themes mentioned were OceanWP, StudioPress, and the Beaver Builder theme. I didn’t test these, but they are worth a look.

Before we dive in, what should you be looking for in a WooCommerce theme?

What Makes a Good WooCommerce theme?

A couple of people I respect a lot when it comes to WooCommerce are Patrick Garman and Zach Stepek. They’ve worked extensively with Woo on sites that do big revenue numbers.

Their recommendations boiled down to keeping things simple and lightweight.

Patrick Rauland has written extensively about WooCommerce, and he focuses on speed.

The best theme for your store is going to be one that looks good and performs even better, allowing your customers to purchase easily.

With that, let’s dive into the theme tests.

Astra

The Astra theme got a lot of mentions on Twitter, and for good reason. This is a great looking theme with WooCommerce, and with a free version, there is no reason not to try it out.

On their website, Astra boasts that they are the “most popular theme of all time.” They have over 1 million active installs, and over 4700 5 star reviews, so they might be right. Astra also integrates with popular plugins such as Elementor, WooCommerce, and LearnDash.

Astra was my personal favorite in this review.

Pricing

Free version ✅
Pro version: $47 – $249

Installation

Since Astra is free and in the WordPress.org theme directory, you can visit your WordPress admin and go to Themes => Add New. Search for Astra, install and activate.

Shop Page

Astra theme WooCommerce shop page

Product Detail

Cart

Checkout

Speed Test

I ran the pingdom.com speed test with only WooCommerce plugin active on a WP Engine website. I wouldn’t put too much weight on these speed tests, because the hosting, caching, and resource optimization will affect your site speed more than the theme itself. However, if the theme really sucks, it will slow down your site.

Performance Grade 83


GeneratePress

GeneratePress is a popular theme with 300K (and counting) installation. This huge number comes as no surprise because the theme is well known for its lightweight architecture and the emphasis on usability. The theme is fully compatible with the Guttenburg editor and you can leverage the power of custom blocks to extend the usability of the WooCommerce store pages. 

With customizable headers and footers, optimized JS and CSS handling, and a fully responsive design, you have a very extensible and visually pleasing theme for your WooCommerce store.

Pricing

  • Free version ✅
  • Annual License: $59
  • Lifetime License: $249

You can buy a premium version from the official store.

Theme Installation

The process of installing the theme is pretty standard and you could check out the details above. After activating the theme, you would see the GeneratePress option under the Appearance tab.

Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t offer any starter template. However, I am going to add dummy data so that I could demonstrate how the pages look and have an adequate base for the speed test. 

The Home Page

The Shop Page

The Product Detail Page

The Cart Page

The Checkout Page

My Account Page

As you can see, even the free version offers some great aesthetics and a clean design with lots of room for customization. Let’s see how the theme performs in the speed test. 

GeneratePress Speed Test

I have used Pingdom and here are the results:

Performance Grade: 86


Kadence Theme

Kadence is a popular theme with a reputation for flexible design and high performance. The theme has more than 50K active installations, a great indication of trust by the users. The latest version of the theme has a couple of prebuilt demos that act as stater templates for entire business websites, including WooCommerce, membership websites, and learning platforms.

Other features include an emphasis on performance (especially on JS and CSS), choice of typography, drag-and-drop header and footer builders, and support for Guttenberg editor. 

Pricing

  • Free version ✅
  • Annual License: $69
  • Lifetime License: $169

You can buy a premium version from the official website.

Theme Installation

For installation of the theme, I am going to the WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Themes. Next, click Add New.

Now, you have two choices; either you can download the theme from the Kadence website and upload it here, or search for the theme here and activate it.

The theme has been installed successfully.

Install the Kadence Starter Template 

Now I am going to install a Kadence starter template and show you how the pages look when the theme is active. At the same time, I will do a quick speed test to benchmark this theme.

Once you have activated the theme, you will see the Install Kadence Starter Template on your screen.

You will be asked to choose between Gutenberg or Elementor. I personally prefer Elementor, but you can opt for your own preferred editor. 

At this point, you might notice that there are several demos to choose from. For the purpose of this exercise, I am importing the Print Shop template.

You could either import the entire demo or specific page(s). I will import the entire demo so that I have a good starting point for the speed check. 

As you could see, the popup offers a choice of plugins and the option for starting the import process. 

In a few minutes, the store will be imported successfully and you will see the message Finished! View your site.

Now, let’s see how the home page and other major pages look with this theme.

The Home Page

The Shop Page

The Product Detail Page

The Cart Page

The Checkout Page

My Account Page

As you can see Kadence has a clean and somewhat minimalistic design that emphasizes performance over flash design. Now let’s go to the speed test. 

Kadence Speed Test

Let’s see what pingdom.com says about the speed.

Performance Grade: 85


Storefront

Storefront has been developed and maintained by the WooCommerce team and as such is considered the benchmark against which all other themes for WooCommerce are compared. When you opt for Storefront, you know that the theme offers excellent compatibility with the popular extensions and plugins.

For many developers, Storefront is a popular choice because it is considered a great lightweight theme with a huge capacity for customizing the theme to fit the requirements of almost any business. Add the responsive design, multiple options for page design, and a lightweight codebase, and you have a great theme built for the success of any WooCommerce business.

Storefront Pricing

Free, no paid option.

Theme Installation

If you wish to try the theme out, simply opt for Storefront when installing WooCommerce. 

After activating this theme you can see the Storefront option available under the Appearance tab.

You will see the option for creating a home page using Storefront’s home page template.

Click Let’s go if you want to add example products. After a couple of minutes, the demo has been imported. 

The Shop Page

The Product Detail Page

The Cart Page

The Checkout Page

Storefront Speed Test

To test the performance of the theme, I used the same Pingdom tool.

Performance Grade: 87


Hello Elementor

If you are an Elementor fan, you would opt for the starter theme Elementor’s Hello for your WooCommerce store because you are already familiar with it. It is a great theme and Elemenrtor users often use it to experiment and try out design ideas.

In addition to being a great starter theme, it is also a highly functional theme in its own right.  It has a simple and clean interface and allows for customized page design for WooCommerce stores.

Hello Elementor Pricing

Hello Elementor is a free theme.

Theme Installation

Follow the standard theme installation process for installing and activating the theme.

After activating this theme, you will be prompted to download the Elementor page builder.

The Starter Template

Depending upon how you see it, it is a good or a bad thing that there is no starter template for this theme. Hence you get a blank slate that you can use to build the page design you want for your business.

To demonstrate the theme’s performance, I will import dummy data so that I have a baseline similar to the other three themes on this list. 

The Home Page

The Shop Page

The Product Detail Page

The Cart Page

The Checkout Page

Hello Elementor Speed Test

I used Pingdom to test the theme

Performance grade: 85

The Final Verdict

In this article, I presented five themes that in my opinion, are a great fit for your WooCommerce store. What is common among these themes is an emphasis on performance, lightweight codebase, and a focus on extensibility to include features and capabilities that are not present in the core theme. 

I also discussed the parameters that you should use to evaluate WooCommerce themes so that you have a clear understanding of what makes a good WooCommerce theme. 

To make things easier for you, I included a Pingdom speed test that clearly highlights the theme’s performance, a crucial factor in selecting a WooCommerce theme. Note that this performance data is dummy data, and the real-world performance depends upon the number of inventory items and users on the website. 

I hope that this article proves helpful in your search for a WooCommerce theme and that you find a good match on the list. Let me know in the comments how your search for a theme is turning out. 

Published by Scott

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