Choosing Between Standard and Bespoke Shopify Themes


A good website boosts customer experience and sales. On Shopify, choosing the right theme is essential. This post explains the three types of Shopify themes and their pros and cons. We’ll also cover important features like mobile-friendliness, speed, and customization. By the end, you’ll know how to pick the best Shopify theme for your e-commerce store to attract customers.

Shopify Theme Options

A Shopify theme is a design template that shapes your online store’s appearance and user experience. It’s essential to make your website stand out and effectively showcase your brand and products.

Shopify Theme Choices

Here are three main options to explore:

  1. Standard Theme: Choose a ready-made theme from the Shopify theme store.
  2. Customized Theme: Adapt a standard theme to match your brand better.
  3. Bespoke Theme: Develop a unique theme specifically designed for your brand.

What is a Standard Shopify Theme?


A standard Shopify theme is a pre-designed template that can be installed immediately. Available in the Shopify Theme Store, these themes are ideal for small or new brands looking to launch their websites quickly and with minimal effort.

Pros and Cons of Standard Shopify Themes


  1. Quick and Easy Setup: Pre-designed templates allow for straightforward adjustments to colors, images, and text, enabling a fast setup.
  2. Affordable: Shopify offers free and paid themes, ranging from $140 to $400, accommodating various budgets.
  3. User-Friendly: With pre-built coding, no technical skills or outsourcing are required, making it accessible for beginners.


  1. Limited Options: As of 2024, only 180 standard themes are available, limiting variety.
  2. Common Appearance: The limited selection means many brands use the same themes, making it harder to stand out.
  3. Feature Limitations: Designed for rapid deployment, standard themes may not support more complex store requirements.
  4. Customization Constraints: Generic coding can slow page loading times and restrict customization.
  5. Brand Identity Issues: Integrating standard themes with various Shopify apps can sometimes clash with your brand’s unique identity.

Standard Shopify themes are perfect for quickly and affordably launching an online store. However, they come with limitations in customization and uniqueness.

What about a Customized Shopify Theme?

Customizing a standard Shopify theme gives you a personalized website without going for a completely unique design.

Pros and Cons of Customized Shopify Theme


  • Fast Setup: While not as fast as using a basic theme, customizing a standard theme allows for a speedy launch. We estimate it takes 2–3 months to get a customized standard theme up and running.
  • More Customization: Customizing a theme offers greater flexibility than using a standard theme, helping to establish a stronger brand identity without needing a completely unique design.
  • Budget-friendly: Customizing a standard theme remains cost-effective compared to developing a fully bespoke theme, with costs varying based on the customization needed.


  • Limited Theme Variety: With only 180 standard themes available for customization, your choices might be restricted.
  • Coding Constraints: Lack of full control over the code can lead to bloated code and potential performance issues.

Customizing a standard Shopify theme offers businesses a quick, affordable, and personalized way to enhance their online presence without a big investment.

What is a Bespoke Shopify Theme?

The brands we partner with at VT Labs often prefer this top-tier choice. A bespoke Shopify theme provides a customized design meticulously crafted to match your brand, featuring unique coding tailored specifically to your needs.


  • Tailored Website: Creating your site from scratch ensures it’s as unique as your brand, helping it stand out in the market.
  • Comprehensive Code Management: Avoid generic, inefficient code with optimized coding tailored to your brand’s requirements.
  • Unified Brand Representation: Every aspect of your site, from custom pages to Shopify app integrations, aligns seamlessly with your brand identity.
  • Custom Features and Functionality: A bespoke theme allows you to incorporate all desired features and functionalities customized to meet your brand’s specific needs.
  • Scalability Assurance: Maintain stability and easily adapt to support growth with complete control over your website.


  • Timeline: Developing a bespoke theme typically takes longer, requiring 4–6 months from start to finish, as managed by VT Labs.
  • Cost Consideration: Investing more is necessary to have Shopify experts design and build a site from scratch, resulting in a distinct representation of your brand.
  • Ongoing Support Needs: Ensure ongoing adaptation and updates with a reliable agency to meet future challenges and maintain your site.

Bespoke Shopify theme is the best way to ensure your online store perfectly aligns with your brand’s vision and needs. It delivers a unique, high-performance site that stands out in the crowded e-commerce market.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Shopify Theme

Choosing the right Shopify theme involves considering several crucial factors that align with your business goals and resources. Here are the key questions to ask:

Business Stage and Goals

Evaluate where your business stands. Are you launching a new startup or expanding an established business? Consider if your theme supports future growth and international expansion.

Project Timeline

Determine the urgency of your website project. Do you need a quick setup or have time for a more customized solution? Your timeline influences a suitable standard, customized, or bespoke theme.

Resources and Expertise

Assess your team’s capabilities. Do you have in-house designers and developers for ongoing maintenance? Alternatively, can you rely on a Shopify Plus agency for support?

Budget Considerations

Consider your budget allocation. Can you invest in a bespoke theme for long-term benefits, or is a customized option more feasible now? Evaluate which option offers the best value for your brand.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose the optimal Shopify theme that aligns with your business needs and helps achieve your e-commerce objectives effectively.

Which Option to Choose?


Now that you have reviewed all the choices, it’s time to decide. Each option offers its advantages and is designed to meet different business needs.

Standard Shopify Theme:

  • Enables quick setup and is budget-friendly.
  • It is ideal for new startups or small businesses looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to get their store online and start selling immediately.

Customized Standard Shopify Theme:

  • Adds personalized touches while maintaining cost-effectiveness.
  • Suitable for businesses aiming for a branded appearance without the expense of a custom theme.
  • Customize to align with your brand identity and stand out in the market.

Bespoke Shopify Theme:

  • Made to meet specific business requirements and perfectly reflect your brand.
  • Best suited for established brands or those needing unique functionalities.
  • Provides full control over design and functionality.

Take time to consider these options and choose the Shopify theme that best fits your business goals and supports your e-commerce success.

Considering Custom Shopify Themes For Your Project?

Whether you decide between standard and custom themes, we’re here to help. As a certified Shopify Partner agency, we craft personalized e-commerce solutions that elevate brands in the competitive online market.

Whether it’s a quick consultation or a comprehensive e-commerce solution, we’re here to support you at every stage. Contact us to explore how our custom Shopify solutions can drive your business forward.