Your eCommerce venture isn’t just about offering products; it’s about creating an experience that captivates visitors and turns them into loyal patrons. That’s where your WooCommerce shop template comes into play.
Seamlessly integrated into the fabric of your WordPress website, the default WooCommerce design of your shop pages takes center stage in shaping the initial customer experience. It not only dictates the visual allure of your digital storefront but also the smooth functionality that underpins your online business.
However, in a realm where individuality and brand uniqueness reign supreme, customizing the WooCommerce shop template will empower you to encapsulate your distinct vision and business identity. From altering color schemes to rearranging page components, the possibilities are extensive.
In this comprehensive article, we’ll guide you through merging aesthetics with functionality by customizing your WooCommerce shop template to not only captivate customers but retain them as loyal consumers in the long run. We’ll also highlight the advantages of enlisting the aid of a dedicated developer to actualize the full potential of your WooCommerce store.
Let’s get started!
Why would you want to customize the WooCommerce shop template?
Imagine stepping into a grand, bustling market square, where every stall exudes its unique charm, beckoning you to explore. Just as each vendor meticulously arranges their wares to entice passersby, customizing your WooCommerce shop template enables you to curate a digital marketplace that reflects your brand’s essence.
The WooCommerce shop template is your starting point when setting up an online store.
When you set up an online store using WooCommerce, it integrates seamlessly with your existing WordPress website. As part of this integration, WooCommerce automatically generates several important pages that are crucial for the functionality and presentation of your online store. A “page” refers to a specific type of content that is part of a website’s structure, and are different from posts in that they are typically used for static content that doesn’t change frequently. The pages that WooCommerce generates are:
- The main shop page.
- Product category pages.
- Individual product pages.
- Cart page.
- Checkout page.
However, the default template might not always align with your unique business needs or aesthetic preferences. That’s where customization comes into play, offering:
- An opportunity to infuse your brand’s unique personality into your online store: By customizing the template to match your brand’s identity, you can create a cohesive and distinctive shopping experience. This not only makes your store visually appealing but also helps you stand out from your competitors.
- Significant enhancement of your user experience: Customization allows you to add useful features and create intuitive navigation. Not only can this streamline the shopping process for your customers, but it can also lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Conversion optimization: Strategic placement of call-to-action (CTA) buttons, highlighting product features, incorporating customer reviews and testimonials, and optimizing the overall layout can all contribute to improved conversion rates. This can ultimately lead to an increase in sales and revenue, making the customization of your shop template a worthwhile investment.
Common shop template customizations
There are several areas you can focus on to strike a balance between aesthetics and usability, ensuring that your online store looks great and functions seamlessly:
Styling and theming
The first area to consider is the overall aesthetic of your shop pages. This includes customizing elements like:
- Color scheme.
- Button styles.
- Background images.
Aligning these elements with your brand identity can help create a cohesive and visually appealing design that resonates with your target audience.
A significant aspect of customization involves modifying the layout and structure of your shop pages by:
- Rearranging elements on the product pages.
- Adding or removing sections.
- Changing the position of product images or descriptions.
- Adjusting the placement of the shopping cart widget.
Make sure to alter the layout in accordance with your business needs.
Customizing how your products are displayed can significantly enhance the shopping experience. You have the flexibility to:
- Adjust the number of products displayed per row.
- Modify the thumbnail sizes.
- Choose between grid or list views.
- Add custom labels or badges to highlight certain WooCommerce product pages and draw attention to new arrivals or best-sellers.
Beyond design changes, customization can also involve adding new functionality to your shop template, such as:
- Integrating social sharing buttons.
- Adding live chat support.
- Implementing product filtering options to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.
- Integrating third-party tools for analytics or marketing to gain valuable insights into your customer behavior and help drive sales.
What’s the best way to customize the shop page template?
As a WooCommerce store owner, you might be considering different options for customizing your shop page. The four main methods include WordPress Full Site Editing (FSE) and the Gutenberg block editor, a page builder, plugins, or customizing the shop page template with code.
Each method has its own advantages and is suitable for different levels of technical expertise and customization needs.
The first three methods are mainly geared toward those with little-to-no coding experience. However, there might be some instances where the complexities of your vision outgrow the capabilities of pre-existing tools. You might require specific bespoke functionalities that necessitate delving deep into your site’s codebase.
In these scenarios, the fourth approach of delving into the codebase of your WooCommerce shop page template might be the way to go. To make things easier, you’d ideally opt for engaging a dedicated developer’s expertise instead of handling the coding and debugging all on your own. An expert’s proficiency in translating your conceptual ambitions into a tangible digital reality is an investment that pays dividends in the form of a highly tailored and captivating online store.
1. Customizing with WordPress Full Site Editing (FSE) and the Gutenberg block editor
It aims to enhance the user experience by providing a more intuitive and visual content creation process, while also paving the way for a more extensible and customizable editing environment. This means that you can use the same interface to create your header, footer, blog posts, pages, and other website elements.
While the entire four-phase process of the Gutenberg project is still under development, the release of the FSE phase makes it possible to create more custom and visually appealing websites without having to learn complex coding languages.
FSE (the second phase of the Gutenberg project) includes the following key features:
- Site editor: Through the site editor, you can edit all aspects of your website, including the header, footer, templates, and global styles.
- Global styles: This is a new feature that allows you to define the overall look and feel of your website, such as the colors, fonts, and spacing. These changes will be applied to all pages and posts on your website.
- Block themes: These are new themes that are built using blocks. They give you more flexibility and control over the design of your website.
The first phase of the Gutenberg project, which is the Gutenberg block editor, is an important part of FSE. It is the default page editor in WordPress, providing a user-friendly and intuitive interface for customization.
It follows a block-based approach, where content is organized into blocks. Each block can represent paragraphs, headings, images, videos, quotes, and various other types of content. You can customize, move around, and edit each block to your liking without having extensive coding or design experience.
However, the Gutenberg block editor does not have all of the features that are needed for FSE. For example, it does not have the site editor or global styles features. You will need to use a block theme like TT1 Blocks (which is experimental and shouldn’t be used on a production site yet) in order to take full advantage of FSE.
If you’re interested in customizing your production site, it’s better to just use the Gutenberg editor for now – here’s an overview:
- Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. When you create or edit a post or page, you’ll be automatically taken to the Gutenberg editor.
- To add a block, click on the “+” icon or start by typing “/”. A block menu will appear, allowing you to search for and select the block type you want to add.
- Click on any block to reveal its editing options. You can add content, format text, add media, and more within each block. The block settings will appear in the right sidebar when a block is selected. These settings vary depending on the block type and allow you to customize its appearance and behavior.
- You can easily rearrange blocks by clicking the block’s “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons, or by dragging and dropping blocks to the desired position.
- If you create a custom block layout that you want to use across multiple posts or pages, you can save it as a reusable block. This can save you time in the future.
- Use the “Preview” button at the top-right corner to see how your changes will look before publishing. Once you’re satisfied, click the “Publish” button to make your changes live.
And that’s how easy it is to use the Gutenberg editor, which will be elevated with the new WordPress FSE features!
2. Customizing with a page builder
These tools provide:
- A wide range of design and layout options, enabling you to create unique shop pages.
- A drag-and-drop interface that allows you to see real-time changes, making it easier to design and customize the shop page.
- Additional features, extensions, and integrations to extend the functionality of your shop pages without the need for custom code.
Remember that each page builder has its own unique interface and features, so it’s essential to refer to the documentation or tutorials provided by the page builder’s developers to get the most out of the tool. Nevertheless, here’s an overview of using a page builder for your customization needs:
- There are several popular page builders available for WordPress. Choose one that suits your needs and preferences, then install and activate it on your WordPress site.
- Create a new page or edit an existing one where you want to apply the customized layout. Go to Pages > Add New or edit an existing page by hovering over it and clicking Edit.
- Look for a button or option that allows you to launch the page builder while editing the page. This can vary depending on the page builder you’re using.
- Once you’re inside the page builder interface, you’ll typically work in a drag-and-drop environment. You can add various elements and modules to your page, such as:
- Text blocks.
- Images and videos.
- Contact forms.
- Columns and rows.
Drag the elements you want onto your page and arrange them to your liking. Most page builders offer a live preview, allowing you to see the changes in real time.
Customize the styling of individual elements, such as adjusting colors, fonts, margins, and padding. This helps you achieve the desired visual appearance.
- Once you’re satisfied with your page’s layout and design, don’t forget to save and publish your changes.
- Ensure that your customized page looks good on various devices and screen sizes (desktop, tablet, mobile). Most modern page builders offer tools to preview and adjust the responsiveness of your design. If needed, make adjustments and improvements to refine your design.
While they offer convenience and flexibility, page builders may generate excessive and messy code that may bloat your site and impact its performance and load times.
3. Customizing with plugins
Plugins provide easy-to-implement solutions for specific customizations. A wide variety of WooCommerce plugins are available, allowing you to add desired features to your shop pages without extensive development work for:
- Adding product variations.
- Improving search functionality.
- Enhancing the checkout process.
- And a lot more.
Plus, plugins can save time compared to custom development, as they eliminate the need to build functionalities from scratch.
4. Customizing the shop page template with code by hiring a developer
Coding offers maximum control over the appearance and functionality of your shop pages. It allows you to implement highly specific or complex customizations. You can create unique designs, implement custom features, and integrate with third-party services in a tailored manner.
Unless you’re a skilled programmer who knows what they are doing and is adept at debugging and handling coding issues with grace, we highly recommend hiring one of our Codeable professionals for this endeavor.
Not only will our expert WooCommerce developers get the job done effectively and efficiently, but they’ll also remove the mental effort and the time constraints off your shoulders so you can focus on your online business operations.
Ultimately, the best method for customizing your WooCommerce shop page depends on your specific needs and skill level.
If you require a high level of control, specificity, and complexity, customizing the shop page template with code might be the best option. On the other hand, if you prefer a more user-friendly and accessible solution, customizing with block editors, page builders, or plugins could be a better fit.
How a WooCommerce developer can help you customize the shop template
A skilled WooCommerce developer can transform your online shop template into a tailored and professional eCommerce platform that meets your business goals and your customers’ needs.
Working with a developer not only saves you time and effort but also ensures a high-quality, customized solution that aligns with your brand and enhances user experience. Whether you need minor modifications or a complete overhaul of your shop template, a seasoned WooCommerce developer can deliver the results you’re looking for.
Codeable is the leading platform for finding top-notch WooCommerce developers. With a network of over 700+, well-vetted experts, Codeable can match you with the ideal WooCommerce experts for your project in a quick and efficient manner. In fact, Codeable comes highly recommended by WooCommerce.
Once you submit your project details, Codeable’s unique matching system connects you with suitable developers who have the skills and experience to handle your specific requirements. This ensures that your project is in capable hands right from the start.
Your chosen Codeable expert can help you with a myriad of WordPress-related tasks, like:
- Changing the layout.
- Adding new features.
- Optimizing the user interface.
Even if your business requires a completely new shop template that goes beyond modifications to the existing one, rest assured that our Codeable developers are more than capable of building a custom shop template from scratch. This will guarantee a shop template that is truly unique and tailored to your business needs.
Best practices for customizing the WooCommerce shop template
If you decide to customize the WooCommerce shop template yourself, it’s crucial to follow some best practices. The following tips, carefully curated by Codeable expert Srikanth Koneru, will ensure your customizations are effective, maintainable, and compatible with future WooCommerce updates.
- Use hooks for adding/modifying elements: WooCommerce provides a range of hooks – or predefined points in the code – where you can add your own custom functions or code snippets. By utilizing these hooks, you can insert or modify content on the shop page without directly altering the core template files.
- Make customizations in a child theme: When making changes to template files, it’s recommended to create a child theme. A child theme inherits the functionality and styling of the parent theme (in this case, the WooCommerce theme) while allowing you to make customizations without affecting the core theme files. This ensures your modifications are preserved even when the parent theme is updated.
- Keep elements to a minimum: During customization, it’s important to keep the number of added elements to a minimum. Each element adds to the page load time, potentially resulting in slower loading speeds and a diminished user experience. To prevent performance issues, focus on essential customizations and avoid adding excessive or unnecessary elements to the shop page.
And remember, if you need expert help, you can always get a Codeable expert like Srikanth Koneru to assist with your project.
Locating and accessing the WooCommerce shop template
While we always recommend working with a WooCommerce expert for complex customizations, it’s possible for you to customize your shop pages yourself – here’s how:
Step 1: Locating the shop page template
- Access your WordPress files using an SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) client like FileZilla, or your hosting provider’s file manager to connect to your website’s server.
- Navigate to the root directory where your WordPress website is installed. This is often called the public_html folder or a similar name, depending on your hosting setup.
- Navigate to the wp-content/themes/ directory.
- Find the folder name of the currently active WordPress theme and locate the woocommerce folder, which can be found in inc/plugins.
Step 2: Accessing the shop page template
- (Optional but highly recommended) Create a child theme by making a new folder within the themes directory and name it something like “your-theme-child”.
- Inside the child theme folder, create a stylesheet file named style.css.
- In the style.css file, add the necessary header information to link the child theme to the parent theme. The header should look something like this:
Theme Name: Your Theme Child
Theme URI: [URI to your parent theme]
Description: Child theme for Your Parent Theme
Author: Your Name
Author URI: [Your website or profile]
Template: [Parent Theme Folder Name]
You can now modify the copied template file in your child theme. Any changes you make here will override the parent theme’s template.
Step 3: Customize the shop template file
WooCommerce follows a template hierarchy, where default templates can be overridden by custom ones.
For example, if you want to customize the product page, you can create a custom template file named single-product.php within the woocommerce folder in your theme. The skeleton structure for template files can be found in the official WooCommerce code reference.
Here is the template for the archive-product.php, which displays the main shop page and is often referred to as the “product archive” page.
Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the relevant template file from the parent theme’s woocommerce folder to the same location in your child theme’s folder.
- Open the archive-product.php file within your child theme directory using a text or code editor. Make the desired modifications to the template file and save the changes.
- When you’re done with your edits, upload the entire child theme folder (including the modified template file) to the wp-content/themes directory. From the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes and activate the child theme.
If you prefer to make further changes to your child theme from within the WordPress dashboard:
- Go to Appearance > Theme File Editor or Tools > Theme File Editor (if you’re on WordPress 6.3.1 or newer).
- From the list of files on the right-hand side, select the WooCommerce template file you want to edit.
- Make your changes directly in the editor. Ensure that you’re cautious and keep backups in case anything goes wrong.
For this step, you may want to use the WooCommerce hooks, which is a powerful way to modify your theme’s functionality and appearance using code. Hooks can be:
- Actions: These are hooks that allow you to insert custom code at specific points in a theme’s execution. For example, you might use an action hook to add content before or after a product description.
- Filters: Filters allow you to modify data as it’s being processed, such as altering the price of a product before it’s displayed.
Always test your customizations on a staging or development environment before applying them to a live website. This helps ensure that your customizations work as intended and don’t cause any conflicts.
Given the technical nature of these tasks, it may be more efficient to hire a WooCommerce expert from a platform like Codeable, especially if you require complex or extensive customizations.
Leverage the help of Codeable to edit your WooCommerce shop page
WooCommerce shop page customization is a powerful strategy to enhance your online store’s user experience and make it stand out from the competition. While there are several methods to achieve this, customizing the shop page template with code offers the greatest flexibility and control, making it an excellent choice for those aiming to provide a unique and engaging shopping experience.
However, editing the shop page template can be technically challenging. That’s where Codeable comes in!
Codeable makes it easy to connect with professional WooCommerce developers who have the expertise to customize your shop page template to your exact specifications. These experts can ensure that your customizations are implemented correctly, efficiently, and in a way that aligns with your brand and business goals.
So why wait? Start your journey to a more compelling and customized WooCommerce shop page. Submit your project on Codeable today and discover the difference professional expertise can make!