How to choose a template for an online store or website and not harm sales?
There are many popular and well-known templates from expensive ones with dozens of different functions, supposedly covering almost any need, to free ones with the most necessary and simple set.
But how to find out if this or that website template will work correctly with the online store after installation?
Is the software that you are planning to install compatible with SEO standards? How fast does it will load?
What errors are present in it that are not visible at first glance, and will search robots be able to crawl it at all?
These are very important criteries that determine whether your store will have sales..
Template trial version
If the developer refuses to provide a trial version for any reason, it is better to avoid purchasing such software. As a rule, something is hidden from you and it will be difficult or impossible to get technical support in the future. The template should be well documented, easily to install and, if desired, can be easily removed without affecting the original files of the store. Check the developer's website for updates and bug fixes. Establish feedback and if this did not cause problems, you can count on getting help in difficult situations for you.
You can order site development already with a ready-made template that meets these criteria.
Semantic markup errors
After successfully installing and verifying the functionality of the trial version template, you need to check it for errors.
Main pages to check:
Home page, category page, product page. The rest of the pages are up to you. To check pages errors use validation tool called: W3C Markup Validation. Just enter the address of your pages listed above in the field and click the button check.
Ideally, the result should be green, but most often there will be warnings; they are indicated in orange, this is not critical.
If the color is red, then these errors are usually critical and most likely will prevent the crawling of search robots, which will lead to a strong decrease in the search results for the online store and sales may stop altogether.
Mobile interface errors of website template
It's no secret that all sites today must be displayed on mobile devices and comply with the (mobile first) standard, mobile first.
Now you need to make sure that the download goes without errors and the template is ready to work with this standard. To check, you can use the online utility from Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
The result, as with the previous utility, should ideally be green for each item. By clicking on the view verified page in the right corner, you can get detailed information about which resources could not be loaded, see a screenshot of how the search robot sees your page, display messages in the console if there are any (there should be no messages in the console for rare exception, if any).
After checking, there should be no errors marked in red.
Slow template loading speed
The site should load as quickly as possible. Your customers won't like to wait to page load for more than 6 seconds, most likely they will simply leave without waiting for the result, and most likely they will never return to your online store. So let's look at how and with what tool you can check this template parameter.
In this case, you can use a utility from the same company Google called: PageSpeed Insights.
As in the previous two, you just need to enter the address of the page to check.
A score of 90 to 100 is good, a score of 50 to 90 is medium and a score of less than 50 means the page loads slowly effects such a problematic download speed may have a negative impact on your customers.
There is also detailed information with recommendations on how to increase page loading speed.
In this article I would like consider how microdata should be implemented, but this is already the topic of the second part of the article with more detailed information and additional nuances.
At the end
Difficult to find a pattern that will match all the parameters of these basics criteries, to be honest, I have never met such in my practice, we always had to change it ourselves, but you need to choose the most suitable for these parameters.
Need to say that you should not purchase multifunctional large templates many functions of which you will never use, but paying for something you don't use is not reasonable.