Oscommerce Themes

Written by Stephanie Ayars
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"Themes" are a way to add aesthetic impact to a website. Themes are professionally designed graphics, which affect colors, fonts, layout, etc. Themes do not affect the functionality of a website, they affect the "look."

"Themes" and "Skins"

If you're new to all this terminology, and are asking yourself, "Well, do I want a theme, or a skin?", you're essentially asking yourself if you want an opera or an aria, a garden or a flower, a wardrobe or a dress. A theme is made of skins. A theme can be applied to a single page, or to multiple pages, via a skin. In a larger semantic sense, the theme would be the overall quality, the skin is the tool that creates the theme.

Themes/skins, in their most affordable state, are pre-designed templates. These templates offer a wide variety of color and graphic options. Many are designed with specific businesses in mind, i.e., restaurants, fashion retail, gardening and home-improvement, housewares, pharmaceuticals, etcetera. These pre-designed templates are easy to download and install: a simple click typically does the job. And they're very affordable, ranging in price from free to less than $100 per skin. Once a skin is purchased, it can be used repeatedly within a website. There are not additional costs for using a single skin or theme over and over again within an individual website.

Custom themes and skins are also available. However, customized jobs take more time to develop, and are considerably more expensive. On the other hand, custom themes hard-stamp a website's look and brand image. The best plan is to first shop around and get a good idea of all the template options that exist. New ones are being created every day, and it's possible to find a pre-designed option that is a perfect fit for your company. If you prefer going the custom route, and have the time and money to afford it, there are no end of highly experienced web designers that will be happy to work with website business owners to create a custom theme for their online shop.


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