The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is a monster hit because it shattered the perception that you need a lot of money to start a business. In fact, Ries suggests that starting a business as lean as possible has many advantages over starting with plenty of cash available.
Bootstrapping a startup may not sound sexy but it’s actually a smart way to start a business– it allows you to limit your investment, test an idea without much commitment, and if things don’t work, then it’s easy to walk away. Starting a business for free is a strategy we’ve been preaching for some time now because it removes a lot of barriers to actually getting started, which is 90% of the battle when going from idea to reality.
For bootstrapping ecommerce websites, we recommend either Shopify, Bigcommerce or Woocommerce.
If you’ve settled on Woocommerce, and you’re bootstrapping, you probably need a free theme to get going. Since we’re looking for something free, nothing will be perfect, but when choosing any WordPress theme, it’s always smart to look for these three things:
- Speed. Use Google Page Speed tool to test the demo page’s speed
- Responsive. Google prefers mobile-friendly sites
- Changes without tweaking code. You will probably need to make changes to the theme to make it presentable, but if you have to tweak the theme code to do so, you’ll lose everything every time you update the theme. Look for things like Custom CSS options, flexible customization settings and heavy use of widgets.
If you need something that looks flawless and amazing, take a look at our recommend premium Woocommerce themes. If you’re alright with something less than perfect, these are our four favorite free Woocommerce themes:
1. Storefront by Woothemes
Woothemes is owned by Automattic, which owns both WordPress and Woocommerce. This is the standard theme from the people who run the show. But with that being said, it’s still just a free, basic theme. It will definitely get the job done on it’s own, plus it gives you the opportunity to easily add-on a child theme in the future, so it’s a great starting point.
2. Mystile by Woothemes
Mystile is another free theme provided by Woothemes. It’s only slightly more stylized than Storefront, but hey, it’s free! And since it’s from the same people that run and update Woocommerce itself, you’ll know the theme will have fast and relevant updates to it.
3. Virtue Free by Kadence Themes
Get Virtue Free
With ecommerce, look and feel of a website are important because it’s a way to portray professionalism to your customers. Virtue is a amazing theme for this– it’s clean, fast, precise and conveys professionalism. If you want a free theme that is clean and good-looking but very minimalist and not too stylish, this is your theme.
4. ShopIsle by ThemeIsle
If you need a highly stylized free theme, then ShopIsle is the theme for you. The only problem is that you cannot easily customize the theme colors, so given the floating menu defaults to black, you must be ok working with a darker theme. Other than that, the cool full-page design makes this a great option from ThemeIsle, a trusted WordPress developer.
Did we miss any? Have any other recommendations? We’re constantly keeping our “favorite theme” posts updated and recent, so let us know!