Magento frontend: best alternatives to the default theme

Magento is a renowned e-commerce platform that empowers businesses to create and manage online stores with remarkable flexibility and functionality. Developed in PHP, Magento offers a feature-rich environment that caters to both small-scale enterprises and large corporations alike. So whether you’re looking to get your e-commerce business going, or you’re a well-established brand looking for an upgrade, Magento is definitely a solution to consider. Let’s take a look at Magento frontend’s default theme, why you should consider adopting an alternative, and what alternatives we recommend.

Magento’s Default Theme

When it comes to the visual appearance of an online store, Magento provides a default theme as a starting point for the frontend design. The default theme is a pre-built template that determines the layout, design, and overall user experience of the storefront. It serves as a foundation upon which merchants can build and customize their online store’s look and feel.

The default theme offered by Magento combines simplicity with a clean and professional design, ensuring a user-friendly interface for customers. It includes essential features and elements such as a responsive layout, product display, shopping cart functionality, and various page templates like homepage, category pages, and product pages.

While the default theme provides a solid starting point, many merchants prefer to customize their online stores’ frontend to align with their brand identity and unique requirements. They often seek alternatives to the default theme that offer more distinctive designs, enhanced functionality, and improved user experience. Here are some of the key limitations of Magento’s pre-built solution:

  1. Limited Customization: The default theme offers a basic design that may not fully align with a merchant’s unique branding or aesthetic preferences. Customizing the default theme extensively often requires advanced coding skills and may be time-consuming.
  2. Lack of Differentiation: Since the default theme is readily available to all Magento users, using it as-is can result in a lack of visual distinctiveness. Merchants aiming to create a memorable and unique brand identity might find the default theme too generic.
  3. Generic Features: While the default theme includes essential e-commerce features, it may lack specific functionalities that are crucial for certain businesses. Merchants with specialized requirements, such as advanced product filtering options or unique checkout processes, may need to seek alternative solutions.
  4. Responsive Design Limitations: While the default theme is designed to be responsive and mobile-friendly, its layout and elements might not adapt optimally to all screen sizes and resolutions. This can lead to suboptimal user experiences on certain devices.
  5. Performance Considerations: The default theme, with its pre-built design and features, might not be optimized for maximum performance. It could include unnecessary code or assets that slow down the loading speed of the website, potentially impacting user satisfaction and search engine rankings.
  6. Compatibility Challenges: As Magento evolves with regular updates, the default theme might not seamlessly integrate with new versions or extensions. This can lead to compatibility issues and require additional development efforts to ensure smooth functionality.

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Why choose an alternative solution for Magento Frontend?

Choosing an alternative solution for the frontend of a Magento-powered online store can give you more freedom to adapt your ecommerce to your needs and design choices. Bu that’s not all, an alternative frontend solution provides opportunities for:

  • Enhanced design and branding: Retailers can create a unique and visually appealing design that aligns with their brand identity, choosing from a wide range of themes and templates with customization options.
  • Improved user experience: Alternative solutions often come with advanced features and functionalities, such as personalized recommendations and streamlined checkout processes, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and increased conversion rates.
  • Flexibility and scalability: Alternative solutions offer greater flexibility in layout, design, and content presentation, allowing businesses to adapt and grow their online stores seamlessly.
  • Integration with Magento: Alternative frontend solutions seamlessly integrate with Magento’s backend infrastructure, ensuring smooth data exchange, inventory management, and order processing.
  • Community and support: Many alternative frontend solutions for Magento have active communities, offering extensive support, documentation, forums, tutorials, and dedicated support teams.
  • Performance optimization: Some alternative solutions prioritize performance, leading to faster loading times and improved website speed, positively impacting user experience and search engine rankings.

By opting for an alternative frontend solution, merchants can elevate their online stores, differentiate their brand, and provide a superior user experience. These solutions seamlessly connect to Magento’s backend, ensuring a harmonious integration of frontend and backend functionalities, ultimately leading to a more successful and competitive e-commerce presence.

Frontend-as-a-service as an alternative to Magento’s default theme

A FEaaS (Frontend-as-a-service) solution could be an interesting alternative to Magento’s default theme. A FEaaS is a comprehensive service provided by specialized companies that focus on offering frontend solutions for web applications or online platforms. These companies provide tools, frameworks, and services to enhance the design, functionality, and user experience of a website or application’s frontend.

By adopting a FEaaS solution as an alternative to Magento’s default theme, businesses can leverage the expertise and offerings of these companies to achieve a more customized and distinctive frontend design. FEaaS solutions often provide a wide range of templates, themes, and components that can be easily tailored to align with the brand identity and specific requirements of the online store.

FEaaS companies typically offer features such as frontend development tools, performance optimization techniques, mobile responsiveness, integrations with third-party services, and hosting and deployment services. These solutions empower businesses to create visually appealing, user-friendly, and high-performing frontend interfaces without the need for extensive in-house development or expertise.

By opting for a FEaaS solution, businesses can enhance their Magento-powered online stores’ frontend design, user experience, and overall performance. They can leverage the flexibility, scalability, and convenience offered by FEaaS companies to create a unique and customized storefront that aligns with their brand and caters to their specific target audience.

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What FEaaS solutions are good alternatives to Magento’s default theme?

Here are a few alternatives to look into if you are look for a FEaaS:

  • Front-Commerce
  • Vue Storefront
  • Shogun

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these solutions.


Front-Commerce is a platform-agnostic FEaaS, compatible with Magento2 / Adobe Commerce & B2B versions. It is designed to be responsive, fast, and mobile-friendly. It is built on the React framework, and uses Sass and BEM for CSS. It includes a design system based on Atomic Design and a number of features that are not available in the default Magento theme.


  • Offers fast and responsive headless PWAs for exceptional user experience.
  • Seamless integration with Magento backend.
  • Provides offline capabilities and improved performance through caching.
  • Flexibility to customize the frontend design and layout.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly
  • Includes a number of features that are not available in the default Magento theme
  • Easy to install and configure


  • Limited community size compared to other solutions.
  • Requires technical expertise for customization and implementation.


Vue Storefront is an open-source, headless PWA storefront that can be used with any eCommerce platform, including Magento. Historically built on the Vue.js framework, it now partially supports React too, and is known for its speed, performance, and flexibility.


  • Headless PWA
  • Easy to integrate with other systems
  • Scalable and flexible architecture.
  • Integrates with various backend platforms, including Magento.
  • Provides extensive documentation and an active community for support.


  • Can be complex to set up and configure
  • Not as many features as some other Magento frontend alternatives
  • Breaking changes and new incompatible versions
  • Requires development expertise for customization and implementation.


Shogun is a Magento 2-compatible theme that is designed to be highly customizable. It is built on the React framework and includes a number of features that are not available in the default Magento theme.


  • Highly customizable
  • Easy to install and configure
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface for easy frontend customization.
  • Offers a variety of pre-designed templates and elements.
  • No coding skills required.


  • Can be expensive
  • Not as fast or performant as some other Magento frontend alternatives
  • Limited flexibility compared to fully custom-coded solutions.

Deep Dive: Front-Commerce

Let’s take a closer look at Front-Commerce and how it can help. Based on PWA & MACH standards, Front-Commerce is the only digital storefront that improves the customer, merchant & developer experience, at the same time. Based on headless architecture, we help brands evolve their e-commerce platform to a composable commerce approach, keeping their current backend intact & integrating Front-Commerce with a best of breed technical stack based on React, NodeJS & GraphQL. Let’s dive deeper into the key features, benefits, and considerations of Front-Commerce.

Key Features:

  • Progressive Web App (PWA): Front-Commerce leverages the power of PWAs to offer fast, engaging, and responsive web experiences. PWAs enable features such as offline browsing, push notifications, and home screen installation, providing an app-like experience to users.
  • Magento Integration: Front-Commerce seamlessly integrates with Magento, enabling businesses to leverage their existing Magento backend infrastructure while upgrading the frontend experience. It is the only storefront which guarantees feature parity with non-headless Magento deployments, thanks to its extension for Magento OpenSource, Adobe Commerce and B2B.
  • Server-Side Rendering (SSR): It incorporates SSR to optimize initial loading times and improve search engine visibility, resulting in faster page rendering and better SEO performance.
  • Flexible Theming and Customization: Front-Commerce offers a flexible theming system that allows businesses to customize the frontend design, layout, and user interface to match their brand identity and specific requirements.
  • Performance Optimization: Front-Commerce is designed to be fast and lightweight, which can improve the user experience and help you improve your search engine ranking. It employs various performance optimization techniques, including caching, lazy loading, and efficient resource loading, to ensure fast and smooth browsing experiences.
  • Modular Architecture: Front-Commerce follows a modular architecture, allowing businesses to add or remove features and integrations as needed, making it highly adaptable to evolving business needs.


  • Enhanced User Experience: With its focus on PWAs, Front-Commerce offers exceptional user experiences by providing fast loading times, offline capabilities, and engaging app-like interactions.
  • Improved Conversion Rates: The high performance and usability of Front-Commerce’s PWAs contribute to increased customer engagement, reduced bounce rates, and improved conversion rates.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Front-Commerce provides a scalable and flexible solution that can accommodate the growth and changing needs of businesses.
  • SEO-friendly Approach: The inclusion of server-side rendering and optimized performance techniques enhances search engine visibility and aids in driving organic traffic to the storefront.
  • A maintained product, with regular releases and migration path: Front-Commerce isn’t a starter boilerplate. Front-Commerce projects can always be upgraded to latest Front-Commerce versions, to benefit from new features, bugfixes and performance improvements. With a mature release model (new version every 6 weeks), Front-Commerce provides predictability and visibility to help projects stay up-to-date and reduce their TCO.

Front-Commerce offers a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking to leverage the power of PWAs within their Magento-powered online stores. With its focus on performance, flexibility, and seamless integration, Front-Commerce empowers businesses to deliver exceptional frontend experiences that captivate users, drive conversions, and propel e-commerce success.

Building a Scalable Ecommerce Platform with a Headless Approach

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