Setting up a shop or eCommerce store using WordPress is a work of a day or two with the feature rich and powerful WooCommerce WordPress Plugin, most of the time needed to understand how to customize the options of the plugin and selecting appropriate WooCommerce compatible theme.
To start with your store, Storefront is a free theme which is provided by the same team which works on WooCommerce. It is fast, clutter free, responsive, flexible and standard WordPress theme deeply integrated with the WooCommerce plugin. But when anybody chooses a WordPress theme, it has certain limited looks. On the contrary every store has different requirements and they need to show their products and all the statistics in their own personalized way, depending on layout, typography and color choices which are a perfect suit for their store…like they say different strokes for different folks! This could be done by entirely picking up a new WooCommerce compatible theme or building a child theme of Storefront or by editing the Storefront theme (bad practice, as it refrains you from all future updates of the theme!) or the best way now would be using Powerpack extension for Storefront!
WooCommerce has launched a new extension for their flagship WooCommerce theme i.e. Storefront and named that extension as Storefront Powerpack. As the name suggests, this extension provides customization options for each and every element of the Storefront theme, controlling its colors, fonts, header, menus, cart layout, checkout page layout, shop layout, single product page layout etc without writing a single line of code and without any child theme.
Though Storefront and WooCommerce have capability to build a fully functional store, the team has kept both of them simple, clean and standard. They have mentioned in their release note for Powerpack that they didn’t want to clutter their base theme and plugin with unnecessary options which may not be required by most of the users. The users should be able to opt-in for these extra features as they need and when they need, terming the opt-ins as extensions.
These are the days when the commercial market is flooded with hundreds and thousands of WooCommerce powered themes, offering a lot many options to the store creators. The WooTeam would definitely have given a deep thought on how to keep Storefront still attractive in such a market, still keeping their theme light, neat and with minimal code as well they would have sensed an emerging market of people setting up their WordPress and WooCommerce sites all by themselves, not wanting to hire some developer to customize the store’s look or add certain features. I am sure the Storefront Powerpack extension would have been released by the WooTeam studying the current market and user needs and fitting it in the WooPhilosophy!
Storefront is lean-n-clean, a beautiful work from Woo
Plug-in Powerpack, and now…it is powerful too!
Overview of options offered by Powerpack
I would summarize the Powerpack options that you can use on Appearance => Customizer as follows:
- Hover on any element of the site in Theme Preview and change its font (Google Fonts), size, color, style, line height, letter spacing, margin, padding, border and background.
- Select to show the site either full width or default width of Storefront theme.
- Opt for distraction-free checkout, hiding all the other site sections on checkout page or you can go for two steps checkout etc.
- Customize the looks for checkout page i.e. where to place the form asking the customer to input her details and where to show the order.
- Customize the header section as well you can opt whether to show the footer bar on handheld devices or not.
- Choose to use Homepage template for your store, you can customize to show or hide each and every section along with the page content and title. You can choose how many columns to display for each section and items to display overall.
- Change the color and background of the WooCommerce informational messages
- You can opt to show the product gallery on single product page or not, the layout of the gallery and the product description as well as whether to display the product tabs, related products, product meta and product description or not .
- Choose the layout of the shop, either default or full width, how many products to show per page, number of columns to display and whether to show the product title and other data left aligned or right aligned or in center. You can also select which all features to show or hide on the shop archive page e.g. show or hide product sorting, rating, product image etc
- You can also choose to show the products infinitely when user reaches the bottom of shop or show the pagination.
Thus, the Powerpack extension gives you power to customize and personalize the look of your Storefront powered WooCommerce site without touching a single line of code, or writing a single line of CSS. The WooCommerce team has definitely understood the need of time i.e. their users want to personalize their stores as per their products, their vision, their brand design and their targeted customers. They loved Storefront already, but had to shift to other commercial options in order to get desired layout and options.
With Powerpack, WooCommerce team has bestowed the unlimited power of personalizing their stores on their beloved users, while retaining the lean, to-the-point and clean philosophy behind Storefront and WooCommerce!