ProStores Review: Design (2 stars)
Customization is Hard Unless You Know HTML or Dreamweaver
ProStores is not a good choice if you want to customize your site's design but have no coding experience. The easy-to-use Design Wizard has very few ways in which to customize your site. The only solution is to use the more advanced editors, which require you to know HTML or Dreamweaver to get true customization.
Fair Quality but Templates Outdated
ProStores claims to have 180 templates (we didn't count) that are divided into 10 themes. Both Retail and Service themes are also broken down into many more sub-themes like apparel, books, music etc. The quality of the templates is okay but most are outdated.
Changing Templates Isn't Easy
To change between template designs, you have to use the design wizard even if you're using the basic or advanced editors to edit content. It's impractical and wastes time.
Design Wizard Very Limited
After choosing a template in the design wizard, you're then asked to select fonts, page layouts and upload a logo for the store. We didn't like the "Select Fonts" area because ProStores doesn't show you a preview of how your font choices will look with your template. To see how the fonts look, you have to open a separate window to view your store. This means you have to do everything by trial and error.
No Preview to See the Styles You've Chosen
Template colors are not easily customizable unless you know web color codes. Home and product page layouts are also customizable with a number of layout options. There's a good range of layout choices but again, to view the style you chose, you need to open a separate window.
Many Layouts to Choose From.
The upload logo feature is handy but doesn't let you resize or adjust your logo to match the template colors. Plus, ProStores doesn't offer stock photos so you'll have to provide your own.
Overall, template customization in ProStores is limited. Unless you know or learn coding, it's impossible to custom design your website.
Make Seasonal / Promotional Templates for Your Site
ProStores lets you create a few copies of your website with different template designs. This is good for users who want to create seasonal or promotional templates.
Design Team for Hire but Designs not Professional
If you would prefer to have someone else design your site, you can hire the ProStores's design team. There are 2 design packages to choose from. For Basic Store Design, they'll set up your web store with 5 of your products plus 2 pages for $399. For Full Store Design, they'll set up 20 products plus 7 pages for $649. ProStores currently posts two of their web store designs on their website for reference. (http://www.prostores.com/design-services.shtml) These designs are far from professional and aren't far off from what you can do yourself using the design wizards.
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