I recently wrote about a new Amazon theme called Covert Store Builder. Since then I’ve had a few people asking me which themes they should use for their sites so I wanted to share a bit of insight on the subject and share some of the themes I’d personally recommend.
When I got ready to start my Amazon review site, picking a theme was one of those things I was dreading. There are so many out there, how do you pick?!? I had a list of features I wanted but I couldn’t find any that had them all. After searching for a little while I reminded myself of a very important point…
It’s not the theme that matters, it’s the content that is going to get the sales.
That being said, you want a nice looking theme that will display your content nicely. Personally I’m a big fan of themes specifically for Amazon review sites or magazine type themes but others prefer to go with the simplest looking themes possible. (I’m using Arras theme, a free magazine theme. It’s got some issues and the support isn’t great, but I’ve been able to work for me.)
Here are a few great options that may have the exact features you’re looking for.
Covert Store Builder
This is the one I mentioned before. Covert Store Builder is pretty hyped up as theme that will make and promote your site for you, and while it won’t quite do that, the theme is very nice. I bought it and set it up on a test site. It’s pretty easy to use and they show you how to set it up. The video on the sales letter does a good job showing you what it looks like.
I like how it displays the products. You can also set it to show your highest traffic reviews at the top which is great because if they’re getting the most views they’re probably the ones you want showcased on your landing page. The wishlist feature lets people sign up for your site and create a list of things they want and share it on Facebook. This isn’t really that helpful on a site about something like blenders but if you pick a broader niche or something like gifts, collectables, or anything like that you could probably get a nice bit of traffic with it.
I’m thinking about setting up a site to promote collectables for a certain geeky show I watch to test it out.
The big thing to know about this site is that you don’t want to just import the Amazon descriptions and leave them. Import the products you want to promote to populate the site and then write your own content so it’s full of awesome unique reviews and articles!
The other downside for me was the lack of a nice way to display informational articles on the main page like I do on Smooth Blenders.
RuggedZon (and Amazillionaire)
I found this theme when I first started looking for an Amazon theme to use it. I love the way it looks and how it displays products. I like the star ratings, the “best products” widget, and the “Buy From Amazon” call to action buttons.
The front page can easily feature products with bigger pictures and more of the review while below that the newest reviews will have smaller pictures. Your best stuff is easily seen but you can have plenty of your reviews showing on the front page.
Once again, the downside for me was that blog posts weren’t featured on the front page but you can add a blog to the navigation bar easily which is important for me.
The theme is responsive, meaning it detects if the reader is using a phone or tablet and makes the site easier for them to read and navigate.
RuggedZon comes in five colors. I really think the theme looks nice, though it is best suited for things like power tools, car parts/accessories, and things like that. I thought the blue would look nice for a few different niches.
The big downsides for me that there isn’t a nice way to display blog posts and that you can’t use a custom header, but overall the theme is very nice looking and easy to use which really matters more to me.
If you like the features of RuggedZon but not the look, check out Amazillionaire. It’s got the same features but a different look, I just prefered the appearance of RuggedZon.
Thesis is more than just a theme, it’s a framework with a ton of skins available. When I was doing my research is was actually the most commonly recommended theme to pick up because it’s so versitile!
With Thesis you can make very clean looking sites and there are endless customization options.
The main drawbacks of Thesis are:
- It’s not mainly meant to be an Amazon theme so you don’t have things like star ratings built in.
- It’s got a steep learning curve.
- It’s a little bit pricy.
On the other hand…
- You can use it on all of your WordPress sites.
- Each of those sites could look totally different using the same thing, you pretty much won’t ever need other themes.
- The support is fantastic.
- Since it’s a popular theme, a Google search can help you with most basic problems and there are a lot of video tutorials out there.
Price: Varies based on package.