One of the biggest challenges when launching a new eCommerce store is finding a quality theme. Your theme dictates how your site will look, so it need to make your site look great. However, eCommerce themes need to do this and support your eCommerce plugin to showcase your shop and make sure it looks just as good as the rest of your site.
Since theming eCommerce plugins is more difficult than creating a simple blogging theme, it can be difficult to find a great one. If you’re using Easy Digital Downloads, their team just made this much easier for you: all official themes are now free.
Vendd has been released to be the official Easy Digital Downloads theme — it’s free so that anyone can use it immediately to create their shop. It can be used without modification easily to launch a new EDD store, and it’s also developer-friendly so that it can be customized as needed.
Vendd includes several templates to style the default Easy Digital Downloads pages (such as a Downloads / shop page), and it also supports several popular extensions to make sure they look as good as the rest of your store.
Setup for Vendd is simple, and most of it is done via the Theme Customizer. You can edit options like the color schemes, copyright text, number of downloads to show on the empty cart page, and more. If extensions are activated (like Frontend Submissions in this screenshot), options for styling them will also appear.
Once you’ve configured the theme settings, you can also set templates for your Easy Digital Downloads pages. There are several templates, and you can set each for your EDD pages (which are probably already installed) to improve their display.
Some plugins will have their own templates available if active. Frontend Submissions will add two templates for the vendor dashboard and vendor pages that you can select.
Once you’ve configured theme options and saved your templates, setup is complete.
Vendd shows your downloads in a grid layout using the EDD Downloads template. If set, a featured image is shown, an excerpt, and a quick purchase button will appear when the “+” button in the bottom right is clicked.
The furthest right product shows this quick buy button in action:
The quick buy also works with variable products:
When a customer views a download, the full download page will show images, the description, and reviews (if Product Reviews is installed). The sidebar will show purchasing buttons, download details, and details from active extensions such as vendor details.
I really love the distraction-free checkout that Vendd uses during the purchase process. When you start checkout, the navigation, other links, and any sidebars are removed so the customer is focused on completing the purchase.
If the checkout is empty, the space on the page is not wasted. Instead, Vendd displays some products to the customer to guide them back to the shop.
The “Landing page” template is similar as it also sports a pared-down layout that puts the focus on the page content.
Since Vendd is designed to be the go-to Easy Digital Downloads theme, it supports several of the core extensions for EDD. We’ve already mentioned that it supports Product Reviews and Frontend Submissions, but the FES vendor dashboard is worth another mention.
The tabbed vendor dashboard features an easy-to-navigate layout with the tabbed dashboard links aligned to the left side, and managing products or other vendor information is to the right.
Vendd supports the very popular Software Licensing extension as well; the full list of supported extensions is available on the theme listing. It’s important to note that not all plugins change the way the site looks to customers, so while Vendd may not “explicitly” support them, you can use any extension with Vendd.
While Vendd obviously shines in its Easy Digital Downloads integration, it also ensures that your blog and other parts of your site are consistent with your shop. Vendd is definitely an eCommerce-oriented theme, but the blog pages are not neglected.
The blog archive shows your posts with the excerpt and featured image in a list. I liked that each post also has the category and tags included below it for easy reference and navigation.
The single post display includes the featured image as well.
The Vendd demo is a great place to see more blog posts (as a shop) in action.
The launch of Vendd and free official themes is designed to make the creation of an Easy Digital Downloads store as simple as possible. EDD users now have access to several high quality themes that will work with core extensions. In the case of Vendd, you can even set up a digital marketplace because of its support for FES.
Vendd is lightweight and easy to set up, and the built-in EDD templates are geared towards making your store shine. The support for extensions is a huge win, and lets you build any type of store with Vendd — sell music, photographs or prints, downloadable software, create a vendor marketplace, and more. Vendd does an excellent job of making it even easier to get up and running with Easy Digital Downloads.
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