Choosing from over 100 free and paid Shopify templates can be an overwhelming task. In fact, it could be more confusing – especially for those who want to find the perfect theme for their online store. Among the paid templates you’ll find in Shopify is the Boost Theme by Clean Canvas.
Is this theme the best fit for your Shopify store?
There is only one way to find out. In this article, we will dive deeper into the features of Boost theme, its functionalities, and more importantly, see if it is worth paying for.
- Shopify Boost Theme Overview
- Should You Use The Boost Theme?
- 4 Boost Theme Highlights
- What Users Have To Say About Boost Theme
- Should You Use It In Your Online Store? More Reviews
- Live Shopify Stores Using the Boost Theme
- The Verdict | Is It Worth The Price?
Shopify Boost Theme Overview
Boost theme is created by Clean Canvas, web developers based in the UK who specialize in creating Shopify templates. Upon browsing their website, you will see that they also designed other visually striking themes such as Symmetry, Alchemy, and Masonry, among others.
The three aforementioned themes created by Clean Canvas get 84%-100% positive reviews. What stands out is Alchemy which gets 100% positive feedback from their users.
Thus, it is safe to say that these developers have enough experience in making templates that can satisfy their customers.
Complete Features Of The Boost Theme
Boost theme provides users with four different stylings or sub-themes (more on this in the next section) while retaining the features, functions, and customizability.
Thus, if you chose Inspire over other styles, you aren’t going to miss out on any feature. They will only differ in color palette, font style, and other visual elements.
Here are the complete features of Boost under each store function:
Cart and Checkout
- Cart notes
- In-store pickups
- Quick buy
Marketing and Conversion
- Customizable contact form
- EU translations (EN, FR, IT, DE, ES)
- In-menu promos
- Product badges
- Product reviews
- Promo banners
- Promo popups
- Promo tiles
- Quick view
- Recently viewed
- Recommended products
- Store locator
- Color swatches
- High-resolution images
- Image galleries
- Image hotspot
- Image rollover
- Image zoom
- Ingredients or nutritional information
- Product options
- Product tabs
- Product videos
- Shipping/delivery information
- Size chart
- Usage information
- Enhanced search
- Mega menu
- Product filtering and sorting
- Recently viewed
- Recommended products
- Sticky header
Boost Theme Has 4 Different Styles
Clean Canvas does not lock you up to a certain look if you purchase their theme. Instead, they give you four (4) different styles to choose from.
These different styles are:
Let’s look at them one by one.
Inspire predominantly exposes the contrast between black and white. And it does it in the simplest, most elegant way.
As such, Inspire is best for online stores who want to portray a luxurious and elegant image in a very minimalist way. This sub-theme fits in nicely with the following products:
- Male grooming
- High-fashion accessories
- Expensive hand-made products
- High-end makeups
- Exclusive services
Flourish carries over that nice contrast between black and white from Inspire. And on top of that contrast, a splash of light blue is thrown into several sections of the website to create that relaxing vibe.
Just like Inspire, Flourish has that luxurious and elegant vibe perfect for the following products:
- Women’s jewelry
- High-end women’s clothing
- Makeup and skin care products
The spark sub-theme features a more colorful style and rounded edges. It veered away from the edgy styling of Inspire or Flourish, and instead features a softer persona.
Spark may be best for:
- Baby clothes
- Childrens’ toys
- Stuffed toys
- Pet shops
- Makeup of for teens
- Colorful clothes for teens
The last choice of sub-theme is Bloom. What you will notice right off the bat is the different dominant color of the style itself. The white background has now become pastel with a tinge of beige complemented with dark blue font color. You will also notice that the menu items are no longer in bold typography.
Bloom sub-theme will look good on the products suitable for Spark along with the following:
- Adventure accessories
- Liquid bottles
- Handmade accessories
- Colorful beads
- Leather accessories
- Essential oils
Let’s Look At The Pricing
Boost theme sits at the middle to mid-high price spectrum of Shopify themes. The cheapest themes are priced at $180 and the most expensive ones are priced at $350.
Other similar Shopify themes for large inventory:
With the Boost theme priced at $300, it is undeniable that it is still quite a substantial price for a Shopify theme. For an online entrepreneur on a budget, the price alone is enough to dissuade one from buying it.
However, looking at the price should not be the lone deciding factor in choosing a template. Instead, it must be the functionalities, all the tools it has, and the flexibility it gives to your store.
The good thing about Shopify is that it lets you try templates, even the paid ones, before buying them. Therefore, you can see for yourself if it is going to be worth your budget or not.
Speed Test Using PageSpeed Insights
Website load speed is a huge factor that affects bounce rate. Therefore, if you want your potential customers to stay longer in your store, you want to optimize your website so that the load time is within the acceptable threshold.
According to a research by HubSpot:
"...the highest ecommerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds. With each additional second of load time, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42%..."
Using this metric as a baseline, we tested live websites that are using the Boost theme to see if they have fast load speeds.
How Speed Is Measured
The tool that we used for this test is PageSpeed Insights.
Before we move to the speed test results, let us first define all the user-centric metrics used to identify if Boost is a theme with fast load speed.
01. Largest Content Paint (LCP)
LCP is a metric used to measure a website’s load speed. It measures how long it takes the website to load its main content..
Good LCP ≤ 2.5 s. An LCP lower than 2.5s means fast load speed and the page is useful.
02. First Input Delay (FID)
FID is a metric used to measure a website’s responsiveness to user interaction on its pages.
Good FID ≤ 100 ms. An FID lower than 100ms means that a page is responsive and usable.
03. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS is a metric used to measure the visual stability of a website. It identifies the frequency of occurrence of unusual layout shifts in a website.
Good CLS ≤ 0.1. A CLS lower than 0.1 means the website’s visual experience is stable and delightful.
04. First Content Paint (FCP)
FCP, just like LCP, is a metric used to measure a website’s load speed. It measures how long it takes a website to display anything on the user’s screen.
Good FCP ≤ 1.8 s . An FCP lower than 1.8 s means that the website is responsive and that something is happening within the said time.
05. Interaction to Next Paint (INP)
INP is a metric used to measure the responsiveness of the website to all types of user interactions. With this metric, any interaction that leads to unresponsiveness of a page results of poor user experience.
Good INP ≤ 200 ms. An INP lower than 200 ms means that the page is responsive to user interactions.
06. Time to First Byte (TTFB)
TTFB is the most important metric in this list because it measures the responsiveness of the web servers. It measures how long a server responds to user interaction within the website.
Good TTYB ≤ 0.8 s. A TTFB lower than 0.8 s means that the web server is responsive.
Speed Test Results
Here are the speed test results of Boost theme. Let us see if the test falls within the acceptable parameters as listed above.
All user-centric metrics fall under Good rating except for TTFB which returned a Needs Improvement result of 1.2 s.
Overall, the desktop version of Boost managed to yield a performance score of 95.
Now, let us look at the mobile version of Boost if it will yield similar results.
The mobile test yielded a very different result compared to the desktop version. You can see here that LCP, INP, and TTFB all fall under Needs Improvement. The rest are Good.
The mobile version of Boost only yielded a performance score of 55. What it only means is that mobile users won’t experience the same features that they will on a desktop – such as the in-section scrolling.
Let’s Look At Other Websites
The example we have above is a test speed of the Boost demo store. But what would the results look like in actual stores?
Below, we tested two Shopify stores using Boost. Check out the results.
Nigel Cabourn is a men’s wear ecommerce store featuring products like trousers, jackets, shoes, accessories, and more. There are five collections from more than 200 products listed on the website.
The desktop version of Nigel Cabourn’s online store has passed all the metrics with flying collars.
It managed to achieve a spectacular performance score of 97.
Just like the desktop version, the mobile version yielded good results and has passed all the metrics.
The mobile version attained a performance score of 70.
Incylence is an ecommerce store selling athletic socks. The website features high quality images throughout, four collections, and more than 120 kinds of products.
The desktop version has passed all the metrics with a lot more to spare.
It yielded a performance score of 70 in its desktop version.
The mobile version tells a different story. It only yielded a performance score of 33 – which is on the low side.
Overall, Boost Theme Is Fast
Looking at the speed test results of the demo store and two actual ecommerce stores, we can safely say that Boost is a theme that is fast, stable, and responsive enough even for stores with large inventory.
Yes, the performance scores on the mobile version are on the low side. We were also wondering. That’s why we checked the two actual websites on our mobile phones and both experiences were delightful and we have not encountered any speed or response issues.
The theme that you will use for your online store will greatly influence your website’s load speed. But as you can see from the results above, load speed varies from website to website. That is because the theme is not the only aspect you should look into when making your website fast. There are other things that you can do.
Read this article to learn more about load speed and how you can improve it.
Should You Use The Boost Theme?
Based on the four (4) presets of Boost, it is primarily targeted to businesses focusing on Lifestyle, Fitness, Apparels, Stuffed Toys, and Pet Supplies.
However, one can argue that the design language of Boost theme also suits other businesses such as:
- Arts and crafts
- Cosmetics and beauty products
- Male grooming
If your business is not among the listed items, no worries. As with the majority of Shopify themes, you can customize the Shopify Boost theme to your liking to suit your branding and business model.
In fact, the Boost theme actually has a lot of features up its sleeves that make it very desirable. Check out the succeeding sections to see what we are talking about.
4 Boost Theme Highlights
Shopify Boost theme has an overall well-curated styling that makes it appealing to use in ecommerce stores. Clean Canvas did their assignments here and loaded the template with vast options for customization to achieve that look you are looking for. Here are some of the theme highlights.
- Sticky header - In building your Shopify store with Boost theme, you have the option to put a sticky header that stays on top of the browser whenever you scroll through the website.
- Adjustable logo width - Some stores prefer large logos while some prefer a small one. Whatever your preference is, you can choose the right size for your store using a width slider.
- Announcement bar - Get the message across as soon as your customers visit your website using the announcement page. You can use it for limited-time offers, discounts, promote a new blog, or other things you want your customers to know.
- Mega menu - Shopify Boost theme lets you implement a mega menu in your online store to make organizing easier for you. More importantly, mega menus help customers easily navigate your website and find what they are looking for in as few clicks as possible.
- Images in drop-down menu - Some themes only let you put text in their navigation menu. On the other hand, Boost lets you include images with shop links to make your high-selling products readily visible.
02. Scrolling Within Sections
Shopify Boost theme puts great emphasis on products above anything else. And it does this in a particularly unique fashion.
One feature that gives that “wow” factor is the in-section scrolling. This works great in showing multiple products without adding more columns or sections. Instead, it lets you line up featured products, collections, or blogs to scroll within the section.
03. Scrolling Banner
A scrolling banner adds another marketing tool to your website. It lets you post important messages just like the announcement bar but in a more appealing and entertaining way. In Boost, you can easily do this with just a click of a button in your dashboard.
After inputting your announcement, you will get rewarded with this (below). You can even put your logo and other icons in the scrolling banner.
04. Video Section
Tell your brand’s story in the best way possible using the video section of your website. You can do this by simply adding a video section and uploading your file. Just make sure that it is high-quality and that it is relatable for your customers.
You can use the video section not just in your home page. You can use it as a feature video on other pages of your website.
What Users Have To Say About Boost Theme
Now that you have read everything about the Boost theme, you are faced with two choices: Should you use it or should you look for other templates?
Out of 65 users who reviewed the theme, 59 of them were happy, 2 were neutral about it, and 4 were not happy. When looking for feedback, it is crucial to read all the reviews, the good and the bad. That way, you have an idea of its real-world usability.
Should You Use It In Your Online Store? More Reviews
It is undeniable that Boost theme is quite the looker especially when it comes to the arrangement of its sections and the color choices of its different theme styles. We also have to commend the theme speed even when carrying more than a hundred inventories.
Furthermore, Boost theme is mobile responsive, hence, your customers will still have a great shopping experience using their phones.
Despite these great characteristics of the theme, it is still hard to say for sure if it will fit your ideal website because it is up to you to decide if you see your brand identity heading into that direction.
Here’s what we think about the theme as well as reviews (where applicable) from users who feel the same.
Pros: What we like about it
There are a lot of things that we like about the Boost theme. Among them are the following:
01. Easy to use
Even for a novice, customizing the Boost theme is very simple. Everything is laid out nicely in the back-end of your Shopify store. That makes it very easy to modify.
USA Plantoys like the code files:
The template offers flexibility to startup ecommerce stores in a way that it can handle large amounts of products and collections. At the same time, it can be used by Shopify stores with less than 10 products in their inventory.
Thus, if you are just starting out, Boost theme will let you curate your website with limited products. But when the time comes that you have to expand your inventory, your website would still be very easy to navigate using the mega menu.
Boost theme is meeting all of Praktical Toys’s needs:
We really love the in-section scrolling and the scrolling banner. It is refreshing to see features like this in templates that let users add more customization to their store in a very simple process.
Words From You likes the customization features:
Cons: What We Don’t Like
There is no such thing as a perfect template for every use case. In the case of Boost theme, where we find fault is in it being a pre built template that anyone can buy. As such, here are the drawbacks of a prebuilt theme:
01. Limits the creativity
Since everything is laid out in Boost, it is tempting to just stick to its inherent structure. This is a good thing if you want a straightforward process in web design. But it limits your creativity in a big way. Of course, there is another way to be more creative on your website.
You can use a third-party page builder to elevate your online store and be creative as much as you want to.
02. Might not reflect the brand image
As shown in the previous sections of this blog, Boost theme has 4 different stylings that vary from one another in terms of font and color palette. Other than that, the execution is all closely the same. That is because Shopify Boost theme is designed to fit as many business models as possible. It has no particular specialization. The same is true to many other themes you will find in Shopify.
As such, you may have a hard time achieving the uniqueness and branding image that you like. It is not impossible though.
Boost theme didn’t satisfy Pure Proteins’ branding ideals:
03. Hard to set yourself apart
Shopify Boost theme is pretty popular with online pet shops. As such, if you are planning to sell the same products, your store will be similar to every other pet shop using the same template, save for the personalization that you will implement in your own store. But the structure itself will still show the similarity.
As you can see from the user reviews, the Boost theme was able to satisfy most of its users. What they commend most is the “topnotch” customer service. In fact, there are just not enough negative reviews to put under all the cons that we included.
Of course, there are other users who were not satisfied with the theme – and that is totally normal because no theme is a one-size-fits all. It all depends on the specific needs, preferences, and expectations of each user.
Live Shopify Stores Using the Boost Theme
Do you want to see actual Shopify stores and their take on customizing Boost themes into their own brand? We have listed them down below.
We have included the Shopify stores of some of the reviewers in the previous section.
01. One Comfy
One Comfy is a UK-based ecommerce site selling placemats for fine dining occasions. Their website adapted the clean, straightforward look of the Boost theme. No unnecessary elements were added.
All in all, the color of their products blended in nicely with the simplistic color of the website.
02. Nerpa Polymers
Nerpa Polymers is a manufacturer of environment-friendly epoxy resins and they pride themselves on their expertise in chemical engineering. At first glance, their online store shows no traces of the usual characteristics of the Boost theme.
But upon scrolling down on their website, you’ll find the familiar rounded edges of Spark. They also put the in-section scrolling to good use in the blog section of their home page.
03. Pure Proteins
Pure Proteins is an ecommerce business specializing in protein-rich nutritional supplements for dogs. Instead of sourcing their proteins from beef, their protein foods are from dried fishes.
Their website features a nice blend of black and red contrasting with the white background. It uses the rounded edges of Spark. Overall, their website is very appealing courtesy of the high-quality photos in it.
They put the video section into good use on their collection page. The video features a dog eating one of their protein-rich snacks. Clearly, that boy is having a great time eating.
04. Plumpy Plushies
Plumpy Plushies is a US-based Shopify store selling cute stuffed toys of animals like dogs, cats, sea lions, penguins, and more. Aside from that, they sell stuffed cushions based on food shapes.
Their website predominantly uses a pale shade of yellow to soften the tone. If we will describe their website in just three words, these will be: CUTE, COZY, and COLORFUL.
05. The Sign Shed
The Sign Shed is a maker of custom signs and banners. Just like Nerpa Polymers, you won’t notice that they are using Boost at first glance. Hovering the mouse over their menu will show that they took advantage of the mega menu feature of the Boost theme. They have a lot of products in their shop, and the mega menu helped make these products accessible in just a single click.
Scrolling down on their homepage, you will see that they took advantage of the rounded edges to fit in 15 images without looking overly dense.
The Verdict | Is It Worth The Price?
We have now come to the point where we need to address the elephant in the room – the hefty $300 price tag.
There are two ways to answer this.
The first one – if you liked what you read in this article and you are thoroughly convinced that this is the theme for you after exploring the demo store, by all means, go ahead and purchase the theme.
On the other hand, if you aren’t satisfied with its features, then, you should explore other themes available in Shopify.
If you like the clean look, product-oriented feel, and color contrast of the theme, there are other alternatives that you might want to consider. Some of them are Fashionopolism, Prestige, Broadcast, and Alchemy.
Do not rush yourself into choosing a template right away. Look for existing Shopify stores in your niche and see for yourself what theme works best for them.
With a little more patience, you will find the best theme for your ecommerce store.