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Why Proteo is the only free WooCommerce theme you really need

Proteo is a sleek, modern, and free WooCommerce theme made by YITH. Creating and designing e-commerce themes has been running in our blood for years now. We designed some of the best-selling WooCommerce themes as one of the top 3 sellers on Themeforest, generating over 4 million dollars on Envato alone. In recent years, we’ve been rather quiet on the theme front and solely focused on WooCommerce plugins. Since last year, we’ve come back with Proteo.

Proteo in a nutshell

There is one thing YITH is really proud of; it’s the Proteo theme. Developed with a beautiful UI and a minimal design, it is perfect for every kind of store. Easy to manage and customize, Proteo is the best solution if you want a fully-featured e-commerce template to start selling your products with WooCommerce without any specific technical knowledge. It is also compatible with Gutenberg, Divi, and Elementor, amongst other content plugins.

It is like a child maturing into a young adult, whilst users are already enjoying its development and potential, we learn and improve to give it the best start in life. Meanwhile, any good news related to it is a source of joy for us. In fact, the theme is near to a full five-star rating, with a lot of happy users already. This makes us immensely proud.

What’s the news and what does it mean to Proteo users?

That’s why we are pleased to announce this: YITH Proteo – v1.5.0 is now available. You will find a lot of performance and design improvements that will surprise you. But, even better: remember that it’s been available on wordpress.org for a year now. What does this mean? That you can get the Proteo theme for free, with only three clicks! Read our wordpress.org announcement.

You may not know Proteo, and maybe you’re wondering why it’s the only free WooCommerce theme you really need. Don’t worry, as we’ll explain what you can find in the new version and our future development plans.

Introducing a new template to get you started

The third template was added as a bonus to the many functionality updates, and my goodness, does it make an impact… Yes, let’s take a sneak peek at Proteo Desire, our ‘sexy’ theme that gives you an instantly good-looking store to get started.

Whether you are a new user or already have installed Proteo, through our setup wizard, you can easily add this free template (with or without demo content) to your e-commerce website.

Francesco Grasso Lead developer

Francesco Grasso Lead developer

The setup wizard is a guided procedure that will help new users to adopt a prebuild and harmonized design on their websites. It comes with demo content (just a few), and in case someone wants to import demo content and settings to working and live website, no data will be deleted and lost.

New and improved layout features that we’ve added

The new improvements, especially related to additional features performance, come mainly from users’ needs and suggestions.

  • Spacing options; from now, you’ll have more control over spacing or potential issues related to sticky headers and sidebars. This extends to other layout elements, giving you flexibility and control over the different responsive views.
  • Sidebar options; from the customizer, you can easily select where to add, if at all, the sidebar. This can be overridden on each page too.
  • Cart icon and behavior; add your custom ‘cart’ icon and make this really stand out, which allows you to be more creative with your store design.
  • Menu styles; set where you want the logo and menus to appear centered, inline, and left-aligned. Within the same section, you can change colors, Google fonts, and style. The styling might not be new, but having it better placed makes it so much easier for the user to adjust the design.

Every part is now easily found within the customizer so that you can see the effect of your changes immediately.

The importance of good design and how we applied this to Proteo

Another key feature of Proteo is the focus on good design. Many users looking for an e-commerce theme have no design or development knowledge, so they are looking for a complete, easy-to-use product to build their store with strong features and a good design. In fact, according to Business, 75% of consumers admit that they judge the credibility of a business based on its website design.

Sara Presenti, the designer behind the fantastic Proteo theme design, explains the procedure for designing a template that justifies this theme’s undeniable success.

Before designing a template we take time to analyze sites that sell a certain kind of products to understand the must-have features and which kind of layout, colors, icons we can use to build a beautiful and usable theme that our users can use for their shops.

Because we trust that our users know the difference between a good and successful e-commerce theme and a store that just doesn’t ‘do’ it for you, we had to make sure the theme provided a complete solution. You can easily visualize selling your own products by only making a few changes. Adding the templates with demo content is a key part of our continued development, and you can see we’ve already lined up the next three stores.

Each of these designed demo stores ticks every box that good e-commerce should have to be successful in its own right.

A user-first approach

We aim to create the most beautiful and complete online theme for free, but we never forget the users’ needs. Internally, we discuss the “designer vs. developer” arguments of which features should be included and which ones ought to be custom coded. There is the dilemma of speed, usability, and creating feature-rich themes. The options are unlimited, but there are a few key goals we aim for.

  • Non-coders; the theme should be useful and customizable with just clicks, yet create a feature-rich store with extensive documentation and most settings in the customizer, where most users expect them to be.
  • More skeptical developers feel comfortable enough to recommend and use the Proteo theme. So loading speed, hooks, and filters, automatic child-theme generating are all part of our development cycle to address and test.
  • Designers; as explained before, a good visual and UX design is not just about converting customers. Adding blocks or Elementor styled pages will never cause any conflict, so marketeers and SEO consultants will love Proteo.

Sara explains very well what she thinks users will feel when they get to know the new version of Proteo:

Sara Presenti Designer

Sara Presenti Designer

I really hope our users can feel the hard work and the passion we have for this theme. For us, it’s like a “toddler that’s exploring the world,” we see the growth and potential, from the first version that was very basic to the recent one, that is already so complete. When we read some enthusiastic reviews, we feel very proud of the hours we spend on this project. But we have to do more: our target is to build the most beautiful and powerful WooCommerce theme available online for free. Or, as we always say, the “Avada” of the free themes.

We know what Proteo is, but we also know what it isn’t – or possibly not yet.

  • Proteo is a WooCommerce theme, so using it for a blog site is totally fine, but it remains a WooCommerce theme first.
  • Compatibility with all WooCommerce plugins or page builders is not something we guarantee, though we use it for our plugin demo pages, so we know it works well for us. Luckily the developer is always happy to improve compatibility, so never hesitate to contact us.
  • As much as we try to please everyone, the theme and design are a personal taste, so we know not everyone is an immediate fan, at least not till the next free template we release.

The early users supported the latest version, and they had a big stake in the future development. Feedback is therefore super valuable to us and for you to make it the best WooCommerce theme out there.

We are very excited about this new version but are already thinking about the next one. We can share that we will improve the mobile layout by adding new features to manage typography in mobile resolutions and new layouts designed for a 100% mobile-friendly template.

Sara Presenti Designer

Sara Presenti Designer

The three key features of a good eCommerce theme are a perfect mobile layout, a powerful search, and filtering tool to help customers easily find the products they are looking for, and a strong review section. All of these we have taken into account when implementing improvements and future upgrades.

Also, we will launch new templates to cover each type of shop following both modern design trends and usability guidelines. Of course, we will take care of the requests made by the users who have already chosen Proteo for their projects because their feedback is priceless.

Now you know what the new version and future improvements of Proteo look like. Do you still doubt that it’s the only free WooCommerce theme you really need?

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