Magento is extremely versatile and flexible in letting the developers work with its code base. By working with it, I mean easily overwriting it, even the core files.
While it may seem rather appealing for people who want absolute control over their store so they can do whatever they want to shape the look and functionality, it may not be so when they have installed more than one themes or extensions on their Magento site.
Chances are there will be a few unpredictable problems that seem to come out of nowhere. And they are probably hard to diagnose. This is because all the themes are overriding each other. It’s totally possible.
One theme may have a module that’s not completely switched off by the other theme because the other theme doesn’t have a similar module that overrides it, thus the module of the first theme is used when the other theme is enabled.
This would incur more problems when the themes have more functionalities that need to override or extend the Magento code base, rather than just templates, layouts, or styles, like how a WordPress theme would work. A WordPress theme is rigidly restricted within one folder and there’s not much it can do to manipulate WP core logics. But that’s exactly the opposite of a Magento theme that can do a good lot to Magento. A theme / extension that you upload is able to overwrite the entire Magento installation.
I recently got such a problem and eventually solved it by the help of Jake, who created the Avalanche theme. After I emailed him about the problem and about the potential collision that I believed existed between my current theme and his theme, he got back to me with the right solution – renaming one of the folders of his theme so as to disable that module. And that’s it. The problem was immediately gone.
So remember, don’t install too many themes to your Magento store – it’ll mess things up. At least do your best to just install the necessary ones. For me, mere 2 themes are enough to create a problem that wasted me several hours looking for an answer. For those who are looking for a premium Magento theme, look no further than Jake. He’s the best. Check out his latest post about how to manage & debug Magento extensions.