Hey @magetester, welcome to the community (and this extremely new forum).
It’s early and I’ve not had my coffee yet, so let’s see how this goes
You’ve asked a great question, clearly based on your past experience.
To start, my experience with Porto (M2) has been a pleasure. The toolbox is pretty comprehensive and it comes packaged with a couple of lite modules by Mageplaza (Layered Navigation and Search).
My experience with Ultimo has been extremely limited to the Let’s Build Series I recently recorded. I found the documentation to be extensive, if not slightly flawed in places (e.g. out of date references because it’s written for M1 and M2). As you may have noticed, I didn’t really go in with a plan as to what I wanted it to look like so I didn’t too much effort into it.
Based on my experience of setting up so many sites, I think there’s a couple of factors at play that can make Theme Customisation spin out of control:
- Not going in with a plan. It’s like building a puzzle without seeing the picture on the box.
- Spending too much time on features (e.g. “Oh, this option looks cool. I wonder what that would look like if I…” Then 4 hours of your life just disappear whilst messing about).
To attempt to answer your question (rather than ramble on like I have), I reckon you could make Ultimo “look good”:
- Within 1 week (If working on it full-time)
- Maybe over 2 weeks (If you’re working on it in the evenings)
Not having a plan and going in blind will massively affect these timescales.
During my career so far, I’ve used:
- Shopper (M1)
- Fortis (M1)
- Buyshop (M1)
- Porto (M2)
- Ultimo (M2)
Aside from Ultimo, each of those themes are currently the backbone of a current production site. Most of these purchases were shortlisted based ‘Best Sellers’ on Themeforest.
Based on some brief conversations I’ve had in the comments section of my videos, I get the impression that a lot of people are just sticking with Luma. I guess that’s what most people feel comfortable using right now as they are just starting to learn Magento. And I can’t argue with that logic really. But as I mentioned, Themeforest will give you a good idea as to what’s popular based on ‘Best Sellers’.
Anyway, I hope this reply helps (or makes some sense). Feel free to post an update once you’ve made a decision. It’ll be good to get some honest feedback in a real-case scenario.
Now, I’m off to get some coffee. Good luck