WooCommerce for your eCommerce
When choosing an eCommerce platform, you will have many choices. WooCommerce is easy to use and has powerful features. It also powers over 25 percent of eCommerce stores in the top 1 million sites worldwide. These numbers continue to grow because it is flexible and beginner-friendly.
This blog post will give you an overview of WooCommerce, its origins, and how it’s grown in popularity. You’ll also learn how to get started with WooCommerce, the benefits of using it, and some plugins we recommend.
What is WooCommerce?
WordPress.com/Automattic’s WooCommerce plugin transforms the WordPress platform into an e-commerce site, with options for selling digital and physical products, taking secure payments, managing inventory, and automating tax calculations.
A team that included Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson, and Adii Pienaar created the WooCommerce e-commerce plugin. Then, in 2011, Automattic hired James Koster and Mike Jolley to continue the development of the plugin that would later be known as WooCommerce. The software addressed problems with an earlier e-commerce system called Jigoshop. Vacuums gained over 4 million downloads within two years of release. In 2014, it passed the 5 million download mark and in 2015; it surpassed 7 million downloads.
And because they built WooCommerce using WordPress, its ties to that platform have helped make it the most popular e-commerce solution for WordPress sites. It’s also open source, so developers can change, fix, or add to its codebase; it’s beginner-friendly, so you don’t need to be a developer to build an online store; and it has thousands of themes and plugins that let you create all kinds of functionality, depending on what your site needs. WooCommerce is responsive and works well on mobile devices; it is secure; and it costs nothing.
WooCommerce is a powerful e-commerce tool, designed specifically for use with WordPress. This robust software is used to sell physical and digital products online, to book appointments and make appointments, and to provide services.
WooCommerce Pricing and Plans
WooCommerce is free to install and use, with no plans or pricing to discuss. However, a domain name, hosting plan, and many of the extensions and plugins needed to make your site fully functional will be necessary. Note that the cost of your theme, extensions, and plugins are for the basic requirements to run an e-commerce site.
|WooCommerce Cost||Cost Estimate: Basic Site|
|Hosting||From $311.40/year (shared hosting, $24.95/month, billed annually)*|
|Domain uniform||$12.99/year (.com site)*|
|Theme||Free WooCommerce theme|
|Extensions||Free + transaction fees (PayPal and WooCommerce Payment gateways)|
|Security||Free (basic SSL included in hosting platform)|
|Annual Cost (approx.)||$324.39 + transaction fees|
Features that make WooCommerce stand out
The WooCommerce plugin, developed by WooThemes, is free and popular because it is easy to use, versatile, and customizable. Though developed as an open-source plugin, many of its extensions and compatible plugins are also free. But if you want all the bells and whistles, be ready to pay for them.
WooCommerce is a powerful ecommerce platform because you can sell anything on your site to any country using the right plugins, which can expand the reach of a traditional brick-and-mortar store that you want to bring online. If you already have a website, you can easily integrate WooCommerce without having to change your theme.
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to adjust a website’s functionality and appearance. The WordPress e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce, is designed for use on WordPress websites, allowing you to create product pages from within the plugin using the built-in modular design. A variety of integrations and tools are available at no charge and are accessed via the Setup Wizard. You can configure shipping options and calculate taxes, among other features.
Product and project management
WordPress site owners will find the WooCommerce dashboard familiar territory—you can easily manage your products and fill orders. By integrating the right plugins, you can automate tax calculations, access live shipping rates, and find the best shippers available, saving both time and effort. The dashboard has 14 unique data points for detailed analysis.
With WooCommerce Shipping, you can run a shipping business on your website. You can also use extensions to change the way customers interact with your store.
WooCommerce Shipping is a free, built-in feature right on the dashboard. You get three shipping methods: Free Shipping, Flat Rate, and Local Pickup. You can also group products using Shipping classes and run an AliExpress dropshipping business through WooCommerce Dropshipping for $79 a month (billed annually).
Subscription-based models are a preferred method of doing business, because customers benefit from the lower prices of a monthly subscription over the lifetime cost of a one-off purchase. To achieve this, you need a subscription box where subscribers can register once you sort out the supply and shipping logistics.
Extensions and Plugins
WooCommerce includes features such as product catalogs, shopping carts, payment gateways and fulfillment, which allow you to sell physical goods. WooCommerce also includes features such as download products and product stock management, which help you sell digital goods. You can even sync your e-commerce website with several major online marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay. If you choose to, you can easily sell on those platforms too.
It offers a wide range of features and extensive opportunities for customization, including over 60,000 plugins. One of the most sought-after of these is PDF Invoices & Shipping Labels, an essential plugin for businesses that need to organize their transactions.
When WooCommerce released its basic shopping cart, it also launched several plugins that would allow you to customize the appearance and functionality of your store. Unfortunately, these functions are still in beta testing, and non-coders may find them challenging to use. Save yourself some time and $29 a month on the WooCommerce site for more advanced shopping cart plugins.
- CartFlows is a WooCommerce checkout flow plugin that helps you create a conversion-optimized checkout page. This helps to increase your cart’s conversion rate and revenue per order.
- Sendinblue provides email marketing capabilities for your WooCommerce store. It has a CRM module to keep track of customer details, as well as landing page creation and real-time statistics monitoring tools. They create its subscription forms using a drag-and-drop editor, and the plugin comes with a free and premium version with the premium version coming at $25 per month. You can find more information on the features offered by Sendinblue here.
- Yoast SEO is one of the best SEO plugins for your WooCommerce store. This plugin will help improve your store by optimizing content.
WooCommerce includes WooCommerce Payments, Stripe, and PayPal as payment gateways. This means you can start accepting payments quickly with these tools. To accept other types of payments, you can add in e-commerce extensions that use other major payment gateways.
WooCommerce takes a mobile-first approach. It offers responsive themes and a mobile app to help you manage your online store. You can use the WooCommerce app to monitor and manage your e-commerce site on the go. You can also use the app to manage over one store. The mobile app is currently in the beta testing stage.
They built WooCommerce with security in mind, and high-quality hosting providers usually implement an extra layer of protection for their customers. Cloudways, for example, include SSL certificates with its paid plans, as well as dedicated firewalls, two-factor authentication for added account security, IP whitelisting to prevent unauthorized access to accounts, and regular security patches that keep your websites safe from hackers.
But Jetpack, a free plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce sites from Automattic, can help protect your site from brute force attacks and hackers. It automatically blocks suspicious IP addresses before they get in. You can choose to avail of other Jetpack services, but the free service, which includes the WooCommerce and host security features, is usually enough.
To optimize your e-commerce site’s SEO, be sure to implement basic WordPress SEO settings properly. Use an SEO plugin and pertinent keywords to boost your site’s visibility. WooCommerce has various SEO plugins that can help you secure a high-ranking e-commerce website.
Because of the lack of dedicated help for desks and live customer support, problems can take longer to resolve. However, comprehensive guides on the website will walk you through almost everything you need to know to set up and maintaining your WooCommerce site. The community support is extensive and if you require more support, you can contact a WooCommerce expert for a fee.
If you have information that can be sold as digital courses, membership packages, or e-learning materials, you can use WooCommerce membership plugins to manage your customers’ subscriptions.
Businesses that sell information in digital formats such as e-books and digital courses, membership courses, and eLearning materials can benefit from apps designed to manage membership.
WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress sites, but it is hardly the only option. Because of its steep learning curve and the absence of dedicated support, it might not be the best option for users with little technical experience, so alternatives might look attractive.
Shopify is a good option for those who are new to e-commerce and want to design an online store with no coding experience, as it has templates for hundreds of different stores and lets users edit their designs. It also has a robust and dedicated support system to address any concerns when using the platform. It integrates with over 6,000 apps, including WordPress.
The other WooCommerce alternative is BigCommerce, a self-hosted e-commerce platform used by over 100,000 e-commerce sites. One reason for BigCommerce’s success could be its many built-in tools for sales and SEO, as well as its user-friendly interface. Another reason could be the quality support BigCommerce offers over WooCommerce.
However, many online sellers choose WooCommerce because it is highly customizable, despite the technical challenge it may pose for non-coders. BigCommerce is also a paid platform at roughly the same price as Shopify, which could deter online sellers on a budget.
Short codes are pre-defined tags that format the content displayed on your WordPress website. We place them within square brackets and begin with the short code identifier. We can use shortcodes for displaying pages of a plugin or content from a database table. Each shortcode has a unique identifier starting with [wp_portfolio] for the WP Portfolio plugin and one example is [WooCommerce_cart].
WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform if you’re looking to build a flexible and reliable online store. Backed by the open-source WordPress software, which powers some of the web’s most notable websites, WooCommerce is fast, powerful and most features are free. You can optionally extend its power with premium or third-party plugins.