WooCommerce: Best eCommerce Solution for WordPress
- Best For those fully conversant with WordPress this is an excellent E-Commerce platform
- Wide Choice Of Designs: The choice of free and paid for designs in a major plus
- Customer & Store Admin: Flexibility is the key. Different accounts afford different access. Customers without an account have the ability to check-out with a guest account
- Plugins & Extensions galore: There is a huge choice of both that allow larger stores to become even more powerful
- WordPress Knowledge: Those who do not have experience of using WordPress will require a sharp learning curve
- Set up: Although a pre-installed version is available, those with little technical ability will find the set-up challenging
- Support: Unlike other eCommerce platforms there is no centralised support. This can lead to problems down the line
Introduction: What is WooCommerce?
Welcome to our WooCommerce reviews.
It must seem unusual from the get-go that we are reviewing a plugin rather than a standalone platform. However, it cannot be denied that Automattic’s WooCommerce plugin has essentially revolutionised the scene for WordPress users (both .com and .org users, for that matter).
With this plugin, they can now monetise or commercialise their blogs or websites or launch their very own WooCommerce shop.
Naturally, there will be sceptics who will scoff and say “What can a plugin do that a standalone ecommerce platform can’t?”
For this particular WooCommerce reviews, we will be looking at how easily the plugin/platform can be used, how it performs as an ecommerce building solution, WooCommerce cost, and whether or not a WooCommerce shop delivers value for the user’s money.
Overview: Our WooCommerce reviews could be the solution to your eCommerce needs.
The beauty of WooCommerce lies in the fact that it was specifically created to be used with WordPress.org’s open-source framework (and, to some extent, the business / ecommerce framework for WordPress.com.)
Currently, nearly one-third of the Internet is WordPress-run. Among CMS websites alone, 64.1% or 64 million websites are powered by WordPress.
As such, a WooCommerce website creator can simply install it into their WordPress.org or business-grade WordPress.com builder and create a webstore where they can sell products and services.
Ease of use:
Have you used WordPress in either of its iterations for some time? If so, then you will find the WooCommerce UI easily navigable and even easier to get used to.
Handily-located tabs and menus show you where all your tools are and deploying them in your work is just as easy.
A caveat, though: while it is easy enough to use and WooCommerce cost is free, it doesn’t have the handiness to it that a drag-and-drop builder would give you on another platform.
Features and Flexibility:
The features and flexibility of a WooCommerce shop come in two flavours. There is a ‘core’ and an ‘extensions’ model to consider.
Out of the box:
The ‘core’ features available at no WooCommerce cost offer everything required ‘out of the box’. These features will allow you to begin selling immediately through a WooCommerce website. Such things as standard shipping options and easy to use checkout features are yours.
Themes & Templates:
While WordPress already offers users a stellar line-up of themes and templates developed by its parent company Automattic, installing the WooCommerce plugin throws in a new player into the game: Storefront.
This proprietary template gives online retail outlets an elegant and professional look. At last count, we noted that it has fourteen palette variations – but you’ll need a budget if you’re the type who’s finicky about appearances. Only two of these variants are free and you’ll have to shell out $39 each for the other twelve.
The challenge of working with a CMS-driven builder is that customising the overall look by arranging your elements just so on your webpage is not an option. That is, of course, unless you have the Elementor customisation plugin installed: this tool gives users a visual editor with which to modify the look of their online storefront as well as their entire site.
If functional customisation is what you’re after, WooCommerce also brings in a number of tools with which to customise certain functions within your site.
3rdparty Apps market:
Because WooCommerce is exclusively available for those on WordPress.org and those using the business subscription plans for WordPress.com, its users have access to the 58,000 third-party applications available via the WordPress Plugins page.
Functional apps include Google’s GSuite and Google Analytics for timely and accurate metrics regarding one’s page stats, free Hubspot for WooCommerce CRM plugin, WooCommerce multistore plugins, options for on and offline marketing, as well as accounting apps and logistical solutions for both domestic and international shipping and delivery.
Well, you can’t have everything, and this is particularly true in the case of WooCommerce websites.
Your WooCommerce shop piggybacks onto the hosting service you’ve selected for your site. If you’re using WordPress.org, it is highly likely that you’ve chosen Bluehost – a recognised WP service partner – as your host, though there are other options open such as DreamHost and GoDaddy among others.
If you're using WordPress.com, then you must select a pricing plan that aligns with your storage requirements.
Unfortunately, as highly functional as WooCommerce is, it doesn’t have a built-in backup feature with which to protect and archive vital information, particularly transactional data and inventory management info.
That said, you’ll have to download a third-party backup tool for your WordPress.org-built WooCommerce website.
There are a sizable number of these that you can get off the WP Plugins page, and these are easy enough to set up for regularly scheduled backups.
must be a priority and should be done on a very regular basis.
Bear in mind that when a new transaction is completed it will not be backed up until your next backup is scheduled.
There are three ways by which you can migrate an online store to a WooCommerce-powered site:
- manually through .csv files,
- paying for a WooExpert service,
- or through a 3rd party tool like LitExtension. This nifty feature is a surefire way of ensuring business continuity even while you’re in the middle of a move from one platform to another. In essence, this means you can transfer a store you built on a different platform and convert it to a WooCommerce shop easily.
Ecommerce-specific tools include payment gateways, customer account creation, and even provisions for email and social media marketing. Here are eCommerce features to expect from your WooCommerce shop:
- Selling digital and physical products
- Product segmentation
- Geolocation support
- Inventory management
- Shipping variants
- Checkout options
- Product reviews
- Coupons and discounts
But what we find interesting about this plugin is that considering WooCommerce cost, it can work for WooCommerce bulk pricing or wholesale selling.
It is one of the few ecommerce solutions we have encountered that has a full suite of tools dedicated to business-to-business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), and wholesalers; essentially, the suite transforms it into a business solution that helps other enterprises function and grow. You can even add a WooCommerce blog to your store.
SEO and Mobility:
Here’s the thing: WooCommerce was built with code that has already been search engine optimised. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the plugin can seriously amp up your site’s chances of being found in the first ten results of an online search – at least, not on its own. WooCommerce’s SEO capabilities need to be amplified by a third-party app like Yoast.
WooCommerce users whose sites are hosted via Bluehost can also consider apps like All-in-One SEO Pack and SEOPressor. If you’re not particularly confident with your SEO abilities, basic apps like SEO Squirrly can help you push your WooCommerce-powered store to the top of the search engine results with minimal effort.
The WooCommerce shop store management app is available for Android and iOS devices.
While it doesn’t have the full range of features that you would have at your disposal with a desktop, it allows you to manage your product inventory, get transactional notifications, manage orders, and even handle multiple online storefronts. You can also get real-time stats on transactions with the app.
Your hosting setup and service of choice will help determine how fast your WooCommerce website will load. Ecommerce sites on WordPress.com will load in as fast as 3.22 seconds, but self-hosted websites built with WordPress.org are dependent on their host of choice.
Support and Resources:
What’s nice about WooCommerce is that its online knowledge base is quite extensive and continues to evolve along with the plugin. Prudent advice is given regarding common usage issues and how-to-guides are in a separate section for easy reference.
Developer info is also available regarding new releases and technical updates.
If you need more detailed assistance, you can go online for a live chat with customer support. You can also log onto one of the topic-driven support forums.
What about WooCommerce cost?
Well, this is where it gets hairy in our WooCommerce reviews. While WooCommerce is essentially free, additional functionality via third-party apps may cost more than you would expect.
Therefore, be sure to double check price tags and WooCommerce fees on downloadable solutions before committing to a purchase.
You will need to shell out cash of you're a small or medium business to create a WooCommerce shop:
- Startup WooCommerce costs, beginning at $200
- Hosting with preferred WordPress partners Bluehost or Siteground
- Premium plugins
- Credit card and shipping fees (sales-based)
Conclusion and Recommendation:
So, on to our WooCommerce reviews conclusion;
All things considered, we will repeat what we said at the beginning: WooCommerce has helped revolutionise the WordPress experience for online retailers and businesses. While it isn’t perfect – and, yes, it does pale in comparison to more established standalone ecommerce platforms – it works quite well to help businesses evolve online.
What is it best used for?
For those who actively use and have already created their site with WordPress. The WooCommerce plugin is a natural progression when ready to open an online store.
Indeed, many WordPress users and WooCommerce reviews see it as practically a default choice for setting up your WooCommerce online store. We would not argue with this and use WooCommerce for our clients who are using WordPress.org CMS sites.
What is it not best used for?
This plugin isn't for the tech newbie. It will require considerable skills and expertise to launch a high-impact eCommerce site – and this will come at considerable WooCommerce cost.
If you’re in the market for a standalone ecommerce builder, there are plenty of options. You ought to consider Shopify or Weebly eCommerce if you’re just starting out. Also, check out Squarespace if you’re offering services.
BigCommerce is the most likely alternative if you’re scaling in the long-term.
While we have presented the merits of WooCommerce in this review, you would do well to shop around for an ecommerce solution that would work best for your online business’ specific requirements.
Is WooCommerce a standalone ecommerce platform?
No, it is a plugin designed to add ecommerce capabilities to sites built with either WordPress.com or WordPress.org.
How much will the plugin cost if I were to download it?
Essentially, WooCommerce can be downloaded for free. However, you may have to pay for other widgets and plugins for enhancing your WooCommerce website's appearance and functionality.
I’m on a WordPress.com account; can I use WooCommerce?
Yes, but only if you’re in either the Business or Ecommerce subscription tiers.
That’s all for now:
Thanks for reading our WooCommerce reviews. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of WooCommerce reviews and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms and website builders such as;
- Shopify vs WordPress WooCommerce
- Our Top 5 Best eCommerce Website Builder Options
- Our 5 Best eCommerce UK Platforms
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Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.