WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform plugin for WordPress. Because of its combination of ease of use as well as powerful features, WooCommerce is an excellent online store platform for beginners looking to launch an eCommerce site. There’s a much smaller learning curve with it than with many other options, enabling small business owners to get back to the good work more quickly.
They have made it their mission to democratize commerce and put you in control of your own livelihood. Their core platform is free and open-source, empowering retailers to sell anything, anywhere.
Learn more about building a great site with solid conversions with our WooCommerce review.
- Most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress
- Very quick and easy to set up
- WooCommerce supports hundreds of solutions, including Facebook, Square, Stripe, Fulfilment by Amazon, and more
- Open-source and thus highly customizable
- Product reviews are easy to collect
- WordPress-only plugin. Can’t be used on other sites or on its own
- WordPress Plugin is free, but other costs such as hosting and maintenance can add up
- WordPress updates and WooCommerce updates don’t always work well together
What is WooCommerce?
The concept for WooCommerce began in 2007 when three friends got together and wanted to add new themes for WordPress. They launched WooThemes and watched it grow. As their clientele increased, they realized that what their clients needed more was increased functionality, which led to their focus on plugin development instead.
Their first plugin, WooCommerce, came to life in 2011, enabling users to turn their WordPress Website into a professional online storefront. Before long, they became the fastest-growing eCommerce solution on the internet, passing seven million downloads.
Another company acquired WooCommerce from its creators and grew it even further to the world-renowned online store choice it has become today.
Now, users come to the builder to utilize the impressive WooCommerce themes, its ease of use, backend support, and compatibility with many known apps and widgets.
What are the best features of WooCommerce?
Integration with WordPress
WooCommerce was developed specifically to work with WordPress. Other than occasional issues with incompatible updates, the two work beautifully together. And WordPress is known to power just over 30% of the world’s websites, which means both WordPress and WooCommerce have been challenged and refined to the finest degree over the years.
While being such big companies does mean that phone support is difficult to come by, the upside to this issue is that so many people have had the same questions as you before that it is very likely a simple answer easily found within a forum or FAQ.
The WooCommerce dashboard enables you to track performance with statistics, analytics, and reports, all of which help you gain a deeper understanding of your business and your website visitors so that you can better direct your ad spend and other resources as you grow.
Store owners are able to view 14 unique data points within their dashboard.
Additionally, 12 different types of reports can be run and reviewed based on the specific metrics you wish to track. All data will be filtered quickly and you will be able to download a CSV within minutes.
Integration with hundreds of solutions
Not only can WooCommerce integrate with dozens of popular solutions such as Facebook, Square, Stripes, Fulfillment by Amazon, etc, but it also has many, many extensions specifically made for it that will make your small business owner life much easier.
These extensions include HubSpot for WooCommerce, WooCommerce Customizer, WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips, Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce, WooCommerce Multilingual, YITH WooCommerce Wishlist, WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor (Manager) Pro, WooCommerce Currency Switcher, Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce, and Product Import Export for WooCommerce, just to name a few.
What kind of security comes with WooCommerce?
SSL certificates are not included in any packages, but WooCommerce does recommend another site called Let’s Encrypt that will allow you to install an SSL certificate on your WooCommerce site for free. WooCommerce does provide free resources explaining what SSL certificates are and why they recommend having one added to your site.
WooCommerce does have several security plugins available for your site, including Wordfence, Sucuri Security, iThemes Security, All-in-One WP Security & Firewall, and WP fail2ban. These plugins can do things like extensive malware scans, two-factor authentication for your login, and searches and removals of unwelcome bots. By providing tools like these, WooCommerce helps its users stay safe and secure.
WooCommerce also recommends running updates on your site frequently, as new updates contain fixes to any security risks that have become apparent since the last update. Skipping out on updates will leave your site at greater risk of being hacked, so take care to pay attention to updates and be patient while they run.
How much does WooCommerce cost?
Because WooCommerce is actually a plugin itself, you must have a WordPress site in order to use it. And then you will need to go by WordPress’s pricing packages. Note that all WordPress Packages include a free domain for one year, best-in-class hosting, collection of payments via credit cards or payment processors like PayPal, unlimited email and social media support, and removal of WordPress ads.
- Personal: $4/month, email support only, no ad revenue, no Google Analytics, no SEO tools, accept payment from limited countries, and no shipping integration.
- Premium: $8/month, live chat support, earn ad revenue, Google Analytics integration, no SEO tools, accept payment from limited countries, and no shipping integration.
- Business: $25/month, live chat support, earn ad revenue, Google Analytics integration, advanced SEO tools, accept payment from limited countries, and no shipping integration.
- eCommerce: $45/month, live chat support, earn ad revenue, Google Analytics integration, advanced SEO tools, accept payment from 60+ countries, integration with top shipping carriers, dropshipping features, and coupons can be accepted.
What kind of customer support can users expect?
Unfortunately, because WooCommerce has grown to such a popular degree, phone support is difficult to come by. Users are sent to a list of FAQs and must click-through a trail of questions and answers to either find the answer to their question or eventually be permitted to submit an email ticket. Tickets may take up to a few days to be addressed.
There are a few tutorials that users can access as well.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS). It is software that helps you create, manage, and share your content on the web. Currently, WordPress has two flavors, WordPress.com (hosted) and WordPress.org (self-hosted). A WooCommerce theme can be used on self-hosted sites, or the business and eCommerce store plans on WordPress.com. You can find themes on their theme page.
What is a theme?
A theme, synonymous with template or skin, is a ready-to-use layout and design that you can activate on your WordPress site. WordPress handles all of the content for you (posts, pages, comments), while the theme transforms that content into a beautiful and clean layout for visitors to enjoy. Many themes come with configurable options via the WordPress Customizer.
Do WordPress themes work in WooCommerce and vice versa?
The themes you get from WooCommerce.com work on self-hosted WordPress installations made possible by WordPress.org. If you have a WordPress.com Business Plan, you can also upload your own themes to your site by going to My Site > Themes, then use the “Upload Theme” button.
How much storage does WooCommerce offer?
WooCommerce does not host or store any of your files or information. This is dependent on your web host solution.
Does WooCommerce offer 24/7 phone, email, and chat support?
They offer support via email for any product purchased on WooCommerce.com. Support in the WordPress Dashboard is also available, as help in the forums for the free WooCommerce plugin.
Does WooCommerce have apps for everything?
Yes, there are more than 400 extensions available for WooCommerce.
Does WooCommerce offer good security?
WooCommerce code is audited and secure. Your WooCommerce store is reliant on your hosting provider to be secure. You might consider additional add-ons to improve site security as well.
Is WooCommerce mobile-optimized or mobile-friendly?
WooCommerce is mobile-friendly. Being mobile-optimized depends on your choice of theme – they recommend taking a look at the WooCommerce storefront theme.
Does WooCommerce take a transaction fee?
No. They don’t take a cut of any of your sales.
Will I have my own domain name?
Choose your own domain name, with your own host. As a self-hosted solution, we don’t place any restrictions on your bandwidth or uptime – we give you complete control over your online presence.
How do I purchase on WooCommerce.com?
Find the WooCommerce product you wish to purchase, click the “Buy” button, and select your subscription or package. You’ll then be taken to their checkout page where you can log into your existing WooCommerce.com account to use saved information or register a new account. The checkout process is below the register area.
Why haven’t I received my receipt or login details?
The e-mail is sent the moment your payment is approved, and that should be almost immediately. If you don’t receive an email receipt or login information soon after, contact WooCommerce and they’ll check on your payment and account.
How do I buy a WooCommerce.com product with my existing account?
Ensure that you are logged into the correct account before going to the checkout page. If you aren’t logged in, or you’re logged into the wrong account, it’s necessary to log into the correct account before starting the purchase.
Which payment types does WooCommerce accept?
They currently accept all major payment cards and use Stripe.com as their payment gateway: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, Diner’s Club, and American Express card. All prices are charged in US Dollars (USD) and this will be exchanged to your local currency by your bank or card issuer.
How do I renew my subscription?
If auto-renew is enabled, your subscription renews on the due date, and your card is charged. Email notification and receipt are sent to confirm you paid for another year.
You will be sent a renewal reminder email 60, 30, 14, 7, and 2 days prior to the subscription renewal date. (Some customer reviews mention this is a downside to WooCommerce).
You can also find renewal information on the My Subscriptions page. These emails are also sent if auto-renew is disabled.
What happens if my subscription expires or is deactivated?
If your subscription has expired or did not auto-renew, you will not be able to renew it. You may purchase a new copy of the product in order to have an active license. You can still use the product on your WooCommerce website for as long as you like but you can no longer access the file for download or receive support or updates for the product.
Many store owners download their product(s) before the expiration of their subscription to keep a copy on file if they know they cannot or will not renew. Their support team will not offer the download files if your subscription has expired.
If you are having trouble with the product, go to the product page and check the Changelog to see if an update may help address the issue. When a product is not working, updating should always be the first step when troubleshooting.
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