Now a days, there are many people who want to open an online store. They want to start an eCommerce business. So this article is for them. If you’ve heard of WooCommerce, you’ve probably heard of WordPress too. If you don’t know either of them, don’t worry. In this analysis, we want to show you “Why WooCommerce is popular for eCommerce Online Store?”
So what does WordPress have to do with all this? Isn’t it a CMS for managing a blog? Indeed, WooCommerce is a plugin, or add-on, for WordPress, with which you can create a powerful online store without the need to migrate to another platform.
WooCommerce is a completely free plugin (only in principle), which competes directly with other e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify and Magento, two other big ones in the market, among many others.
The purpose of this review is none other than to introduce you to WooCommerce and help you choose an eCommerce platform. Each of them has its own characteristics and peculiarities and that is why we want you to be clear about it. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
A little history of WooCommerce
The origins of WooCommerce started in the hand of two developers: Mike Jolley and James Koster. His first work was based on the replica of an existing plugin called Jigoshop and with it, WooCommerce appeared in 2011.
The pre-plugin business model was based on creating WordPress templates with WooThemes. After this, both WooThemes and WooCommerce were acquired by Automattic, who are behind WordPress,
With over 300,000 active sellers online, WooCommerce is one of the most used e-commerce platforms today. Its ease of use and its native integration with WordPress is what make it the favorite of many.
WordPress and WooCommerce
The first thing we have to be clear about is the relationship between the two. More than an independent platform, as we have already said, WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that is installed in WordPress.
What does it mean to be open source? This allows us a high level of customization since we have the complete plugin code at our disposal to be able to edit the lines that interest us the most and change every last detail of our online store. On other platforms, this is not possible.
The disadvantage is that to be able to resort to editing the code we need an expert in web development or have sufficient technical knowledge to do so. This could lead to more unexpected expenses and time that we sometimes do not have.
Why WooCommerce is popular for eCommerce Online Store?
It is true that WooCommerce is popular for eCommerce Online Store. You can use it for your online store.
Facility of WooCommerce
Of course, you need to have a previously created WordPress site to install the plugin. WooCommerce cannot work standalone.
The first thing that the seller needs to do is to acquire a web hosting with its corresponding security (such as the SSL certificate to protect the data of your clients). Step 2 is to configure WordPress to install WooCommerce as a plugin.
It is recommended to first configure WordPress so that it is exactly as we want before proceeding with its installation.
Once you have everything ready, all you have to do is go to the WordPress store and install it. The virtual assistant will take you to step by step through everything for the installation.
As we can see, the big difference to another e-commerce platform is that it may be somewhat more complex, since first we need a WordPress installation with the manual contracting of the hosting and the previous configuration, and then we need to install WooCommerce as a plugin.
Other CMS allows the creation of an account quickly and have the online store in just 5 minutes, although they may not have the customization potential of WooCommerce or we are not so interested since we work with WordPress beforehand. For tastes, the colors!
WooCommerce: Ease of use and features
WooCommerce is very easy to use and all the options of the famous plugin are located within the corresponding section in the WordPress control panel.
The day-to-day is sewing and singing. The most complicated thing is if we opt for an expert customization of it, due to the advanced knowledge that we will need for it, and a slightly slower installation since we have to search for the plugin, install it and configure it after preparing WordPress for it.
As for its functions, it more than meets what we expect:
- Add both physical and digital products.
- Write a detailed description of the product.
- Set temporary offers.
- Configuration of shipping rates and configurable taxes.
- Payment with PayPal incorporated.
- Inventory management.
- Management of product categories and attributes.
- SEO settings.
- Mobile adaptability.
- Built-in Facebook extension.
Navigating between the different WooCommerce options is really simple and each of them has the corresponding submenus. You won’t get lost.
WooCommerce: Design, themes and Storefront
The design of your store is everything. And it is that it is the first thing that your client is going to notice once he lands on your website. We can have very intuitive features and amazing products, but if we don’t know how to present them in a professional way, we run the risk of leaving the store before they even reach the shopping cart.
In this sense, the design function and the WooCommerce themes are very much on a par with WordPress, since it is this who will be in charge of the design of the store, being, let’s say, the matrix of it.
However, the WordPress store does have something called a Storefront. It is a WordPress theme designed specifically for use and full integration with WooCommerce. In this way, it allows you to maximize the loading time and performance of the site, while eliminating those conflicts that may result from other installed themes or plugins.
You will be able to customize the theme since you will surely be interested in giving your own style to the version of the theme that comes by default.
On the other hand, you also have WordPress themes, some of which are designed to function as an escape from e-commerce. Some are free and some are paid. The cost of some of them can considerably increase your initial investment, and that is why we recommend you sign the one that interests you the most and add it to your accounts.
Although WooCommerce is free as such, the cost of themes and their extensions are what will really increase the cost of setting up your online store.
Later we will break down the prices with an example to get a rough idea of how much a complete online store can cost.
In relation to what we have been commenting on, the extensions also add a significant cost when we establish our store, but they offer additional functionalities that are really useful to take it to another level.
WooCommerce extensions can be found in its own store, which is divided into categories and the most popular at the time appear on its front page. It should be noted that there is a section with extensions specifically designed by the Woo team, the creators of the platform.
The store offers both free and paid extensions, with some based on a one-time payment and others on a yearly subscription basis.
One of the disadvantages of WooCommerce compared to other e-commerce platforms is to be aware of the compatibility of these extensions with your version of WordPress and WooCommerce, since if they are updated and your extensions do not, it could lead to compatibility problems. in your store, unexpected errors and even plugins that do not work well with others, even though WooCommerce is the order of the day.
Here the knowledge of web development and the time needed for its effective management would come into play again.
In the following list, you will find several examples of what WooCommerce extensions can offer:
- Paid subscriptions to your products and services.
- Management of reservations and rentals.
- Creation of a members area with special products and services.
- Integration with payment methods such as Stripe and Amazon Pay.
- Integration with Google Analytics.
- And integration with MailChimp.
- Additions to your products such as gift wrapping, special messages and other options.
This list is just a small example. We recommend you enter the WooCommerce extensions store and browse the categories to discover everything you can add to your online store.
Payment methods and gateways
The “clean” version of WooCommerce, without additives, offers support for payment by credit card, bank transfer and even cash on delivery. To add more payment gateways, we would only have to go to the extensions store, as
we have seen in the previous section and installed the plugin required for it.
Payment with Stripe
Stripe is one of the most used payment gateways in WooCommerce and allows you to accept payments directly in the store, without the need to resort to third parties or open a new channel.
Making the payment at the same window has proven to be very important for the conversion since it offers confidence to the client and saves them from having to move between different gateways.
The great advantage of installing the extension is that it is free, safe and very easy to use.
Payment with PayPal
Of course, we could not be talking about an online store without offering the option to pay with PayPal.
As with Stripe, its extension is also free and allows us to make a payment securely by linking our credit cards or bank accounts.
Customers will pay directly on your website and feel safe being covered by PayPal fraud protection.
There are many additional extensions for payment processing and we invite you again to consult the WooCommerce store to discover the ones that interest you the most.
Finally, it should be noted that the integration with bank payments in Spain is carried out through the Redsys system, a service with years of experience and proven great security.
Taxes and offers
What would e-commerce be without the funniest part of all: taxes?
Nothing to worry about. WooCommerce allows a great deal of control over how taxes are passed on to the customer and how we will set them up on our site as a seller. In this way, you can configure how a tax is calculated according to the customer’s shipping address and the location of your store.
WooCommerce also allows you to add taxes so that they are included in the base price of the product.
Another of the attractive points of the store is the offers. WooCommerce has a specific configuration of coupons that will be applicable, for example, in a minimum purchase of a product, exclude them from products to which an offer has already been applied, and a long etcetera.
Taking care of the offers and coupons in our online store is something really important since it offers a certain dynamism to the sales process and our customers always appreciate it.
Scalability and hosting
Scalability is basically the ability of the server to support high web traffic that can be both expected and unexpected, either due to crucial times of the year or because our store is growing exponentially in sales.
One of the most recent examples to illustrate the importance of having appropriate scalability in e-commerce is Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Traffic is skyrocketing these days and we don’t want our customers to be tripped up by poor performance on our website, do we? That without counting the SEO penalty that this entails.
WooCommerce allows great freedom when hiring a hosting, which you can do through the default WordPress option or through your own choice. You must ensure that the server is prepared at all times to deal with these fluctuations and be prepared to perform the manual updates that you need.
In this section, the same thing happens with the customization of the store with themes and extensions: it allows us greater freedom but with the added cost of requiring technical knowledge and more time in its management.
However, it is a good idea if we are clear about it and have the necessary knowledge.
Marketing and SEO
WooCommerce is helped by WordPress for basic SEO setup and controlling how you appear in search results from the most powerful engines (yes, Google, basically). You will be able to automatically create titles, and metadata and define the structure of the URLs within your online store as in any other WordPress site.
To have more advanced SEO options, there are plugins created specifically for it. Yoast SEO is positioned as the number 1 extension for WordPress and will help you better target your strategy and increase conversions. Its features include keyword optimization, recommendations to update outdated pages, setting your page preview when sharing on social media, duplicate control, and more technical tools. Keep in mind that the most powerful options are paid. The basic version of Yoast SEO has significant limitations.
As for the marketing functions that WooCommerce has integrated, it is not one of the aspects in which it stands out the most. When someone makes a purchase from your store, automatic emails are sent that you can use to feature other related products. But for email marketing, we have third-party services like MailChimp.
In short, to get the most out of SEO and marketing, WooCommerce needs external help. This means learning how several additional tools work to be able to complement WooCommerce efficiently and it is possible that, as with themes, we may need the help of an expert.
Security and customer service
WooCommerce is regularly audited, so you should have no problem trusting its security. Its code is safe but you will have to make sure you buy a hosting that is reliable, robust and stable.
As for payment gateways, it works with some of the most secure in the world. Make sure your site has an SSL certificate so that your customers’ purchases are 100% secure. It is vital that your site is protected in this way, as it can result in the loss of a large number of customers.
And finally, speaking of customer service, we have to say that WooCommerce does not offer direct support because it provides its product for free (although it is possible to make specific inquiries by email). However, you will find very extensive documentation on the official page and it has a large community of sellers who can help you in blogs and forums.
Once we have seen the main features of WooCommerce, we have to develop the concept that it is free, since, as we have said, its installation is free, but not all its accessories.
If you only need hosting for low traffic and don’t use any of their store themes or paid plugins, you may only pay several dollars a month.
However, based on experience, if you really want to get the most out of your online business and get serious about it, you are going to have to take out your wallet on more than one occasion. We are going to give an example to get an idea of how much a professional store with WooCommerce can cost you.
- A website with WordPress: free.
- WooCommerce Installation: Free.
- Hosting on a web server – from a handful of dollars a month to hundreds of dollars. In the beginning, you may only need to pay $10-20 a month and work your way up from there.
- Domain: approximately from $10 per year and up to about $20 per year if you opt to contract the domain with privacy protection.
- Subject: price from 0 to 200 $. It depends on your personal choice. But we recommend you buy a theme that is specifically designed to set up an online store in WooCommerce.
- Plugins: Here it really depends on what you need. Some plugins are free and some are paid. An example is a plugin that allows paid subscriptions in your WooCommerce store, which costs $200 per year, with customer support included.
- Expert in web development: If you need a professional and fully functional business, you will surely need to spend thousands of dollars in the long run. Hiring a web development expert is expensive. But it will solve all the problems. You may come across along the way. And not only that, but they can help you with theme installation, design, compatibility between extensions, and SEO optimization.
In our opinion, WooCommerce can result in a fairly powerful e-commerce platform. It has all the necessary functions to work very robustly and with great control by the seller. All the necessary functions are at hand, and those that are not can be easily purchased through the extensions store. Now you know “Why WooCommerce is popular for eCommerce Online Store?”
The negative point that we see in WooCommerce is the one that we have been commenting on in this article. Its dependence on WordPress and extensions makes it more complicated to master than other CMS. And although its customization is its star point. The costs derived from it also increased the need for expert help.
Luckily, there are other e-commerce platforms that allow you to create your online store. Along with reliable hosting and great customization without the need for advanced knowledge in just a few minutes, as is the case with Shopify.
We are experts in Shopify and WordPress (Including WooCommerce). Because we believe that it is an excellent tool for online sales. And one of the best resources that a seller can choose. If you need help with it, we will be happy to help you and guide you step by step. Shall we try? Good luck!
I hope this article was useful to you, if you have any doubts or did not understand something do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. And do you want to know more about Shopify, any questions? Ask us. I will be happy to help you!