Woocommerce - Everything that you should know about
WooCommerce is a fully open-source, powerful platform that businesses use to build, design, and manage their eCommerce websites. It is managed on Github, the largest development platform in the world.
WooCommerce is created for WordPress, where it is used as a free plugin tool. This plugin is powerful and contains powerful tools, rich layouts, and extensions essential for building an online store.
- Why use WooCommerce?
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify
- Switching from Shopify to WordPress is a simple process.
- Best WooCommerce WordPress Plugins
- WooCommerce Extensions vs. WordPress Plugin
- How to install WooCommerce Extensions?
- How to set up an eCommerce store with WooCommerce
Why use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is increasingly popular among small and large entrepreneurs who want to build up their online eCommerce presence. Here are the reasons why you should choose WooCommerce.
It has all extensions you need for your website
Every extension that your store needs to add functionality like payments, bookings, coupons, subscriptions, etc., WooCommerce has got it all covered. You will not run short of any extensions essential for performing your everyday tasks.
Being built and run on WordPress, it is powered by the most trusted platform for website building. It is also regularly audited by Sucuri, a trusted security website scanner.
WooCommerce is made simple so that you may add only the features you need. It's also designed to integrate with your favorite WordPress plugins, allowing you to maintain the features you already like.
Anything can be Sold
With WooCommerce, you can sell anything, be it physical or digital products, online courses, and even business appointments can be sold on the platform.
Being open-source, you can do anything and everything with wooCommerce. You can get unlimited resources to control and modify your store. You can add multiple users and take unlimited orders.
WooCommerce is created to make website building as easy as possible. It is easily integrated into WordPress. It provides the basic store facility as soon as the plugin is installed.
Your store data is important to keep track of the everyday progress of your business. Losing this data will have a great impact on your business and its functionality. WooCommerce counters this by saving all your store's data like customer history and purchases.
You can pick any desired theme that is appropriate for your business.
You can edit any part of your website, be it the Buy button or the homepage layout.
Built-in Blog feature
WooCommerce has content publishing integration also. So you can publish your content and use the keywords wisely to rank for SEO.
Built-in Payment from leading Money Transfer Providers
You can take payment from trusted money transfer gateways like Paypal and Stripe. It also accepts debit and credit card payments.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify
Both the platforms are great to put your store up and running. Both offer quality services to manage your store. However, there are areas in which one is slightly better than the other.
How quickly is it getting started with each of them?
- With WooCommerce, you have to choose and buy the preferred web hosting server first.
- Then you get the appropriate domain name for your store. This will be the name of your business.
- Install the WordPress app from the Control Panel of the server
- Install and configure the WooCommerce plugin from the WordPress Plugins store
- Select your desired theme. Both free and paid are available.
- The final step is to make your WooCommerce store functional by configuring the different extensions like Payments gateway, pricing, offers, cart management, tax calculations.
All these steps are not so hard to set up because unlimited tutorials are available online. But it will take a little more time if you are new to WordPress and start from scratch.
In Shopify, most of the things are done for you. So there will be lesser steps for you to get started.
- Create a Shopify account and buy the desired plans.
- Choose a domain name for your store.
- Select the theme of your choice.
- With Shopify, less configuration is required as most of it is already set up for you, and you can now start accepting orders.
So overall, Shopify is much simple and more beginner-friendly if you are starting from scratch.
How much control do you have over your store?
With Shopify, we can control themes and the apps. But it doesn't come close to the amount of flexibility that WooCommerce offers. With WooCommerce, we can control everything. The layout of the site, the configuration of different extensions. We can also add over 50,000+ WordPress plugins. That way, we can get additional functionality in coordination with WooCommerce.
There is no doubt, Shopify will win in Customer support. Whenever you run into a problem on Shopify, there is always the support staff to take you through. This support is through phone, email, and live chat.
With WooCommerce, if you are facing difficulty setting up your store with regards to pointing your domain name to the server, there is support from your web hosting provider. Additionally, when you have difficulty at the store level, you can create tickets, and the WooCommerce staff will reply when available.
Regarding pricing, WooCommerce is cheaper if you can get all the required facilities for a budget price. Most of the plugins and themes are available for free. Also, most of the plugins in WordPress are one-time payments. So you can adjust the pricing with WooCommerce according to ability. With Shopify, the pricing is subscription-based, starting at $29 per month. With Shopify, the premium themes are a one-time payment, and most of the apps are charged monthly.
Both offer the same amount of Security. The only concern with the WooCommerce store is that the WordPress plugins don't come with built-in security. So no one is handling the security of the plugins.
SEO for both depends on many factors. Shopify stores are generally fast to load. With the higher edition of Shopify plans, the loading rate is very fast, and the store is active and reliable as it will be available live about 99.9% of the time.
With WooCommerce, the speed of the website page depends mostly on the hosting server you have chosen. If the plan you chose is a dedicated server, it will be guaranteed better performance and uptime speed.
Switching from Shopify to WordPress is a simple process.
If you're currently using Shopify and want to make the switch to WordPress (WooCommerce), there are a few plugins you should look into.
Best WooCommerce WordPress Plugins
Sometimes, WooCommerce does not contain the desired facilities that you need to run a successful online store. So adding some of the WordPress plugins available in the market is essential. In addition, deciding which plugins to choose that are appropriate according to the purpose of your store is important. Here we will highlight some of them.
Tips for deciding the type of plugins you need
- What is the purpose of your website?
- Decide the feature missing that you would like to have in your store.
- Try installing a theme that has the desired function and extensions.
- Either buy the whole package or just buy the desired individual plugin.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
This plugin is used to automatically generate invoices in pdf format in the order confirmation email sent to the customer. This core version is free, but it has paid version as well. This lets you generate invoices in bulk in automatically attach them to emails.
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
When a visitor visits your product page, he may find that he likes the product. Therefore, he will add it to the wishlist to come back and buy it at a better time. This is the purpose of this plugin function. This plugin is free, but for more features, it is available for $89.
Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce
This plugin helps you create tabs for your product page. You can switch between tabs for different information like specifications, reviews, photos, videos, etc. This is also free, and the upgraded version is $29.
Beeketing for WooCommerce
This is an all-in-one plugin that has many features like cart abandonment, recently ordered, email marketing, and a sales countdown clock that creates the impression of a busy online store.
With this plugin, we can adjust the customization of our store without having to hire a developer. This plugin makes customization easier and quick. This is a free plugin.
PickPlugins Product Slider for WooCommerce
This product slider is what many businesses struggle to have. It makes the product page beautiful with a smooth slider. It makes your store looks good on mobile as well as desktop.
This plugin makes your site run in multiple languages. This plugin creates the same language even on the checkout page. In addition, it helps send emails to clients and admin in their language.
YITH WooCommerce Compare
Customers like to compare similar products side-by-side to see the minute difference in features. This plugin provides that service. Customers can set the attributes they want to compare and then click on the Compare button. A pop-up screen appears where the information is displayed. This is free to use, and a paid premium version is also available at $64.99.
WooCommerce Extensions vs. WordPress Plugin
Many people are confused between the two as some websites describe them interchangeably. A WooCommerce extension is a WordPress plugin that exclusively works with WooCommerce. To put it another way, it's a highly specific sort of WooCommerce plugin, although WordPress plugins, in general, may be used for almost anything. Both are eCommerce add-ons. Plugins generally have more functionality than extensions.
How to install WooCommerce Extensions?
The process of installing WooCommerce extensions is a little different from downloading plugins available in the WordPress store.
- First login to WooCommece account.
- Download the WooCommerce free or paid extension.
- If you are downloading a third-party extension, just download the file, go to your file manager, and unzip the file.
- Go to Plugins>Add new>Upload Plugin.
If the extension is obtained from the WooCommerce store itself, WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions. Then, click the Inactive toggle to activate it. We can go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and then click Activate to activate it for a third-party extension.
How to set up an eCommerce store with WooCommerce
Choose a web hosting server
There are many options you can choose from for a web hosting provider. But there are only a few that provides quality and security for your business. These are Bluehost, SiteGround, and WordPress.com
Choose a domain
After choosing the server, you need to choose a domain name for your eCommerce store. Choose a name that is appropriate to the type of product or services you are selling. If you have bought a domain from somewhere else, you have to manually point the domain name to the DNS server of your web hosting provider.
Search for the WordPress app in the control panel of your server and install it. After installing, go to Dashboard and select Edit Website. This will lead you to the WordPress website editor page. From here, you can control everything that you want to be applied on your website.
Install WooCommerce Plugin
From the WordPress Dashboard, select Plugins>Add New> search WooCommerce in the search box>Install the plugin and click Activate to activate the plugin. You will then be presented with a Setup Wizard, a questionnaire asking for details about the purpose of your business.
Pick a Theme
You will be asked to select a theme from a collection of themes displayed. You can select anyone just to get started with and then decide later for better themes. Storefront is the best choice if you have to choose one.
Add functionality to your store
Using the numerous extensions, you can start configuring the important aspects of your store, like subscription, Bookings, membership, payment gateways, shipping, and much more. You can start building your website for free and then scale up as your customer base and revenue increase.
WooCommerce is the first choice for many because of its affordability, flexibility, freely available plugins, which you can add for free if you are just starting. It is mostly secure, trusted, and popular. It has wide community support, and its resources are easily accessed for free. It is compatible with all kinds of business, selling digital arts, affiliate products, ebooks, physical products, or selling services like teaching online courses. Its blog features help businesses to review their products and even promote affiliate products on their site. It runs in WordPress, so it is a great choice for SEO also.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.