Do you want to sell your own products online? A wide variety of eCommerce toolkits are available, ranging from ultra-powerful solutions built for corporations to simple, effective platforms for small businesses.
One of the most popular ecommerce platforms for WordPress is WooCommerce. In this WooCommerce review, we’ll look at this powerful online store platform’s best features, its benefits for online merchants, and its overall performance.
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What is WooCommerce?
Simply put, WooCommerce lets you turn your WordPress-powered website into an incredibly user-friendly online store. Built by the people behind WooThemes, it’s a full eCommerce toolkit for WordPress users that want to sell things online.
WooCommerce has a huge range of excellent features that make it ideal for power users of WordPress seeking something that doesn’t require extensive development or coding. For the most part, is integrates perfectly with most WordPress websites.
Better yet, it’s absolutely free to use. WooCommerce is an open source plugin, which means you’ll never have to pay anything for the base service. However, in order to get the most out of WooCommerce you will probably need to purchase some paid upgrades, ranging from checkout plugins to customization modules.
Do you want to compare WooCommerce to other eCommerce platforms. Read our blog post on Squarespace vs. WordPress for eCommerce to work out which online sales platform best suits your needs.
What can you sell using WooCommerce?
WooCommerce can be used to sell anything. From online services like web design or custom video production to physical products like mugs, shoes, or computers, you’ll have no trouble creating a shop that can sell any product using WooCommerce.
One of the best features of WooCommerce is its simple product pages. You can easily customize your product pages to list details like weight, size, inventory, its shipping costs, and other factors so that users are fully aware of what you’re selling.
Creating catalogs is also a breeze. Since WooCommerce uses the same familiar user interface as WordPress, bloggers and experienced WordPress users will find it easy to make new product pages, categories, catalogs, and other parts of their store.
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What can you do with WooCommerce?
Although WooCommerce isn’t quite as powerful as other eCommerce platforms, it includes a huge variety of features for marketing your store, running promotions, managing your inventory, tracking your sales, and dealing with customers.
Merchants using WooCommerce can run promotions for their online store using coupon codes and special discounts. You can easily customize the amount of times any coupon code can be used to prevent abuse and market your store profitably.
You can also easily manage tax and shipping costs, even to regions with unusual sales tax or shipping requirements. From New York to New Zealand, calculating shipping costs and sales tax is automatic when you use WooCommerce.
Finally, WooCommerce includes an awesome store management interface that’s perfect for managing your store on the go. Users can quickly update inventory or manage their products without any coding or development experience.
What does WooCommerce look like?
WooCommerce is beautiful software. The administrator’s dashboard is completely integrated with WordPress, making it unbelievably easy for experienced users to manage and modify their stores.
The front-end is equally as beautiful, with hundreds of themes available ranging from cute children’s stores to dark and rugged adventure sports templates. From sports supplements to chic fashion, there’s a WooCommerce theme to suit every online store.
As with WordPress, most WooCommerce themes need to be purchased. Although free themes are available, their quality level generally doesn’t compare to the paid themes and most store owners will want to avoid depending on a free theme.
Finally, not all WordPress themes are compatible with WooCommerce. In order to use WooCommerce to its full capabilities, you’ll want to purchase a theme from the team at WooThemes, who developed the WooCommerce software.
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How can you customize WooCommerce?
As open source software, WooCommerce is incredibly easy to customize. You can develop your own plugins to add new functionality to your online store, or simply buy a premade plugin from the WooCommerce store.
Although WooCommerce is completely free to download and install, the cost of a WooCommerce store can shoot upwards once you start installing plugins built by official WooCommerce developers.
Simple modules like USPS Shipping or subscription billing, both of which are vital for many online stores, can cost $79 or $199 each. A UPS shipping module, which your users can use to calculate shipping fees, costs $79 on its own.
These plugins and extensions can make this open source, free application cost far more than many users expect. Because of this, you should see which plugins and extensions you’ll need before you install WooCommerce to accurately calculate its true cost.
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Should you buy WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a powerful piece of software that’s absolutely free to install and customize. However, most users will need to buy several plugins, which are priced from $49 all the way up to $199, in order to use the platform to its full potential.
There are many eCommerce platforms on the market that are more powerful than WooCommerce. Magento, an enterprise solution used by leading companies, offers far more features and greater versatility, albeit at a much higher price point.
Where WooCommerce excels is in ease of use. Any WordPress user will immediately work out how to operate WooCommerce, making it the best eCommerce platform to use if you’re an experienced WordPress developer or blogger.
Although it’s far from perfect, WooCommerce occupies an important niche between enterprise eCommerce software and hosted online stores. If you’d like to build your own online store using WordPress, it’s the platform to choose.