- Woo Commerce integrates seamlessly with WordPress, reducing the learning curve for many users.
- Truly unique customization needs will require hiring a dedicated WordPress developer with Woo Commerce experience to create and maintain that functionality.
- Woo Commerce is a great solution for most small businesses, but as soon as your business outgrows it, you’ll have to find another solution quickly.
The WordPress community is a thing of beauty. So much support, endless plugins to add functionality to your website, and countless themes to style it just how you’d like.
There’s no wonder it is the world’s most popular content management system and why so many businesses choose WordPress as the foundation on which they build their digital presence.
That said, there’s no ignoring the fact that WordPress started as a blogging platform.
Since then, it has gone on to become so much more, but does that mean it’s a good fit for eCommerce?
Adding eCommerce Features To WordPress
It’s common for businesses to want to sell products on their website, and there’s a lot of options to do that. You can go with a third party SAAS platform like Shopify or SquareSpace to compliment your main WordPress website, but then you have a second website to maintain and pay for.
The other option is to add eCommerce functionality right to your WordPress site.
The Most Popular eCommerce Plugins For WordPress
Like all things in the WordPress world, there’s always a lot of options to add just about any feature to your website that you’d like. For eCommerce a few of the most popular plugins are:
- Woo Commerce
- Easy Digital Downloads (digital products only)
- WP eCommerce
Of those, there’s no question that Woo Commerce is the most well-known and widely used, so it’s the plugin that we are going to focus on in this article.
The Benefits of Woo Commerce
Woo Commerce is well known and widely know for some very good reasons.
- It is completely open source and integrates with WordPress seamlessly.
- It supports the most in demand features by small businesses including multiple payment options, inventory management, and shipping controls. These can be added to with additional plugins.
- It simplifies the regular tasks of running an online store such as adding or removing products, managing orders, and tracking sales.
- You’ll be able to manage your entire online store right from your WordPress dashboard. If you already know how to use WordPress, Woo Commerce makes a great compliment to simplify your workflow.
- It’s highly customizable, with a variety of themes and extensions available to suit your specific needs. This is particularly useful if you’ve already picked a theme for your WordPress site and are now just adding to it with Woo Commerce instead of starting from scratch.
- Like the rest of WordPress, it large user base and a strong community surrounding it. Maybe of the same tools you will use to optimize and improve your WordPress website already will work perfectly with Woo Commerce in many cases.
That said, it has some serious drawbacks as well.
The Drawbacks of Woo Commerce
These are some things you need to consider before jumping into Woo.
- While there are a lot of themes and extensions for it, it is a highly templatized solution meaning that any significant modifications to suit your needs could involve a lot of work, maintenance, and on-going expensive to keep things running correctly.
- Plugin Overload: Stock Woo Commerce doesn’t have a ton of options for things like payment gateways, shipping label creation, specialized pricing models, an products that have unique quirks like funneled upsells, or that need a deeper level of customization before ordering.
- Great Community, But Basically No Customer Support: Being an open source project, you won’t find the level of customer support for it that you might with a SAAS solution like Shopify.
- Developer Oriented: Woo is not for the faint of heart. Unless you are a developer, you may find it difficult to customize if you are regularly trying to add new features to your online store.
- Slower Than Other Options: Woo, and just about every eCommerce solution for WordPress sits on top of WordPress itself. If you have a lot of products or higher traffic, the performance will quickly degrade versus other eCommerce platforms better built to operate at volume.
The Type Of Business That Benefits Most From Woo Commerce
Woo Commerce is a great solution for small businesses that have a few thousand products or less, and process less than 500 transactions a day. Anymore than that and you might run into database issues that lend themselves to finding a better solution for your business.
However, if you are a smaller retailer, and aren’t ringing out thousands of customers a day through your website, Woo Commerce can be a great, budget-oriented way to turn your company’s website into an online retail point.
This is particularly true if you work with a professional WordPress development team that can help you tackle any functionality additions you need to make to the site so that it works best for your needs.
Setting up an online store can be complicated. If you have any questions or need some advice, be sure to send us a message. We’re happy to help, even if the best solution for you isn’t WooCommerce after all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is WooCommerce Better Than Shopify?
WooCommerce offers seamless integration with your existing WordPress website meaning there is less to learn, and lower costs associated with your digital marketing efforts if you already have a WordPress website.
Why Choose WooCommerce?
WooCommerce offers a low cost solution for small businesses looking to open an online eCommerce storefront. If you already know WordPress, learning WooCommerce is very straight forward. WooCommerce also enjoys a large community of users, plugins, and themes that can help you get your eCommerce operation online quickly and with minimal effort.
Who Should Use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is best for small businesses that have just a few thousands products or less, and process less than 500 transactions a day. If your website has or sell more products than that on a daily basis, other eCommerce solutions may be a better solution for your business.
How Many Orders Can WooCommerce Handle?
Hypothetically, a nearly unlimited number of orders can be processed through WooCommerce every day. That said, scaling your hosting resources to meet that demand may be a challenge. Because of that, we recommend it for small businesses that ship 500 orders a day or less.
What Are WooCommerce Attributes?
WooCommerce attributes are specifics about a certain product that help you better sort and categorize them. For instance, if you offered a kids Transformers t-shirt for sale, you may have it in different colors such as white, blue, or red. You could use WooCommerce attributes to separate those colors if you liked.
Can I Use Coupons In WooCommerce?
Yes, WooCommerce offers coupon functionality that can be extended on with the use of third-party plugins that offer a deeply level of functionality than a stock WooCommerce installation.
Does WooCommerce Handle Sales Tax?
Yes, WooCommerce can handle charging sales tax to your customers for products that you sell on your website. You will want to be sure that you have configured WooCommerce properly for the tax rates that apply.
Does WooCommerce Create Shipping Labels For Me?
Yes, WooCommerce can create shipping labels for products you sell. If you have custom or unique shipping needs, there are a variety of plugins to extend the shipping label functionality of WooCommerce to help meet your business needs.
How Can I Accept WooCommerce Payments?
Most retails accept payments for orders made through WooCommerce with PayPal or Stripe. Using these payment gateways is a safe and secure way of handling your customers sensitive financial information, leading to lower security and privacy risks for both you and your customers.
Still Deciding If Woo Is Right For You?
We are happy to offer our advice, or possibly suggest a better alternative should you need it. Drop us a message and let us know how we can help.
Revisit A Section
- Adding eCommerce Features To WordPress
- The Most Popular eCommerce Plugins For WordPress
- The Benefits of Woo Commerce
- The Drawbacks of Woo Commerce
- The Type Of Business That Benefits Most From Woo Commerce
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Is WooCommerce Better Than Shopify?
- Why Choose WooCommerce?
- Who Should Use WooCommerce?
- How Many Orders Can WooCommerce Handle?
- What Are WooCommerce Attributes?
- Can I Use Coupons In WooCommerce?
- Does WooCommerce Handle Sales Tax?
- Does WooCommerce Create Shipping Labels For Me?
- How Can I Accept WooCommerce Payments?