WooCommerce Review – Why to Consider it for Your Online Shop?
If 10 years ago somebody was thinking about creating an online store, it’s quite sure he wouldn’t have chosen WordPress. It was mostly used to create blogs and simple websites. But everything changed drastically.
These days you can make your own online market using just WordPress. Why is that? Because you get one of the best tools that will help in developing your store: the WooCommerce plugin. But why is WooCommerce so widely used and are there any downsides to it? Let’s find out!
First, we’ll see the pros of using this plugin. There are some major benefits in using WooCommerce:
- Trusted by thousands of stores.
- It integrates perfectly with WordPress
- It’s Open-Source
- You can sell anything using it (literally)
- Lots of extensions
- Integrated blogging (big plus)
WooCommerce is Well Trusted
This is really important when you think about making your new store. Would you choose something that many people doubt it works? If you choose WooCommerce you are set for a great start. Just check these numbers:
- More than 35% – this is the number of eCommerce sites it powers all around the world
- More than 7 million downloads
- Over 2.241.106 – the number of websites using it in February 2018 (the number grows)
- Thousands of installs every month.
Integrates Perfectly with WordPress
Since you’re using WordPress as your CMS, you should choose the one plugin that fits seamlessly with it. WooCommerce is that plugin.
Your site performance is at stake here. Did you know that 40% of the people abandon those sites that take too much time to load (more than 3 seconds)? And 47% of the visitors expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less.
This is why WooCommerce is so good. It won’t slow down your store and the potential clients visiting the site are much more likely to buy something. After all, that’s the reason you set it up.
But it’s important to keep one thing in mind: a regularly updated plugin is a must. WooCommerce is no difference here.
The developers behind this tool are working day and night to improve the quality and performance of the plugin. If you don’t update WooCommerce regularly, your site will have to suffer and eventually your business.
Using WooCommerce with WordPress has another big plus: you get security updates all the time. If you’re not yet using the security extensions it provides, then you better get going. Your store will be protected from known threats and other vulnerabilities that might crash it.
So don’t forget: WooCommerce helps your store have a better performance and stay protected, but just as long as you make sure to keep it up to date.
WooCommerce is Open-Source
Another great plus is that WooCommerce is an Open-Source plugin. This means that you can tweak it to the highest level to fit your needs. The possibility of customization is endless.
You can even personalize the source code or ask a developer to do it. This is something most people with an online store need if they surpass a certain number of visitors each month. The store will work more efficiently and ensure you a better performance over time.
Being an Open-Source tool, you can create your own themes for it. This allows for a much more professional look of your store. You will stand out from the crowd and be more noticeable. Building your own brand will be much easier.
Open-source means that the store you made isn’t tied to one specific platform. This is really beneficial for anyone with a site.
At the start, you don’t have too many visitors or customers on your site, which is totally normal. But in time, as your publicity grows, you’ll receive more visitors and possibly customers. The hosting you’ve chosen may not allow more visitors than a certain number.
But with WooCommerce being an Open-Source tool, you can easily move your store to any other hosting service that will allow for your business to expand further. This way, you are not making any compromises. We’ve spent months for testing multiple web hosting companies and made a top list of the best WooCommerce hosts.
You don’t even have to recreate your whole product list because WordPress is supported by most of the hosting platforms out there. You just transfer everything onto the new server and you’re good to go.
Open-Source may have its downsides, but we’ll talk about those later in this post.
Sell Literally Anything with WooCommerce
You work from home, making bracelets for sale. You’re a graphic designer and you’ve got many designs to sell. You created an online course and you want to sell it. Every one of these cases has one thing in common. Yes, you guessed it: they want to sell something.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling: physical or digital products. You can use WooCommerce for either of them. This really broadens your field.
WooCommerce is also the perfect tool if you’re an affiliate seller/marketer. There are many sites built to sell someone else’s products via affiliate marketing. In this case, as well, you can sell anything: traditional products, digital products/services, or even memberships and subscriptions.
Lots of WooCommerce Extensions
When running an online store, you need to have many different capabilities allowed by the chosen platform. WooCommerce is great in this section. The extensions you can install into it will help you very much.
They do what plugins do for WordPress itself. Extensions add extra functionality to WooCommerce.
But it may be daunting when first setting up your store, to think of any extension you could need. In that case, you can see a list with every extension on the official WooCommerce site. Just pick those that best suit your store.
These are just some of the things you can do using WooCommerce extensions:
- Simple and fast setup
- Easily add new products
- Work with the preinstalled payment methods
- Improved order management
- Cart calculation
- Shipping management
Let’s check out some of these in more detail:
The order management is probably one of the most vital parts when choosing an eCommerce plugin. WooCommerce doesn’t disappoint in this area. It has a great manager with many features built into it. This makes for a faster order processing, leading to better results.
A great feature of WooCommerce is the fact that you don’t have to worry about installing all kinds of payment methods. The plugin comes with many payment methods preinstalled, like Bank Wire Transfer, Cash on Delivery, PayPal, Square, Stripe or even Cheque payments.
WooCommerce has a great extension that allows you to have product reviews on your site (for free). It’s called Yotpo Social Reviews. It even allows you to create Q&A’s to help your clients out.
WooCommerce also comes with some nice shipping/delivery extensions. One very popular choice is called Shippo. It’s free to sign up, but you pay $0,05 per shipping label. It helps you keep in touch with 15+ carriers including DHL, UPS, FedEx and more.
When your online market is receiving customers, it’s hugely relevant that you stay in touch with them. The most trusted way to do this is by creating a newsletter or a mailing list.
Good thing WooCommerce comes with a Mail Chimp extension too. If you already have a Mail Chimp account, you can easily link it to your store using this extension (which btw it’s free to use).
Obtaining clients on your site is a good feeling, but keeping them around and making sure they come back isn’t as easy as it sounds.
What is another advantage that can help you do this? The integrated blogging system WooCommerce has.
If you want to be a real professional in your niche, it’s good to have a blog on your site. But you might ask ‘’Why? I’m not a writer. I’m selling stuff.’’. And that may be true.
But think about this: the businesses which are blogging are 55% more likely to get traffic back to their websites, which mean more chances for sales. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it has built-in blogging features.
By creating content that appears on your site, you can achieve much better rankings on Google. Let’s say you have a store where you sell Bluetooth speakers. People interested in this subject are often searching the web for articles regarding such speakers.
And what happens if you have no article about them? These potential clients are passing by, never even noticing your site.
But if you regularly publish posts about new Bluetooth speakers, others can find you easier on Google. And since they just arrived on your website, maybe they will purchase a new speaker from you.
The visitors who arrive on your site will trust you more because they can see that you know what you’re talking about. Slowly you will develop your own brand and be a professional in your niche.
So, what do you think? Is it worth creating a blogging page beside your store? As I said, it isn’t mandatory, but it could become a real an income stream if you put some work into it. And, since WooCommerce has this already built in, why not try?
Thousands of WooCommerce Themes
I already mentioned that you can make your own themes for WooCommerce. But you don’t necessarily have to. WooCommerce comes with many beautiful themes right out of the box.
You’re maybe thinking that you already have a nice theme from WordPress, which works very well. But you should really consider updating to a WooCommerce theme when making your store. Why?
This is a great move on your part because WooCommerce themes are created specifically for online markets. From the ground up, these themes are developed to fit well with your online store.
It’s a good thing that many of the themes are made for particular stores. For example, if your store will sell electronics (phones, tablets, earphones, etc.) you can choose from those created specifically for that.
A good place to start looking is the WooCommerce theme store. Here you can search for any theme you could think of. But if you’re looking for something a bit more premium, you can check out ThemeForest.
They have the largest WordPress theme collection on the web. Because of this, many premium WooCommerce themes are being sold by them. Though it’s important to point out, that most of them aren’t free.
A good advice: if your store is in its first days, you should get a free theme. WooCommerce works well with those too. When you’ll get more visitors and buyers on the site, you can upgrade to a premium theme pretty simple.
When looking for the best theme for your store, it’s important to check out some facts before picking one. The most important thing to find out is if the theme gets updated often. If it does, then your store will be more secure. You are also less likely to conflict with other parts of the site.
On the other hand, you should pay attention to the ratings for that theme. Like any other product, if the theme’s got a high rating, you’ll be sure it does what it claims. Reading some reviews about it is even better.
Being serious about picking the right theme, ensures that you will get the most out of what WooCommerce has to offer.
Let’s resume what we talked about up until this point:
- We’ve seen that WooCommerce is a trusted plugin that is used by thousands of stores worldwide, giving it a huge plus.
- Another convenience is the fact that it integrates flawlessly with WordPress. This eases up the process of having a secure and performing online market.
- WooCommerce being an Open-Source plugin makes it simpler to move your store to another server or hosting provider when it outgrows the old one. It also allows a better personalization of the store.
- The extensions for WooCommerce will make your life a lot easier when managing the store.
- The integrated blogging system is great to achieve new visitors who will stay in touch with you thanks to the Mail Chimp extension.
- One other positive is the WooCommerce theme store (alternatively ThemeForest) to find the theme that will grow your market beyond your expectations.
But at the beginning of the post, I said that I’ll cover the downsides too. So let’s get to them now:
Are you a person who likes technology? In a matter of way everybody does. But what’s the difference between somebody who creates a website by himself and somebody who pays a person to do it for him? The difference is in the knowledge of website development.
This is one of the problems here. If you’re not that much into tech, it may take some time to learn all the ins and outs of WooCommerce. As I said previously, it is totally possible. But if you’re not used to doing something like this by yourself, you might want to ask for help.
And when the store is set up and working, you have to manage it. Since WooCommerce is an Open-Source plugin, you have to do all the backend work. With paid platforms, this is different.
If you go for another platform, Shopify for example, they take care of everything. You don’t have to worry about the site breaking down or malfunctioning. If there’s any problem the staff will look into it and find a way to fix it.
But with WooCommerce if there’s an issue, you have to resolve it by yourself. In a more fortunate situation, you find the answer on a community site. Or you could need to hire a developer to do the work for you. But any of these situations could take precious time away from the market.
One other downside is the frequency of the updates. WordPress gets updates very often. But sometimes the plugins, in this case, WooCommerce, are not adapting very quickly to the new standards. But this will resolve itself in a matter of time.
WooCommerce can cost you some money too. This is something many people consider to be negative. Numerous themes used by WooCommerce have a price. So if you want to upgrade your store with a new better theme, you might spend some money on this.
The extensions used by the WooCommerce are very useful. But many of these come for a price as well. You should take into consideration these matters when planning your store.
In conclusion, WooCommerce is a strong and modern plugin to help you build an online store. As we’ve seen, there are many pros if you choose to develop your store using it. One of the most outstanding is the huge possibility for customization and the powerful security coming with the latest updates.
Like everything, it has some cons too. If you’re not really acquainted with tech, you might find it a bit hard to create and manage your store using this tool. In this case, a paid platform could be a better choice for you.
But, if you want a powerful, performing and modern looking online store, and you’re willing to put some work into it, even learning from the bottom up how to do it, I strongly recommend trying WooCommerce.
The pros can really outweigh the cons if we’re talking about WooCommerce.
As I said in the opening, 10 years ago, not many people would have thought to create an online store using WordPress. But as you’ve seen through this article, WooCommerce can be a great tool in helping you achieve it.