Pros and Cons of WooCommerce

Choosing the right eCommerce solution for your business can be a challenging task, considering the array of options available in the market. If you’ve narrowed down your choices to WooCommerce and still have doubts, keep reading. Our comprehensive review of WooCommerce will help you make an informed decision.

Overview of WooCommerce

WooCommerce started as a WordPress plugin developed by WooThemes company in 2008. It has since grown exponentially and reached 7 million downloads by 2015. Currently, it powers 29% of all online stores and is owned by Automattic company. With over 5 million active installs and 100 million downloads to date, WooCommerce is a reliable and robust eCommerce solution.

According to Cart2Cart’s in-house statistics, WooCommerce is a preferred choice for e-merchants, with 32% choosing to migrate to this platform.

WooCommerce stands out from its competition due to its extensive library of free and paid extensions, customizable themes, REST API access, excellent SEO capabilities, and numerous other features. It caters to businesses of all sizes, from small to medium-sized and large enterprises.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of WooCommerce

If you’re considering WooCommerce as your eCommerce platform, here are the key advantages that attract many e-merchants:

  • 100% customizability: You have the freedom to customize your online store according to your specific business needs and requirements.
  • Great flexibility: WooCommerce offers a wide range of themes that allow you to adapt your store to any market niche or product.
  • Extreme simplicity: Once installed, managing your products and payments is straightforward and hassle-free.
  • High security: Regular updates ensure that all bugs and security issues are promptly addressed.
  • Large community: The WooCommerce community is populated with developers, contributors, and enthusiasts who are always ready to lend a helping hand.

Despite these advantages, there are some limitations you should be aware of when considering WooCommerce:

  • Lack of SEO capabilities: While the website layout is shopper-friendly, some backend components may negatively impact SEO from a technical standpoint.
  • WordPress-reliant: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so you must have an existing WordPress website to use it.
  • Doesn’t come with themes: The appearance of your WooCommerce store is reliant on your current WordPress theme.
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Distinguishing Features of WooCommerce

One of the standout features of WooCommerce is its ability to offer basic functionality out-of-the-box. This means that you can start selling products immediately after setting up your store. However, if you plan to expand your business, you may need to invest in additional functionalities.

The core features of WooCommerce include:

  • Ability to sell both digital and physical products
  • Geo-location option for auto-detection of customer’s address
  • Product categorization, customization, and option to sell partner products
  • Built-in inventory control
  • Shipping cost estimator and multiple delivery options
  • Product ratings and reviews to improve SEO ranking
  • Unlimited number of products, images, and galleries
  • Guest checkout option
  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Mobile-friendliness

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Usability

WooCommerce is known for its user-friendly interface, offering users more control over their stores. However, if you’re new to WordPress, you may encounter some challenges during the integration process. Setting up a WooCommerce store also requires finding a web host, obtaining a domain name, and configuring them. Although minimal technical knowledge is required, WooCommerce provides extensive documentation and tutorials to assist you.

Adding products to your store is relatively easy and similar to creating a blog post or page. You simply need to provide a title, description, image, category, and click the “Publish” button. WooCommerce allows you to configure shipping, inventory, attributes, and linked product categories as well.

If you encounter any difficulties, WooCommerce provides a comprehensive support section with all the necessary files, references, and tutorials.

Pricing

While WooCommerce itself is free to download, setting up and running a live store involves additional expenses. To get started, you’ll need web hosting, which can range from $3 to hundreds of dollars per month, depending on your store’s size. Domain names typically cost between $0.99 and $12 per month. Additionally, there are optional extensions and themes available for purchase, with prices ranging from $29 to $299. These are one-time purchases, and you may also consider using a paid WooCommerce theme, priced between $39 and $79.

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The Overall Look

WooCommerce offers the free “Storefront” theme, specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with the WooCommerce core plugin. Storefront improves website performance, minimizes conflicts with themes and plugins, and allows extensive customization. However, there are also other free and paid WordPress themes available in the market that can enhance the appearance of your store. Third-party developers, such as ThemeForest, offer professionally-designed themes and templates that can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Functionality Extensions

WooCommerce boasts a wide variety of multi-functional extensions, making it highly versatile and feature-rich. At present, there are 350 plugins available in the Extensions Store, developed by both WooCommerce and third-party developers. These plugins enhance the functionality and appearance of your eCommerce store, improve conversions, and offer a range of features for store management, marketing, payment processing, shipping, subscriptions, and more. WooCommerce seamlessly integrates with all WordPress plugins, allowing for even more extensions from the WordPress repository. CodeCanyon is another excellent source for high-quality WooCommerce apps.

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Some popular WooCommerce plugins include:

  • WooCommerce Multi-Currency: Converts prices to different currencies, enabling global sales.
  • WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart: Monitors and recovers abandoned carts through automated emails, offering incentives to customers.
  • WooCommerce PDF Invoices: Automates the billing process by generating and sending receipts to customers’ emails or cloud storage.
  • WooCommerce Social Login: Provides seamless integration with popular social networks, simplifying the login process for customers.
  • Zoho CRM Integration: Connects WooCommerce stores with Zoho CRM, enabling data synchronization and management.

SEO Features

While WooCommerce is SEO-friendly, it doesn’t possess built-in search engine optimization and marketing features. However, WooCommerce works seamlessly with WordPress core SEO tools and additional downloadable modules. Yoast SEO is a popular SEO plugin that provides extensive tools for optimizing your store, including the ability to customize SEO titles and meta descriptions, Google search result snippet previews, readability checks, page previews, keyword testing, and improved canonical and breadcrumb support. Yoast SEO offers a free version with basic features and a paid plan with advanced options.

Beeketing is another responsive all-in-one platform that helps solve marketing issues and integrates well with WooCommerce. It offers a range of features, including reports for analysis and optimization of marketing campaigns. Beeketing has free and subscription-based features.

WooCommerce Conversion Tracking simplifies tracking ad campaigns by embedding special codes on cart, registration, and successful checkout pages. It offers integration with popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords. Although the initial version is free, users can upgrade to paid plans.

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Store Safety

WooCommerce prioritizes security and regularly updates its platform to address any security vulnerabilities. However, as an open-source solution, the safety of your store also depends on your web hosting provider. Choosing a reliable hosting company with robust security measures is crucial. Additionally, ensure secure account passwords, limit login attempts, and enable two-factor authentication. Obtaining an SSL certificate is also recommended to protect customer information.

Support Services

WooCommerce offers limited customer support due to being open-source. However, the official website provides extensive documentation, reference materials, and tutorials to help you navigate any issues. Live chat support is available from the WooCommerce team. Additionally, the WooCommerce community, including forums and blogs, is filled with enthusiasts who are always ready to assist. For non-WooCommerce related issues, the WordPress help center can offer support.

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Payment Methods

WooCommerce provides built-in payment gateways in its core version, including PayPal, Stripe, check payments, bank transfers, cash upon delivery, and Klarna payments (in limited countries). For more flexibility, additional payment extensions can be downloaded from the WooCommerce Store. When choosing a payment gateway, consider the plugin’s cost, additional fees, your location, and security requirements (such as an SSL certificate).

Who is WooCommerce Best Suited For?

WooCommerce is highly recommended for small business owners who already have a WordPress website and want to start selling online. Larger businesses may find it more efficient to scale using all-in-one eCommerce solutions like Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce, as these platforms offer more tailored solutions for businesses of different sizes.

Cost of Running a WooCommerce Store

While WordPress and WooCommerce are free, running a live store requires investment. Consider the initial and maintenance expenses, including a domain name, website hosting, SSL certificate, WooCommerce plugin setup, theme and design, and third-party plugins for extended functionality.

WooCommerce Alternatives

Although WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, it may not be the ideal solution for every business. Depending on your goals and objectives, you may want to explore other eCommerce platforms that offer faster and easier solutions. Some alternatives to consider are:

  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • OpenCart
  • PrestaShop
  • Wix

Review each platform’s features and choose the one that best suits your specific needs and requirements.

Migrating to WooCommerce

If you’re considering migrating your store to WooCommerce, you can opt for an automated approach using online SaaS tools like Cart2Cart. Cart2Cart simplifies store database migration between different shopping carts with minimal involvement from you. Alternatively, you can follow these steps to perform the migration yourself:

1. Install WooCommerce

If you already have a WordPress website, install the WooCommerce plugin and activate it.

2. Install the Cart2Cart plugin

Install the Cart2Cart plugin from your WordPress admin panel.

3. Specify the Source & Target carts

Choose your current shopping cart (e.g., Shopify) as the source and WooCommerce as the target cart from the drop-down menus.

4. Choose the data to migrate

Select the entities you want to migrate, such as product categories, customer reviews, orders, customers, and products.

5. Test FREE Demo migration

Try a free demo migration to see how the service works and how your store data will appear on the new platform.

6. Launch Full migration

Once you’re satisfied with the demo results, proceed with the full migration. Cart2Cart will transfer your store’s data from your current platform to WooCommerce.

WordPress Migration Checklist

Conclusion

Considering the wide range of WooCommerce extensions, themes, functionality, and support available, it’s evident that this platform offers a significant advantage over other eCommerce carts in the market. If you aspire to build a trusted and successful online business, WooCommerce should be high on your list. Take the time to explore our comprehensive WooCommerce review and make an informed decision.

If you’re currently using a different platform and want to migrate your store to WooCommerce, try our FREE Demo.