Launched in 2011, WooCommerce quickly positioned itself as the number 1 eCommerce solution for WordPress.
And given WordPress' giant popularity, being the most-used eCommerce platform on WordPress is a huge, huge deal. In fact, since its release, it has been downloaded over 55 million times and currently claims to power 'over 28% of all online stores'.
But do all these impressive figures and accomplishments make this platform the right choice for you?
Asking myself the same question, I chose to write a WooCommerce review.
Getting Friendly with WooCommerce
The first thing you should know about WooCommerce is that it was built exclusively for WordPress. That's it's sole intention. So, for those not interested in using WordPress with their site, this solution isn't for you.
Now, as for those who are fond of WordPress (or perhaps already have a WordPress site), you'll be pleased to know that getting started with WooCommerce is as simple as... installing a plugin.
No really, it genuinely is as simple as that: WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin.
Simply go to Plugins > Add new, search for 'WooCommerce', and install it in two clicks.
It's as simple as that.
With no default WordPress eCommerce options available when you set up your WordPress site, it's no wonder such a straightforward option has seen so much success.
It offers the following highlighted features:
- Sell physical products or digital downloads
- Unlimited products, images, and galleries
- PayPal & Stripe, Amazon Pay & PayFast payment gateways available
- Choose from over 500 themes (plus more than 1,000 on ThemeForest)
- Show customer feedback on product listings
- Automatically mark verified reviews with a Verified Owner badge
- Customize anything you want from your store's homepage to the buy button
When you consider the above features on top of the fact that you can manage everything straight from the WordPress dashboard, the practicality of running a WooCommerce store is certainly impressive.
Is WooCommerce Free?
As for the plugin/platform itself, yes, WooCommerce is free. There are free themes you can install too, however, most of the top recommended themes will cost between $20 and $100. There are also extensions you can purchase, to give your store just a little bit more powers and functionality.
All Good So Far, But is There a Downside?
While I haven't yet a bad word to say about WooCommerce, there is something I have to get off my chest...
Firstly, WooCommerce is not something I can recommend to complete beginners who do not feel comfortable with online platforms. This is due to you having to use WordPress to manage everything, which isn't as simple as using the likes of Shopify or Wix - those are better options if your main concern is ease of use.
Secondly, as WooCommerce themes are not provided by the company themselves, WooCommerce doesn't provide central technical support for each theme.
While there is general support from WooCommerce on offer, it is not specific to the themes available. So, if you have an issue that regards your theme itself, you'll need to contact the support offered by your theme provider.
Whether this causes problems or not depends on the theme you have, as there is no guaranteeing that your provider will have support. If it does, WooCommerce is not responsible for the support on offer by the provider. If it's useless, there is nothing WooCommerce can do about it.
For many people, this is a big deal.
Sometimes, you need an issue fixing immediately - you need answers and you don't want to wait.
So, when choosing your WooCommerce theme, I strongly advise you to be cautious regarding the support on offer. Do everything you can to ensure it's a helpful service (as well as a solid theme) before you buy in and install it.
Recommended WooCommerce Themes
I recommend something simple, yet powerful, like Shopkeeper ($34) & Porto ($34).
Both are elegantly designed from front to back and include technical support from the theme authors, all of which is quality checked by Envato, from which you buy them from.
.This offers some consolation to the lack of central support at WooCommerce, but it isn't a complete fix.
As it's important to note that support for both, and many other themes on the Envato Market is valid for 6 months only. After that, you're on your own with any issues relating to your theme, unless you pay for additional support.
Pro tip: Unless you're super confident in your troubleshooting abilities, pay the extra $8.25 to extend your support to 12 months.
Concluding My WooCommerce Review
After testing WooCommerce for myself and challenging it from every angle, I can happily say I'll be continuing to use it.
For those who run already run a WordPress blog and want to monetize it with a store, I highly recommend installing the WooCommerce plugin and capitalizing on the ability to manage both your store and site/blog all from your WordPress dashboard.
However, if you aren't concerned about blogging abilities, and you're not completely confident with your computer skills, I advise against using WooCommerce as your first eCommere solution. An easier to use option would be Shopify or Wix.
If you do decide to use WooCommerce, or have already used it, please feel free to leave your own WooCommerce reviews down below. Have you missed having central customer support? Or maybe you found some theme that's just perfect for you? Let me know!
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