What is WooCommerce? This WooCommerce review will dive into pricing, features, security, and more. WordPress made it easy for anyone to create a website. It’s free, it’s easy to use, it’s reliable, and it doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. Even a seasonal person who’s just getting into the digital world can do things like SEO and launch a eCommerce store in a breeze.
But it’s not that simple. To use the full scale of WordPress, you’ve to install Plugins, which in simple terms can refer to the services you use on your website. For example, if you want to use your website to sell products, then you have to install an eCommerce plugin.
And speaking of eCommerce plugin – There’s nothing that can beat the popularity of WooCommerce for WordPress.
WooCommerce is one of the leading eCommerce platforms in the world that allows you to create stunning online stores, manage your inventory, control your payments, and do website automation. The plugin is successful enough to capture the staggering share of WordPress, that’s why listed as the recommended plugin to use with a WordPress website.
But unlike Bigcommerce, Shopify, and other Competitors, WooCommerce is an open-source solution – meaning there are questions about its security, reliability, and future usage.
So, is it any good if you’re just starting out or thinking of making a change? Let’s us give a detailed review of the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce began its journey as an eCommerce platform back in 2011 and quickly gained a massive audience because of its ease of use and integration. As of 2021, there are almost 125 million websites that use WooCommerce, ultimately controlling 26% of the entire eCommerce market.
So, what is WooCommerce? WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add eCommerce functionalities to your website. Thanks to its open-source nature, the plugin is highly customizable, scalable, and offers far more features than the rest of the competition.
For merchant sellers, WooCommerce allows easy integration to one of the World’s leading marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon… for easy management.
One of the reasons why it is so popular is that you have a lot of ‘freedom’ over how you manage things. Although it is hardly the only eCommerce plugin out there, it gets the most user affection because of the following reasons:
- It’s free – There are no base charges to install. Only the premium features will cost you the extra bucks.
- It’s popular – Because of its popularity, you can find tons of support and tutorials to use it.
- It’s easy to use – Just install the plugin, add your products and your eCommerce store is ready.
Now that we’ve explained what WooCommerce is and why is it popular, here are some of the prominent features of WooCommerce.
WooCommerce Review – Detailed Features & more
Pricing – Cost of WooCommerce
WooCommerce pricing could not be more simple. As it is an open-source platform, the majority of the features are free to download and use. It doesn’t regulate storage charges or has any transaction fees but certainly comes at a price if you use the extra features.
Ease of Use – How easy it is to use WooCommerce?
We’ll divide the ease of usage part into two categories,
- How easy it is to install?
- How easy is it to manage?
The installation and setup process is simple. For this, all you have to do is go to your WordPress dashboard Plugin section, search for the WooCommerce plugin and Install it on your website. Once the plugin is installed, go to the configuration settings and set up your WooCommerce payment gateway, shipping, and other logistical data.
In terms of management, it requires you to install, manage, update, and optimize the app by yourself. So in case if you play around with the settings, you’re the only person responsible to roll it back.
WooCommerce functionalities are provided in your WordPress dashboard panel. Although there are no page builders installed, as most other tools have, it is still relatability simpler and allows you to change your website layout based on your theme settings.
Another benefit of being an open-source platform is that you can always hire a developer and make custom adjustments to your website.
Compatibility – Can you use custom themes on WooCommerce?
The recipe to a perfect online store lies in your theme, especially when it comes to WordPress. As it is an open-source platform, the theme and plugin should be compatible with one another.
Thankfully, most of the eCommerce themes available for WordPress are compatible with the WooCommerce plugin. You can easily check the compatibility option by visiting your theme developer website.
Also, in case you haven’t decided on your theme yet, you can easily pick an impressive theme from the WooCommerce theme store. It is a marketplace that features both paid and free themes.
Plugins & Extensions – What does WooCommerce Integrate with?
To improve your site functionality, WordPress allows you to install plugins on your website. Just like we’re using the WooCommerce plugin in our case, you can install more plugins that are compatible with the eCommerce giant.
Currently, there are more than 500 free and paid plugins, divided into many categories like Email Marketing, Store Management, Theme Builder, etc. These plugins not only enhance the functionalities of your website but also increase its appearance and performance.
Besides this, you can also install extensions, which are WooCommerce native paid features. For every extension, you can get more detailed features, guides, and reviews on your website.
WooCommerce also supports third-party integration, such as, sites like eBay, Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and more. These integrations not only bring more customers but also improve your business reputation in the long game.
WooCommerce Shipping – How does WooCommerce control shipping?
The WooCommerce free plan allows you to create 3 shipping methods on your website. You can always install extensions or plugins to offer more variations. The current options are as such:
- Flat Rate Shipping: Fixed shipping rates for all or individual products in your store.
- Free Shipping: Specify a certain condition/requirement to fulfill for free shipping.
- Local Pickup: This allows the customer to pick the item from your physical store location.
With each shipping option, you’ll get the chance to calculate your product estimation, destination, shipping, and other options. And this is all you can do with the free plan, the advance option such as shipping classes and online payments are available in the paid plan.
WooCommerce Payments – What payment methods does WooCommerce support?
WooCommerce is a big player and it supports all kinds of payment options when it comes to online payments. Not only this, the platform has also built its own free payment solution and encourages you to use it.
Your customers are able to use most of the basic payment gateway options such as credit or debit card, Amazon pay, stripe, and more. You can increase your site conversion by introducing different payment options at the checkout.
However, if you don’t want to use the WooCommerce payment option, you can always install payment processor extensions from the storage library.
WooCommerce Tax – How tax is calculated with WooCommerce?
This is the area where you’ll definitely need to install some sort of extensions. As WooCommerce offers limited shipping options, it’s easier to control over how your store and product taxes are implemented.
But as soon as you introduce different payment and shipping options, things get a bit complicated. For this, the platform introduced the WooCommerce Tax extension, which was paid first but now is free to download and install.
When you connect your site with this extension, it automatically determines how much sales tax should be collected on each product, based on the location. Also, you can always configure the settings and introduce more tax options in the store, billing address, and shipping address option.
WooCommerce Marketing – How good is WooCommerce in terms of SEO?
In terms of Marketing, WooCommerce provides a variety of different ways for you to rank your website. Here we will divide the marketing section into 3 categories: WooCommerce SEO, Discount and Coupons, and Email Marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of your eCommerce business. It reflects how your website will be visible on the search engine. The higher your SEO practice, the better the rankings. While we’re not here to talk about how you can improve your SEO, we can certainly highlight how WooCommerce can help in your store ranking journey.
WooCommerce is an SEO-friendly plugin, meaning that the platform is built to offer maximum conversion for both your product and category pages. Your responsibility, as a marketer is to write compelling product descriptions and use attractive images to convert most customers.
WooCommerce also features a standalone SEO plugin that you can install on your website and take your optimization to the next level.
Discount and Coupons
Another great way to grab your customer’s attention is to include seasonal discounts and coupons. WooCommerce allows you to offer a variety of different discount codes for your customer. Mainly there are three different types you can choose from; fixed product discount, percentage discount, and fixed cart discount.
There are also categories for discount schedules, restrictions for certain parameters, and promotions for certain products.
Emails are a great way to retain a customer and increase the loyalty of your brand. WooCommerce allows you tons of different ways to collect, manage, and retarget visitors’ email addresses. When it comes to styling, the main interface is built around standard HTML, so it’s easier to include this in your email newsletter.
At the same time, WooCommerce has a separate Newsletter Subscription, which offers a variety of different templates that you can include in your next email campaigns.
Security – Is it a reliable eCommerce platform?
WooCommerce is very good at handling the security of your website. But the main highlight is, it’s an open-source platform, meaning all the data is already out there. Anyone can see the code, find vulnerabilities, and affect the performance of individuals’ websites.
But these are rare cases, as the company itself says that only 4% of the users got hit by some sort of a cyberattack. Generally speaking, the security is good. And in case, you find a problem in your website, it doesn’t mean that WooCommerce is the perpetrator.
There are other things that reflect your website security as well such as hosting, theme, and plugins you use – so we can’t always point out WooCommerce for any attack.
Support – Does WooCommerce offer Chat support?
The support is not the best side of WooCommerce. As it is an open-source platform, you can’t expect a live call or a 24/7 chat system to keep things running.
But it doesn’t mean that the support is all bad, the WooCommerce community is one of the largest in the world. There are plenty of forums, groups, and tutorials that you can get help from. Simply ask your queries in one of the discussion forums and someone will probably reach out to you.
As for the WooCommerce own services, you’ll get a ticket and email support system. The wait time is 1-2 working days.
WooCommerce Review – Pros and Cons
After reviewing some of the prominent features of the platform, here’s a quick overview of all the pros and cons.
- Unlimited Customization, your imagination is the limit
- Ideal for SEO optimization and Marketing
- Interactive Community, tons of great forums
- Tons of Plugins and Extensions
- Custom design themes are available
- Sales reporting and inventory management
- Processing eCommerce orders
- No phone or chat support
- Only WordPress centric
With WooCommerce, you have so many possibilities of exploring the world of eCommerce. As soon as you get past the initial stage of development and Configurability, WooCommerce is a powerful plugin to set up, use, and grow your online business.
It’s free, it’s reliable, and comes with a wide range of extensions – all available to refine, customize, and monitor your store performance.
Feel free to contact us with any questions or project inquires.