Next in our e-commerce series we will be talking about WordPress + WooCommerce. To see our past articles and reviews of other platforms visit these posts.
WooCommerce is plugin for wordpress sites developed by the team over at WooThemes. WooCommerce is the most popular wordpress e-commerce plugin. It’s free, packed full of features, and integrates with a self-hosted wordpress website.
Here are links to sites that are currently using WooCommerce.
Is WooCommerce the right option for you? Here are some of the pros of WooCommerce.
The WooCommerce software is FREE. Free you said? Yes, Free. The basic software itself is free to download and install. However, from there you will have small transaction fees depending on your payment processor you decide to use and hosting fees for hosting your wordpress website, but no listing fees or recurring billing like Etsy, Shopify, Big Cartel or other e-commerce platforms.
Customizable – One thing we love about WooCommerce is the vast amount of reasonably priced extensions that have been made available through the community of various developers. Need to add extra order fulfillment capabilities? Or offer appointments and rentals online? Typically it could cost you thousands to have these functionalities custom developed and added to your shop, but through the WooCommerce extensions shop, you can add them at a fraction of the cost.
Hosting – WooCommerce and wordpress are installed on your own server, giving you complete ownership of your store vs shopify which hosts everything for you. The Con is hosting your own shop means making your own software and security updates, which may or may not be for you.
Integrates with your current wordpress website – This is usually when we will recommend WooCommerce the most. Do you have an existing site design or blog on wordpress, but just want to add a shop page and don’t want to pay monthly fees on shopify or a different ecommerce platform? Then WooCommerce is a great fit. You can keep your site backend all-in-one place which makes your business life more simple and organized. Also, WooCommerce integrates with virtually any wordpress theme.
No Design Limitations – You have complete control over everything from the front-end user customizations, to the backend functionalities plus the user interface and look of your store. This is opposed to other platforms like shopify which has some limitations and can be more rigid with design customizations to the checkout pages and look of the backend. WooCommerce tends to be a favorite for developers because it doesn’t have the limitations other platforms have.
Updates and Site Security – As mentioned above,you host WordPress + WooCommerce on your own server, which means you are responsible for software updates and maintaining site security as opposed to other platforms which manage those updates for you.
Average Theme Designs – There are a ton of theme designs out there for WooCommerce, and the plugin integrates with virtually any theme, BUT stylistically most of the themes aren’t as modern and well-designed as the themes available through other Ecommerce Platforms. You can use WooCommerce and customize the design in order to make it look better in your shop, but this most likely requires hiring designers and developers. Other platforms offer quick out-of-box solutions so you can do it yourself.
Overall, WooCommerce is an amazing software, and a direct competitor to Shopify. Typically, if you are in one of these situations, we would recommend it over shopify.
1. You currently have a wordpress website or blog and want to keep your e-commerce store on the same backend and same hosting.
2. You want to create a very custom shop with unique functionalities , a custom backend, and custom checkout experience.
Here are more articles that talk about WooCommerce vs Shopify and might be helpful.
Shopify vs WooCommerce: The Ultimate Comparison
WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which Is Better For E-Commerce?
Shopify vs WooCommerce