WooCommerce WordPress plugin allows you to create an online store based on CMS. This is the most popular system for trading online. The wide distribution of the plugin is associated with ease of management and unlimited extensibility.
Add-ons can be easily screwed to the WooCommerce WordPress plugin, which gives the webmaster new opportunities for managing the store.
WooCommerce WordPress plugin is a highly specialized plugin designed to create online stores based on the WordPress engine. The plugin is especially popular among business owners considering the fact that it is niche friendly, you can use Woocommerce with any niche. This is one of the major reasons that Woocommerce is free. It allows you to make an eCommerce store without any big investments. The plugin is very easy to use and is user-friendly. If you are a newbie, you won?t find any issues working with Woocommerce.
There are several examples of brands that use WooCommerce as their major eCommerce solution. If you look at the statistics of the use of the plugin in the top 10,000 sites, here the coverage will be lower, but still very serious ? every tenth large online store is made on WooCommerce WordPress plugin.
One way or another, the target audience of the expansion is entrepreneurs, small business owners who seek to minimize investments at the initial stage of creating an online store. Woocommerce was introduced in 2011, since then 1000s of eCommerce solutions failed to compete with WooCommerce. Even in 2020, WooCommerce is irreplaceable.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Functionality
The WooCommerce WordPress plugin adds tools for managing an online store to the standard WordPress functionality.
Using WooCommerce WordPress plugin, you can:
- Create product catalogs.
- Customize categories and filters to make searching easier.
- Manage user registration.
- Accept orders and online payment.
- Monitor the sales and behavior of site visitors using analytics tools ? built-in and third-party.
- Regulate methods of payment, delivery and taxation depending on the region from which the order is made.
- Set up discount programs, promotions and sweepstakes.
- Show users similar products and bestsellers through widgets.
- Build customer loyalty using useful e-mail newsletters, etc.
In order for the plugin to function without errors, the site must be located on a sufficiently powerful hosting. For an online store of any size, hosting from SiteGround at the eCommerce tariff is ideal ? this is officially the recommended hosting from WordPress.org and WooCommerce.com.
The optimal assortment of goods that will not affect productivity is 2000-3000 units. If you need more, then it?s wiser to look towards specialized CMS for e-commerce.
WooCommerce WordPress plugin does not require special skills. The plugin is installed from the standard WordPress catalog or you can get the latest version from the developer?s website (in your personal account, after registration) and integrate it into the installed theme. In addition, the potential of WooCommerce is expanding with other plugins that offer additional online sales management tools. As an example, there are several useful applications:
- ?Single cashier? ? connection of a payment system that supports working with popular payment services.
- WooCommerce All in One SEO Pack is an add-on for controlling product metadata with goods.
- AMP with add-ons for WP and WooCommerce ? creating accelerated versions of important sections of sites.
- WooCommerce Multilingual ? creating a multilingual website.
This is only a small part of the plugins that extend the standard functionality of WooCommerce. If you have a budget, the choice becomes even richer due to paid offers that offer additional tools for managing the store.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Design and Work with Templates
The e-commerce plugin is compatible with all themes, but in reality, some templates are displayed with errors. To avoid unnecessary problems, look for topics that are right for e-commerce. For convenience, you can use the catalog on the WooCommerce website ? it has a special?Theme Store?section.
If you use the standard WordPress library to search for templates, then write ?WooCommerce? in the search bar. This will help find topics whose developers declare full compatibility with the plugin. You can use other sources of templates for WordPress ? Runetovskiy store TemplateMonster.
For deeper customization of the template design, you can use a special page designer ? the Elementor plugin. Using this plugin, you can visually assemble custom pages from blocks and widgets.
The options for customizing the design of an online store on WooCommerce are the same as any other site on WordPress. The number of options available for change depends on the topic. The engine itself allows you to create and edit menus, add widgets to pages, and also build the interface of individual pages using the Gutenberg block editor, which appeared in WordPress 5.0. Of the additional features, it?s possible to note only the add-ons that are available for those in the ?Appearance? section ? with their help, for example, the ?Buy? button and the shopping cart icon are added.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Optimization and Promotion
To optimize a site on WordPress, the?All In One SEO Pack?plugin is usually used. When installing an extension for e-commerce, you need to add a module to it, which places a standard block for SEO optimization on the page of each product and allows you to edit meta tags. It is recommended to fill in only the title (title) and description (description). All In One SEO Pack is also needed to configure metadata that will determine the appearance of links to a site when they are placed on pages on social networks.
The next step is to configure the CNC. Correct address mapping is usually configured the first time you start WordPress. But in the case of using the WooCommerce plugin, the product prefix is ??added to the URL. There are two ways to remove a prefix: through a paid plug-in or using the free Permalink Manager Lite extension, which requires configuration and manual editing of previously added products.
In order to boost your page speed, you need to work on the speed optimizations. This can be done by using WP Rocket and by using accelerated mobile pages for the mobile view. To do this, use the AMP plugin for WooCommerce. You won?t be able to do without plugins, because in the basic configuration of the engine and plug-in for e-commerce there are practically no tools for optimizing and promoting the site.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Price Policy
Woocommerce WordPress plugin can be installed for free through the plugin catalog in the WordPress admin area or get for free from the developer?s website (in your personal account, after registration) and downloaded to the server as an archive. The free version is sufficient for a start. In case you require additional features, you can buy some premium add-ons of WooCommerce. The free WooCommerce plugin does restrict you with the basic functions like the product range, accepting payments, or traffic.
To extend the basic functionality of the Woocommerce WordPress plugin, you can install other?plugins and extensions. They can be paid or free. However, it?s impossible to build an online store without a budget.
There are two obligatory expense items, as with any CMS ? payment for hosting and domain. The final cost depends on the domain zone, the size of the store and hoster. For example, a site with a small assortment of goods can cost 200-300 rubles per month.
Best Hosting for Woocommerce WordPress plugin
Actually, the platform for placing online stores itself recommends using such hosting services as SiteGround? SiteGround is one of the most reliable hosting providers in the world with millions of users. SiteGround also has special optimized rates for e-commerce. You can find some best offers on SiteGround here.
Tariff prices for WooCommerce:
- SiteGround ? from $ 3.95 / month ? to $ 11.95 / month
- Bluehost ? from $ 6.95 / month ? to $ 12.95 / month
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Advantages and Disadvantages
Woocommerce WordPress plugin is a free plugin that is flexible enough to be useful to the widest possible range of business owners. With it, you can create online stores of different sizes and functionality. The main advantages of the extension:
- access to code and the possibility of unlimited editing of the plugin;
- a reliable core, which is also used to create large stores with thousands of products;
- extensibility due to the installation of other plugins;
- support for the latest versions of WordPress thanks to constant updates;
- high level of security;
- Optimization for mobile devices by default.
Among the disadvantages of Woocommerce WordPress plugin, one can single out a high server load, which forces one to buy more expensive hosting in order to avoid problems with access to the store, as well as orientation to the western market. In RuNet, the plugin is also quite popular, but the main scope of its application is foreign stores. This defines the development of WooCommerce and the extensions that are designed for it.
Like any free solution, this plugin does not have ongoing technical support. To resolve issues, you have to turn to thematic forums, including in English. Localization problems are also encountered in the plugin itself and in related extensions.
Another drawback is the high cost of paid add-ons to WooCommerce. Though the basic version of the plugin is free to use and it has all the basic features that you need to run an eCommerce store. There are other premium plugins that enhance the functionalities of your Woocommerce website. The bad part is- add-on extensions for WooCommerce are too high priced. An example is an add-on that removes the product prefix from the product URL and costs $119. You can do this for free, but then you have to edit manually previously added products. If there are a lot of them, then making corrections will be very delayed.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Alternatives and Competitors
Woocommerce WordPress plugin is one of the most popular, but not the only solution for creating an online store. To start online sales, it is not necessary to use CMS at all. Often you can get by with the possibilities of designers of online stores, which with each update becomes more and more. For example, instead of WooCommerce, you can use:
uCoz is a powerful designer, comparable in functionality with free CMS, hung with add-ons. The necessary tools, which are added as plugins on WordPress and WooCommerce, are available by default on uCoz as part of the standard ?Online Store? module. The designer is suitable for creating large projects with the possibility of further expansion.
uKit is a website builder that allows you to create a small store. To manage sales, you can use the standard ?Product? widget or connect the Ecwid application. The service supports various payment and delivery options, multilingualism, therefore it can be used to launch small stores with sending orders to different regions.
Wix is a designer with an extensive database of professional templates and an integrated app store, which has a number of solutions that are useful for an online store. Wix offers a large number of customization tools for the appearance of the site, which allows you to create an individual design without resorting to editing template files, which is impossible on the CMS.
Despite the fact that the WordPress + Woocommerce WordPress plugin bundle is considered one of the easiest to create a store, experience and programming skills are still required to fully manage this set. If you need a small site where you can sell products, then pay attention to the designers. They offer all the necessary tools for organizing sales and are much easier to learn than CMS with plugins.
Woocommerce WordPress plugin: Conclusions and Recommendations
WooCommerce is a free e-commerce solution that offers a comprehensive approach to organizing online sales. In fact, immediately after installing it, the WordPress site turns into a store. The webmaster can only add goods to it and configure the basic parameters of the trade. Depending on the necessary functionality, you may need to install add-ons, but you can start on the basic capabilities of WooCommerce.
However, using a combination of WordPress and an e-commerce plugin is not always warranted. For example, online designers are suitable for launching small stores, who benefit from the cost of creation, ease of management, and offer all the necessary tools for out-of-box sales. They can be used to launch large projects.
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