What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is the world's most popular open-source eCommerce plugin made for small and large-sized online merchants to set up their online stores using WordPress. As a reliable eCommerce solution, WooCommerce is a free eCommerce software that makes it easy for selling products and services online. Initiated on September 27, 2011, the plugin immediately became popular due to its easy installation and customization without using code and free base product.
Improved every time by a global community, WooCommerce offers a free and flexible platform as well as gives its users the freedom to retain full ownership of your store’s content and data forever. This is what describes it as open-source. WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. Over the years, running an online store may cost a fortune, but not anymore. WooCommerce has made putting up an online store super-easy and flexible, cost-effective, and easy to manage even for beginners. Millions of small and large businesses (online stores) trust this platform.
As an open-source e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce functions as an extension of WordPress which is the most popular website builder on the earth. WordPress is also an open-source content management system (CMS). Among other CMS, it remains the leading platform. WooCommerce delivers the power to determine how your eCommerce website looks like. This means you’re allowed to build an eCommerce website from scratch or add shopping cart functionality to an existing website.
Though WooCommerce is free to download and use because it’s open-source software, you still need a domain name and web hosting service to set up a website, which costs money.
WooCommerce is becoming popular day by day, and top businesses around the world are using it because it offers all-in-one eCommerce solutions. Some top websites using WooCommerce are Clickbank, Awesome Inventions, The Spectator Magazine Shop, WorthPoint, Bookriot, and Blue Star Coffee, etc.
WooCommerce Comparison with other Ecommerce Platforms
We have many other popular eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magneto users can take advantage of while setting their online store. But among the platforms, WooCommerce stands as the most popular one. It is easy to use for beginners, and it comes with extremely powerful features that make your online store stand out from the crowd, and make your business grow.
Since WooCommerce delivers into your hand complete freedom and control over your eCommerce website 100%, which defines it as an open-source.
Unlike other exclusive eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce allows you to create as many online stores and eCommerce websites as you like because its pricing does not include licensing fees.
Another feature that makes the WooCommerce plugin stand different from others is the availability of thousands of beautiful templates and designs that you can choose to create your online store. These themes come with easy-to-use customization options and many of them are available for free. You’ve access to other powerful features of WordPress as well when you choose WooCommerce.
Furthermore, WooCommerce offers a flexible platform which is another main reason why business owners love it. With the use of other WooCommerce plugins (known as add-ons), you can add additional features you wish to WooCommerce. Availability of literally thousands of WooCommerce specific plugins helps you to extend WooCommerce functionality by adding features like booking, subscriptions, shipping platform integrations, sales tax collection, etc.
Additionally, outside the availability of addons made specifically for WooCommerce which make it better than other eCommerce platforms are the thousands of WordPress plugins you can use on your website to add features like contact forms, call now buttons, galleries, data backup, security firewall, etc.
As an open-source platform, WooCommerce puts no restrictions on how you run your business. This is an advantage that makes it top-notch. You have the power to determine the way you want your store to look like, and how you want to run it. If you like you can add unlimited products, make unlimited sales, import and export product data, add unlimited product images, videos, categories, and more. No restriction at all!
When it comes to payment, WooCommerce has proven to be a compatible platform where you can add any payment method easily. One major hurdle for many users that want to run an online store is how to accept payments online. The most important benefit of using WooCommerce is that it integrates seamlessly with dozens of payment services and gateways like PayPal and Stripe. You don’t have to worry again about accepting payment. In fact, WooCommerce, by default, supports PayPal and Stripe, while the other payment gateways can be added through add-ons.
Pricing of WooCommerce
Having established that, WooCommerce offers the best free and flexible platform for setting up your online store, as well as gives total control, but setting it up needs some things to get started. These items are needed to set up the WooCommerce website from scratch.
In order to get the above items, you need to pay. They are not free, despite the fact that WooCommerce is free. These items are provided by third-party businesses outside WooCommerce like domain, hosting, etc. In fact, no one can build any type of website without paying for these three things, so it is not only just WooCommerce that is applicable.
Depending on the services you choose to purchase, the overall cost of setting up your WooCommerce website is different, and you can easily control the costs by only purchasing what you actually need. We strongly suggest that add other things later as your business starts making money.
There are many companies selling hosting services. You can go through the websites of the companies selling hosting, and domain to confirm their rates. Normally, web hosting would cost $7.99 per month for a beginner site, while a domain name costs $14.99 per year, and an SSL certificate around $69.99 per year. Now, you agree that this is an important investment with no huge cost because every penny counts when you are starting a new business.
For example, Bluehost is the WordPress and WooCommerce recommended hosting provider. It offers an exclusive discount for web hosting with a free domain name and SSL. You can be able to start for $2.75 per month. Users can count on this hosting company being one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. Bluehost hosts millions of websites on the internet today. We have other reliable hosting companies on the internet which offer quality hosting services too.
Is WordPress Worth Investing On?
It’s worth paying if you want to enjoy the flexibility and versatility that WordPress offers. WordPress makes designing any type of website simpler with no specialized technical knowledge or knowledge about coding. So, instead of writing all the code from scratch before you build a website, all you do is to login into your WordPress dashboard, and simply create your web pages, or add content, and even customize the design.
The factor that makes WordPress worth learning is the acceptability. WordPress is acceptable because it helps to design websites quickly and easily. Before the introduction of WordPress, as a major content management system (CMS), you needed to know HTML in order to code a website and publish your content online. It was quite difficult then, but now WordPress has made it much easier. Instead of writing your website code from scratch, you get everything done with WordPress.
WordPress saves you a huge fee you would have paid as a business owner to a developer. In terms of budget, it is very hard to beat, making it one of the most popular content management systems for building a website. It is free, and open-source, meaning no need to pay for any licensing. Building your website doesn’t have to cost a fortune as уоu саn lay уоur hands оn budget friendly hosting, free themes, аnd plugins thаt саn tаkе care оf уоur essential needs. It even allows уоu tо save cost оf using a web developer.
Thе dashboard panel thаt iѕ present in WordPress helps to customize your website design аnd functionality оf the site, аѕ wеll аѕ bе in control оf thе content tо bе published. Just download оr purchase templates аnd extensions tо gеt thiѕ done. Besides, WordPress supports multiple users whеn working in thе backend.
Anоthеr reason WordPress iѕ worth paying for iѕ thе fact thаt уоu саn help mоѕt businesses thаt аrе looking fоr a reliable аnd scalable website tо remain in thе competition create thеir websites. Just bесаuѕе WordPress platform powers mоrе thаn 35% оf thе internet, mоѕt business owners аrе looking intо thiѕ non-expensive solution. Sо аѕ a website developer, уоu саn change thе appearance оf a website, аѕ wеll аѕ change thе core functionality, admin panel and mоrе fоr a fee. Considering аll thеѕе features, уоu wоuld agree thаt WordPress design iѕ worth learning. If you have advanced coding knowledge, уоu саn modify tо suit уоur taste.
How to get free WooCommerce plugin
In order to enjoy WooCommerce for free, you need to install the software inside your WordPress website.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, the installation process is similar to any other WordPress plugin. Right on your WordPress dashboard, head over to Plugins. Click on the Add New page in your WordPress admin and search for WooCommerce. WordPress will now bring plugin search results. Then click on the “Install now” button that appears on WooCommerce.
Once completed, click on the ‘Activate’ button to start using it.
Activating the WooCommerce
WooCommerce will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard once activated.
There are some fields that WooCommerce will bring like the selection of your store location, currency, and what type of products you want to sell. This information is needed to be provided.
Then click on the “let’s go” button to continue.
In the next step, WooCommerce will ask you to choose a payment method. Normally, WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe payment gateways, so you find these gateways under the payment method.
Choosing a payment method
Enable the available payment methods by clicking the toggle and input your email address to complete the setup.
You can also access them by visiting the WooCommerce » Settings page and switching to the Payments tab.
The next process is to set up shipping. Either select free shipping or add flat shipping costs for different zones.
Set up shipping cost
There are fields that allow you to set up your shipping cost. To navigate to this point, click on the continue button to move along.
Secure your WooCommerce
Is WooCommerce safe?
Just like WordPress is the most popular CMS for building websites, attributed to being powering over 35% of the websites around the globe, likewise, WooCommerce is taking the lead among eCommerce sites around the world with a market share of 30%. This puts a way ahead for platforms such as Squarespace, Shopify, and Magento. And for this reason, WordPress and WooCommerce together deliver a high level of functionality, customizability, and security to your online store. This means that WooCommerce is safe to use.
How do I make WooCommerce secure?
Just like any website is liable to hacking, likewise, WordPress websites can also be hacked. To keep your website on WordPress and WooCommerce secure, there are different levels of security you can implement to make it secure and difficult so that hackers have no chance of entering. These are basic steps to take to make your WooCommerce secure.
The first security step to take is to make sure you change your default username “admin”. Hackers target your username and password first. They target admin accounts because it has complete authority over your site. Note that leaving your username as ‘admin’ makes your website vulnerable and so easy to break into your website. Create a good admin password with a unique username that is difficult to guess. There are password managers introduced by browsers that you can possibly use. To change your WordPress admin name, go to User > Add New.
Secondly, keep your WordPress updated and likewise the WooCommerce plugin. This is also applicable to other WordPress plugins you have installed. Software updates are essential and inevitable. From time to time, software owners continuously add new features, fix bugs, and patch up security flaws that may have been present in the current plugin, which makes them receive updates from time to time. Updating your website with the latest software means you have the latest security updates as well.
Furthermore, ensure you backup your website. When you backup your website, you’ve something to fall back on once your website is hacked. Likewise, when your WooCommerce site goes down, it can be devastating as you stand to lose customers, orders, and revenue. But once you have a backup, you can restore it quickly and get back to business.
Besides, get an SSL certificate. Adding an SSL certificate ensures that sensitive information that is transferred between a user and your website is encrypted. This removes the possibility of hackers getting their hands on this information. Adding an SSL certificate to your website makes your website name in the address bar change from HTTP to HTTPS, and a padlock will appear to its left.
Another way to secure your WooCommerce is to install a security plugin. Installing a security plugin on your WooCommerce site protects your site from hackers. Security plugin will help to regularly scan your website thoroughly and check for any hacks, malware, or suspicious activity. There are many WordPress security plugins available for selection, but not all of them offer the same level of security. Careful consideration should be taken before picking them.
WooCommerce theme is a ready-made layout created for WooCommerce which helps to make your online website building easy, faster, and intuitive. As a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface, you can customize, or modify it to suit your website. Themes are specifically developed to make your WooCommerce website creation fun, and unique. Even a novice with no technical knowledge can create his website in just a few minutes and makes it look attractive using a website theme.
In the ever competing market space fighting to sell similar products, choosing a professional theme for your eCommerce store makes a big difference in how customers see your brand. You can make it possible using WooCommerce themes. There are hundreds of readily available pre-made WooCommerce themes available to select.
We strongly suggest you choose a WooCommerce ready theme, as there is a possibility of using the WooCommerce plugin with any WordPress theme. The beauty of these themes is that they are specifically created for WooCommerce websites, and they will position your store to make more sales.
Because of the vast number of paid and free WooCommerce themes that a user can choose from to make website design look smooth, it can be difficult for beginners to choose the perfect design from the vast array of themes.
What are the top free WooCommerce themes?
These are some free WooCommerce themes that you can pick and use for your online store. All of these are mobile-friendly and highly optimized for SEO and performance.
Astra is one of the top WooCommerce ready WordPress themes that can be used to design an online store. The Astra theme offers a free theme with all the necessary features you need to build a website. As a fast, fully customizable & beautiful WooCommerce ready WordPress theme, Astra provides full WooCommerce support, built-in templates for product and shop pages, and dozens of one-click ready-made templates.
2. Ocean WP
Ocean WP is a free multi-purpose WordPress theme with WooCommerce compatibility. It makes it extremely easy to create a beautiful & unique online store with WordPress. It's one of the most easily customizable themes for WooCommerce users.
Can I Utilize Elementor for free?
As a free website builder, Elementor, like other open-source plugins, is a perfect plugin that can be extended and integrated further. With the free version of Elementor, you can achieve a lot by building your WooCommerce website. Most importantly, you can use Elementor's visual, drag-and-drop interface to design your WooCommerce site and other content types. Lay hands on this plugin and create radically distinct layouts for your online store.
Creating WooCommerce Theme
It’s possible to create a WooCommerce theme, and it is a good idea but can be time-consuming. Premade templates or themes can make your design faster and easy. You can create a WooCommerce theme manually and start by installing WordPress Locally. Then, install the plugin. To do this, go to WordPress Dashboard > Plugin > Add new > Install WooCommerce plugin and set up.
Next, create a WooCommerce theme using the wp_content directory. Create a new theme subfolder; wp_content > Theme folder. Name it. You can decide the layout of the new theme using style.css and index.php.
WooCommerce is by far the most used and most extensible eCommerce plugin which can cope with the large product bases and, if properly configured, can even cope with the bases of 50K, 100K, or more products.
WooCommerce stores can be hacked if the login details are compromised. The best way to keep your WooCommerce secure is mentioned above.
Go straight to Plugins, and click on Installed Plugins. Begin deactivating every single plugin that’s not WooCommerce or a Woo extension. If the problem is not reoccurring again, then it’s possibly a conflict with one or more of your plugins. Now, go through your plugins one at a time and activate each plugin.
Slow WooCommerce website loading can be frustrating and can make visitors abandon your store. To make your WooCommerce faster, you can follow these 5 steps
- Increase the WordPress memory limit by editing the wp-config.php file inside the Cpanel.
- Optimize the WooCommerce image sizes. Optimizing the WooCommerce images has proven to be an effective way to speed up your WooCommerce sites. Bulky images can limit your site speed, as it takes time to load. Search for plugins that can help compress your images.
- Use reliable hosting services
- Use a cache plugin
- Test your WooCommerce website speed to avoid losing visitors due to slow loading websites.
Getting along with WooCommerce may take some time to learn unless you outsource to a developer. WooCommerce requires a certain level of knowledge to use because it is a more technical platform. It requires a willingness to spend some time learning it. In contrast, Shopify is accessible by everyone, and you don’t need to know how to code to get the most out of it.