- eCommerce Platforms
WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. Get started now. Start a new store Customize and extend.
There’s no shortage of tools for entrepreneurs and small business owners to help you get your eCommerce operations off the ground.
Many of these tools are surprisingly rigid and offer little control over your site’s look, feel, or personality.
With WooCommerce, users have near complete control over the aspects of their online store.
If you can dream it, chances are you can build it with WooCommerce.
Today, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you’ll need to know to decide if WooCommerce is the ideal platform to host your online store.
WooCommerce at a Glance
Market Segment: eCommerce retailers
Best For: Entrepreneurs, small and midsize businesses
Plans & Pricing: Both the WordPress platform and WooCommerce plugin are free, but users incur costs for things like domain registration, web hosting, and payment processing.
What Is WooCommerce?
What Is WooCommerce Used For?
WooCommerce provides websites with the tools and functionality to sell goods and services online.
Beyond the core functionality of WooCommerce, there are over 1,000 plugins and tons of extensions that allow users to customize each aspect of their eCommerce operations.
How WooCommerce Works
WooCommerce works as a plugin that you can add to your WordPress website.
Once the plugin is installed, WooCommerce walks you through a step-by-step process to get your store up and running directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Once the basic framework is in place, users can use plugins and extensions to customize their store and provide their customers with all the necessary functionality.
As the leading eCommerce solution, WooCommerce has plenty of beneficial features that allow shop owners to bring their vision to life.
Here are the most notable features available on WooCommerce.
1. Inventory Management
WooCommerce’s native inventory management tool is one of the best in the business, allowing complete control over infinite inventory items and variations.
This tool will enable you to easily create products, manage inventory, handle reporting, and group like products together for on-page upselling opportunities.
2. Sales Integrations
Meeting customers on their terms is critical to maximizing sales in today’s marketplace.
Whether your customers are purchasing products through social media, marketplaces like Etsy, Pinterest, or Google, WooCommerce makes it easy to maximize your sales points and reach your customers anywhere they’re shopping.
3. WooCommerce Shipping & Tax
WooCommerce offers native support to make shipping and calculating tax a breeze, regardless of where your customers are.
With WooCommerce Shipping, you can set up flat rate shipping zones, set thresholds for free shipping, and allow for local pickup.
WooCommerce Tax enables users to charge tax depending on billing or shipping address or your store location.
With so many sources vying for your customer’s attention, it’s critical to have the tools to rise above the noise and reach your customers.
WooCommerce offers hundreds of plugins for onsite and offsite marketing, including automated email marketing, coupon, discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, and content marketing.
5. Integrated Blog
WooCommerce has built-in blogging functionality that gives your site a critical tool for improving SEO and driving site traffic and sales.
Tell your brand’s story, keep your customers updated about new products and releases, and increase your store visibility in search through native blogging tools you can manage from your WooCommerce dashboard.
Are There Any Minimum Requirements Necessary To Use WooCommerce?
The only requirement for using WooCommerce is having WordPress as your content management system.
How Much Does WooCommerce Cost?
Since the WooCommerce plugin is technically free, figuring out your costs is a bit challenging.
Competitors that use a monthly subscription model typically include costs such as web hosting or domain registration as part of their monthly fees.
With WooCommerce, you’re on your own for that.
You’ll need to budget for the costs below to get your site up and running.
- Web hosting: $7-15 per month, depending on the size of your operations and the number of sites you’re hosting.
- Domain registration: $10-20 per year (many hosting providers offer the first year of domain registration for free).
- SSL and security: Up to $150 per year.
When you add up the cost of all these necessary items, you’re looking at up to $300 in yearly costs to run your store using WooCommerce, which breaks out to about $25 per month or less.
You’ll also pay a transaction fee of around 3% to the payment processor, which is standard regardless of the platform you choose for your eCommerce operations.
Any additional costs associated with WooCommerce are at your discretion.
For example, you may choose to add a paid theme to your site or add paid extensions and plugins to streamline operations on the backend.
In this way, WooCommerce becomes more similar to its competitors, offering paid add-ons to customize the site’s appearance and functionality.
Does WooCommerce Have an Enterprise Version Available?
The WooCommerce plugin is exceptionally agile and capable of supporting eCommerce operations whether you’re a small business with one employee or a large company that does millions in annual sales.
Enterprises will want to look towards WordPress VIP hosting, which provides Enterprise-level web hosting capable of serving millions of monthly visitors.
WordPress VIP hosting starts at $5,000 per month.
WooCommerce Promotions & Savings
Here’s everything you need to know about saving money on WooCommerce.
Does WooCommerce Have a Free Trial?
The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress is free, and many of the plugins offered by WooCommerce are free or provide a free trial period.
Since third parties develop the plugins, the trial period duration is often set by the developer and may vary from seven days to a month.
Does WooCommerce Offer Coupon Codes?
WooCommerce is a free plugin, so there are no coupons for this platform.
Depending on who you choose for the necessary site infrastructures, such as domain registration, hosting, or security, coupon codes may be available.
Does WooCommerce Have a Lifetime Deal?
No, WooCommerce doesn’t offer a lifetime deal.
Does WooCommerce Usually Offer Black Friday or Cyber Monday Discounts?
Like most companies, WooCommerce rolls out plenty of limited-time offers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Since WooCommerce itself is free, any special pricing refers to paid plugins and extensions you can add to your WooCommerce-powered website.
WooCommerce Vs. Others
Considering the competition?
Let’s see how WooCommerce stacks up against other companies in the eCommerce space.
Who Are WooCommerce’s Main Alternatives?
WooCommerce’s main alternatives are Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify.
Magento is the closest comparable to WooCommerce because it’s also an open-source platform that allows you to build your web store from the ground up.
Like WooCommerce, there are hundreds of plugins and extensions to customize the site’s functionality, and a free version is available.
Magento is geared towards enterprise-level businesses, and the implementation costs for larger companies can run as high as $40,000 or more.
The learning curve is also a bit higher with Magento than WooCommerce, which makes it less attractive for beginners and small businesses.
BigCommerce offers eCommerce solutions geared towards small and midsize businesses, and it provides an all-in-one solution for getting your store up and running.
Hosting, domain registration, and site security are all included in the monthly cost of the service, along with plenty of extras that improve the look and functionality of the store.
BigCommerce is one of the easiest eCommerce platforms to use, and it’s especially friendly to beginners.
While it’s more user-friendly, it doesn’t provide users with the level of control or customization that WooCommerce does.
Monthly subscription costs for BigCommerce range from $30-300 per month.
Shopify is another eCommerce solution for small and midsize businesses, and it’s pretty similar to BigCommerce.
Shopify provides hosting, registration, and security along with a slew of features and extras to help customize the look and functionality of your store.
The Shopify platform is easy to use but not nearly as customizable as WooCommerce.
How Does WooCommerce Differentiate Itself From Competitors?
What separates WooCommerce from the competition is users’ level of control over their eCommerce operations.
Most competitors offer a managed solution marketed to beginners with little to no experience building or maintaining a website.
While WooCommerce may have a steeper learning curve than the competition, they’re the clear choice for users who want control over each aspect of their website, from hosting and security to the design and functionality of the store.
Who Is WooCommerce Best For?
WooCommerce is an excellent choice for users looking for flexibility and control over each aspect of their website’s eCommerce experience.
Experienced users will find virtually endless opportunities for customization.
While beginners will see a slightly steeper learning curve than most competitors, the payoff is a complete eCommerce platform that offers unrivaled customization and control.
Why Is WooCommerce Best For Online Stores?
WooCommerce is an open-source platform written in one of the world’s most popular coding languages.
The platform offers the most comprehensive array of add-ons to improve every aspect of the store, from sales to marketing to shipping and returns, and much more backend control than other eCommerce solutions.
Is WooCommerce Easy To Use?
WooCommerce is relatively easy to use, but there’s a slightly steeper learning curve than what you’d get with a fully-managed solution like Shopify or BigCommerce.
Assuming you have some 101-level knowledge about hosting and web development, you should find WooCommerce intuitive and easy to use.
What Features Do Some Users Love?
With so much room to customize and grow your eCommerce operations, WooCommerce offers a lot to love.
Two features, in particular, stand out.
WooCommerce provides a class-leading array of plugins and extensions that cover every aspect of managing your store, from marketing to payments to shipping and returns.
Many of the top plugins are free, and it’s possible to run an excellent WooCommerce store without investing much into paid add-ons.
WooCommerce also offers an excellent selection of themes, including plenty of beautifully designed free options.
Unlike most other eCommerce solutions, WooCommerce also allows users to make coding modifications as needed to change the look or function of different store elements.
What Features Do Some Users Find Frustrating?
While WooCommerce is an excellent solution for most stores, it isn’t without its frustrations.
While WooCommerce is easy for beginners to learn and use, it’s a bit more intimidating than competitors like Shopify or BigCommerce.
If you have no experience with WordPress or basic web development, it will take some time to get your shop up and running on your own.
Customer service is another area that can prove frustrating for eCommerce users.
While competitors usually offer a central hub for support, each plugin, extension, or theme you use will require you to contact the developer for support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the top questions that other people considering WooCommerce have about the platform.
How does WooCommerce make money?
Instead of charging users a subscription fee, WooCommerce relies on its extensive selection of paid plugins and extensions to make money.
Each time a paid extension is sold, WooCommerce receives a portion of that sale from the developer.
Sites that use WooCommerce payments also pay a $.30 fee on each transaction.
What language is WooCommerce written in?
WooCommerce uses the PHP language.
PHP is an open-source scripting language that’s one of the most widely implemented on the web.
This language is popular with developers but still simple enough for beginners to make changes.
WooCommerce is perhaps the most scalable, customizable, and effective eCommerce solution available today, and it’s a no-brainer for sites that already run WordPress as a content management system.
The platform offers tons of beautiful themes, a vast library of extensions and plugins, and the backend control you’ll need to execute your vision at scale.
Overall, WooCommerce is a fantastic platform.
If you’re already a WooCommerce user, be sure to leave your comments in the review section below and let us know your experience.