If you’re in the early stages of starting up your online business, there’s every chance that you’ve seen the name WooCommerce pop up on at least a couple of occasions during the course of your research.
Most of the time, these mentions are often matched with glowing praise for what an awesome tool it is, and why it’s one of the best things you could possibly use if you’re planning to sell your products or services online through an eCommerce store.
That’s all well and good of course, but it doesn’t exactly help you out when you’re trying to decide whether it’s the sort of thing you should be using for your own site, is it?
Worry not, dear reader, help is at hand. If you’re still not entirely sure what WooCommerce exactly is, and whether you should use with your cheap wordpress hosting plan, we’ll explain all the facts below.
What is WooCommerce?
In a nutshell, WooCommerce is a popular plugin for the WordPress content management and blogging platform that provides you with everything you need to transform your current cheap web hosting plan into a powerful, dynamic platform on which to start your own eCommerce website.
You can download it for free and install it simply by dragging it into the ‘Add new plugins’ box from your WordPress back-end. In some cases, even this is a step most unnecessary. If you’ve bought an eCommerce-centric WordPress theme, you may find that the developers have already installed it for you, and all you need to do is get started.
What can I do with WooCommerce?
Pretty much anything you could need to do to build an online store. You can add products complete with image galleries, descriptions and customer reviews, you can create checkout pages and customer login systems, and yes, you can even use WooCommerce to process payments from your customers.
Beyond that, technical store management tasks like shipping, inventory management, setting SKU codes and order tracking can all be done through WooCommerce, making it one of the most powerful eCommerce solutions not only for WordPress but for any kind of hosted website.
Do I need anything else to use it effectively?
This all depends on what you need -or at least want- do with it. For the most part, the plugin’s pre-installed tools and features provide enough so that you can get started with building your online store, and this includes PayPal integration so that you can accept payments from your customers.
If you want to use another payment method, such as taking credit card details through a payment gateway like WorldPay, then you’ll need to create an account with your gateway provider of choice, download their WordPress plugin if they have one, or at least spend some time configuring things in the back end.
Beyond that, there’s scores of other useful WooCommerce extensions that provide you with greater flexibility from a store owner’s point of view, and added functionality for your customers. This includes everything from changing the colour and design of your ‘add to checkout’ buttons to managing the shipping process.
Should I use it?
Rarely do we like telling people what they absolutely should and shouldn’t do, but in this case, we’re prepared to make an exception. Whether you’re already using WordPress to power your website, or whether you’re still trying to make your mind up on what kind of platform you’re going to use for basic design and development, you’ll rarely -if ever- find a better eCommerce solution than Woocommerce.
Free to use, highly customisable and with a tonne of additional extensions to help you really improve your customers’ shopping experience, we highly recommend you use this tool to help build your online store.