WooCommerceWooCommerce web store

WooCommerce is a free, open source shopping cart plugin that works expressly with WordPress sites. Essentially a web store, WooCommerce can be a low price solution for operating an online store without the need to host with an all-in-one ecommerce platform like Bigcommerce or Shopify. Because it is open source, you are also not tied in with a single hosting provider. If you wish to take your WooCommerce website elsewhere, you can do so without needing to start from scratch.

WooCommerce accounts for 37% of all ecommerce web store sites worldwide, so it is a popular choice for large and small businesses. Web Tonic is experienced in building WordPress and WooCommerce websites for our clients, and can provide advice during the design phase and ongoing technical support after launch of your WooCommerce online store.
You can fill in our ecommerce quote form to find out if your business is suited to a WooCommerce web store or another recommended ecommerce platform, or read the information below to find out more about whether WooCommerce is right for you.

Pricing

Pricing

Although WooCommerce is free to download, it is not totally free to operate a WooCommerce web store. You can expect to pay for secure web hosting and any additional charges from the extensions you’ll need to run advanced features. Your WooCommerce site is self-hosted, so you have full ownership of all of your information.
First, to maintain a WooCommerce site, you must purchase hosting for your WordPress.org site. And, in order to get the best use out of the platform, you’ll need to look at various add-ons and extensions, some of which are free but others you need to purchase. However, because many of these extensions are one-time purchases, you can expect to come out paying slightly less than you would with another popular option like Shopify.
WooCommerce does not charge transaction fees. Neither does it regulate bandwidth or storage, although you will need to know what limitations your site’s hosting provider has set and whether you need to upgrade your hosting plan to allow for extended capacity.

Key information about WooCommerce

WooCommerce is great for both small and large companies. Because you can modify your online store with the various plugins available, you can achieve exactly what you need to fit with your product range, sales volumes and distribution.

You should note, however, that if you’re expecting lots of traffic or you plan to add thousands of products, you’ll need to arrange for hosting that can keep up with your bandwidth usage.

Key

Hardware and Software Requirements

WooCommerce integrates into any WordPress.org site, although it works best when it’s paired with a compatible Woocommerce theme. Just maintain a strong internet connection and an updated browser.

Note: WooCommerce works great with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, but it is not supported by Internet Explorer 6 or 7.

Ease of Use

WooCommerce connects to your WordPress platform like any other WordPress plugin. Just click “Add New” on the plugins page and search for WooCommerce. Then, click “Install” and “Activate.”

It is important to note that free WordPress plans (on WordPress.com) do not support WooCommerce. It is designed to integrate with the open source developer WordPress platform (WordPress.org).

Ease of use

Online Store Set up

To create your WooCommerce online store you can either purchase a premium WooTheme or download a free Storefront theme. To avoid the need for purchasing extra plugins, Web Tonic can source a suitable premium theme that comes with a bigger range of built-in features. Alternatively, we can create a fully customised design on the WordPress platform tailored to match your specific requirements.

Payment Gateways

WooCommerce comes with five built-in payment gateways:

  • Direct Bank Transfer
  • Check Payment
  • Cash on Delivery
  • PayPal
  • Simplify Commerce (US only)
There are also a range of third party payment gateways available as extensions. Note that not all payment gateways listed on the WooCommerce website are available in New Zealand.
Add-on payment gateways we recommend for New Zealand retailers are:

FeaturesImportant features with the WooCommerce webstore plug-in

WooCommerce offers features in a Core+Extensions model. The platform comes with all the core features you need right out of the box. It’s possible to start selling immediately with what WooCommerce offers. However, if your business requires more advanced shipping or checkout features, there are add-ons available.

Here are some of the features that you get free with every WooCommerce download.

For the full list of features available with WooCommerce, visit the WooCommerce website.
Shipping function

WooCommerce comes with a built-in comprehensive shipping functionality. There are options for free shipping, flat rate shipping, local pickup, and local and overseas delivery. There is also a built-in automatic shipping calculator, which you can choose to display on the shopping cart page so there are no surprises at checkout.

WooCommerce also provides separate options for customers’ shipping and billing addresses.

Additionally, you can access pending orders, shipping settings, product information, and inventory tracking from your WordPress dashboard.

Mobile friendly usability
Both your storefront and your admin section work well on mobile devices. WooCommerce makes it easy for your customers to shop on the go, and enables you to manage their orders from anywhere.
Selling digital vs physical products
With WooCommerce you just check a box to show that your digital products don’t require shipping and they are automatically set up as a downloadable product.
Geo-location support
The Geo-location function detects your customers’ addresses in order to streamline shipping and tax calculations.
Smooth purchasing
WooCommerce comes with one page checkout to aid conversion. WooCommerce uses AJAX for their add-to-cart buttons, so pages don’t need to reload when a customer adds a new product.
Product categories and grouping
You can group your products by category, add variations to each product, and sell affiliate products.
Inventory management
WooCommerce’s built-in inventory management allows you to track your stock level, hold stock if an order is cancelled, and hide out-of-stock items from your storefront.
Checkout options and promotions
You can allow your customers to create an account on your site or check out as guests. WooCommerce lets you set up parameters for triggering discounts, applying them to only one item or all of them. You can also create coupon codes to send to customers for targeted discounts and promotions.
Analytics
WooCommerce gives you access to data reports so that you can monitor your profits and track orders, traffic, and growth trends. These can be integrated with Google Analytics (also free) for more in-depth analytics.
Product reviews
WooCommerce has a review function which lets customers post reviews of your products. There are filters in place for ensuring that comments come only from verified customers.

Designing your WooCommerce web store with Web Tonic

WooCommerce can be integrated into any WordPress theme, and Web Tonic can create a fully customised website design for your business, and research the most suitable add-ons to ensure you get exactly what you want with your e-commerce system.

Alternatively, we have identified a selection of premium WooThemes, which we can set up using your own branding and choice of design and layout options available within the theme settings.

Integrations and Add-Ons

WooCommerce takes a Core+Extensions approach to their platform. Any advanced features you may need come via a selection of free or paid for extensions. With over 300 extensions available, we recommend allowing Web Tonic to identify the best options for what you need, minimising the risk of any incompatibility issues with competing app functions. Our extensive experience with WooCommerce sites means we have a list of add-ons that we can recommend for most things required by our customers, and will research others on your behalf to ensure you get one that is right for you.

It is important to remember that some WooCommerce extensions are priced as one-time purchases, but others have monthly subscriptions.

Ultimately, WooCommerce offers a more cost-effective way of entering the ecommerce market without the added financial burden of an all-in-one ecommerce platform. It is a viable choice for enterprises that expect a lower volume of sales for the foreseeable future, but also with the flexibility to grow with your business.

Add -ons
Not sure if you should have a WooCommerce online shop or opt for an all-in-one ecommerce platform? Web Tonic recommends the following alternative ecommerce options, and can help you decide which one is the best fit for your business.