WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce plugins available for WordPress (here). This means that if you decide to use this plugin to build an online store, you will be helping to increase the 3.2 million times this plugin has already been downloaded from the WordPress plugin directory.
However, just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should automatically follow. To help you decide if WooCommerce is the right eCommerce solution for you, this article will highlight some of the main attractions of using this plugin.
The Core Plugin is Free
While free doesn’t automatically mean better, if you are starting out with a basic online store, then being able to use an eCommerce option that is free can be a real advantage. With WordPress also being free, and with plenty of free themes available, you can get an online store up and running with just a domain, a web hosting account, and an investment of your time.
As your store grows you can choose to upgrade to a premium theme or commission a custom WordPress theme design. You can also reinvest some of your profits in making your store more powerful by installing one or more of the premium WooCommerce addons that are available.
While you can build a functional eCommerce store by using the free core WooCommerce plugin, if you want to increase the features and capabilities of your store, you may need to install one or more of the extensions that are available for WooCommerce.
With a large number of extensions available, spanning many categories, whatever type of features you would like to add to your store, there should be an existing addon available. If there isn’t, there are many freelance WooCommerce developers out there who will be happy to build it for you.
These extensions can both help improve the administrative side of your store, such as adding more payment options to your store, through to the more customer-focused, options such as displaying a product of the day, a name your price option, or adding a points and rewards system to your store.
With so many people using this eCommerce solution, there is a large incentive for developers to keep creating new extensions for WooCommerce.
Also, as this plugin is so popular, many WordPress theme developers ensure that their designs are built for maximum compatibility with WooCommerce. For those themes that aren’t 100% compatible, such as the child themes for the Genesis Framework, there is usually an effective solution available. This gives you plenty of options when it comes to choosing a template for your WordPress site, whether you are looking for an off the shelf theme or a custom design.
Large Existing User Base and Community
Thanks to the large number of online stores using WooCommerce, if you do decide to use this plugin for your website, you will be joining a large user community. The advantage of this is that there are a lot of people out there who are sharing ideas and techniques for maximising the potential of this plugin.
If you are ever stuck when it comes to trying to get your WooCommerce-powered eCommerce store to function in a certain way, then there is a good chance there is someone else out there who has already implemented such an approach and documented it online.
Also, with so such a large number of people using this plugin, a whole industry of WooCommerce-focused developers has sprung up. These third-party developers offer their services in a number of ways. This includes creating commercially released extensions, building compatible themes, and also offering their services on a one-to-one basis to create custom solutions for your eCommerce needs.
If you can’t find a pre-existing solution such as an extension or theme, then finding a reliable WooCommerce developer isn’t difficult.
As we’ve seen there are plenty of reasons why you should use WooCommerce and WordPress for your online store. By being able to get started with the core plugin for free, and then add premium extensions as and when they are needed allows you to setup an online store for just the price of a domain and web hosting.
The large community of users to learn from and share ideas with, as well as the eco-system of products, services, and developers, is another great reason to use WooCommerce. If ever you run into any problems, or need to extend the features of your store, there will always be someone to turn to.