Why is WooCommerce THAT popular?
- It’s free!
- It is relatively easy to implement and manage your products with
- It simply works and is not buggy
- Updates won’t break it so it is reliable
- It is heavily supported and updated with new features
- It is used by default in most premium eCommerce themes.
Nothing in the world is ever free..
I do believe WooCommerce at this point is the best shopping cart plugin for WordPress. I was a fan of Cart66 but they transitioned in a cloud service and is not free.
Ok so where’s the catch? Well after you install the WooCommerce you’ll notice that the basic free features are not nearly enough for running the store unless you sell few simple products.
Do you want a CSV import/export functionality for the products? Then be ready to take $199 from your pocket. And wait the updates and support are valid for one year only so in case you need some newer fixes or features you’ll need to pay that again.
And that’s not all. Do you need a global tab manager (e.g size guide tab), Authorize.net payment gateway, Order/Customer export capability? Then be ready to pay for each from $49 to $99 or more. Depending on the store requirements it can get expensive to maintain.
Tips and tricks for saving on plugins
There are few unofficial plugins which are cheaper however I noticed that the alternative to CSV Import is buggy at this point and won’t list the products in the fron-end.
You could use Sozot.com where you’ll find some of the most popular plugins at a big discount. The catch is that you get slightly outdated versions and no free updates. The best part is that they actually work!
Is WordPress/WooCommerce the best solution for you?
Before you, as an online merchant, get on the shopping carts train it’s best to figure out before all the expectations you have from your online business.
- Do you have a lot of products and you don’t want products or a bandwidth limitation? Maybe WordPress with WooCommerce is the way to go in this case.
- Do you have few products but you need many features that don’t come free with with WooCommerce? Then maybe something like Shopify would be perfect for you.
- Do you have a complex store with many products? Then Lemonstand would combine the best parts from both worlds.
WooCommerce is here to stay and it is actively supported. Despite the expensive add-ons it still is probably one of the best eCommerce options for small to medium business.