WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plugin for WordPress. It allows users to build an online store with its store templates, back-end management tools, as well as a variety of analytical tools for reports and taxes. It is best for those who manage WordPress sites and would like to incorporate ecommerce features to their sites.
WooCommerce Pros and Cons
No phone customer support
Ability to show customer product reviews and ratings
Steep learning curve—built with developers in mind and not for those looking for an easy to use, all-in-one solution
Open source—limitless customization; extensive app marketplace and integrations
Who WooCommerce is Best For
- WordPress site owners who would like to add ecommerce features to their site or run an online store: If you are already managing a WordPress site, WooCommerce is a free plugin that is made specifically for this platform. You get to create your store without having to learn a new platform or sign up for a new one.
Those looking for WooCommerce’s pricing will be happy to know that it is free to download from WordPress as a plugin or extension—building your ecommerce site from it. WooCommerce provides a lot of compatible extensions for marketing, payments, store management, subscriptions, and shipping needs among others, with prices that range from $0 to $300.
Since there is no installation cost, WooCommerce is easily one of the best free ecommerce platforms available today. Aside from being free, its best-selling point is the range of add-ons and extensions that you can purchase in WooCommerce’s extension marketplace. While there are fees associated with some add-ons, they are worth it as they provide you with flexibility and customizable options for your WordPress site.
Remember that you still need a self-hosted WordPress site to run the plugin. This comes with associated fees such as having your own domain name, web hosting provider, and WordPress theme.
WooCommerce Alternatives 2020
Most ecommerce and multichannel businesses
Growing businesses selling exclusively online
Brick and mortar shops that want a free online store
Starts at $29 per month
Starts at $29.95 per month
Starts at $0
WooCommerce offers plenty of ecommerce tools considering that it is a free plugin. You get store templates, back-end management tools, as well as a variety of analytical tools for reports and taxes. You can monitor customer feedback through comments and reviews. It can also support set up for affiliate sales and shipping management. Here is a list of its essential features.
This plugin provides an informative overview of all your outstanding orders’ status and in-depth order details—summarizing which products are sold, along with billing and shipping addresses, and buyer’s information.
You can set up the following inventory tasks: set stock supply notifications, hide out-of-stock items from the storefront, and initiate stock holds. Note that if you plan on processing high-volume orders, you would need a more robust solution in the extension store.
The WooCommerce plugin only allows you to sell through its online storefront. However, there are several extensions that provide selling platforms like Facebook, eBay, Pinterest, and Amazon. Some are developed by WooCommerce and are free to install and use, while others grant you access to multiple markets for a price.
Add-ons and Integrations
WooCommerce’s extension store provides almost any integration you need to run your business such as social media accounts, payment processors, analytics, shipping, ecommerce CRM, and accounting. If there is a tool you need to run your business, it is likely that you can find an extension for it.
WordPress and WooCommerce are excellent partners. If you are more comfortable running a site on WordPress or have an existing one, setting up a store within your site is the most practical choice. Since it is native to WordPress, you are not confined to a handful of themes but all of the most popular WordPress themes available.
Most free ecommerce website builders do not include the ability to show product reviews and ratings, but WooCommerce does. This functionality is useful as online customers often look for reviews before making a purchase.
Since WooCommerce is open-sourced, it has unlimited expandability with free and paid plug-ins. Developers can tweak it as much as they see fit. The downside to this is that WooCommerce is not a simple ecommerce website solution if that is what you are looking for. It is built with developers in mind, so expect a learning curve. If you are not versed in building websites at all, this might not be the best option for you.
Most Helpful WooCommerce Reviews
The majority of WooCommerce reviews I have read online have been positive. Most of the reviews appreciate that it is free and that you do not need to buy app extensions as the basic and necessary features are already available with the plugin. Most user developers like that it is an open-source platform, allowing freedom for customization.
While there are those who appreciate its fluidity for custom coding, there are many negative WooCommerce reviews that see this feature as built for those who have advanced knowledge about ecommerce store development or have the budget to hire a developer.
Great for those on a budget
“I like that it’s super easy to set up, comes with a couple of free themes that are nice looking, and they don’t charge anything to use the basic, necessary features. It helped me get multiple shops running quickly and easily, which is a good thing for someone on a budget.”
Does not offer phone support
“Open source so no phone-based customer support—only support via submitting tickets and can take a long time to get back to you. If your checkout breaks you need to have a dev ready to fix it. WooCommerce also needs to market itself better and something that is starting to actively do with automatic backing it up. Overall, you need a skilled developer rather than rely on a pre-built platform such as Shopify. You also have to host yourself on hosting platforms such as Kinsta or WP Engine.”
WooCommerce Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do WooCommerce extensions have a one-time charge?
No. WooCommerce extensions are subscription-based. Hence, you will receive updates and support for these extensions which are billed annually.
How many products can WooCommerce handle?
WooCommerce can handle thousands of products but is dependent on your web host’s capacity. Installing WooCommerce requires more memory than a basic WordPress setup—this is not usually an issue with most web hosting providers.
Does WooCommerce charge any fees per transaction?
No. You will only pay for your yearly subscription fee if you have plugin extensions. However, you need to check with your preferred payment gateway if it has other transaction fees.
Our Top Ecommerce Software Picks
If you are not sure if WooCommerce is right for you, this article on the best ecommerce platforms is a review of our top choices. Our team looked at a variety of platforms and narrowed down our recommendations based on price, ease of use, features, payment processing, inventory management, additional sales channels, integrations, reporting and analytics, user reviews, and customer support.