If you’re a creative entrepreneur, you are probably selling items on market places like Etsy, Handmade @ Amazon, or eBay. However, you know what they say, right? Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. There is a reason why people tell you that and you just need to go into the Etsy forum to see why it is a good idea. There are always people complaining about not getting any sales on Etsy. But they stick with it because they are afraid of creating their own website and selling their product from there.
I can totally understand that.
WordPress can be daunting – especially if you want to turn your website into an eCommerce platform. Add WooCommerce (the plugin that I want to talk about today) and a lot of people are very confused and would rather stay on their market place. But diversifying your sales channels can be good and you can get exposed to a wider audience. On Etsy, you always have to fear that your customer will be directed to another shop. That doesn’t happen on your own site because you control your site. You control where your customer is going and what happens when they purchase something.
This is why I want to take a closer look at WooCommerce today and tell you what the big deal about this plugin really is. Ready? Ready.
WooCommerce is one of the biggest eCommerce plugins available for WordPress and, just like WordPress itself, it is open source. This means anyone can access the code of the plugin and work with it – you could create your own extensions for example. WooThemes, the team behind WooCommerce, also offers several extensions for the plugin (most of these extensions need to be bought, however).
So what are some of the pros and cons of WooCommerce? Let’s take a closer look at the pros first and then at the cons.
Pro No. 1: WooCommerce is part of Automattic
Though this might not seem like such a big deal at first glance, believe me it is. Automattic is the company of Matt Mullenweg who is the founder of WordPress. Automattic is also the company behind WordPress.com, Akismet, Jetpack, and Gravatar to name a few. Back in May this year, Automattic and WooThemes announced that Mullenweg’s company had acquired WooCommerce. So why does this matter? It matters because it means that WooCommerce will always be up to date and that there will be continual support. Not that WooThemes wouldn’t have provided that, but now WordPress has a lot invested in this plugin and that means more stability for you!
Pro No. 2: You Can Sell Physical and Digital Items
Most eCommerce plugins and platforms usually focus on one or the other. Not so WooCommerce. The plugin allows you to have both physical and digital items in your shop. Personally, I think this is a great aspect to consider if you want to sell art prints for example as well as downloadable prints. Never underestimate what your customers might want. WooCommerce gives you the means to expand your business at all times.
Pro No. 3: Lots of Extensions and Integrations
This is along the same vein as the previous point. You can literally do so much with WooCommerce! There are hardly any boundaries. WooThemes offers so many useful extensions and there even more free extensions in the WordPress Plugin Repository. This wealth of information and availability of extensions and integrations is amazing (check out the Taxamo integration if you are selling digital downloads internationally!).
Pro No. 4: WooCommerce Works with Every Theme
Yup. The coding behind WooCommerce is so great that it works with pretty much every theme. If you have a theme that is up to the WordPress coding standards, you will have no problem installing this plugin and you don’t need to fear that it will break your website. I think this is one of the most amazing things about WooCommerce. You can just download it and use it if you want to. No further action regarding code is needed.
Con No. 1: A Big Learning Curve
Because WooCommerce is packed with so many awesome features, it is easy to get overwhelmed by this plugin. I have heard from so many people that they gave up on WooCommerce because it was just too much for them to handle. I can totally understand that. However, I would encourage anyone who is getting overwhelmed by WooCommerce to give it another try. It will really help you make your own shop a reality.
Con No. 2: Maybe You Don’t Like the Styles WooCommerce Comes Equipped with
For some people, this might really be a turning point. They might not like the look of the way WooCommerce is styled and thus decide against using it. It doesn’t fit with their branding or it makes the website look weird. Whatever the reason is, there is a remedy. There are a lot of premium themes which have been styled with WooCommerce in mind and which will look great with the plugin.
As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of WooCommerce and I really hope that you will be too. If you have tried it and given up again, I hope this list will make you reconsider and give it another try. If you have been too scared to make the jump, just know there are a lot of people who will be able to help you with this plugin. Lastly, let me know in the comments what your experiences with WooCommerce are! I’d love to hear them as I am working on a free email course about WooCommerce!
Image credit: @DeathtotheStock