This WordPress plugin boasts over 400 integrations, but you need to set up your own web hosting.
WooCommerce claims millions of downloads, making it one of the most popular e-commerce platforms out there. But while its hundreds of extensions make this option customizable, its open-source format may not suit new online merchants setting up shop for the first time.
- Choose this provider if you feel confident wielding developer tools and documentation.
- Consider something else if you don’t use WordPress or don’t want to host your own website.
This open-source WordPress shopping cart plugin is built for customization:
- Payment gateway. Accept credit cards, direct bank transfers, PayPal, Stripe or cash on delivery, with hundreds of additional payment integrations available.
- Mobile app. Track sales, fulfill orders and receive real-time notifications about new orders from your mobile device.
- Developer tools. At the core of WooCommerce’s customization capabilities is its developer documentation, complete with webhooks, custom AJAX endpoints and a REST API. But you can also use the plugin as is without the advanced developer tools.
WooCommerce integrates with hundreds of third-party applications, but comes with this core set of free features:
- Inventory Management. WooCommerce notifies you when your stock is low, and hides products on your online store when you’re out of stock.
- Tax calculations. WooCommerce automatically determines how much taxes to charge based on your location and the customer’s address.
- Coupons. Promote products with price discounts or offer a percentage off the entire shopping cart.
- Refunds. Manage refunds from the WooCommerce dashboard.
- Reporting. Review top-selling products and categories, sales trends, refunds and coupons.
WooCommerce pricing and fees
WooCommerce’s official Storefront theme is free and includes many of the basics you need to get started: inventory management, sales analytics and shipping support. But for e-commerce merchants seeking accounting, marketing or email support, this won’t be enough.
The good news? You can customize your online store to your heart’s content with over 400 integrations, from marketing plugins to tax software. The bad news? Most of these extensions cost extra.
Of WooCommerce’s hundreds of available extensions, only 41 are free. The rest range from a few dollars to $300 or more. According to WooCommerce, most site owners can get started for roughly $1,000. But the range is pretty big — you can save money with a simple site, or you could spend thousands if you hire a developer to build a completely custom option.
How much technical experience do I need?
Not much to get started — but the more you plan to customize your store, the more technical know-how you’ll need. Install the free WooCommerce plugin from your WordPress site to get started. From there, the WooCommerce setup wizard prompts you to submit payment, product, storefront and shipping preferences. If you get stuck, use the guides on its website to support you during the process.
For merchants seeking a straightforward, no-frills plugin, WooCommerce’s free Storefront theme may suffice. But if you plan to expand beyond the official Storefront, things get a little more complicated. That’s because WooCommerce is an open-source platform for self-hosted WordPress sites. And while this setup offers plenty of room for customization, it also means you’ll need some technical know-how to truly take advantage of its offerings.
How do I contact WooCommerce support?
The WooCommerce tech team is only available by:
- Email. The WooCommerce tech is limited to email.
What design options does it have?
WooCommerce offers 17 storefront themes — but only three are free. The rest range from $39 to $79. While WooCommerce can technically integrate with any WordPress theme, it recommends sticking with its themes that integrate seamlessly with WooCommerce updates.
Pros and cons
- Free. WooCommerce’s official Storefront theme and its accompanying core features are entirely free.
- Easy to install. Adding the WooCommerce plugin to your existing WordPress site takes only a few clicks.
- Extensions. Though many come with a fee, you can customize your storefront with more than 400 extensions — an impressive figure given most competitor libraries hover near the 200 extension mark.
- Limited website builders. WooCommerce is designed to integrate exclusively with WordPress websites.
- Self hosted. Web hosting and security is your responsibility to maintain and pay for.
- Limited support. Tech support is limited online ticket inquiries and doesn’t include phone or live chat support.
WooCommerce reviews and complaints
As of October 2020, at first glance, WooCommerce’s meager TrustScore of 3 out of 5 doesn’t look promising. But this score is based on the feedback of just fourteen customers. WooCommerce’s WordPress rating is far more telling: a 4.6- out of 5-star reputation based on 3,500 reviews.
The verdict? Customers call WooCommerce a functional, professional e-commerce solution and praise its integration capabilities. Complaints, though few and far between, criticized WooCommerce’s lack of customer support.
How do I sign up with WooCommerce?
You can sign up for WooCommerce on its website:
- Click Get Started.
- Give WooCommerce approval to access your WordPress account by clicking the Approve button. From there, you’ll be redirected to your WordPress website.
- On your Dashboard, click Plugins.
- Click Add New.
- Search for “WooCommerce”.
- Click Install.
- Once WooCommerce is installed, click Activate.
What other products will I need?
Before you sign up with WooCommerce, make sure you have the following services covered:
- Payment processor. WooCommerce integrates with many third-party processors, but you’ll need to set up an account with the provider you select.
- Web-hosting provider. Purchase web-hosting through a third-party provider. WooCommerce suggests a handful on its site.
- Checking account. Provide your payment processor with your business checking account information to deposit your transaction funds.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce was founded by Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson and Adii Pienaar in 2008 under the name WooThemes. In 2017, it stopped developing commercial WordPress themes and evolved into an e-commerce exclusive platform.
Today, WooCommerce employs over 150 team members in 32 countries and claims to have been downloaded over 86 million times. Although exclusive to WordPress, it’s one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world.
Compare merchant services providers
As an open-source and integration-rich e-commerce platform, WooCommerce has a lot to offer. But tech support is limited, it only integrates with WordPress sites and you’ll be expected to handle web-hosting on your own.
Not sure WooCommerce is your best bet? Explore your e-commerce options with other providers.
Frequently asked questions
Which payment gateways does WooCommerce integrate with?
WooCommerce integrates with over 100 payment gateways, including Stripe, Amazon Pay, Square, PayPal, Authorize.Net, FirstData and many more.
Can I try WooCommerce plugins for free?
Some of WooCommerce’s paid integrations offer free trials, including TradeGecko, Shippo and Metorik.