WooCommerce Review (2023): Do the 9 Pros Outweigh the Cons?
You may have heard a lot about WooCommerce, but you are still wondering: should you choose it for your business?
Well, hear me out …
This review will look at WooCommerce, and I will give you all the good parts without forgetting the not-so-nice ones.
After reading the article, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether WooCommerce is for you or not.
And in case it’s not, no worries! I’ll give you some valuable alternatives at the end of the article.
So let’s dive in!
WooCommerce Review at Glance
|Ease of Use: 4/5||Features: 4/5||Pricing: 3/5||Support: 3/5|
|Free to download||Self-hosted solution|
|Overall flexibility||Expensive extensions (although there are free ones, too)|
|Extensions and integrations||No 24/7/365 support|
|Pre-installed payment gateways|
|WooCommerce Shipping built-in|
|Marketing & SEO|
|Easy Setup Process|
|Powerful blogging capabilities (integrates with WordPress)|
WooCommerce is a flexible and popular platform for building an online store.
If you are WordPress-savvy (and you are already running a WordPress website), you’ll probably not have a steep learning curve with the product.
But, if you currently don’t have a website, and you don’t like setting up WordPress, finding web hosting, or keeping all the plugins up-to-date, this solution may not be for you.
So, What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free downloadable plugin for WordPress that helps you build an eCommerce website.
It’s a very popular eCommerce solution for WordPress, with over 150 million downloads.
Getting Started with WooCommerce
Click – Click.
Did you realize what just happened? I installed the WooCommerce plugin on my WordPress website!
WooCommerce has an easy setup process, and adding it to your WordPress website takes just two clicks.
However, the download and activation (the two clicks) are just a starting point, and you’ll need more steps until you can launch your store to the public.
These additional steps include setting up store details, adding products, or configuring payment gateways.
Overall, the setup experience is simple and well-thought-out. Especially if you follow the setup wizard after the activation, you will get most of the settings right from the get-go.
Ease of Use
User Interface and Usability
After installing WooCommerce, you can find all the core actions on the left-side menu:
When you click on the WooCommerce menu item, you can find things like Orders, Customers, or Reports under that heading:
However, menu items like Products, Analytics, or Marketing, are in fact, part of the WooCommerce menu, which are not so obvious:
Perhaps Automattic, the plugin developer, will group all the menu items under one single WooCommerce menu in future versions. That would make things a bit clearer from the user’s perspective.
Also, pay attention to the Coupons menu item. When you click it, the WooCommerce menu suddenly disappears, and you will land on the Marketing menu.
This behavior is confusing, especially if you don’t pay attention to this notice at the top of the page:
Clicking the “Remove legacy coupon menu” button will remove the Coupons link, and you won’t experience this funny behavior anymore.
But overall, the UI behavior with WooCommerce is good. And if you have used WordPress before, the menu structure doesn’t bring anything surprising to the table.
Creating new products is simple with WooCommerce.
You start by entering a name and description. You can also choose a product type, from Simple Product to Variable Product, and mark the product as a Virtual or Downloadable product.
But wait, there is even more!
General price, a sale price, an SKU code, and shipping information, specifically the weight, dimensions, and shipping class – it’s all there.
You can organize products into parent categories, child categories, and tags. It’s also possible to add variants to products with attributes.
Store Management and Analytics
Managing your store is also straightforward with WooCommerce.
The dashboard has a snapshot of your store’s success and shows the number of sales you’ve received, the amount of traffic you’ve received, and an at-a-glance summary of your shop.
As far as reports go, you can view sales in net and gross formats. You can also view data on refunds, as well as sales and growth trends.
Free and premium extensions allow you to add several new functionalities and integrations to reports, such as:
- Cost of Goods
- Cart Reports
- Customer History
- Coupon Campaigns
- Integration with Google Analytics
- Integration with Kissmetrics
- Integration with Mixpanel
WooCommerce Top-5 Features
1. Overall Flexibility
WooCommerce users have one great benefit on their side: flexibility. And here is what it means.
The product has a core development team that works on the base plugin.
Third party developers are also allowed to produce their plugins and themes to extend the functionality of the base plugin.
These two factors take the WooCommerce ecosystem to a whole new level.
It also means the plugin is not exclusively linked to a single product or platform. This factor is beneficial for a variety of different reasons.
For starters, it means you aren’t limited to the server capabilities or pricing restrictions of an eCommerce platform.
You can pick up your store and move it to any host or server. There are no limits to the number of sales you can process or the amount of revenue your store can earn.
All you need to do is move it anywhere you like if it outgrows its current server.
2. Pre-Installed Payment Gateways and Multiple Payment Options
WooCommerce comes with a handful of payment gateways. You can find them in the base version of the plugin, free of charge. These gateways include:
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Cheque Payment
- Cash on Delivery
While the base cost is free, some gateway providers may charge transaction fees and some additional fees.
One particular payment solution that WooCommerce promotes heavily is WooCommerce Payments. Its goal is to simplify the payments in your store.
This method is also free to install, it doesn’t have monthly fees, and the costs are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for cards issued in the US.
WooCommerce payments currently work in 15+ countries.
3. Sell Anything (Not Just Physical Products)
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce platform. So powerful that you can sell virtually anything on your site.
You are not limited to selling just physical products on an eCommerce store. You can also sell downloadable products, courses, memberships, subscriptions, and bookings.
4. WooCommerce Shipping Built-in
You’d be surprised at how many shipping features the core version of the plugin has. These include shipping methods like:
- Flat Rate
- Local Pickup
The plugin also includes a shipping calculator you can enable on individual product pages and the shopping cart page.
You can also hide shipping costs altogether until your customer enters an address or hide other shipping methods if free shipping is available.
There are also several different location-related options you can take advantage of. These options include restricting shipping destinations based on location and the ability to create shipping zones.
You can also create different shipping zones for different regions and locations and assign different shipping methods and rates to those zones.
5. Marketing & SEO Tools Are Part of the Plugin
The marketing and SEO capabilities of the core plugin are modest, but they’re still pretty useful.
While the SEO functionality is simple, you can install several different plugins, such as Yoast to enhance the SEO of your store.
As there are only a few marketing tools available (like coupons) in the default installation, you’ll probably end up adding new ones.
That’s why it’s great to know that there are plenty of extensions you can add to your store, including:
- Social Media Integration
- Live Sales Feed
- Product Bundles
- Smart Coupons
- Follow-Up Emails
- Google Product Feed
- Wish Lists
But make sure you don’t go overboard with all the extensions. I’ll tell you why later in this article.
Extensibility and Integrations
WooCommerce has one of the largest collections of themes and extensions of any eCommerce platform, more so than any all-in-one platform.
You can download these plugins and themes, both free and paid, either from the WooCommerce website, other marketplaces like CodeCanyon or from third party developers.
The extensions add various functionalities to your website, including the ability to print invoices and shipping labels, track shipments, and postcode/address validity checks.
You can also integrate WooCommerce with many other systems, thanks to tools like Zapier. For instance, you can connect it easily with Salesforce, QuickBooks, or ActiveCampaign.
The plugin is free to download, which is great. But don’t let the word “free” blindfold you.
Even if the core product is free, don’t expect everything in the WooCommerce ecosystem to be free.
Yes, you can find plenty of free extensions or themes that improve your WooCommerce store. But be aware that your ongoing costs may skyrocket, especially with the premium extensions!
For instance, let’s say you add extensions like WooCommerce Product Add-ons, WooCommerce Bookings, and WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping to your store. Here is what you end up paying:
- WooCommerce Product Add-Ons: 49 USD (billed annually).
- WooCommerce Bookings: 249 USD (billed annually).
- WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping: 99 USD (billed annually).
As you can see, the costs add up quickly if you are not careful. That’s why you need to plan your store to expect the running costs properly.
WooCommerce provides multiple ways to get support: You can access the forums, submit a ticket, or read their extensive documentation.
If your matter is non-urgent, then these support options are enough.
The biggest issue is that there isn’t a central chat or support you can access 24/7/365.
You may need support instantly, so you can’t rely on someone answering your question on the forum or finding the right article in the knowledge base.
However, if you happen to spot an issue with your WooCommerce-backed extension or theme, you can calm down a bit since there is a live chat option.
Just remember that this support line works instantly “if the operator is available.” And if the operator is not around, they will answer your message by email as soon as possible.
If you are using a third party extension or theme, the support options vary, depending on the extension developer.
WooCommerce Blocks give you Gutenberg blocks for customizing your WooCommerce site.
Currently, the library includes 20+ blocks, including:
– Featured Product
– Best Selling Products
– On Sale Products
Yes, you can. With Elementor WooCommerce Builder, you can build a stunning product and archive pages without learning how to code.
Yes, it does, and it’s called the WooCommerce Mobile App.
With the app, you can access your store with a smartphone and do various management tasks like adding products, managing orders, and tracking the stats.
The app is free to download.
You can translate your WooCommerce store to various languages with third party plugins, including TranslatePress, MultiLingualPress (available in the WooCommerce Marketplace), or WooCommerce MultiLingual.
You can find both free and paid translation solutions for WooCommerce.
Conclusion: Is WooCommerce the Right Tool for You?
Now that you have seen WooCommerce and what it’s all about, it’s decision-making time:
Should you use it in your business, or not?
WooCommerce is not like some other eCommerce platforms we’ve reviewed on this site. So, if you are about to choose it for your eCommerce platform, keep these things in your mind:
- Although it’s a powerful solution, you still need technical knowledge to set it up and keep it running.
- It’s easy to go overboard with the premium extensions, and your costs may skyrocket if you are not careful.
- No 24/7/365 support.
The platform is widespread, and many people have had success with it.
But now, over to you: Have you used WooCommerce, and what do you think about it?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.