Selling online has never been easier – whether you’re sourcing great products for an online boutique or selling your own creations, the internet is awash with handy sites which allow you to quickly and easily set up your store and start making some cash.  One of the more popular selling sites is Woocommerce with 2,906,789 users worldwide. According to Brand24 the sentiment analysis also proves to be very positive solution across all social web channels.

Although Woocommerce has some great features, there are also some not so great ones so, we’ve put together our guide to the things you may not know about the service. 

Woocommerce is free

Whenever you see an advert for Woocommerce, you’ll no doubt spot that it’s hailed as being free – which isn’t entirely true.  Although the very basic version of Woocommerce is free to use, sellers needing more advanced features and extensions (which is most serious sellers) will need to sign up to one of the site’s payment plans in order to run a professional store. 

Put a plug in it

Woocommerce has over a thousand plug ins available – although this may seem like a good thing, inexperienced users can find that using too many plugins makes the system run slowly and sluggishly and, can even cause it to crash.  When starting out, it’s best to start with one or two plug ins and take it from there – you can always add more later. 

What’s your theme?

One of the best things about Woocommerce is the flexibility in making your store your own.  The site offers thousands of different themes well optimised for UX best practices by best user experience designers so that business owners can really make their store stand out from the crowd.  Check out this site for some great examples of Woocommerce themes if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration. 

Safe and secure

Another area where Woocommerce shines is in its security features – Woocommerce is set up to be compatible with a number of secure gateways including Stripe, Paypal and WePay for easy and safe payments.  Although the Woocommerce plugin doesn’t include SSL certificates or backup tools, these can easily be added separately. 

Word on the street

Woocommerce uses the WordPress platform – which you may be surprised to learn is older than both Facebook and Twitter.  An open source content management system, known traditionally for use by bloggers, WordPress is  free to use and is a quick and easy way of getting yourself online in order to either showcase your talents or sell products and services.

Known for its ease of use, WordPress is a straightforward way of setting up your store quickly and easily. 

The need for know-how

The main disadvantage to Woocommerce is that, in order to get the best out of it, you do need a fairly comprehensive knowledge of WordPress and, a proper understanding of how it works.  Many Woocommerce beginners say that, even though they were experienced with WordPress, they still needed to seek professional help when setting up Woocommerce in order to provide a smooth service for their customers.  Before setting up Woocommerce, it’s well worth refreshing your WordPress knowledge by completing a tutorial – even if you are an experienced user. 

Are you compatible?

A fundamental thing to watch for when considering Woocommerce is compatibility.  Although a huge number of sites use WordPress for content management, many don’t – and Woocommerce will not work with those that don’t.  Before beginning, make sure that you check the sites you intend to work with for compatibility as, otherwise, you may end up having to completely rebuild your site in order to connect with Woocommerce. 

You’ve got a friend

Although the features and ease of use are great selling points for Woocommerce, the main reason for its popularity, according to many of its users, is the fact that there is a large and strong community of sellers – all ready to offer help and advice as well as helping each other to network.

Your Woocommerce checklist: 

  • Refresh your WordPress knowledge
  • Choose your host
  • Choose your domain
  • Choose your payment platform
  • Check your security

When looking to sell online, it’s always worth shopping around to find the right site for you and your product – and, always make sure that you read the small print in order to avoid any unwelcome surprises!