Many believe that building a powerful online store requires a solid budget and solid technical expertise. This statement is doubtful: the  owners of hundreds of popular online sites started from scratch. One of the striking examples of this is the  largest company Amazon, the  creator of which began to build his business in a small garage.

It is quite possible to implement an effective startup without the participation of professionals using a perfectly working combination – WordPress + WooCommerce. The plugin based on the world’s most popular multipurpose CMS  is a free solution.  However, it has enough capabilities to launch an e-commerce project smoothly with minimal capital investment. In the course of business development, the WP site can be easily improved by purchasing additional extensions.

Features of the WooCommerce plugin

WooCommerce was first presented in 2011.  The app was created by WooThemes. Her team is still improving its development:  programmers responsibly add new functionality  and work to eliminate shortcomings. Successful experiments, implementation of advanced trading methods, accurate prediction of the needs of site administrators and users allowed us to get a flexible and reliable product.

It is used by about 500 thousand known resources,  including sites with high load. In total, about 30% of online platforms operate on it, which makes up a significant part of the world market.

Judging by the statistics, the solution successfully competes with most CMS for an online store. Since the launch of  the open source plugin, the  number of active installations has already exceeded 3 million, according to official figures.  It is now in the top five  free e-commerce offerings.

Those who use the script have full access to the standard functionality of the powerful WordPress system  . The application is  compatible with almost all paid extensions  developed for WP. Thanks to the “sharpening” of WooCommerce for online stores, the traditional WordPress blog format can easily be transformed into a fully functional virtual storefront through which you can sell any electronic or physical product items.

Platform functionality

The application helps  you create, modify and expand your online store  in accordance with your personal preferences, without setting a rigid framework. Included with it, the developer gets a lot of useful functions that contribute to active sales.

Using WooCommerce, you can:

  1. Create well-thought-out catalogs with any structure, add an unlimited number of categories and products to them, classify, delete and edit cards.
  2. Manage orders and customize the customer registration process.
  3. Maintain detailed analytics – track sales statistics, visitor behavior, control the balances of offered products, perform a comprehensive analysis of marketing efforts, focusing on visual charts and graphs. Integration with Google Analytics is also provided.
  4. Establish different options for taxation and delivery, depending on the region of residence of the client.
  5. Accept payment directly, by bank cards, through popular payment systems, after delivery of the order, add missing payment methods manually.
  6. Use effective  marketing tools  – use discounts, coupons, sales, place widgets with recommended positions and bestsellers.
  7. Monitor the workflow around the clock, having constant access to all data.
  8. Increase trust in your store thanks to an advanced rating system from real customers.
  9. Share user rights, create a contact database, organize a subscription, an online community, or a dedicated forum for a marketplace.

In terms of search engine optimization, the  application shows the same stable stability as the online store engine itself. The resources built on it are SEO friendly and allow you to create favorable conditions for promoting a business project. Meta tag markup, sitemap, human-readable links  significantly improve the chances of high positions in popular search engines.

WooCommerce can integrate into any WP theme.  There are many templates that are optimized for the plugin. Various additional options are built into them  :  bold images, zoom parameters, sliders. They all feature top-notch responsive designs combined with a harmonious aesthetic.

If you want to highlight the trading platform among competitors, experts recommend  installing more original paid themes.  The average price of such options is about $ 50-70. But the investment is worth it:  it has been proven that the individual appearance and pleasant design of the resource is the first thing a visitor pays attention to when he gets to know him for the first time.

The store’s potential can be gradually expanded with modules aimed at completing a specific task. There is a huge selection of them:  at the moment there are over 5 thousand proposals in the WP repository. Especially worth highlighting:

  • Products Filter  – for advanced filtering of products by certain properties;
  • PDF Invoices & Packing Slips  – to add PDF-files with information of interest to buyers to product items;
  • Products Slider  – for inserting spectacular slides on the main page of the online platform;
  • Product Import Export  – for importing / exporting products to the store;
  • Custom Product Tabs  – for adding additional tabs to products.

The script has a  Pakistanspeaking community with a forum  where you can find a lot of useful materials, including tips and lessons on installing and configuring the application.

Initial settings of an online store on WooCommerce

To start selling online, you need to download the  latest version of the WordPress online store engine  through the official website. CMS is installed on the selected hosting, which must meet the following requirements:

  • support for php (at least version 7) and MySQL (at least version 5);
  • free disk space from 1 GB;
  • unlimited traffic;
  • optimal RAM – 128 MB.

In the process, it is advisable to  create complex passwords for the site, enable two-factor authentication, and restrict FTP access settings.  For the best protection of the future online site, you  should choose a reliable provider that cares about security issues. This is necessary to minimize the risks of hacking the resource and the possible spread of dangerous infections.

Once you have access to the VI admin panel,  you can easily install the  e-commerce plugin in question by going to the free directory. The easiest way to customize your store is to use the setup wizard.

The necessary actions are performed in several stages. The first step involves the  mandatory creation of checkout pages, product showcases, shopping cart and account. Subsequently, they are available for editing in the “Pages” section of the console  .

In the second step, you need to  set up the location for the store, select the appropriate currency and unit of measure for the goods. Next, you should indicate the convenient type of delivery and the need to include taxes in the price, as well as  determine an acceptable method of payment.

After that, you can start adding products. The process itself is straightforward  and resembles publishing blog posts. First, you need to go to the tab of the “Products” panel  , enter the name of a specific unit and add information relevant to the buyer to it.

A specific type is selected for each product:  simple, downloadable, virtual, affiliate, variable. The base price is then quoted and, if necessary, the sale price. All the nuances associated with inventory can be controlled in the  “Stocks” menu . Through a separate tab it is possible to add related products for cross-selling. In case of implementation of downloadable content  , the digital download function is configured.

Advantages of the WooCommerce site

The reviews of the owners of online stores on the WordPress + WooCommerce engine indicate many advantages of the platform. Here are the main ones:

  1. Full control over your own resource.  The developers provide the opportunity for unlimited content management, code editing, customization of personal design.
  2. Diversity.  All kinds of goods are successfully sold on trading platforms: all kinds of services, digital downloadable products, household appliances and much more.
  3. Powerful and reliable core.  Basic and premium projects are created on the platform.
  4. High security.  The plugin is protected from various vulnerabilities and threats, provides a fairly safe operation of the resource. 
  5. Optimization for mobile platforms.  Images of goods from the virtual showcase are of the same quality, both on a regular PC and on a smartphone. The service perfectly  optimizes any site:  information is displayed in the most user-friendly form.
  6. Multilingual.  Pakistani, Irani and other languages ​​are built into the application distribution by default.

Disadvantages of the WooCommerce site

There are some downsides to working on WooCommerce:

  1. Strict resource requirements.  After installing the plugin on the CMS of the WordPress online store, the load on the site increases significantly. If you use insufficiently strong hosting, it will lead to a decrease in page loading speed.
  2. Preferential orientation to the western regions.  Standard shipping options and payment gateways are more suitable for foreign users.
  3. Limited technical support.  Since the plugin is free, its support is limited to thematic forums and online teams with fairly long response times. Problem-solving assistance via email or social media is not available. To get the  right to post questions on the forum,  you need to purchase at least one of the service tools.
  4. Imperfect translation.  The default localization is not entirely accurate. Often, when starting a project, you have to make separate improvements.
  5. High cost of advanced features.  Although the plugin is essentially free, professional tools are quite expensive. But in this case, the level of quality and service will be an order of magnitude higher, which quickly pays off. Woocommerce Development Agency in Lahore develop effective business site ,you ca also contact us.

Examples of stores based on the WordPress + WooCommerce bundle

Many successful domestic and foreign  e-commerce projects with high conversion have been created on WooCommerce  . They stand out for their clear structure, easy navigation, flexible interface and pleasant unobtrusive design. Here are some illustrative examples.

Large Swiss store of independent magazines from various world publishers – LOREM:

The Norwegian online marketplace for quality pet food – Eukanubashop:

American boutique of extraordinary accessories and clothing for energetic active children – Little Giants:

Final conclusions

WooCommerce is a great solution for first-time online merchants  and those who already have their own WordPress sites. With the help of the service, they organize quite successful small and medium-sized business projects. A viable online store on it can launch without problems in a matter of hours, and for a full-fledged start  does not require serious financial investments.

As the business develops, the feasibility of acquiring more advanced functional tools can be assessed   In total, provided that the code is written correctly and the server is resistant to loads, the marketplace  will be able to accommodate up to 5 thousand goods.  The optimal quantity, which will not affect productivity, is considered to be about 2-3 thousand product units. If a larger assortment is planned, it is worth giving preference to specialized e-commerce platforms –  OpenCart ,  Magento ,  PrestaShop .

By Adam

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