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WooCommerce – Advantages and Disadvantages for your Online Store


Octavian Tiron - February 4, 2019 - 0 comments

In this article we are going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using WooCommerce, a powerful module that integrates perfectly with WordPress to provide you with a very good seller/customer experience. Considering that WooCommerce is a free product that requires a minim requirement of IT knowledge to set it up, it has become a strong competitor for other known e-commerce platforms such as OpenCart, PrestaShop or Magento.

WooCommerce is one of the most popular free modules for WordPress CMS, which helps you sell anything via online: physical products, virtual products, downloadable products and many other types of services and options. It was built by WooThemes back in 2011 and has rapidly grown to over 60.000.000 downloads and powering over 28% of all global online stores.

Advantages:

It is Free and Packed with functionalities

As I mentioned earlier, WooCommerce is 100% free. You won’t have to pay a single cent to use it and it can bring you a very nice revenue. Indeed, if you wish some advanced functionalities you might need to purchase additional plugins but WooCommerce as a single plugin is free and most probably it will always be.

Besides the free aspect, it has amazing functionalities that other platforms such as Magento integrates them in their expensive Enterprise package. With WooCommerce you can sell anything you think of the way you imagine it. You can create multiple product variations such as product color or size, unlimited discounts that have a fixed value or percentage value as well as product restrictions or exclusions, multi-language stores, product descriptions and reviews, price variations depending on date, time and customer location, shipping classes to be able to select from multiple shipping providers in different parts of the worlds as well as intuitive reports that will make you understand what your customers want. Honestly, I haven’t even mentioned about 30% of what WooCommerce is capable but its greatest ability is its flexibility, its ability to integrate seamlessly with other plugins and allow you to build literally anything you can think of.

Flexibility

WooCommerce can be used with thousands of other plugins that will completely transform your online store. From package tracking options to custom product attributes and entire marketing strategies, you can build an amazing shopping experience for any customers from all over the globe.

Attention: Be careful what plugin you integrate with WooCommerce. We strongly recommend you to use only purchased/licensed plugins to avoid any exploits or backdoor left in the source files of third-party plugins. Remember that you are selling goods and you store customer information in your database. You don’t want to have that stolen or damaged.

It has an awesome Mobile App for iOS and Android

You’re always on the move and you need to know what’s happening with your online business? WooCommerce now allows you to connect to your online store through a powerful and intuitive mobile app that allows you to:

  • Track Your Store – See at a glance which products are performing best. Check your overall revenue, and view order and visitor data by day, week, month and year.
  • Manage Orders – Scroll through, filter, or look up specific orders. Tap to view order information – including product(s), value, customer data, shipping details, and notes. Basic order fulfillment is also possible.
  • Real-time Order Alerts – Get notifications about store activity, including new orders and product reviews. There’s an optional cha-ching sound! You can download the WooCommerce app from their website, available for iOS and Android.
Easy file modifications

WooCommerce and WordPress are both build using one of the most common programming languages available, PHP. It does have in its core files some JavaScript and Jquery but PHP is somewhere around 80%. Of course, you’ll find a lot of HTML and CSS but we’re talking about programming languages here.

PHP is a medium complexity programming language meaning that changes can be done relatively easy and you will always find a PHP developer to help you with your project and that will fit with your budget. Remember that PHP is a much cheaper development programming language than let’s say…Microsoft’s .NET. Also, WooCommerce file structure and architecture is solid and straight forward and if you use FTP Client such as WinSCP, you can easily search for the ID or class that generates dynamic content and modify the code according to your needs.

Disadvantages:

It is a WordPress module…

It is a WordPress module and it integrates with the same slow PHP data calling architecture as WordPress does. This means that if you plan on having your store packed with more than 10.000 products most likely you will have a slow performance that doesn’t help customers to get what they need as fast as possible. Recent studies show that customers that are waiting more than 2.4 seconds on a page/product load are 76% more likely to leave the website or get distracted by something else.

Security

People wonder whether it’s safe to use WooCommerce and WordPress for an e-commerce website. Indeed, if you think of it, there are over 60 million WordPress websites running on the internet. It has a significant share when it comes to the total number of websites that use a content management system. However, despite that enormous popularity, WordPress is free of cost. It’s open-source, meaning all its codes are accessible and customizable by anyone willing to do so.

With popularity comes the risk and because a lot of websites run WordPress and WooCommerce, hackers’ priority is often to launch an attack against them. Because they know if they can infiltrate the core WordPress, they can attack on a massive scale.

Therefore, if you chose to use WooCommerce for your online store, you will have to consider investing resources in your store’s security meaning security audits, security plugins, security updates.

Another security concern regarding WooCommerce is that while its security is decent, the main problem is that most of the times, website owners use this plugin along with other plugins that integrate with WooCommerce/WordPress. This results in a higher vulnerability due to code errors/bugs, third parties lack of security updates and more.

Conclusion

WooCommerce is an amazing module to use with your WordPress website. If you plan on selling anything soon and have a limited budget but a creative mind I would definitely recommend this plugin. Of course, if you plan on running a store with tens of thousands of products I would recommend you an alternative solution such as OpenCart or Magento but WooCommerce is definitely something you should look into.

What to remember?

WooCommerce Advantages
  • It’s free and always will be.
  • Lots of functionalities that will help you create literally anything you can think of
  • Flexibility to integrate it with other modules.
  • Mobile App to manage your store wherever are.
  • Easy file modifications and cheaper development costs since it uses mostly PHP.
WooCommerce Disadvantages
  • It uses WordPres’s basic architecture which can trigger slow responose.
  • Shouldn’t be used for more than 10.000 produts.
  • Larger stores with many products will have higher development costs if they wish to use WooCommerce and WordPress.
  • Low to Medium Security Level which can result in additional costs for securing your online store.

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