What is WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that allows WordPress users to sell products or services from their website. It is one of the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for building and growing an online business. Upon launching it became hugely popular due to its flexibility and simplicity. It is a dominating force in the global eCommerce platform and accounts for 42% of the total market share. That means over 42% of all online shop uses WooCommerce to run their business.
Who Owns WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is developed by South Africa based WordPress theme shop WooThemes. Who hired Mike Jolley and James Koster to work on a fork of Open source WordPress plugin Jigoshop. Which they later re-branded as WooCommerce. Due to its tremendous success and promise WooCommerce was later acquired by Automattic, parent organization of WordPress for $30 million.
Progression of WooCommerce:
September 27, 2011: WooCommerce Launched
June 17, 2013: 1 Million WooCommerce Downloads
August 6, 2014: 4 Million WooCommerce Downloads
January, 2016: 6 Million WooCommerce Downloads
April, 2016: 7 Million WooCommerce Downloads
May 19, 2015: WooCommerce Acquired by Automattic
What Can You Do With Woocommerce?
TLDR: Sell products and services using your WordPress website.
It became widely popular among WordPress users because it requires minimum input to process orders, cart, inventory, taking payments, sort taxes & shipping. One of the major upside of running an online store using WooCommerce is having a wide variety of useful extensions or add-ons at your disposal. Whenever you need an extra functionality just browse the directory, most probably solution (extension) to your problem is already there.
Websites built with WooCommerce
How Does WooCommerce Work
Requirements of Running an Online Store Using WooCommerce:
- Domain name
- Web Hosting ( PHP 5.6, MySQL 5.6 and WP Memory limit of 64 MB or greater)
- WordPress ( Version 4.4 or higher)
- Payment Gateway (PayPal, Stripe or any other)
- WordPress theme that’s supports WooCommerce
WooCommerce’s Pros and Cons
If you dig deep, WooCommerce has obvious advantages over other platforms when it comes to setting it up and long term maintainability. To add the cart or eCommerce functionality to your website you just have to install a WordPress plugin. But like everything in life there is a always a strength and weakness. And WooCommerce is not exempt from that.
Here is the benefits and drawbacks of using WooCommerce to run your online store:
Benefits of WooCommerce:
• It’s Free
• Simpler, easy to use
• Huge Flexibility
• Lots of customization options
• Wide variety of themes & extensions
• Large developer community
• Comprehensive Analytics
• Complete control over website data
• Requires WordPress
• Maintenance is the responsibility of the store owner
• Paid add-ons are costly
WooCommerce Community & Product Support
Due to its huge global adoption rate, you will always find available developers, community members and 3rd party products to help you customize WooCommerce according to your need. Currently WooCommerce is the only WordPress eCommerce plugin that has its own dedicated conference for its users called WooConf.
What are the Alternative of Using WooCommerce
|WooCommerce||42%||Domain name, Web hosting, WordPress|
|Magento||5%||Domain name, Web hosting, Magento|
Source: BuiltWith Trends
After all the analysis it all depends on you what platform do you want to use to run your online store. Efficient decision would be to choose a platform that’s simpler, has low learning curve and requires upfront costs & maintenance costs. My opinion would be, choose WooCommerce. It will be the best option for anyone looking to build an e-commerce without the hassle.