Is WordPress good enough for e-commerce
How well is WordPress suitable as a shop system?
Do you want to set up your own online shop? Do you want to start an e-business regardless of location and with little investment? With the free plugin WooCommerce you can create a WordPress shop in a flash. But what good is WordPress as a shop system? You can find out where the strengths and advantages of this shop solution are in this article.
Read here >> WooCommerce and GDPR
Create a WordPress shop
Edit 2018: Even 2 years later after reading this article, I would absolutely recommend WooCommerce. With increased experience, I know that WooCommerce is a first-class choice for many smaller and larger shop projects. The large number of customers who ask me to move their Shopify / Lightspeed / Versacommerce to WooCommerce also contribute to this, because ultimately the running costs are significantly cheaper and WooCommerce is much more flexible.
For everyone who wants to learn WooCommerce completely, my video course is worth a visit.
In this article I would like to investigate the question of whether WooCommerce, the shop plugin for WordPress, is suitable for setting up a reputable online shop.
You want to create an online shop, but you are not sure whether WooCommerce is the right decision? Then read on!
By the way: At teewald.de I run an established online shop myself, which I have implemented with WooCommerce! I have been maintaining and expanding this shop regularly for over 2 years. You are welcome to post questions about the implementation of certain things in the comments. The theme I used for the shop is Flatsome.
WooCommerce is a very established shop solution, especially in the US market. In Germany, however, I see that website operators are hesitant to muster up the courage to try out modern and free WooCommerce.
Personally, I have already implemented many demanding projects on a small to large scale with WooCommerce and was surprised again and again at how capable this shop plugin turned out to be. So far, I've only very rarely come across limits.
However, not everyone shares this opinion.
In German-speaking countries in particular, one often hears the criticism that WordPress is actually just a blog system and is therefore definitely not taken seriously as a shop system. WooCommerce would therefore make sense at most for small, insignificant web shops.
The arguments of those critics refer to technical limitations, as well as the limits of scalability. So again, a small shop with WordPress, yes, but none serious e-commerce platform.
Before I will go into these arguments now, I would like to highlight the advantages and reasons that speak absolutely in favor of WooCommerce as a shop system.
Large developer community
WooCommmerce benefits from the incredible popularity of the popular content management system WordPress. For years, WP has been at the forefront of the most widely used CMS and by far not just as a blogging platform.
Thousands of free and paid plugins are available for WordPress that complement or optimize every conceivable functionality. Many of them may be special and not particularly useful for a shop, but most of them can just as easily be integrated into an online shop.
All SEO extensions for meta descriptions, sitemaps etc, as well as Google Analytics or Custom Fields can also be used for WooCommerce.
WordPress and WooCommerce work together seamlessly.
Low investment costs
Creating a simple shop with WordPress costs: nothing at all!
Edit: Apart from the usual fees for web hosting, which are also incurred for "normal" websites.
The WooCommerce plugin is available free of charge and can be downloaded directly from the WordPress.org plugin directory.
With this plugin you already have all the basic functions of a full-fledged shop system:
- Variable products
- Different shipping methods
- Payment methods (PayPal, bank transfer, etc.)
- shopping cart
- Voucher system
- VAT calculation
- (Simple) storage
- Order management
So you can start right away, create your first product and start selling.
Do not you think? In these videos I will show you step by step how!
In my 8 hour video course on WooCommerce you will also learn exactly how to set up your own online shop!
All basic functions are permanently and completely free of charge!
If the basic functions are no longer sufficient for you later and you want to adjust your shop a bit, then you can fall back on a large number of plugins. More on this below.
Easy handling for the seller
To put it in one sentence: WooCommerce is really easy to use!
If you are reasonably familiar with WordPress, then you will no problems at all have to find your way with WooCommerce.
If you have little or no experience with WordPress, you will still find a quick start.
If you already have experience with other shop systems, you will probably be pleasantly surprised how easy WooCommerce is to use.
I have looked after companies that have moved from ShopWare to WooCommerce and really excited about them user friendliness and a low learning curve.
WooCommerce is really intuitive and all functions can be found in one area.
Ease of use is one of the most important arguments for WooCommerce from the customer's point of view. Because fewer questions means less dependence on a developer or an agency. And there is nothing worse than having to rely on help with every little thing and of course having to pay the corresponding hourly rates for it.
Should you still need help setting up or organizing your shop, you will find plenty of video tutorials on WooCommerce here on this page.
Can be ideally combined with a website
As already described above, WordPress and WooCommerce are closely linked. This results in another important advantage:
An existing website based on WordPress can be used with very little effort convert it into a fully-fledged online shop. If you already have a website that is based on WordPress, then you can put the shop system on top of it relatively quickly and easily. This saves time and effort and, last but not least, financial resources.
Almost limitlessly expandable
A variety of free plugins are available to you. So practically plugins for the plugin!
Be it additional product tabs, volume discounts, newsletter integration, shipping costs by weight. These and many more functions can be supplemented with free plugins in no time at all.
Only when you have even more specific requirements for your shop or you need a really more complex solution for a function is it necessary to invest something in your online shop.
In Envato's CodeCanyon Market, for example, you will find many good extensions for WooCommerce.
One example is a booking plug-in that converts your shop into a Booking platform transformed.
Other useful chargeable plugins are e.g. WP All Import for importing articles from an ERP or shop system.
Online shop operators in Germany cannot avoid a small additional investment: => Legal security for the online shop
There are some important obligations that must be observed for online shops in Germany.
(Failure to comply can quickly lead to really expensive warnings)
This includes, for example:
- Labeling of the basic price units
- Note on shipping costs
- Labeling of VAT
- Integration of imprint, terms and conditions and data protection
That sounds like drier at first, German bureaucracy. But don't worry, you don't need to spoil your e-commerce adventure.
At the moment there are 2 solid overall solutions that relieve you of the subject of "legal security":
- WooCommerce Germanized (from Vendidero) -> Free Version
- WooCommerce German Market (by Market Press)
Both plugins offer extensive options to make your WooCommerce shop legally secure. With just a few clicks, the VAT per product is shown and the shipping costs are linked.
I have already used both solutions in shop projects, although I prefer Germanized a little.
Why? There is a great free variant that is enough to get you started. If you would like further features such as personal PDF invoices, e-mail editor, multi-level checkout or similar, the Pro version offers a solution for little money.
Would you like to see how Germanized looks and comes across in a live shop? In my tea shop "Teewald" I also use the Germanized plugin!
WooCommerce and GDPR
As of May 2018, there is a (new) multitude of regulations that website / webshop operators have to observe in order to operate in a legally secure manner on the Internet. The GDPR and its contents are a topic of their own and should not be dealt with here. But I would like to respond to the certainly pressing question, whether it is possible to create a GDPR compliant shop with WooCommerce?
The short answer: Yes, no problem.
Almost all major plugin developers reacted on time and adapted their extensions so that the new data protection regulations can be implemented. There are definitely black sheep, i.e. plugins that are not GDPR compliant. In such cases one should look around for alternatives, of which fortunately there are usually enough.
Contact forms and order forms can easily be expanded with additional checkboxes.
The developers of WooCommerce themselves were also hardworking and, among other things, made sure that individual data records for customers / visitors can be deleted.
Many data protection-sensitive features of a website have absolutely nothing to do with a shop. Google Fonts can be downloaded to your own server. There is no such option for Google Maps yet.
With WooCommece you can implement transparent data protection and data use very well and easily.
The WordPress shop extension has a lot to offer!
Here are the strengths and advantages of WooCommerce:
- Fast assembly -> Sell immediately!
- Very low cost
- German legal security with just a few clicks and little investment
- Flat learning curve
- WordPress knowledge transferable
- Large community (e.g. this Facebook group) -> huge selection of plugins
There are certainly limits, disadvantages or weaknesses of WooCommerce. These are for example:
- Not optimal connection to ERP or merchandise management system (but possible)
- Dependency on WordPress (means: WordPress must be used)
- Legal security for other EU countries than Germany has to be integrated manually
So I hope you saw: WooCommerce is a top shop system that you start immediately leaves. This enables you to turn your e-commerce idea into reality immediately!
Do you want to know more about WooCommerce? Just write in the comments below!
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