If you’ve been researching e-commerce platforms, you’ve likely stumbled across WooCommerce. A WordPress plugin that boasts lots of options for your web store, WooCommerce is an easy-to-use solution for many online shop owners. Although it’s simple to set up, there are a few pros and cons you’ll need to be aware of, before deciding if WooCommerce is right for you.
If you already have a WordPress website or don’t mind converting platforms, WooCommerce is indeed a great option. A simple standalone, e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce can be implemented and used by anyone with an existing WordPress website. It’s flexible, completely free open-source software, and can be modified to fit your own specific needs.
Is It Hard To Set Up WooCommerce?
If you’d like to take setup WooCommerce yourself, this article will walk you through the steps you need to take. The good news is, it’s very easy to do.
All you need to do is download WooCommerce, and fill in some required information related to products, shipping, and payments. After you’ve added your products, you can start selling with WooCommerce. (Set up is simple, especially with our helpful guides.)
Setting Up WordPress
To get started with WooCommerce, you’ll need to first build a WordPress website. Luckily, WordPress is very easy to set up. There are tons of guides and tutorials available online. But, if you prefer to not build a site yourself, you can hire a WordPress developer rather cheaply to build a site for you.
Selecting a Hosting Provider
When it comes to selecting a hosting provider, you’ve got lots of options. Some companies even offer WordPress pre-installation, WooCommerce setup, and additional e-commerce features at a reasonable cost.
You can easily install WordPress by going to their website and downloading the setup file. Then you can either create a website manually or follow this great one-click installation guide by HostGator.
Installing WordPress manually will require more experience, and isn’t recommended if you’ve not previously coded or worked with a database.
After you create your site, upload WordPress to your hosting account and create a MySQL database to handle your website data. Finally, configure your wp-config in PHP and run the installation.
Setting up WooCommerce
You can set up WooCommerce on a WordPress website in the following eight easy steps:
- Step 1: Create a free account on WooCommerce using your WordPress credentials.
- Step 2: Click the “Plugins” menu and select the “Add New” button.
- Step 3: Navigate the list and find “WooCommerce”.
- Step 4: Select “Install” on “WooCommerce”.
- Step 5: Select “Activate” to turn it on for your website.
- Step 6: Proceed with the Setup Wizard.
Step 7. Search the WooCommerce plugin within your website to make sure everything is installed correctly.
- Step 8: Finally, polish up your website with a theme for your shop. WooCommerce can work with a variety of themes, you are provided a default theme during your plugin setup if you choose to use the Wizard. However, if you prefer another theme you can be free to do so, or even create your theme to match your needs.
WooCommerce vs. Shopify
WooCommerce and Shopify both provide the ability to create an e-commerce website, however, their functionalities aren’t the same. Let’s look at a few key differences between these two powerhouse platforms.
Which One Is Better?
People often compare Shopify with WooCommerce; but, there are several differences between the two platforms, and trying to compare the two is more like trying to compare apples and oranges.
WooCommerce addresses some needs better than Shopify, but that doesn’t necessarily mean one is any better than the other.
Shopify is a good choice if you:
- require 24/7 tech support when it comes to things like your web hosting and server needs.
- need an operational e-commerce store setup quickly—and you don’t want to pay developers to build one for you.
- want to customize your themes, and deploy them yourself.
But, WooCommerce might be a better choice, if you:
- want lots of personalization and adaptability with your website design.
- need to create a bigger store, and you may want to sell in many different countries.
- want no-cost options that offer a rewarding web-development experience.
- want to take control of your web hosting, servers, databases, and more.
- like to maintain lots of control over your website.
Is Shopify or WooCommerce Better for SEO?
All websites need strong SEO compatibility to stay in business. Both Shopify and WooCommerce are very robust platforms and are equally good at attracting customers with their e-commerce SEO toolkits.
SEO helps your online business be more discoverable. Good SEO helps your site appear higher in search results pages (SERPs), so potential customers find you easily. Good SEO will help you get more traffic, sell more products (and sell faster), and ultimately boost your revenue.
WordPress is a powerful and popular platform due to its specialized SEO plugins that boost site ranking. WooCommerce is compatible with all modern SEO standards, and even the plugin itself used SEO-optimized code.
You can install plugins like WooCommerce’s Yoast SEO tool on your WordPress website, allowing you to get an edge over your competition. Yoast automatically suggests things you can do to help make your product or webpage get better SEO.
Shopify features its SEO plugins and tools to help you optimize your site for better discoverability. However, there aren’t as many options, control, or power, compared to WooCommerce’s Yoast.
Can I Use Both Shopify and WooCommerce?
Shopify and WooCommerce are both great e-commerce platforms, but you can’t use both of them at the same time. However, there are some things you can do to easily move your website from one platform to the other.
Shopify offers a connector for WooCommerce that lets users migrate their existing Shopify store to a WooCommerce store. It also easily imports product details, image URLs, and customer data from the Shopify store.
This allows online shop owners the ability to scale their business by integrating Shopify with WooCommerce—and start selling products on a global scale without issues.
Unfortunately, there is no way to migrate a WordPress website to Shopify.
What Are the Advantages of WooCommerce over Shopify?
Even though both of these platforms are considered the cream of the crop, when it comes to e-commerce stores—WooCommerce holds a clear edge over Shopify.
Price: Shopify charges $29 a month for their Premium plans, while WooCommerce is free.
Personalization: WooCommerce’s customization options are limitless. You can choose any design, or functionality you like, which allows you to build a website that aligns directly with your brand identity.
Data and design: WooCommerce has tons of free themes to choose from—plus the ability to create your own, too. You can change your store’s metadata and the tools available are good for search engine optimization.
Analytics and metrics: You also get pre-installed ratings and a review system for your products. WooCommerce has additional metrics, analytics, and other useful data like reports to help keep your business organized and running well.
What Should I Do If I Still Have Questions?
WooCommerce isn’t just simple to use, it’s easy to set up, too. If after reading this guide, you find the process challenging—there’s always help right around the corner. WooCommerce’s open-source platform means there are tons of free online guides and forums you can access for help and how-tos.