Tag - WooCommerce

How Much Do Ecommerce Websites Cost in 2019? (Real Numbers)


After our articles on how much does a WordPress website cost, and how much does it cost for a custom WordPress theme, many of you asked us to write about how much does an eCommerce website cost?

Knowing the cost of building an eCommerce website is important because it helps you calculate the investment you will need to start your new online business idea.

The challenge is that there are many factors involved in making an eCommerce website, and all of them will affect the overall cost of your business.

If you don’t have a clear action plan, then you can easily end up overspending. But don’t worry, we are here to help.

In this article, we will break down all the information to give you a clear idea of how much does an eCommerce website cost. We will also show you different ways to avoid overspending and maximize profits.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Cost of building an eCommerce website

How to Calculate the Cost of Building an Ecommerce Website?

The best way to calculate the cost of building an eCommerce website is to compare different eCommerce platforms, tools, add-ons, and additional services that you will need based on your business requirements.

This is the only way that will give you an accurate cost of an eCommerce website.

Since there are multiple ways to create an online store, most online eCommerce website cost calculators end up being completely inaccurate (so its best that you avoid them).

To keep this article focused, we will break down our eCommerce cost analysis into the following major expenses:

There are many different eCommerce software and platforms that you can use to make an online store. For the sake of this article, we will use the following top eCommerce platforms:

That being said, let’s start calculating the cost of making an eCommerce website, and how to save money with smart choices along the way.

1. Hosting Costs

Ecommerce hosting costs

Every website on the internet needs web hosting. This is where your website’s files are stored. You’ll also need a domain name which is your website’s address on the internet, e.g. wpbeginner.com.

When it comes to eCommerce hosting, there are two routes that you can take for your eCommerce projects. Each of them have different costs and technical requirements.

Let’s take a look at both of them.

1. Hosting Costs for Self-Hosted eCommerce Website

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world powering millions of small and large online stores.

WooCommerce itself is available as a free software which means you can download and use it for free to create as many eCommerce websites as you like.

However, you’ll need a WooCommerce web hosting account to install it. You’ll also need a domain name and an SSL certificate.

A starter website hosting plan normally starts at $7.99 / month, domain name $14.99 / year, and SSL Certificate starts from $69 / year.

All of these costs add up to a small but still significant investment to make a starter eCommerce store.

Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a generous discount on hosting with a free domain name and SSL certificate.

Basically, you can get started for just $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

As your business starts growing, you will eventually need to upgrade your hosting plan to handle more traffic.

This means your hosting costs will start increasing as more customers visit your website. Hopefully, by that time you’ll be making enough money (sales) to justify the increasing costs of hosting.

You can switch your hosting plan to a managed WordPress hosting company like WP Engine. Their Starter plan is $35 per month and scale plan is $290 per month, but you can use our WP Engine coupon to get an additional discount.

Here are the advantages of a self-hosted eCommerce site:

  • You get complete freedom to build your eCommerce site the way you like.
  • You can save a ton of money by only paying for what you need.
  • You can make unlimited sales, add unlimited products, use any payment gateway platform that you like.

With that said, some non-techy users don’t want to learn how to install their own eCommerce software and prefer a done for you solution instead. That’s where the SaaS eCommerce platforms come in.

2. Hosting Costs for SaaS eCommerce Platforms

Ecommerce platforms available as SaaS (Software as a Service) do not require you to install software, manage it, or host it yourself.

Your website hosting price is included with the software. You don’t need to worry about managing website hosting.

The two of the most popular SaaS eCommerce platforms are Shopify and BigCommerce.

They both offer incredibly easy and highly scalable eCommerce platforms to sell your products online. Both platforms include SSL, but you’ll need to purchase a domain name separately. See our guide on how to register a domain name for instructions.

Here is the cost of Shopify eCommerce plans:

  • Basic Shopify: $29 / month
  • Shopify: $79 / month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 / month

Shopify pricing
Now, let’s compare it with the BigCommerce plans:

  • Standard: $29.95 / month
  • Plus: $71.95 / month
  • Pro: $224.95 / month

BigCommerce pricing

For both platforms, each plan comes with a different set of features that you need to review, so you can choose the right plan for your needs.

There are some major differences between Shopify and BigCommerce, and we will discuss them throughout the article.

For example, BigCommerce Standard plan limits you to $50,000 in online sales per year. After that, you will need to upgrade your account.

Shopify on the other hand forces you to use Shopify payments. If you want to use another payment gateway, then you will be charged an additional 2% fee for each transaction made on your eCommerce store using third-party payment gateway. The fee drops to 1% and then 0.5% for their higher paid plans.

Estimated Ecommerce Hosting Costs:

Self-hosted eCommerce website: $2.75 – $241.67 / month

SaaS eCommerce hosting costs $29 – $299 / month

Please keep in mind that this cost estimate is for starter to medium sized online stores. For high-volume stores, you will likely have to upgrade to Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Enterprise which costs in the thousands per month.

On the self-hosted site, you will have to upgrade your hosting plans with WP Engine, Liquid Web, or whichever hosting provider you are using.

Based on the hosting cost analysis above, self-hosted eCommerce site with WooCommerce comes out as a winner. See our guide on: how to start an online store.

2. Payment Processing

Payment processing

Many beginners don’t look at payment processing fees when choosing an eCommerce platform. This can have a serious impact on your business because it will significantly increase your costs and lower your profits.

Let’s see how different eCommerce platforms handle payments, and how much it would cost you to accept payments from your customers.

Payment Costs in WooCommerce

WooCommerce payments

WooCommerce is an open-source software, so it has many payment platform integrations. This means self-hosted eCommerce websites using WooCommerce are free to use any payment gateway they want.

By default, WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe payment gateways to accept credit card payments. You can also choose from dozens of other payment services which are available as extensions.

You will only be paying the processing fees to the payment gateway service you choose. Each one of them has different rates for different regions, currencies, services.

Another advantage is that WooCommerce has extensions and integrations available even for some lesser-known regional payment services. This is a big advantage for eCommerce websites catering to customers in specific countries.

Using WooCommerce, you can compare the rates for different payment services and choose the best option for your business.

WooCommerce also does not put a cap on how many sales you can make on your website. This gives eCommerce websites freedom to choose their payment service and not pay any overage fees.

WooCommerce payment processing costs:

Payment processing fees vary depending on the payment gateway, currency, and region. Here is a quick overview of popular payment gateways in US dollars.

  • PayPal: 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions over $10
  • Stripe: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Authorize.net – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction + $25 monthly fee.

Payment Costs in Shopify

Shopify payment costs

Shopify offers its own payment solutions called Shopify Payments which lets you accept credit card payments on your website. It also offers many third-party payment gateways including regional and cryptocurrency payment services.

Shopify Payments is available only in 13 countries at the time of writing this article. You will need to carefully read payments terms for your country as you are not allowed to sell certain items in some countries.

If you choose to use a third-party payment service, then you will pay that particular payment gateway’s fees + 2.0% additional fee to Shopify. This might not seem a lot at first, but it can become a significant amount in the long term.

Considering that most payment services charge 2.9% of the transaction amount on average, this means you could end up paying up to 5% of total transaction as payment processing charges.

Now if you are in one of the 13 countries supported by Shopify, then you get almost the same rate as PayPal.

However, if you are not in those select countries, then you will pay 2% additional charges to Shopify for each transaction which could significantly reduce your profit margins.

Shopify Payment processing costs

  • Shopify Payments: 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
  • Third-party payment services: The payment gateway fees + 2% additional fees paid to Shopify for each transaction.

Payment Costs in BigCommerce

BigCommerce payment gateway

BigCommerce allows you to choose from over 65+ third-party payment gateways. These payment platforms provide a wider global reach than Shopify, but it is not as large as WooCommerce.

The biggest advantage of using BigCommerce is that it does not charge additional transaction fees. This means you only pay for each transaction to the payment service provider you choose (similar to WooCommerce).

The charges for each transaction will depend on payment service, currency, and country. You can choose from all popular payment services like PayPal, Square, Stripe, Authorize.net, and many more.

BigCommerce Payment processing costs

  • PayPal: 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions over $10
  • Stripe: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Authorize.net – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction + $25 monthly fee.

Estimated Costs for Payment Processing on an Ecommerce Website

Your payment processing costs will depend on your eCommerce platform, and the payment services you choose. Here is an average estimate of the payment costs.

  • WooCommerce: PayPal or Stripe – 2.9% + $0.30 for transaction
  • Shopify : Shopify Payments – 2.9% + 30¢ | Additional 2% per transaction for third-party payment gateways
  • BigCommerce: PayPal or Stripe – 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction

Note: These costs do not include any fees that may be charged by your bank.

When looking at payment processing costs, both WooCommerce and BigCommerce are tied for the lowest costs.

3. Ecommerce Website Design Costs

eCommerce design

The eCommerce industry is growing at an incredible rate. Each day new online stores are popping up and chances are that there will already be significant competition in your area of business.

This is where design comes in.

Giving your website a professional and customer-centric design helps you get ahead of competition.

Now you might be thinking, well I’m not a professional web designer, how do I come up with a design that helps my store stand out and make more sales?

Well, most eCommerce platforms realize this problem, so they offer ready-made website templates. Store owners can customize the layouts using simple drag and drop tools.

Store owners can also purchase premium designs that come with additional features, priority support, and unique layouts. Of course, you can also hire a developer to design a completely custom template from scratch with custom features.

Let’s see how much it costs to design an eCommerce website on different platforms.

WooCommerce Design Costs

WooCommerce themes

WooCommerce is the most flexible option in terms of design and appearance. It is built on top of WordPress, the most popular website builder, which means you can choose any WordPress theme to use with WooCommerce.

However, you would want to select a WooCommerce specific theme for best results.

Luckily there are thousands of WooCommerce themes that you can choose from. Many of them are completely free and some are available for a small fee, starting from $30.

Here are the top WooCommerce themes with tons of customization options.

  • Astra – A popular WooCommerce theme with dozens of ready-made sites that you can install with 1-click.
  • Divi – A powerful WooCommerce theme with dozens of templates, a built-in page builder, and beginner friendly customization options
  • Ocean WP – One of the top all-purpose WooCommerce themes on the market with tons of customization options

For the complete list see our article on the best WooCommerce themes

WooCommerce also gives you access to amazing WordPress page builder plugins. These drag and drop tools allow you to create custom product pages and custom landing page layouts within minutes.

If you don’t want to use a free or paid WooCommerce theme, then you can hire a WordPress developer for custom WooCommerce development.

Custom themes are unique and made specifically for your business. They allow you to incorporate custom features and turn your ideas into reality.

A custom theme can become very expensive depending on the features you need, and the expertise of your developer. The overall cost of a custom website development could start from $1500 to $6000 for an average-sized eCommerce business.

An enterprise-level custom theme with its own companion plugins can cost from $10,000 to $30,000.

Shopify Design Costs

Shopify themes

Shopify offers ready-made templates that you can use as a starting point for your eCommerce store. It also offers built-in tools to customize the layout, colors, and other settings.

There are currently 10 free and 65 paid themes available on the Shopify website. This is a very small number, especially when compared to thousands of themes available for WooCommerce.

On average, a paid theme for Shopify starts from $160. You may find cheaper themes on third-party theme marketplaces where Shopify themes may be available for as low as $59.

You can also hire a developer to make you a custom Shopify theme. However, Shopify is not as popular among developers as WooCommerce, which means your hiring pool will be quite small and rates will be higher.

Depending on the developer you choose and their rates, a custom design development for Shopify can cost between $5,000 to $30,000 USD.

BigCommerce Design Costs

BigCommerce themes

BigCommerce also offers paid and free themes. There are currently 12 free themes in multiple styles and more than a 100+ paid themes in the store.

Each of these themes is fully customizable using an intuitive user interface. You can add your own business logo, custom colors, and choose different layout styles for your store.

All themes are mobile responsive and designed for higher conversion rates. They strictly adhere to BigCommerce platform guidelines and coding standards, so you get the same user experience regardless of which theme you choose.

You can also find BigCommerce themes from third-party marketplace websites. However, these themes may not be as good in quality as those available in the official store.

BigCommerce also allows developers to upload custom made themes. You can find a developer for hire on BigCommerce’s official partner’s directory or freelance marketplaces like UpWork.

Pricing for paid BigCommerce themes start from $160+. A custom BigCommerce theme can cost you somewhere between $3,000 to $30,000, depending on the developer or agency you hire for the job.

Estimated Design Costs for an Ecommerce Website

WooCommerce – Free, $99 for premium, and $5,000 for custom

Shopify – Free, $160 for premium, and $5,000 for custom

BigCommerce – Free, $160 for premium, and $5,000 for custom

Note: Both BigCommerce and Shopify have limited themes both free and paid. WooCommerce gives you access to thousands of free and paid themes, large pool of developers, and a lot more flexibility in design.

4. Cost of Add-ons and Extensions

Addons and extensions

It is simply not possible for an eCommerce platform to bake all the features you’ll need into one software. Even if they tried, things would get messy and the software would become difficult to use.

To fix this problem, most eCommerce software are made with a modular approach. This allows the core software to be extended using add-ons and apps.

These add-on or extensions allow you to add new features to your eCommerce website and extend its functionality. Many of them are paid and buying them will increase your cost of making an eCommerce website.

Let’s compare the costs of add-ons and extensions on popular eCommerce platforms.

WooCommerce Extensions and Add-ons

WooCommerce Extensions

When it comes to add-ons and extensions, no other eCommerce platform comes even close to WooCommerce. There are thousands of both free and paid add-ons available for WooCommerce that you can use.

You also need to keep in mind that WooCommerce runs on top of WordPress, which gives you access to 55,000+ free plugins as well.

There is a plugin or add-on available for any feature that you can think of.

Want to see some examples? See our expert-pick of essential WooCommerce plugins showcasing the most popular WooCommerce add-ons (most of them are free).

Pricing for paid WooCommerce addons start from $19 and can go as high $299 (depending on licensing plans and features of a plugin).

If that’s not enough, and you want a custom feature, then you can hire a developer to make a plugin for you. It could cost you anywhere from $500 to $10,000 USD depending on how much work is required or the rates of the developer you hire for the job.

WooCommerce Addon Costs: Free – $299 and custom plugins cost $500 – $10,000 USD

Cost of Shopify Addons

Shopify app store

Shopify is a SaaS platform and the core software is tightly integrated to provide maximum security and stability to all users.

However, they do offer APIs for developers to integrate their own services and solutions into Shopify. These addons are available as third-party apps on the Shopify app store.

There are hundreds of apps available both free and paid. The prices for paid apps vary and most of them are available on a monthly subscription basis.

Shopify also allows you to add private apps made specifically for your store. The app needs to be stored and run elsewhere, and you can generate Shopify API keys to manage the app’s access permissions.

Shopify Addon Costs: Free – Varied monthly subscription apps. Custom app: $5,000+ depending on developer rates and skills.

BigCommerce Addons Cost

BigCommerce apps

Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce also allows you to install both free and paid apps. Many of these third-party apps are available on a monthly subscription basis.

You can also hire developers to create custom apps for a single store. These apps are stored as a draft app and you can only use it on that particular store.

BigCommerce Addon Costs: Free – Varied monthly subscription apps. Custom app: $1000+ depending on developer rates and skills.

Estimated Cost of Addons on an Ecommerce Website

This one is hard to calculate because each online store will use different apps for their own needs.

Ofcourse using more paid add-ons will cost more and increase your total costs significantly. Add-ons with recurring billing will be an ongoing expense for your business.

We are assuming that you will be careful with paid add-ons to give a very conservative estimate of the costs.

Add-on costs: Free – $1,000 USD

WooCommerce addons and WordPress plugins overall are cheaper since they’re billed on annual basis whereas Shopify and BigCommerce apps are billed on monthly basis.

5. Total Cost of Building an Ecommerce Website

Calculating total cost of an eCommerce website

Now that we have covered different spending areas for an eCommerce website, let’s take a look at how much would be the total cost of building an eCommerce website.

As mentioned earlier that each eCommerce platform gives you the flexibility to choose how much money you would spend. This would obviously affect your overall costs.

Following are the estimated total costs of building an eCommerce website.

WooCommerce Starter – $500 – $3000 (Shared hosting, paid design, fewer paid plugins and services).

WooCommerce Custom – $5000 – $10,000 (Managed WordPress hosting, custom eCommerce design, paid plugins and services).

WooCommerce Enterprise – $10,000+ (Dedicated hosting servers, custom design and features, paid plugins and services).

Shopify – $1,000 – $10,000+ (Your costs would increase dramatically when you make more sales and if you are using a third-party payment service).

BigCommerce $1,000 – $10,000+ (Your costs will increase when you make more sales as you will be asked to upgrade your plan).

A WooCommerce / WordPress eCommerce site costs between $500 and $3000 USD for a starter eCommerce business. This gives you the best value for your money as it is the most robust, flexible, and easy to use platform.

  • You wouldn’t have to pay additional transaction fees
  • WooCommerce doesn’t cap your sales or number of products you add
  • You can use it with any third-party service
  • It has the best design options to improve conversions and make more sales

If you would rather not maintain hosting by yourself, then BigCommerce saves you money by not charging you a transaction fee for using your preferred payment services.

You can also use BigCommerce with WordPress, allowing BigCommerce to handle your store and WordPress to manage marketing content.

Lastly, Shopify could be a cheap option for making an eCommerce website but only if you use Shopify Payments to accept credit card payments on your website.

For more details see our comparisons: WooCommerce vs BigCommerce and WooCommerce vs Shopify.

6. Bonus: Costs of Growing Ecommerce Business

Cost of growing your eCommerce business

Now that you have made your eCommerce site. What’s next?

The real fun part comes when you start growing your eCommerce business. This part is painful and overwhelming for most beginners, but it is also the most rewarding.

It is painful because it can be excruciatingly slow if you are not using the right tools. By using proper tools to grow your business you can boost your sales and skyrocket conversions.

While these tools will also add up to your overall costs, their ROI is so high that it automatically justifies the expense.

Following are our top picks for the best marketing tools to grow your eCommerce business with their costs.

Marketing Tools

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

As your eCommerce site starts getting visitors, you’ll learn that most visitors leave without making a purchase. Wouldn’t it be great if you could stay in touch with them so that you can convince them to buy?

This is what OptinMonster does.

It is the best lead generation software in the world because it helps you convert abandoning website visitors into leads and customers. OptinMonster works with any kind of website and all eCommerce platforms.

For instructions and practical examples, see our article on how to convert visitors into customers.

Cost: We would recommend you to start with their Plus plan at least. It costs $19 / month with annual billing.

2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

The best way to stay in touch with website visitors is by email, which is still the preferred mode of communication by customers.

You need to start building an email list on your eCommerce store from day 1. Basically, you are losing money each day you are not collecting emails.

The easiest way to start with email marketing is by using Constant Contact. It is the best email marketing software on the market allowing you to send targeted messages to subscribers and increase your sales.

For details and step by step instructions, see our tutorial on how to start an email newsletter.

Cost: Starting from $20 per month.

Alternatives: We also recommend SendinBlue and Drip depending on the use-cases.

3. SEMRush

SEMRush

The best source to get free traffic to your website is search engines. To utilize them, you will need to keep learning eCommerce SEO.

SEMRush is the best SEO tool on the market. It allows you to see the keywords your competitors are ranking for and how you can beat them by ranking higher.

In just a few clicks, it provides you a ton of optimization ideas that you can implement with minimal effort.

For instructions and details, see our guide on how to properly do keyword research.

Cost: Starting from $99.95 per month.

4. Nextiva

Nextiva

Normally you can just add your landline or mobile number to your eCommerce website. However, it doesn’t look very professional and can end up hurting your business.

Nextiva is the best business phone service on the market. It allows you to use one number on multiple devices, phonesets, mobile phones, and even computers.

It runs on voice over internet protocol technology also known as business VoIP. Compared to traditional landline phones, it is way cheaper and allows you to efficiently handle calls for your business.

Cost: Starting from $20 / month / user.

Alternative: RingCentral is a another popular virtual phone number app.

5. PPC Marketing

Starting an eCommerce website will not instantly start making money for your business. It will take some time before you can get search traffic to your website. Meanwhile, you’ll still be paying for hosting and other services.

This is where PPC marketing can help.

PPC or pay-per-click marketing allows you to display ads for targeted keywords in search results. You can use SEMRush to find the PPC keywords your clients are targeting and plan an effective strategy within minutes.

The best place to start with your first PPC campaign is Google Ads. It is super-easy to use and even absolute beginners can get started without any help.

PPC campaigns don’t need to cost a lot of money. You can set a small budget, run a very targeted campaign, and then increase the budget to get more leads and sales.

PPC is not just for eCommerce startups, you can continue using PPC marketing alongside your SEO efforts to get targeted traffic to your store.

Cost: You can start as low as $100 and increase budget as you need.

How much would it cost to properly grow an eCommerce business?

Basically, it depends on you. Your goal should be to find the right balance of tools start building upon it. Keep trying new tools as your business grows and you have more budget to expand.

Estimated Cost of Growth Hacking: $1000 to Unlimited

We hope this article gave you a good idea of how much does an eCommerce website cost in real numbers. We recommend being thrifty and only spending when it is essential for your business.

You may also want to see our guide on how to grow your business on a very small budget and the best live chat software for eCommerce websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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WooCommerce Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Resources]


Do you want to start an eCommerce business using WooCommerce? Need a WooCommerce tutorial that’s easy to follow for non-techy users? If so, you’re in the right place.

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. It is super-flexible, cost-effective, and easy to manage even for beginners.

However, many beginners feel a bit intimidated by the idea of setting up WooCommerce themselves. Most users struggle to find out how to get started with WooCommerce and what’s the proper way to setup WooCommerce.

In this ultimate WooCommerce tutorial, we will guide you through how to set up WooCommerce with step by step instructions. We will also share WooCommerce resources like best WooCommerce themes, WooCommerce SEO tips, and other useful resources to help you grow your store.

Step by step WooCommerce guide for beginners

WooCommerce Tutorial (Overview)

Here is an overview of all the topics we’ll cover in this ultimate WooCommerce guide.

  • What is WooCommerce?
  • WooCommerce review + comparison with other eCommerce platforms
  • What do you need to make a WooCommerce store?
  • Step 1. Getting started with WooCommerce
  • Step 2. Setting up WordPress
  • Step 3. How to Properly Install and Setup WooCommerce
  • Step 4. Adding products in WooCommerce
  • Step 5. Choosing a WooCommerce template & theme
  • Step 6. Installing WooCommerce plugins and extensions
  • Step 7. WooCommerce Resources to grow your online store
  • WooCommerce Frequently Asked Questions

Ready? Let’s get started.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce software that makes it easy for selling products and services online. Over the years, it has become the most popular eCommerce platform in the world used by millions of small and large businesses (online stores).

WooCommerce is developed as an extension of WordPress which is the most popular website builder on the market. This allows users to build an eCommerce website from scratch or add shopping cart functionality to an existing website.

As an open-source software, WooCommerce is free to download and use. However, while the WooCommerce software is free, you still need a domain name and web hosting service to setup a website, which costs money. We will talk more about WooCommerce pricing later in this article.

WooCommerce Review + Pros and Cons Comparison

WooCommerce has become the most popular eCommerce software in the world because it’s easy to use for beginners, and it comes with extremely powerful features.

Since WooCommerce is open source, not only is it 100% free, you also get complete freedom and control over your eCommerce website.

Unlike other proprietary eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce pricing does not include licensing fees. This means you can use it to create as many online stores and eCommerce websites as you like.

WooCommerce is plugin built on top of WordPress, which means you get to benefit from all the powerful features of WordPress as well. See our complete WordPress review to learn more about WordPress.

There are thousands of beautiful WooCommerce designs and templates that you can choose from to start your online store. Each of them comes with easy to use customization options and many of them are available for free.

One of the main reasons why business owners love WooCommerce is it’s flexibility. You can add additional features to WooCommerce by using various WooCommerce plugins (also known as add-ons). There are literally thousands of WooCommerce specific plugins that you can use to extend its functionality to add features like booking, subscriptions, shipping platform integrations, sales tax collection, etc.

Apart from addons made specifically for WooCommerce, you can also use thousands of WordPress plugins on your website to add features like contact forms, call now buttons, galleries, data backup, security firewall, etc.

Another advantage of using WooCommerce is that it puts no restrictions on how you run your business.

You can add unlimited products, make unlimited sales, import and export product data, add unlimited product images, videos, categories, and more.

Accepting payments online is a major hurdle for many users. For those users, the most important benefit of using WooCommerce is that it integrates seamlessly with dozens of payment services and gateways.

By default, it supports PayPal and Stripe out of the box. You can use dozens of other payment gateways through add-ons. There are even integrations available for some lesser-known and regional payment gateways.

Want to see how WooCommerce compares against other popular eCommerce platforms? See the following comparisons to check out how it stacks up against the competition.

  • WooCommerce vs Shopify
  • WooCommerce vs BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce vs Magento

That being said, now let’s take a look at what do you need to make a WooCommerce powered online store.

What Do You Need to Make a WooCommerce Store?

You will need the following three items to make a WooCommerce website from scratch.

  • A WordPress hosting account. This is where all your website files will be stored.
  • A domain name. This is your website’s address on the internet e.g. wpbeginner.com
  • A SSL Certificate to securely accept online payments

The above items are not free and cost money. Often beginners ask, if WooCommerce is free, then why do I need to pay for these things.

Well, you need to pay for these three things to build any type of website (not just WooCommerce).

The overall cost of your online store (WooCommerce pricing) will depend on which services you choose to purchase for your website. You can easily control the costs by only purchasing what you actually need.

Remember, you can add other things later as your business starts making money.

Normally, web hosting would cost you $7.99 / month for a starter site, domain name $14.99 per year, and an SSL certificate around $69.99 per year.

Now, this is a significant investment and every penny counts when you are starting a new business.

Luckily, Bluehost, an official WooCommerce and WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer WPBeginner readers an exclusive discount on web hosting with free domain name and SSL. Basically, you’ll be able to start for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. They host millions of websites on the internet along many of our own.

Now that we have covered the basic WooCommerce requirements, let’s see how to set up WooCommerce with step by step instructions.

Step 1. Getting Started with WooCommerce

First, you need to visit the Bluehost website and click on the Get started now button.

Get started with Bluehost

Next, you will be asked to select a plan for your hosting account. Basic and Plus plans are popular among many users, and remember you can always upgrade to get more resources later when you need it.

Select a hosting plan

Click to select a plan and continue.

After that, you will be asked to register a new domain name or use an existing domain name that you already own.

Select a domain name

Here are some quick tips on choosing the perfect domain name for your WooCommerce store.

  • Use keywords in your domain name. For example, if you want to sell gardening supplies then use it in your domain name as keyword.
  • Use your brand name in your domain name
  • Stick to .com extension
  • Do not use numbers or hyphens in your domain name. This makes them hard to pronounce and spell

For more tips, see our guide on how to choose the perfect domain name for your business. You can even use a domain name generator to help.

It is important to spend time on choosing the right domain name for your business, but don’t overthink it otherwise you will never get beyond this step.

Once you have chosen a domain name, click on the next button to continue.

Now, you will be asked to provide account information and finalize the plan details. Under package information section, we recommend choosing 36 months plan because that’s the best value.

Select plan duration

Below that you will see optional extras. We recommend unchecking all of them as they will increase your costs. You can always add them later from your hosting dashboard when needed.

Uncheck package extras

After that, fill your credit card information and click on the submit button to complete the purchase.

Once you have made the payment, Bluehost will send you an email with details to login to your web hosting dashboard. The dashboard is where you’ll manage your website.

Step 2. Setting up WooCommerce and WordPress

Most web hosting companies also offer 1-click WordPress installation. If you are using any other hosting company, then see our step by step guide on how to install WordPress.

Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you when you sign up for a hosting account. You can simply login to your hosting dashboard and click on the ‘Log in to WordPress’ button.

Log in to WordPress

You can always use this shortcut as your WooCommerce login without entering a password.

You will now see the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress dashboard

Now before we install WooCommerce, let’s first set up basic WordPress settings.

Go to Settings page in the WordPress admin area and change your website’s title and optionally provide a tagline (description).

Title and description

Bluehost will automatically install SSL certificate for your domain name. Make sure that your website URL is showing https and not http.

If it is showing http, then you need to see our tutorial on how to enable free SSL in WordPress.

Next, you need to review the website admin email address. This email address is where you will receive WooCommerce notifications and password reset requests so make sure that it is correct.

After that, scroll down a little and select the timezone settings for your website.

Now, you can review all the settings once again and click on the Save changes button to save them.

Once done, you’re now ready to install WooCommerce.

Step 3. How to Properly Install and Setup WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so the installation process is similar to any other WordPress plugin. You can follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Simply visit Plugins » Add New page in your WordPress admin and search for WooCommerce. WordPress will now show plugin search results. You need to click on the ‘Install now’ button next to WooCommerce.

Install WooCommerce

WordPress will now grab the plugin files and install WooCommerce for you. Once finished, you need to click on the ‘Activate’ button to start using it.

Activate WooCommerce

After activation, WooCommerce will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard.

First, you will need to select your store location, currency, and what type of products you want to sell.

WooCommerce set up wizard

After that, click on the let’s go button to continue.

In the next step, you will be asked to choose a payment method. By default, WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.

Select a payment method

You can click the toggle to enable these payment methods and provide your email address to set them up.

Alternately, you can turn them both off and set them later by visiting the WooCommerce » Settings page and switching to the Payments tab.

Next, you will be asked to set up shipping. You can select free shipping or add flat shipping cost for different zones.

Set up shipping costs

Click on the continue button to move along.

Now you will be asked to install recommended services for WooCommerce. We recommend you to uncheck all of them and install them later when you actually need them.

WooCommerce recommended extras

Next, you will be asked to install the JetPack plugin. You can simply scroll down to the bottom and select Skip this step. There are better and more powerful alternatives that we will discuss later.

Skip Jetpack

WooCommerce setup wizard will now save all your settings, and your store is now ready to start selling.

Step 4. Adding Products in WooCommerce

WooCommerce makes it really easy to add products to your store.

Simply go to Products » Add New page to add your first product.

Adding a new product to your WooCommerce store

First, you need to provide a title for your product and then a detailed description.

After that, click on the ‘Add new product category’ link in the right column. You can create a new category for the product you are adding.

Add new product category

Categories allow your customers to easily browse products on your website.

After that, you need to scroll down a little to the ‘Product Data’ box. This is where you will select the product type, add product pricing, shipping, and other information.

Adding product data

Next, you will see a product short description box. This description will be used on different product pages on your website. You need to add a catchy and informative short description that helps you get more clicks.

Add a short description for your product

Nothing makes a product page more useful than product images. WooCommerce makes it super simple to add product images and even product image galleries to go along with each product.

First, you need to add the main product image. This will be the main product image that’s used on the shop pages across your store.

Product images and gallery

Below that you can add multiple images to create a product image gallery.

Now review all the product information that you have added so far. If everything looks alright, then you are ready to make this product live on your store.

Click on the Publish button at the top right box on the screen to publish your product.

Publish your product

You can now repeat the process to add more products to your website.

Step 5. Choosing a WooCommerce Template & Theme

There are thousands of online stores competing to sell similar products. Choosing a professional design for your store makes a big difference in how customers see your brand.

There are thousands of WooCommerce templates and themes available on the market. While you can use WooCommerce with any WordPress theme, we recommend choosing a WooCommerce-ready theme.

These themes are made specifically for WooCommerce websites, and they will help you make more sales on your website.

Since there are thousands of paid and free WooCommerce themes on the market, this abundance of choices can make it difficult for beginners to choose the perfect design.

To make this easier, we have hand-picked the best WooCommerce ready themes that you can use. All of these are mobile-friendly and highly optimized for SEO and performance.

  • Astra – One of the top WooCommerce ready WordPress themes on the market. Astra comes with full WooCommerce support, built-in templates for product and shop pages, and dozens of 1-click ready-made websites.
  • Ocean WP – One of the most easily customizable theme for WooCommerce users.
  • Shoppe – A modern and highly customizable WooCommerce theme. It comes with its own page builder allowing you to easily create landing pages for your products and campaigns.
  • Outfitter Pro – A modern, hip, and clean WooCommerce theme made specifically for clothing brands and stores.

Looking for more options? See our expert pick of the best WooCommerce themes for some excellent choices.

WooCommerce themes

What to look for in a WooCommerce theme?

Looking at all these professionally made WooCommerce themes, you may be wondering how to choose the right theme for your business?

Following are just some basic tips that you can use as a guideline.

  • Strive for simplicity in design. A simple and clean design helps customers focus on what’s important and improves conversions
  • Test your selected theme on mobile. Most users access the internet from mobile devices so make sure that the theme you are choosing looks great on smaller screens.
  • Only download themes from WordPress.org themes directory or reliable commercial theme shops. Themes from unreliable sources may have hidden malware which could ruin your business.
  • Check reviews and ratings to avoid any red flags

For more tips, see our guide on how to select the perfect WordPress theme for your project.

Once you have chosen a WooCommerce theme, see our guide on how to install a WordPress theme to set it up.

Step 5. Installing WooCommerce Extensions and Add-ons

The real power of WooCommerce comes from powerful extensions and add-ons. These add-ons work exactly like a WordPress plugin, and you can install them like you would install any other WordPress plugin.

There are thousands of plugins available for both WooCommerce and WordPress. You can use them to create contact forms, make landing pages, add pricing tables, gift cards, and more.

Here are our top picks for must-have WooCommerce plugins for any eCommerce store.

  • WPForms – Allows you to easily create contact forms, customer surveys, customer login forms, and more.
  • MonsterInsights – Allows you to install Google Analytics and track your top products, categories, and landing pages. See where your customers are coming from and what they do on your website.
  • TrustPulse – Allows you to utilize the power of social proof and fomo to instantly win customer trust and generate more sales
  • BeaverBuilder – It is the best drag and drop page builder plugin for WooCommerce. It allows you to easily create beautiful landing pages to promote products, marketing campaigns, sale events, and more.
  • RafflePress – Helps you run viral giveaway campaigns to promote your WooCommerce store.

For a more comprehensive list, see our expert pick of the best WooCommerce plugins that we recommend.

Step 6. Resources to Grow WooCommerce Store

Now that your WooCommerce store is up and running, it is time to start promoting your WooCommerce store and grow your business.

Here are some resources that will help you learn WooCommerce and grow your online store like an experienced pro.

1. Start an Email List

More than 90% of people visiting your WooCommerce store will leave without making a purchase. Losing these users is like losing money.

This is why building an email list is extremely important for online store owners.

Email list allows you to give customers a chance to stay in touch with you without buying anything. This opens a direct line of communication between you and the customers, so you can then try and convince them to make a purchase.

See our guide on how to properly start an email newsletter for your WooCommerce store for details and step by step instructions.

The good part is that WooCommerce integrates with all major email marketing services in the world including Constant Contact, SendinBlue, Drip, and thousands more.

2. Generate More Leads

Each user who subscribes to your email list is a potential lead / customer. This is why its best practice to offer website visitors multiple options to join your email list. This practice is called lead generation.

Most store owners make the mistake of only adding a basic email signup form to their store which hurts your overall conversion.

This is where OptinMonster can help. It is the best lead generation software in the world that allows you to easily convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and then paying customers.

For details, take a look at these tips on how to convert WooCommerce visitors into customers.

3. Track WooCommerce Users

Ecommerce stores need marketing data to make informed decisions. This data includes where your visitors are coming from, which products are popular, which products are not doing so well, and more.

These insights help you make data-driven decisions and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

MonsterInsights helps you easily make sense of all this data using Google Analytics. It comes with the enhanced eCommerce tracking which helps you unlock a treasure trove of helpful data with just a few clicks.

For instructions, see our guide on how to track WooCommerce customers in Google Analytics.

4. Learn WooCommerce SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps you get more visitors from search engines to your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce itself is very SEO friendly out of the box, but there is so much more you can do.

Since most beginners find WooCommerce SEO a bit intimidating and technical, we have prepared a complete step by step WooCommerce SEO guide to help you properly utilize SEO without any expert help.

5. Recover Abandoned Cart Sales

Once a customer adds a product to their cart, there is 60-80% chance that they will leave it without completing the purchase. That’s an average from all eCommerce websites, so it could be even higher.

Many eCommerce site owners don’t pay attention to this metric from the beginning and that’s pretty much leaving money on the table.

We have compiled a cheatsheet to easily recover WooCommerce abandoned cart sales. This will give you a good head start and will help improve your overall sales.

Hopefully, these resources will help you improve your WooCommerce store and grow your business.

WooCommerce Frequently Asked Questions

WooCommerce is an incredibly powerful platform, and often business owners have many WooCommerce questions before getting started.

Having helped thousands of beginners start with WooCommerce, we have heard a lot of them. Here are some of the most frequently asked WoooCommerce questions from our users.

1. Where can I see a live WooCommerce demo?

WooCommerce is used by millions of websites. Chances are that you have already visited many WooCommerce powered websites without even noticing it.

It is not just used by small businesses, WooCommerce is actually used by some of the world’s top brands as well.

Here are some of our favorite examples of WooCommerce demo in action.

1. Coffee Bros

Coffee Bros

A clean and simple WooComemrce powered store selling classic and premium coffee blends.

2. Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Ripleys

Ripley’s Believe it or Not uses WooCommerce for their online bookstore.

3. Gilmour

Gilmour

Popular gardening equipment brand Gilmour uses WooCommerce to sell products online. Their website is a balanced combination of functionality and simple design.

4. Flwr

Flwr

Flwr is a small floral design studio based in New Zealand. Their website features a simple and elegant design with a beautiful background and a highly customized shop page.

2. What Kind of Products I can sell with WooCommerce?

You can sell any kind of products with WooCommerce. Whether they are physical goods (products that require shipping), digital downloads (ebooks, software, digital art), or even subscriptions.

WooCommerce has extensions that allow you to use it as a booking platform, auction site, multi vendor marketplace, dropshippping, and so much more.

3. What are some WooCommerce alternatives?

WooCommerce is flexible and easy to use, but it may not always be the right solution. Depending on your needs, you may find some other solutions more suitable. See our list of best WooCommerce alternatives for more examples.

4. Can I use WooCommerce for Dropshipping?

Yes, you can. In fact, WooCommerce is the #1 choice to make a dropshipping website. There are several excellent WooCommerce dropshipping plugins that allow you to easily handle orders, manage vendors, and automate the whole process.

For step by step instructions, see our complete dropshipping guide for beginners.

5. Can I add a blog in WooCommerce?

Yes, you can. Your WooCommerce store runs on top of WordPress which is already the best blogging platform in the world. All you need to do is create a separate blog section and start writing posts.

6. Can I change my WooCommerce store name?

You can change your store name by visiting Settings » General page in WordPress admin area. Simply change the title to whatever you want to call your store.

However, if you want to change the domain name of your WooCommerce store, then that’s a slightly different process. See our tutorial on how to move WordPress to a new domain name without losing SEO.

7. Where is my WooCommerce login information?

You don’t have a separate WooCommerce login for admin area because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. To login to your WordPress dashboard, simply use the WordPress login link.

However your customers will have a WooCommerce login, so they can login to their account area to keep track of orders. You can see our step by step guide on how to create custom login forms for WordPress.

8. How can I get WooCommerce support?

Since WooCommerce is a free software, there is limited WooCommerce support available through WordPress community forums as well as the official WooCommerce website.

Majority of WooCommerce support is provided by your WooCommerce hosting provider or the individual WooCommerce theme and extension developers.

For custom WooCommerce development and customization work, you can hire a WordPress developer from a trusted directory like Codeable.

That’s all, we hope this WooCommerce tutorial helped you learn how to set up WooCommerce and make an eCommerce store. You may also want to see our guides on creating a free business email address and the best business phone service.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post WooCommerce Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Resources] appeared first on WPBeginner.



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7 Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugins (Compared)


Do you want to start your own dropshipping store using WooCommerce? By default, WooCommerce lacks the features you’ll need to efficiently run a dropshipping business.

Luckily, there are several excellent WooCommerce dropshipping plugins to fill that gap. These plugins allow you to run a dropshipping store while offering a seamless user experience to your customers.

In this article, we’ll compare the best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins to help you find the best solution for your business.

Comparing the best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, it fulfills the order by purchasing products from vendors and then shipping them directly to the customers.

Due to low overhead, dropshipping has become a popular way to make money online. There are many places where you can find products offered by third-party vendors who are willing to ship it directly to your customers.

You can even get those products shipped with your own branding and packaging. This allows you to build brand recognition to further expand your eCommerce business in the future.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business

Starting your own drop shipping eCommerce business is easy and requires a very small investment.

You’ll need the following items to start a drop shipping business.

  • WordPress Website hosting (This is where your website files will be stored)
  • A domain name (This will be your store’s address e.g. wpbeginner.com)
  • Dropshipping extension for WooCommerce (the platform to build an online store)

Website hosting prices start from $7.99 per month (usually paid annually) and a domain name will cost you around $14.99 per year.

Now, this is a significant amount if you are just starting out.

Luckily, Bluehost, one of the largest hosting companies in the world has agreed to offer WPBeginner users a 60% discount on web hosting and a free domain name. They are also an officially recommended WooCommerce hosting provider.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

Basically, you will be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

After you have signed up, Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. You’ll receive an email with login details to enter your hosting dashboard.

Bluehost dashboard

From here, you need to login to your WordPress site’s admin dashboard.

Now that your WordPress site is ready, the next step is to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Need more help, see our guide on how to start an online store for detailed instructions.

After you have installed WooCommerce, the next step is to choose a dropshipping plugin. This will help you convert your eCommerce store into a drop shipping platform.

Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Pluginns

There are several WordPress dropshipping plugins, and each of them comes with a different set of features. You need to find the one that works best with your chosen marketplace.

Our #1 criteria for best WooCommerce dropshipping plugin is that it must make it easy to import products.

Following are our top picks for the best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins.

1. AliDropship

AliDropship

AliDropship is an excellent WooCommerce dropshipping plugin made specifically to sell with AliExpress suppliers. It makes it super easy to import products directly from AliExpress into your WooCommerce store.

It allows you to automatically adjust pricing and inventory for dropshipping products. You can set pricing variables to automatically adjust pricing based on your profit settings.

The plugin automates order fulfillment with just the click of a button. It also tracks your orders and sends notification emails to customers about their order status.

It costs $89 (one-time payment) with free updates, lifetime usage, and unlimited orders and products.

2. WooDropship

WooDropship

WooDripship helps you easily import products from AliExpress into your WooCommerce store. It comes with a Google Chrome extension which allows you to quickly add products to your store while browsing AliExpress.

The plugin automatically syncs product inventory to make sure that your users don’t end up ordering an out of stock product. It also automatically syncs pricing, and you can even set rules to automatically add pricing with your desired profit margin.

WooDropship also helps you import product images and edit them to remove AliExpress watermark.

The pricing starts from $14.99 per month with limited products and orders. IF you want unlimited orders, then you’ll need their highest plan which costs $49.99 per month.

3. DropshipMe

DropshipMe

DropshipMe is another WordPress dropshipping plugin that allows you to import products from a curated list of best-selling dropshipping items. This allows you to easily build a fully functional store with detailed product data.

All product titles, description, and images are already optimized for best conversions. It also imports real customer reviews to add social proof to your product pages.

DropshipMe also picks the best suppliers with a proven track record to make sure that your orders are delivered on time and match the customer expectations.

Their pricing is based on the number of packages you import. You pay once to import those products and then buy another package to import more products if needed.

4. WP Amazon Shop

WP Amazon Affiliate and Dropshipping

WP Amazon Shop is an Amazon affiliate and dropshipping plugin. As the name suggests, the plugin works with Amazon and allows you to easily search millions of products right from your WordPress dashboard.

You can select and import Amazon products into your WooCommerce store with just a few clicks. It automatically adds your affiliate ID into the product URLs.

It also allows you to add automatic percentage base pricing for dropshipping. This way you don’t need to adjust pricing for each product that you import. The plugin also allows you to import product images to your website. You can then crop and edit images in WordPress to your own liking.

Pricing for the plugin starts from $59 for a single site license.

5. WooCommerce Dropshipping

WooCommerce Dropshipping

WooCommerce Dropshipping extension allows you to import products using a CSV file. You can also manually add suppliers to your WooCommerce store.

It automatically sends order notification emails to the supplier for order fulfillment. It also generates a PDF packaging slip for the vendor to place on the shipment.

Unlike the other plugins on our list, WooCommerce Dropshipping does not allow you to search for products and import them on the fly. It also does not have dynamic pricing, product availability sync, and some other features offered by popular plugins on this list.

Pricing for the plugin starts from $49 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Bonus Plugins for WooCommerce Dropshipping Stores

Apart from your dropshipping extension, you’ll need other plugins to grow your website. Following are a few plugins that’ll help you run and grow your dropshipping business.

6. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to track your best selling products in WooCommerce which helps you make data-driven decisions when choosing products for your dropshipping store.

You can also use MonsterInsights to track WooCommerce users in Google Analytics. Using this metric, you can see how users interact with products on your store.

7. WooCommerce Add-on for WP All Import

WooCommerce WP All Import

WooCommerce add-on for WP All Import plugin allows you to easily import products into your existing dropshipping store from any XML or CSV file.

It comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop importer that allows you to select or exclude any products on the fly. You can import external products, product images, variable products, and more.

We hope this article helped you find the best WooCommerce dropshipping plugins for your eCommerce store. You may also want to see our list of the best WooCommerce themes to build a stunning dropshipping store.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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30 Best WooCommerce Plugins for Your Store (Most are FREE)


Are you looking for the best WooCommerce plugins for your store?

Plugins are the best part about making an online store using WooCommerce. They allow you to add new features and grow your business.

There are tons of free and premium plugins that you can use but not all of them are good. How do you find out the best WooCommerce plugins for your eCommerce business?

In this article, we have hand-picked some of the best WooCommerce plugins for your store to increase sales and grow your business.

Best WooCommerce plugins for your eCommerce store

If you haven’t started your online store yet, then we have a step by step guide on how to start an online store with WooCommerce. It walks you through how to choose the best WooCommerce hosting, install WooCommerce, select a theme, and everything that you need.

Having that said, let’s take a look at the best WooCommerce plugins for WordPress.

1. TrustPulse

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is the best FOMO and social proof notifications app that helps you skyrocket conversions and sales.

People like it when they see other people making the same choices before making their own mind. By adding social proof, you allow them to see it right there on your website and give them the nudge to complete a purchase.

TrustPulse makes this insanely easy. You can install it on any website (no coding required) and customize badges to match your store colors.

You can smartly target pages or products where you want to run a campaign, and add on-fire notifications showing how many people are taking action in a given period. For best results, run multiple campaigns targetting customers viewing different products or pages.

You also get a full live stream of actions taken by users and detailed analytics reports to help you optimize your campaigns.

For detailed instructions see our guide on how to use FOMO to increase conversions.

2. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most powerful conversion optimization software in the market. It helps you convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.

You can use it on your eCommerce website to reduce cart abandonment, increase sales conversion, grow your email list, show targeted website messages, onsite retargeting, and more.

If you’re serious about growing your email list and boosting sales, then you need this conversion optimization toolkit.

3. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WooCommerce stores. It comes with enhanced eCommerce tracking which allows you to easily track eCommerce data in Google Analytics reports.

Many beginners find it hard to make sense of Google Analytics reports. MonsterInsights makes it easier by showing you all the information you need inside your WordPress dashboard. This helps you make data-driven decisions to grow your business and increase sales.

You can use it to find your most viewed products and improve product pages. You can also track WooCommerce customers in Google Analytics and create a more personalized experience for your users.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for eCommerce businesses. It is also the most beginner friendly, which allows you to easily add it to your store and start building your email list.

It comes with dozens of professionally designed email templates for various niches. You can also create multiple lists and create custom funnels to send personalized emails to selected audiences.

To learn more, see our complete tutorial on how to create an email newsletter.

5. LiveChat

LiveChat

Did you know that on average, more than 67% of customers abandon their carts before completing a purchase? That’s because customers want instant answers to their questions.

LiveChat is the best live chat support software on the market. It allows you to easily add live chat to your WooCommerce store and answer user queries instantly.

It allows you to convert users into customers before the abandon their carts. LiveChat works with Google Analytics, all top email marketing, CRM software, and more.

To learn more see our guide on how to add LiveChat to your WooCommerce store and boost sales.

6. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist

YITH WooCommerce Wishlist

YITH WooCommerce wishlist plugin allows your customers to save products to their wishlist. They can use the wishlist to make the purchase later or share their wishlist with friends and family.

This is a perfect addon for your online store during busy holiday seasons when people are making their shopping lists and purchasing gifts.

7. WooCommerce Multilingual

WooCommerce Multilingual

Non-English WordPress websites surpassed the English WordPress websites in 2014. Since then more WooCommerce stores are created in languages other than English. WooCommerce Multilingual adds compatibility layer with the popular WPML WordPress multilingual plugin.

This allows you to translate your product and other WooCommerce pages in multiple languages. Your customers can choose to browse your website in their preferred language.

8. WooCommerce Products Slider

WooCommerce Products Slider

WooCommerce Products Slider allows you to easily create beautiful product sliders and carousels and add them anywhere on your WooCommerce store.

9. RafflePress

RafflePress

RafflePress is the best contest and giveaway plugin for WooCommerce stores. It allows you to grow your email list, get more website traffic, and social media followers with viral contests and giveaways.

Your users can participate in the giveaway by performing social actions like tweeting, watching a video, following a social media profile, and more. It has actions for all popular social media platforms, CRMS, and more.

For best results, it includes verified social actions and fraud prevention. This ensures that your viral campaign produces real engagement and growth in your business.

10. WooCommerce Customizer

WooCommerce Customizer

WooCommerce Customizer provides an easy user-interface to use built-in WooCommerce filters. These filters allow you to customize things like button text, labels, fields, and much more.

Normally, you would have to write PHP code to use these filters. With WooCommerce customizer, you can easily use those filters from a simple settings page (no coding necessary).

11. WP Mail SMTP by WPForms

WP Mail SMTP Pro

WooCommerce store sends email notifications for various actions to the store owner as well as customers. It uses the PHP mail() function to do that.

However, most WordPress hosting companies don’t have this function setup properly and some even block it. In that case, your store’s email features will not work.

WP Mail SMTP fixes this problem by allowing you to use an SMTP service provider to send emails. This ensures that your WooCommerce emails are delivered to users inbox and don’t end up in spam.

The paid WP Mail SMTP Pro version gives you premium support, more features, and white glove setup service.

12. WooCommerce EU VAT Compliance

WooCommerce EU VAT Compliance

As the name suggests, this simple plugin makes your WooCommerce shop compliant with the new EU VAT. It will automatically detect your customer’s location and will display prices with correct VAT from the first page.

13. Order Delivery Date for WooCommerce

WooCommerce Order Delivery Date

This plugin allows users to choose a delivery date for products during the checkout. WooCommerce store owners can see the desired delivery date on their orders page in the admin area.

14. YITH WooCommerce Quick View

YITH WooCommerce Quick View

WooCommerce Quick View allows your customers to peek into product details by simply taking their mouse over a button. This enables customers to quickly get the product information without leaving the product listings or shop page.

Users will be able to see a larger product image, product description, and an add to cart button in a lightbox popup.

15. WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips

 Download WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips

This nifty plugin allows you to send PDF invoices and packing slips to customers via email. Users can also download their invoices and slips from their account area. As a site admin, you can also bulk generate invoices, download them, and email them to users from an admin area.

16. YITH WooCommerce Compare

WooCommerce Compare

As the name suggests, this plugin allows your customers to compare two or more WooCommerce products side by side. You can choose which fields users will see in the comparison table and reorder them as needed.

17. WooCommerce Menu Bar Cart

WooCommerce Menu Bar Cart

Normally, your WooCommerce theme would prominently display a cart button at the top. However, if your theme doesn’t show a cart button, or you don’t like its placement, then WooCommerce Menu Cart will fix this for you.

It allows you to add the cart button into your WordPress navigation menu. It works with any WordPress theme and will display cart icon, items and price in your navigation menu.

18. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search

Ajax Product Search

Speed is crucial for the success of any website, particularly for online stores. A single second delay in page load can significantly increase cart abandonment and lower user engagement.

YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search offers a powerful search feature to instantly display products as users start typing. It uses Ajax to fetch the results which means your users can search without leaving the page they are currently viewing.

19. WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor

WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor

Do you want to add custom fields to WooCommerce checkout page? The WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor plugin allows you to easily add, customize, and rearrange fields on the checkout page of your online store.

This allows you to customize the whole checkout experience for your customers and use the data to grow your business.

20. Minimum Purchase for WooCommerce

Minimum Purchase for WooCommerce

Minimum Purchase for WooCommerce allows you to setup minimum purchase rules to your products. You can add rules for a single product or create rules for a product group.

The plugin also allows you to apply rules on minimum purchase amount or quantity, set different rules based on user role, and set up custom messages to display when rules are not matched.

21. WooCommerce Gift Cards

WooCommerce Gift Cards

Gift cards for WooCommerce allows you to add gift cards to your online store. Your customers will be able to purchase gift cards of different amounts and give them to their friends and family who then apply for the gift card when shopping on your store.

You can setup gift cards of different pricing and sell them as virtual products. When a customer applies for the gift card on the purchase, the equivalent amount is deducted from their bill.

22. WooCommerce Currency Switcher

WooCommerce Currency Switcher

As the name suggests, this plugin allows your customers to easily switch currencies and get real time conversion rates in their local currency. You can add the currency switcher by using the shortcode or a sidebar widget.

23. WooCommerce Colors

WooCommerce Colors

WooCommerce Colors adds a WooCommerce section to the theme customizer where you can change the color of buttons and other WooCommerce elements. It is simple and highly useful if you want to customize WooCommerce elements without adding any custom CSS.

24. WooCommerce Products Filter

WooCommerce Products Filter

WooCommerce Products Filter allows your site customers to filter products by categories, attributes, product tags, product custom taxonomies, and price. You can add the filter anywhere using the shortcode or the sidebar widget.

25. WooCommerce Shortcodes

WooCommerce Shortcodes

WooCommerce comes with a bunch of shortcodes that you can use throughout your website to add products, buttons, and more. The WooCommerce Shortcodes plugin adds a drop down in your WordPress visual editor, allowing you to easily select and insert shortcodes in content areas like post, page, or products.

26. Booster for WooCommerce

WooCommerce Booster

Booster for WooCommerce allows you to add several useful features to your WooCommerce website that allow you to run your online store more efficiently. It uses a modular approach similar to Jetpack and acts like a plugin suite with tons of features.

27. Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce

Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce

Normally, product pages require users to scroll down to view more information. Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce allows you to divide product description and details into tabs. This helps users switch to the section they want to view while making sure that your website looks neat and organized.

28. WooMarketing Bundle

WooCommerce WooMarketing Bundle

The Woo Marketing bundle is a pack of WooCommerce marketing extensions developed and maintained by the folks behind WooCommerce. It includes email marketing, dynamic pricing, smarter discounts, transaction emails, Facebook retargeting, and more.

29. Woo Pack & Ship Bundle

Woo Pack & Ship Bundle

If you pack and ship products to customers, then you’ll need this bundle. It is maintained by the WooCommerce team and includes extensions like invoices, packing slips, customize shipping options, product kits, multi-address shipping, track shipping, and more.

Purchasing this bundle also gives you access to the WooCommerce 360° images extension, WooCommerce Storefront, and all its child themes.

30. WPForms

WPForms

Every website needs a contact form. WPForms is the best drag & drop form builder plugin for WordPress. It lets you create any type of form including contact forms, online surveys, polls, and more.

WPForms free version lets you create a simple contact form and has all the essential features.

WPForms Pro comes with advanced features like form landing pages, conversational forms, form abandonment, smart conditional logic, etc. that you can use to really improve your form conversions.

We hope this article helped you find some of the best free WooCommerce plugins for your online store. You may also want to see our expert pick of the best WooCommerce themes for your eCommerce website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 30 Best WooCommerce Plugins for Your Store (Most are FREE) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which One is Better? (Comparison)


Do you want to create an online store? Are you confused about whether to use BigCommerce or WooCommerce?

If so, then you’re not alone.

WooCommerce and BigCommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market. The competition is fierce, but both of them have their own pros and cons.

In this article, we will compare BigCommerce vs WooCommerce and show the differences between them, so you can choose the best platform for your needs.

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce - Full eCommerce Platform Comparison

What to Look for in Your eCommerce Platform?

Before we begin our WooCommerce vs BigCommerce comparison, let’s cover some important things to look for when choosing your eCommerce platform.

  • Ease of Use – The platform you choose should be easy to use and beginner-friendly, so you can quickly handle issues at the time of need.
  • Budget – If you want to start your store on a budget, then you should check the initial cost of starting a website. Also, check the recurring (yearly or monthly) expenses.
  • Payment Methods – Check if the platform supports the payment gateways you want to use. It is better to choose a platform that supports multiple gateways.
  • Scalability – Make sure that the platform has ability to scale up to meet your needs when your store grows.
  • Support – It should offer reliable support to solve any problem immediately.

These are the fundamental requirements that you need to consider when planning to start your eCommerce business. Besides these, you may need additional features to manage invoices, taxes, inventory management, shipping, SEO etc.

That being said, let’s compare how WooCommerce and BigCommerce stack up against these requirements.

Table of Contents – BigCommerce vs. WooCommerce

  • Overview
  • Ease of use
  • Cost comparison
  • Payment options
  • Integrations and addons
  • Scalability
  • Support
  • Conclusion: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which is better?

Overview – WooCommerce vs BigCommerce

As we mentioned above, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are among the top eCommerce platforms on the market.

According to the eCommerce technology stats from BuiltWith, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform that covers 21% of the entire eCommerce market. The same report shows BigCommerce as the fifth popular platform used by 3% of the total eCommerce sites online.

If you compare the search terms ‘BigCommerce’ and ‘WooCommerce’ with Google Trends, then you can see a similar trend of ‘interest over time.’

BigCommerce vs WooCommerce - Google Search Trends

WooCommerce saw a rapid growth in search trends, but in recent years BigCommerce is catching up. It still has a lot more catching up to do, but it is surely growing in popularity.

What is BigCommerce?

BigCommerce eCommerce Platform

BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform. It means that BigCommerce gives you a whole package of services including hosting, design, content, SEO, payments, and marketing features needed to create an eCommerce store.

It is therefore called software as a solution (SaaS) or all-in-one platform. You can create a BigCommerce store easily and quickly by purchasing a subscription plan.

The downside of using BigCommerce is lack of customization abilities because you will be limited to the tools available in the BigCommerce platform.

The biggest advantage comes with BigCommerce WordPress plugin which allows you to run a fully functional BigCommerce store along with your existing WordPress site.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It helps you easily transform any WordPress blog or website into an eCommerce store easily.

To start a WooCommerce store, you need to buy and set up web hosting, install WordPress, WooCommerce, and different marketing tools yourself. The process may look somewhat complicated at first; however, it is not as complex as it sounds.

We will explain more about the user-friendliness of the two platforms in the next section below.

Ease of Use – BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

Choosing an easy to use platform has many benefits. For example, you can quickly make changes or fix issues, so you have plenty of time to spend on growing your business.

If you’re a non-techy user, then you want a solution that allows you to easily manage and run your online store without hiring developers.

Let’s compare BigCommerce vs WooCommerce to see which is easier to use.

BigCommerce – Ease of Use

With BigCommerce, starting and maintaining an eCommerce store is easy. Since it is a fully hosted platform, you don’t need to set up hosting or install any software. You also don’t need to think about security, backups, and performance issues.

To get started, you can simply sign up with their trial plan and set up your store in 3 easy steps. All you need to do is enter your email, contact address, your store’s name, and a few details about your store.

BigCommerce Setup Steps

It takes a few minutes to setup a store on BigCommerce. Once done, you can see your BigCommerce dashboard with quick options to preview your store, add products, and customize.

BigCommerce Dashboard

You can start by previewing how it looks on the frontend. If you want to change its design, then you can change the theme or customize your existing theme with the available design options. After that, you can add products to it.

You can find all other settings and options in the admin panel on the right-hand side. It includes options to manage orders, products, customers, marketing, analytics, apps, and more.

If you are starting a completely new business, BigCommerce will provide you a subdomain for free. A BigCommerce subdomain name looks something like this: https://mystore.mybigcommerce.com.

If you want a custom domain name, then you can buy it directly from BigCommerce or any other domain name registrar.

If you run an existing WordPress site, then you use the BigCommerce WordPress plugin which allows you to run an eCommerce store along with WordPress.

You will be able to use BigCommerce to manage eCommerce while still using WordPress to manage your content.

WooCommerce – Ease of Use

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like BigCommerce. It is a WordPress eCommerce plugin which you need to install in your WordPress website to work.

If you are starting a new store, then you need to buy a domain name and hosting account. After that you need to install WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin.

If you choose a WooCommerce hosting provider, then you will not need to install them manually because hosting services like Bluehost eCommerce hosting come pre-installed with WooCommerce.

For step by step instructions, see our guide on how to start an online store with WooCommerce.

Once WooCommerce is installed, you can get started by running the setup wizard. It helps you to quickly setup your WooCommerce store with basic things like creating pages, payments, currency, shipping, taxes, and more in a few minutes.

WooCommerce setup wizard

Once the setup is complete, you can start adding products to your store.

While that’s all you need to make an online store with WooCommerce, you will need to do more work to make your store powerful and useful.

You can change a theme to improve design and use WooCommerce plugins and extensions to add more eCommerce features.

Also, you need to take care of the security, backups, caching, and performance aspects yourself.

WooCommerce platform has a bit of learning curve in comparison to BigCommerce. Hence, BigCommerce is easier of the two platforms in comparison.

Winner: BigCommerce

Cost Comparison: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

Another critical factor you need to consider while choosing your eCommerce platform is the cost of starting and maintaining your store. Let’s compare the cost differences between WooCommerce and BigCommerce.

What Is the True Cost of Using BigCommerce?

BigCommerce is a subscription-based eCommerce platform which comes with different pricing plans. There are mainly four pricing plans; 3 Essential plans for small businesses and Enterprise plan for large agencies.

BigCommerce Pricing Plans

The most basic plan is ‘Standard’, which is available for $29.95 per month. This price offers everything you need to launch your online store with a BigCommerce subdomain.

If you want to use a custom domain name, then you need to buy a domain name. You can buy a domain name directly from BigCommerce for around $12 per year or from any domain registrar.

All plans include no transaction fees, unlimited products, unlimited file storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited staff accounts. However BigCommerce does have thresholds for your total sales. For example, the total sales limit for the ‘Standard’ plan is $50k per year.

If you’re making more sales, then BigCommerce will automatically upgrade your store to a bigger plan. In case you are already using their biggest Essential plan ‘Pro,’ they will charge you an additional $150 per month for each additional $200k in online sales.

In addition to these costs, you may need to spend more money if you want to use a premium theme and app. The paid BigCommerce themes cost a minimum of $170.

What Is the True Cost of Using WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin which you can download and use on unlimited sites free of cost. However, you’ll need other paid services to set up a WooCommerce store.

First of all, you’ll need a domain name, a website hosting account, and an SSL certificate. Typically, a domain name costs $14.99 / year, web hosting around $7.99 / month, and SSL Certificate around $69.99 / year.

When these costs sum up, the total amount seems very expensive for small-budget startups. But thankfully, there are some hosting companies providing specialized WooCommerce hosting services at an affordable price.

Among them, Bluehost WooCommerce hosting is a remarkable option. Bluehost is an officially recommended WooCommerce hosting provider.

They are offering WPBeginner users discount on hosting + free domain name and SSL certificate. Basically, you can get started for just $6.95 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

With a Bluehost eCommerce plan, the cost of starting an online store is a lot lower than any of the BigCommerce plans.

If you want to use a premium WooCommerce theme or paid extensions, your expenses will go up. But luckily, there are plenty of free WooCommerce plugins and free WooCommerce themes that you can use instead.

In conclusion, the WooCommerce platform is clearly a more cost-effective platform than BigCommerce when you’re first starting out.

Winner: WooCommerce

Payment Options: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

There are many different payment providers companies in the market. Sometimes, the payment gateway may not be available in your region or your customers’ regions.

This is why it is crucial to choose a platform that offers the payment gateways you need. Let’s take a look at how BigCommerce and WooCommerece compare when it comes to payment integrations.

Payment Options in BigCommerce

BigCommerce offers plenty of payment options to let you accept payments. It has built-in native integrations with the best payment platforms in the industry, including PayPal powered by Braintree, Square, Adyen, Stripe, Authorize.net, and CyberSource.

BigCommerce Payments

The processing fee for debit and credit cards starts at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, but it decreases as your BigCommerce store grows.

Also, it has built-in integrations with popular digital wallets including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Masterpass and Apple Pay. Adding these trusted digital wallets to your store helps to significantly improve your mobile conversion.

Payment Options in WooCommerce

WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. It also supports all major payment gateways through extensions and addons.

WooCommerce payment methods

Because WooCommerce is an open-source platform, many regional and less popular payment services have also built an integration for WooCommerce. Therefore, you can find an integration for almost any payment gateway you want to use.

Winner: Tie

Integrations and Addons: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

No matter how powerful an eCommerce platform is, the core software will always have a limited set of features.

That is when the integrations and addons come in handy. The most sought integrations for eCommerce websites are email marketing tools, lead generation, analytics, and outreach services.

Now, let’s take a look at where BigCommerce and WooCommerce stand in terms of available third-party integrations for each.

BigCommerce Addons and Integrations

BigCommerce comes with hundreds of third-party apps and integrations to help you add powerful features to your BigCommerce store. There are both free and paid addons available in the BigCommerce app marketplace.

BigCommerce Apps

It has six featured app collections categorized as must-haves, shipping essentials, design, marketing, and payments. You can quickly choose apps from these collections for your store.

Furthermore, there are dozens of apps in categories like accounting and tax, analytics and reporting, CRM and customer service, product sourcing, and more.

WooCommerce Addons and Integrations

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin built on top of the most popular content management system (CMS) software, WordPress. This gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and thousands of premium plugins.

You can find these plugins at the official WordPress.org plugin repository, official WooCommerce website, and plugin websites. The official WooCommerce extensions store contains over 250 free and premium extensions to extend your eCommerce features.

WooCommerce Extensions

With such an extensive collection of plugins, you can get a plugin for almost any feature imaginable. There are plenty of choices for adding contact forms, lead generation forms, analytics, SEO, performance optimization, and more.

Most of the popular third-party services have built their own plugins to integrate with your WooCommerce store. Also, you can create a WooCommerce addon just for your store if you have coding skills or by hiring a developer.

Winner: WooCommerce

Scalability: WooCommerce vs BigCommerce

Scalability features are essential because you need more resources when your website grows. Let’s see how scalable WooCommerce and BigCommerce platforms are.

Scalability on BigCommerce

Since BigCommerce is a fully hosted solution, you don’t need to worry about any of the technical things like storage, backups, downtimes, updates, or security. As your business grows, you’ll need to upgrade your plan, and BigCommerce will handle the rest.

BigCommerce gives you a hassle-free solution to scale up your business.

Scalability on WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that makes you entirely responsible for managing resources, backups, updates, and security of your website.

Most of the top WordPress hosting companies allow you to upgrade your hosting plan to meet the needs of your growing website. However, the upgrading process can involve some confusing steps with some companies.

You can use a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine that does make hosting WooCommerce easier.

In conclusion, both BigCommerce and WooCommerce have plenty of scalability options; however, BigCommerce may be a better choice for businesses looking for a hassle-free solution.

Winner: BigCommerce

Support: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce

Support is another critical factor you need to check out while selecting your eCommerce platform. You need instant and quality support.

Let’s see how you can get support on BigCommerce and WooCommerce platforms.

Support Options for BigCommerce

As a fully hosted platform, BigCommerce comes with excellent support options. You can access multiple support options right from your BigCommerce dashboard which includes phone support, email support, live chat support, community support, and more.

When you get into an issue, you can simply click on any of these options and request support. The BigCommerce support is available 24/7.

The BigCommerce help center is very helpful for finding answers to your questions. It has a rich knowledge base to help you properly use BigCommerce, Question and Answer community, and blog for the latest news on BigCommerce.

BigCommerce Help Center for Support

Support Options for WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, and there are several platforms where you can seek support for your store.

For WooCommerce core plugin related issues, you can visit the WooCommerce support forum on WordPress.org or the official WooCommerce website. In these support forums, you can see already solved problems and also post new issues.

WooCommerce website has a support page including highly extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides to let you find solutions by yourself.

WooCommerce Docs for Support

If you have issues related to your WooCommerce theme and extensions, then you can get support from their respective developers. Your web hosting company will be responsible for helping with any server related issues.

Also, you can find plenty of WooCommerce related tutorials on WordPress blogs like WPBeginner. Due to its popularity, there are plenty of support options for WooCommerce.

Winner: BigCommerce

Conclusion: BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which is the better eCommerce platform?

BigCommerce and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms that you can use to start your eCommerce store. Since you have to choose one, it comes down to your technical skills, estimated budget, and personal preferences.

BigCommerce platform is a lot easier because it is an all-in-one solution. You don’t need to set up anything, and you can get started quickly.

They also manage everything from backups, security, and scalability, so it’s a true hassle-free solution.

The best part is that it works seamlessly with WordPress.

The downside of using BigCommerce is that you have limited control over your store. There are fixed pricing plans, limited themes and integration apps, and certain ways to scale up your business. You cannot use any tool outside the BigCommerce.

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform that gives you full control over your website. You are free to compare pricing for different services and start with the best-priced plan. That is why you can start a WooCommerce store at a lot lower investment than on BigCommerce.

The disadvantage of using WooCommerce is the learning curve for beginners, and the scalability challenges that you face as you grow.

We hope this article helped you to compare the pros and cons of BigCommerce vs WooCommerce. You may also want to see our side-by-side comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post BigCommerce vs WooCommerce – Which One is Better? (Comparison) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the Better Platform? (Comparison)


Are you thinking of starting an online store? Not sure whether you should use Shopify or WooCommerce?

Shopify and WooCommerce are the two top eCommerce platforms in the world each with their own pros and cons.

As a business owner, choosing the right eCommerce platform that fits your business needs is crucial for your success.

In this guide, we will show you a detailed comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce. The goal is to break down their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the best option for your eCommerce store.

Shopify vs WooCommerce

Since this is a detailed comparison of Shopify vs WooCommerce, here’s a quick table of content:

Overview: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Before we start with our in-depth comparison of the two most popular eCommerce platforms on the web, it’s important that we cover the basics and highlight what makes these platform stand out.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy for you to create an online store, accept payments, and manage your inventory all from a single platform without ever worrying about the technical aspects of managing a website such as web hosting, security, caching, etc.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin built for WordPress. It allows you to leverage the most powerful content management system (CMS) and use it to run an online store. Because of the open-source nature, you can customize every aspect of your store and easily build custom extensions.

The decision to choose between the two platforms depend entirely on your needs and skill level.

What to Look for in Your eCommerce Platform?

There are few things that you absolutely need to keep in mind when starting an online store. These key factors will help you decide which platform is better suited for your needs.

  • Budget – The initial cost of starting a fully functional ecommerce store.
  • Ease of use – It should be easy to use even for absolute beginners.
  • Payment Methods – It should have support for multiple payment methods (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, other merchant processors).
  • Integrations – Number of services and third party tools you can integrate to grow your business.
  • Scalability – The platform should be able to scale as your business grows.

These are the very basic requirements that all online store owners must consider. However, depending on your needs, you may also want to look at other options like shipping, inventory management, invoicing, taxes, dropshipping, etc.

Our goal with this article is to take an in-depth look at how Shopify and WooCommerce stand on these basic requirements, and which one of them is best suited for your needs.

Cost: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Cost is often the most important consideration for eCommerce website owners. You need to evaluate the cost of getting started while also keeping in mind the variable costs for add-on services and software.

The true cost of using Shopify

Shopify makes it super easy to start your online store. Their basic plan starts at $29 per month, and you can upgrade to the Shopify plan for $79 or the Advanced Shopify plan for $299 per month.

Shopify pricing

Each of these plans includes domain name, SSL certificate, and web hosting.

The basic plan comes with enough features to set up a new online store. You can add unlimited products, 2 user accounts, unlimited file storage, and more.

However, this pricing doesn’t include third-party tools and add-ons that you will need to take your Shopify store to the next level. As your business grows, these costs will start adding up, and you’ll soon be paying a lot more than the basic plan.

Payments are another factor that affects your costs. Shopify offers their own Shopify Payments solution which costs 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

If you want to use third-party payment gateways or your own merchant account, then you will be charged a flat fee of 2.0% for all transactions. You can reduce this fee to 0.5% by using the Shopify Advanced plan which costs $299 per month.

These payment processing fees are fairly steep when using external payment gateways. However, if you’re just starting out and want to use the Shopify payment solution, then the fees are fairly comparable to popular platforms like Stripe and Braintree.

The true cost of using WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress). It is open source and freely available as a WordPress plugin.

However, you’ll need a domain name, SSL Certificate, and a WordPress hosting account to start a WooCommerce store.

Typically, a domain name costs $14.99, SSL Certificate costs $69.99, and web hosting around $7.99 / month. This is not cheap, particularly when you are just starting out.

Thankfully, there are several hosting companies who are now offering specialized WooCommerce hosting plans which significantly reduces the cost.

Getting started with WooCommerce

Bluehost, an official WordPress and WooCommerce recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a discount on web hosting.

This will help you start your online store for as low as $6.95 / month.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

As you can see, the cost of starting a basic WooCommerce store is significantly lower than Shopify. WooCommerce also doesn’t charge you a percentage fee of your transactions which is a very nice perk.

But the WooCommerce costs start adding up as you purchase paid extensions. Your hosting costs will also increase as your online store grows.

However, one clear advantage of using WooCommerce is that you can often find free alternatives to the paid extensions. You can also keep your costs in control by only purchasing the tools and plugins as you need them.

With the number of free themes and free add-ons available for WooCommerce, it’s definitely the winner when it comes to cost.

Winner: WooCommerce

Ease of Use: Shopify vs WooCommerce

Most users starting an online store are not web designers or developers. Even users who are familiar with basic concepts need a platform that is easy to use and gets out of their way.

Let’s see how Shopify and WooCommerce stack up in terms of user-friendliness.

Shopify – Ease of Use

Shopify is a fully hosted platform which means you don’t need to install, manage, or update any software. You also don’t need to worry about security, performance, backups, and compatibility issues.

As soon as you sign up, it helps you pick a design for your website. After that, they walk you through customization and then help you add products.

Shopify customization

Shopify comes with an intuitive drag and drop interface. Managing your products, sales, and inventory inside Shopify is a breeze.

One downside of this guided, polished, and highly optimized user experience is that it limits your control. You can only use the design and development tools provided by Shopify or add-ons available in their marketplace.

However, this is not as bad as it sounds. For most users, the large selection of extensions and themes available in Shopify, is more than enough to get started and grow your online store.

WooCommerce – Ease of Use

WooCommerce is not a hosted platform like Shopify. This means you will need to install WooCommerce, manage updates, keep backups, and make sure that your website is secure. There are plenty of free and paid plugins that can automate most of these tasks for you.

WooCommerce setup wizard

WooCommerce is super flexible when it comes to customizations. You have full control of the whole platform. You can add any functionality imaginable to your website with the help of more than 55,000+ WordPress plugins.

However, there is no built-in drag & drop design builder. You can use one of the WordPress page builders like Beaver Builder, but it adds to your cost.

The biggest downside of the flexibility is that it comes with a learning curve and requires a more hands-on management of your website. You also have to signup for a merchant account or similar service like Stripe / PayPal.

While the WooCommerce guided setup wizard is helpful, it does not come close to the onboarding and ease of use of Shopify.

Winner: Shopify

Payment Methods: Shopify vs WooCommerce

There are many payment gateways that you can use to accept payments online. Some payment methods may not be suitable for you, and others may not be available to your customers.

This is why it’s important that the platform you choose offers multiple payment options. Let’s take a look at how Shopify and WooCommerce compare when it comes to payment integrations.

Payment Options in Shopify

Shopify offers plenty of payment options that you can use to receive payments from customers. It has its own payments solution called Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe) as well as all popular third-party payment gateways.

Shopify Payments

The problem is that Shopify charges an extra 2% fees on each transaction made through third party payment gateways. This is on top of the transaction fees charged by the payment gateway. You can reduce the fee to 0.5% by paying $299 per month for Advanced Shopify plan.

Shopify Payments has flat credit card fees, but no other transaction fees. Credit card rates start from 2.9% + 30¢ for the basic plan and get lower for other plans.

Payment Options in WooCommerce

WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe payments by default. It also supports all other popular payment service providers through add-ons.

WooCommerce payment methods

For payment gateways, WooCommerce even has support for many regional and less popular payment services. Since there is no barrier to entry, any payments company can create add-ons for WooCommerce and provide support for it.

As a self-hosted platform, you are only charged transaction fees by your payment gateway or your bank. WooCommerce never charges you a % fee on your store transactions which is a major plus.

If choosing your own merchant account and using a third-party gateway is important for you, then you will save A LOT of money by using WooCommerce. But if you’re a small store and willing to use Shopify Payments which has the same credit card rates as Stripe / Paypal, then it makes no difference.

Winner: Tie

Integrations and Add-ons: Shopify vs WooCommerce

No matter how robust an e-commerce platform is, you’ll always need third-party tools and services to grow your store. For example, an email marketing software, lead generation tool, analytics tools, outreach services, etc.

Both Shopify and WooCommerce have a massive extensions directory, and they integrate with many third-party services.

Shopify Add-ons and Integrations

Shopify comes with a powerful API and an App Store where you can buy third-party add-ons for your Shopify store. They have hundreds of apps in the store covering every feature you’ll want to add to your store.

Shopify App Store

For lead generation, they have integrations with software like OptinMonster which helps you grow your email list and reduce cart abandonment. They have apps for SEO, product reviews, discounts, countdowns, and more.

Shopify’s app store contains both free and paid apps. Free apps are usually created by third-party services that have their own pricing, and the app only integrates your store to their APIs. Pricing for paid add-ons varies and most apps offer monthly subscriptions.

WooCommerce Add-ons and Integrations

WooCommerce extensions

WooCommerce is open source and built on top of WordPress. This gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and many more paid plugins.

You can use these add-ons to add payment gateways, lead generation, SEO, performance optimization, and almost any feature you can think of.

Due to the low barrier of entry, there are a lot more integrations and add-ons available for WooCommerce than Shopify. Almost all third-party tools and service providers have their own plugins to seamlessly integrate with your WooCommerce store.

You can also hire a developer to create an integration or plugin just for your own website. However it’s important to keep in mind that WooCommerce is a lot easier to customize. Having personally gone through the process of submitting a plugin for WordPress and submitting an app to the Shopify store, we can say that the process is extremely harder on Shopify vs WooCommerce.

Winner: WooCommerce

Shopify vs WooCommerce Dropshipping

Shopify vs WooCommerce dropshipping

Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock. Instead, it fullfills order by purchasing products from vendors and then shipping them directly to the customers.

Due to its low overhead, dropshipping has become popular around the world. Many of our users asked us to compare WooCommerce vs Shopify for dropshipping and which one of them is better for a dropshipping business.

Dropshipping with Shopify

When building a dropshipping business, the front-end of your website will look just like any online store. Your users will be able to browse the products, add them to cart, and make payment, just like they would do on any other eCommerce store.

Depending on the vendors you choose, you will then have to place user’s order for shipping.

Shopify also has integration apps for several popular dropshipping marketplaces like AliExpress, Oberlo, Printify, and more. However, each of these product marketplaces has their own membership fees, shipping, and other charges that you need to keep in mind when building your dropshipping website with Shopify.

Dropshipping with WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular choice among dropshipping businesses. Mainly because WooCommerce allows you to install extensions that make order fulfillment a breeze.

You can easily find extensions that allow you to instantly import products, fulfill orders from your website, and more. You can even create your own eCommerce marketplace allowing other vendors to sell on your website.

Keep in mind, that your supplier and vendor may have minimum order requirements, membership fees, and other charges. You need to keep those in mind when adding products to your WooCommerce dropshipping store.

Winner: WooCommerce

Scalability and Growth: Shopify vs WooCommerce

You have probably heard the term “growth-pains” from various CEOs. As your business grows, you will need more resources to handle new challenges and goals.

Shopify and WooCommerce can both be scaled to handle large amount of traffic and orders, but they’re not created equal. Let’s take a look at how these two eCommerce platform compare when it comes to scalability.

Scalability on Shopify

Shopify enterprise

Shopify handles the technical parts of your store which means you don’t ever have to worry about performance, security, and scalability. Once your business starts growing, you can simply upgrade your Shopify plans.

Their infrastructure can easily handle your growing business without you having to worry about downtimes, backups, updates, or security. They also offer enterprise services as part of the Shopify Plus plan.

This takes out the painful part of the growth, but it also adds to your cost of business. Your expenses will grow, and you’ll have to plan accordingly.

The good part is that your costs will be offset by you not having to hire / manage a technical team in-house.

Scalability on WooCommerce

WooCommerce Scalability

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform which makes you responsible for maintaining updates, backups, and security of your website.

Your starter WooCommerce hosting plan would run out of resources as your store starts getting more traffic.

The good part is that you have plenty of options to manage growth as you are in full control of your website. Starting with better management of resources with caching to upgrading your hosting plan to more powerful servers.

Your WooCommerce hosting costs will increase, but you will have better control on resources, and you can make sure that you are not paying for resources that you don’t need. You can use a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or LiquidWeb to help scale your WooCommerce store.

Despite the control that WooCommerce offers, some business owners simply prefer a hassle-free solution.

Winner: Shopify

Support Options for WooCommerce vs Shopify

Both WooCommerce and Shopify are quite easy to use. However, sometimes you may need help to learn how to do something new on your store.

Let’s see how WooCommerce and Shopify handle support and what are your options to get help when needed.

Support Options on Shopify

Shopify is a fully hosted platform, which means they control the software and they are the ones who know their platform the best.

Shopify provides 24/7 support via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter. For users who want to fix things on their own, Shopify offers extensive documentation, how-to guides, knowledge base, video tutorials, and forums.

Shopify support options

It also maintains a directory of Shopify Experts that you can hire if you need extra help or if you want to integrate a third-party solution.

Shopify doesn’t provide support for any third-party apps or themes that you are using.

Support Options for WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce platform, which means there are tons of support options that you can utilize when needed.

The official website has extensive documentation, tutorials, and guides that allow you to help yourself. They also have support forums where you can get help from other WooCommerce users and experts.

WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, which means your hosting provider is responsible for providing support for issues with your server.

For your WooCommerce theme and extensions, those developers are responsible for answering support questions regarding their products.

Due to its immense popularity, it is quite easier and often cheaper to find developers to help you fix issues with your WooCommerce store. You can find developers on freelancing websites to fix WooCommerce issues.

Winner: Shopify

WooCommerce vs Shopify: Which is the Best eCommerce Platform?

Shopify and WooCommerce are both powerful platforms to start your eCommerce store. It truly comes down to your personal skills and preferences.

Shopify is a lot easier to use. It doesn’t require you to install anything, and you can get started quickly. Setting up payments is easier, and they have easy to understand pricing plans.

The disadvantage of Shopify is that you don’t have full control over everything. Your costs can go high with transaction fees, add-ons, and integrations. Your upgrade options are limited to select plans, and you cannot manage costs on a pay-as-you-grow basis.

WooCommerce is open source and gives you full control of your website. It costs a lot lower to start an online store with WooCommerce specially with these WooCommerce hosting companies.

The disadvantage is that you’ll have to maintain the software. It comes with a bit of learning curve. However, millions of beginners are already using it, and they get over the learning phase quite quickly.

If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, and you want to have full control of your online store, then WooCommerce is the best platform for you.

If you want something that’s completely hassle-free that has infinite scalability, then Shopify is the better platform for you.

We hope this article helped you compare pros and cons of Shopify vs WooCommerce. You may also want to see our guide on how to choose the best website builder.

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The post Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the Better Platform? (Comparison) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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