The Internet is becoming more and more crowded with online stores. But did you know that many of them operate under WooCommerce, and that this one is so simple that, without having technical knowledge, you can use it to create your own e-commerce in a matter of minutes?
If you want to know what Woocommerce is, what it is for, the advantages it offers and what you need to enable it, here is a summary of the reasons for its success throughout the Internet.
What is Woocommerce
Woocommerce can be defined as a plugin. In fact, it is what it is, a plugin that is installed in WordPress and serves to create a functional online store on a page without the need for programming skills or much computer knowledge. In exchange, it transforms your entire page so that you can sell, with the most characteristic elements, such as the cart or basket where users can put the products they are going to buy, the system for finalizing a purchase, different payment methods, shipping costs…
In short, we are talking about a fully functional store with only one plugin.
However, although Woocommerce is free, there are some functions that are not, or that require other extensions that may cost some money. However, in the long run it’s much more effective because it’s worth paying for the extras, especially if you don’t have much of a web page idea.
Woocommerce is focused on small and medium sized entrepreneurs, that is, it serves both the self-employed, SMEs and companies that are not very big (even the big ones, with some modifications, can serve them although they are not their target audience). Thanks to its simplicity and customization, today it is one of the most chosen to set up an online store easily (within minutes).
Its creator was the company WooThemes, who launched it on September 27, 2011 and in a short time managed to get many companies, websites, blogs, etc. to enable it and start its journey as an e-commerce without knowing anything about programming, just having filled out the plugin correctly so that it would work properly.
What is Woocommerce for
For all the above, we can say that Woocommerce is the plugin that turns a normal website, or a blog, into an online store where you can sell the products you want, either physical or electronic (e-books, special codes, etc.).
This way, you will have the whole framework of an online store in a matter of minutes and with only one plugin (although sometimes it is convenient to install some more to make it easier for users. According to the data, more than 30% of the world’s online stores have a Woocommerce system, which means that there is a good chance that, when you buy, you will do so with this plugin.
And what is the real value of Woocommerce? Well, when you turn your page into an online store, it serves to sell. However, to do this you really need to configure the plugin as much as possible to avoid errors by users or that the sales process does not lead to an error and thus can not culminate in sales.
Before, this was more difficult to achieve, because the plugin was complicated, there wasn’t much information, etc. But today this no longer happens. There are many tutorials that will help you know what are the first steps to take with Woocommerce.
What are the advantages of Woocommerce
Using Woocommerce is fast, easy and above all we are talking about a plugin that is free (its entire base). So that’s already an advantage in itself. And that is, putting an online store in WordPress with Woocommerce does not take more than 2 hours. With everything enabled and ready for orders to start coming to you. However, there are more advantages that this plugin offers you. For example:
Woocommerce adapts to your website
Unlike other programs or stores, here the design you have worked so hard to find, or that you have paid for, will be respected. You will only have to make some modifications (if any) but the essence of your website will be maintained and Woocommerce will blend in with it. So, since it is customizable, you can change what you want.
Woocommerce is flexible
Because it is not only focused on selling physical products, but also digital, subscription and membership services. You could even create a Marketplace and have others sell your products (like Wallapop or Ebay).
You have extensions that make it even better
In this case many are free, but there will be others for payment and with them you can improve the service of your online store. If it’s the first time you install it, you won’t need it, because the main plugin is more than enough. But if you want to give it more usability and better features, there will be some interesting ones.
However, as installing many plugins slows down your website, you have to choose very carefully which ones to have and which ones not to have, so that you don’t end up having problems with the loading speed.
What you need to install Woocommerce
Now that you know what Woocommerce is, and everything it can do for you, it’s very normal that you start thinking about how to create it, especially if you’ve been wanting to launch into online commerce for a long time and have been putting it off thinking it was too expensive and difficult. But you have to stop first at the requirements you will need. And these are:
- An active website. It is convenient that you have your own domain and a quality hosting service to avoid problems in the sale process and that users abandon your page because they cannot buy from it.
- WordPress. As we said before, the Woocommerce Plugin works in WordPress. You won’t be able to put it in a page that uses another system, so, if you want it, you’ll have to install this CMS in your hosting to make it work with it.
- Products to sell. That is, whether they are physical, subscriptions, digital products… To set up an online store you need something to sell.
Once you have these three things, installing the plugin is very quick and easy. Just enter the WordPress dashboard (where you will be an administrator and have full control of everything) and go to the Plugins section.
There, you can hit “Add New” and, with the search engine, you can find the main Woocommerce Plugin.
You only need to hit install and wait a few minutes for it to install at a basic level. And the rest of the time we said before? That’s what you’ll need to fill in all the important data: location, payment methods, shipping methods, shipping costs, enter your store’s products, etc.