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Woocommerce is a plugin that gives WordPress e-commerce functionality, it is one of the most popular e-commerce solutions out there with roughly 30% of online stores powered by Woocommerce.

Woocommerce is the best because it’s free, there are plenty of paid plugins available that increase its functionality, what that means for you is that you only pay for what you use, unlike other expensive e-commerce solutions where you pay for features you’ll never use.

Because it’s such a popular e-commerce solution, that means there are plenty of third-party integrations available.

Price

Woocommerce is a free open source plugin for WordPress, which means that you can start an online store for the cost of a domain name and hosting which start at $3.95 a month if you buy in bulk.

This can save you a lot of money when you’re starting out compared with other e-commerce solutions which start at $29 a month.

How Woocommerce works is that you have access to the free version and you can increase its features with paid plugins, this is where the company generates its revenue.

That means you only pay for what you use.

The free version provides you with everything you need to get started selling your products online, over time as you start to grow you can reinvest into plugins that you need to give your customers the best experience with your store.

Because of how popular Woocommerce is, you aren’t just limited to the plugins that Woocommerce makes, there are lots of developers out there creating plugins that you can utilise for your store.

Decentralised

One of the biggest things that the critiques of Woocommerce will say is that WordPress isn’t built from the ground up for e-commerce, compared with other content management systems that are fully built in and integrated.

However, I think that this is one of Woocommerce best features.

Let’s say you choose another content management system such as Shopify or Square space.

If you build your website, but you find out you don’t like their shopping cart, or their hosting or a particular feature they have, there isn’t much you can do, if you change your website to another content management system, you’ll have to start from scratch, there is no way to transition your website from Square space to Shopify or WordPress because they’re separate systems.

However, if I build my website on WordPress and Woocommerce and I stop liking Woocommerce, I can trade it with another e-commerce plugin in a single afternoon with another one such as easy digital downloads for example without loosing my website.

Or if don’t like my WordPress host, I can change it to a different host in a single afternoon and my customers wouldn’t know a thing about it.

That’s the benefit of having decentralized systems that I can swap out in a single afternoon without having to rebuild my website on a different content management system.

Integrations

Because of how popular Woocommerce is, it will integrate with just about every third-party e-commerce software, and because of how popular WordPress is, there are heaps of integrations with general third-party software.

What I’ve noticed about e-commerce specific content management systems is that they have tons of e-commerce integrations, but not a lot of general integrations.

But because you have WordPress and Woocommerce, you get access to lots of integrations that can give your website lots of third-party integrations.

Plugins

There are thousands of free and paid Plugins built by Woocommerce and third-party developers that provide additional functionality to Woocommerce.

For instance, just about every email autoresponder has a plugin that will integrate with Woocommerce, so that when someone purchases from your store, they then get added to your mailing list.

Not only that, but Facebook have a plugin that will allow you to retarget customers who have taken specific actions on your website and import your products to your Facebook page so Facebook users can see all the products you have on offer.

Storefront

Woocommerce has built a theme called Storefront that’s free and is built with Woocommerce in mind.

I always recommend Storefront to beginners because it’s really easy to use and works perfectly, there are never any bugs you have to fix or integration issues.

Usability

Woocommerce is extremely easy to use and because it’s so popular, I find if there is something that I can’t figure out that there are tons of Youtube videos that show me how.

While the WordPress dashboard can be a little bit dated, it’s super simple to use.

You can easily add and manage products, manage customer orders and access custom reports that break down the progress of your online store.

Is it the best?

I believe for most people, Woocommerce is the best e-commerce solution out there.

Decentralization is something I never hear anyone discussing but having the ability to swap out plugins and change hosting companies and not have to completely rebuild my website is fantastic.

Because WordPress, Woocommerce, and Storefront are all free, you can build an online store for the cost of domain name and hosting alone, this means you can reinvest more revenue into your business and lower your overheads when you’re just getting started.