Free online store platform woocommerce

When it comes to e-Commerce, WooCommerce is the primary contender of choice amongst of all WordPress based e-Commerce plugins, but what if I say that WooCommerce also leads the race to the most popular eCommerce?

Yes! that’s right! WooCommerce is the leading and the most popular platform of choice for setting up an online store all across the web. Despite of tough competitions from several bigger, and more capable open platforms, such a Shopify, Magento, OpenCart, BigCommerce, etc; WooCommerce tops the list of most popular eCommerce platform.

WooCommerce top ecommerce platform 2018

As according to the data gathered from BuiltWith, it shows WooCommerce is prime of all other eCommerce platform with a fair 22% of market share, Shopify being the second most popular eCommerce platform with 17% market share, and Magento now acquired by Adobe sits at the third position in the list with 13% of the total market share. Other notable names in the list are OpenCart, BigCommerce, Wix Stores and Prestashop with 3% market share, each.

Surprisingly, the remaining 36% of the market share is still in hands of other eCommerce platform including Squarespace Commerce, Shopify Plus, Magento Enterprise, Volusion, osCommerce, Ubercart, Zen Cart, Demandware etc.

Who uses WooCommerce?

So we now know, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce software out there. But I know, you must be curious to know about the famous online stores which are using WooCommerce.

Here’s the list of some of the famous big brands using WooCommerce, which are not only successful but, also serving large audience.

ClickBank –  If you’re anyway making money from the internet then you must know about the famous ClickBank. One of the largest, marketplace for digital products, they are selling globally and receive millions of traffic each month.

Entrepreneur.com Bookstore – one of the largest resource for entrepreneurs with monthly traffic of more than 15 million monthly traffic. Entrepreneur.com uses WooCommerce to power its online bookstore.

WPML – The famous and the most popular, multi-lingual plugin for WordPress to enable your site in multiple languages also uses, WooCommerce as the checkout solution.

Bookriot Store – It’s one of the largest online bookstore, and uses WooCommerce and WordPress combination to run their online book store.

Awesome Inventions – A popular, medium traffic Amazon affiliate website, similar to ThisiswhyImbroke.com, uses WooCommerce to list all its products.

To know more about such sites, you can head over to the official WooCommerce Showcase.

The history behind WooCommerce.

I’ve been closely following WooCommerce, before WooCommerce was even a thing, and eCommerce was yet to considered as the “next big thing”.

It was launched back in September 2011, and the popular WordPress plugin quickly rose to fame, thanks to its super simple interface and the neat amount of customization it offered, at a cost of nothing.

Originally, WooCommerce was a forked of an another WordPress eCommerce plugin, Jigoshop.  By the August 2017, WooCommerece was already being used by 17.77% of eCommerce websites. Since then, WooCommerce kept growing, until in May 2015, it was acquired by Automattic, the core contributor behind WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

But, what makes WooCommerce so popular?

Top 12 reasons Why to Choose WooCommerce

1. It’s free

WooCommerce best free ecommerce platform
You don’t need to spend a penny with installing WooCommerce, it’s available to download for free at the official WordPress repository. This is the biggest advantage of WooCommerce, that you need not to worry about licensing fees or platform fees of any sort, which ranges from few dollars a month to few thousand dollars a year, depends upon the platform you choose and the size of your inventory.

2. It’s reliable & backed by Automattic

WooCommerce is released since 2011, that means almost close to 7 years of plugin age and In the world of softwares, 7 years is a no ordinary feat. Being a 7-year-old plugin, WooCommerece is widely praised by all and is being actively used by several large, medium and small sites with millions of traffic every month.

Apart from that, WooCommerce is not a platform independent solution for eCommerce, instead it requires WordPress as the base platform for your eCommerce site, so basically WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. Up until May 2015, WooCommerce was a separate entity, which was then acquired by the company behind the WordPress, i.e. Automattic. This acquisition gave WooCommerce the much-needed boost, since then WooCommerce rose to new heights, especially in the department of credibility.

3. Super simple, yet professional – 

Woocommerce is easy to installation

The beauty of WooCommerce is its simplicity, I assure you, that if you know how to use WordPress, then all it takes is less than 5 minutes to install the WooCommerce. And it won’t take more than, 2 hours to completely configure your WooCommerce based store, ready to go live with a handful of products.

Now this simplicity, doesn’t means that WooCommerce is mere an easy to install/configure plugin for WordPress, instead it’s much powerful and comes with nearly all the features that you’re required to run your store successfully. Once you use the WooCommerce dashboard, you will feel that each and every option is neatly placed and well polished, you will always feel like that you’re using a fine tuned professional e-Commerce solution, but for free.

4. Ample of customization options – 

WooCommerce free Storefront theme

With WooCommerce you don’t need to worry about the customization of your store, you will get the countless amount of options. As for the store design you can easily find several high quality WordPress themes which, are specifically designed for WooCommerce stores. These WooCommerce themes comes with in-built advanced features to enhance your store functionality and are easily available to download starting at $39/theme.

Apart from WooCommerce store design, you can add any custom features to your store, with the availability of variety of extensions. Extensions are plugins designed and works only with WooCommerce, which enhances the existing store functionality, such as membership/subscription options, custom shipping options, advanced instant search feature, custom gateway integration, bookings, store management and much more. You can find WooCommerce extensions at the official WooCommere extension store, and as well as on sites like CodeCanyon etc.

5. You want total control – 

Woocommerce free extensions store

Unlike hosted e-Commerce solutions such as Shopify, which grants you to access to your eCommerce store to a certain extent, whereas WooCommerce gives you complete control on your store. You can literally do anything with your store, you can even change the code base of WooCommerce plugin itself (not recommended), all in all WooCommerce has no limitations.

Adding custom feature in WooCommerce is as easy as it sounds, all you need to find an extension with functionality, either code yourself or else you can also hire any developers online for few dollars. But, with hosted eCommerce solutions, you better stay with the whatever you’ve been provided in your plan.

6. You don’t want to spend huge –

 WooCommerce is free, WordPress is free, and there are many free high quality WooCommerce themes, such as Storefront. All you need is a one time annual domain name, a hosting plan and any WooCommerce extension, if required.

The starting price of a Cloud based WooCommerce hosting starts at $10/mo at Cloudways, which is not only scalable but is also fully managed and secure.

For domain, you’ve to spend a mere $10/ annually.

This is the actual cost of running a WooCommerce store = $110 USD annually. (paid extension + themes + payment gateway charges are extra)

Now compare it with any hosted eCommerce solution, a minimum of $29/mo plan will cost you over $340+ USD/annually.

7. You have unique needs – 

Not every store is same, sometimes you’ve specific needs for your custom store, which is not common. It can range anything, from custom eCommerce needs or custom feature you want to implement it on your site. Only with WooCommerce you can easily implement any custom feature for your shoppers, in fact chances are high that you may end up landing on an extension on the web, exactly matching for your needs.

8. Powerful analytics –

With WooCommerce you need to not worry about tracking the stats of your WordPress site, it offers powerful insights with integrated stats by Jetpack, which shows you most crucial data of your running stores in a quick glance. However, if you want to go with Google Analytics there are extensions available, which lets you easily integrate Google Analytics for free.

9. You want to sell many types of things

WooCommerce sell anything online

Sometimes, you just don’t want to sell only the physical products on your online store. With WooCommerce, you can sell all kinds of products be it physical, digital, subscription based, or all. If you want to create a website like, Thisiswhyimbroke.com then, it can be easily done with WooCommerce by listing external affiliate products.

10. Huge support from community –

WooCommerce official free support forum WordPress

Despite of a well maintained documentation at WooCommerce, with deep how to guides and handy video tutorials for WooCommerce and all the extensions which are being sold on WooCommerce website, you can find answers and post your questions at the official WordPress.org official support forums. Other than that, You can find any amount of support from the community all over the web, starting at , WooCommerce Stackoverflow and many other such resources on the internet, including blogs and eCommerce forums.

WordPress is really the biggest CMS on the web, and there are plenty of experienced developers backing the WooCommerce. There are dedicated WooCommerce developers,  maintaining thousands of WooCommerce enhancements such as themes and extensions, and launching several of new themaes and plugins for WooCommerce every month.

11. WooCommerce is scalable
High traffic WooCommerce scalable real time traffic

Image for reference purpose only

Okay, you can easily find people calling “WooCommerce is suitable only for small to medium size eCommerce stores,” but the truth is that WooCommerce is not only scalable but it’s also able to handle large product inventory.

They call platforms such as Magento are the preferred choice for large eCommerce sites. However, nobody runs a large Magento based eCommerce store on a shared platform right? it takes a minimum of a VPS to run an eCommerce site or a cloud hosting to scale and serve  the operations smoothly.

In similar way, considering the fact, that WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform; it’s resource intensive, and requires right amount of hosting configuration to run your large WooCommerce sites for smooth performance. And with proper optimization, and server-side caching enhancements, WooCommerce can be as fast as of any popular eCommerce store on the web.

12. Excellent content management

woocommerce inventory management

WooCommerce not only serves as the platform to sell your products, in fact it also serves as your inventory management. You can track stock levels, hold stock after an order is cancelled, low and out of stock notifications, hide out of stock items and everything that you can expect from a professional content management system.

Plus, as you all might know, it’s the content that drive sales on the web and other eCommerce platforms aren’t content friendly at all, which results into creating a separate site for blog and then trying to bridge the gap between, your content and store. However, with WooCommerce you don’t need to create separate blog, WordPress is already integrated on the top of your store, all you need to write more articles to drive sales of your store.

Conclusion

Overall, WooCommerce is an undisputed solution for raising any kind of online store, it’s free, open-source and ready to download for anyone. However, there are certain scenarios where people are facing issues, challenges and different kind of platform limitations with WooCommerce.

But as according to my experience with WooCommerce so far, in most of the cases, WooCommerce is not a limitation, instead the hosting environment restrictions are the major causes of scaling with WordPress. All you need is a right person/agency to guide you on how to make any kind of eCommerce solution possible with WooCommerce.

So are you planning to use WooCommerce for your online store? or you’re an existing user of WooCommerce? don’t forget to share your experience/thoughts about WooCommerce in the comments below.