WooCommerce is the eCommerce solution built on WordPress, which is also the software that runs more than a quarter of the Internet. Since it's built on top of an incredibly popular content management system, it is pretty easy to work commerce in with your content.

Just like you add plugins to your WordPress blog, WooCommerce has plug-ins for your eCommerce site. The open-source platform has nearly 300 official extensions in its store covering payments, shipping, marketing and accounting. Because the platform is based on WordPress, these extensions are as simple as clicking a box. Some payment or shipping solutions do come with additional costs.

Storefront is the free WooCommerce theme that has a number of variations that should accommodate your particular store. But just like WordPress, Storefront is customizable, and you are only limited by your coding acumen.

Just like WordPress, you need to find your own hosting solution for your WooCommerce site. That means there is the additional cost of hosting as well as domain registration which is included with some with other eCommerce solutions. There are some web hosting companies like BlueHost or SiteGround that market a specialization in WordPress hosting therefore that extends to WooCommerce sites.

There are three steps to setting up a WooCommerce site.

  1. Pick a domain name and host.

  2. Install WordPress on your host.

  3. Install and activate the WooCommerce Plugin.

Then head for the WooCommerce extension store where there are nearly 300 options that run from free to about $250. These extensions can add features to your shopping cart, your merchandising, product pages or search and navigation. Boost your email marketing, promotions, reporting or social engagement. Add more payment options or shipping options or download tools to help you manage your store better.

It's not just stores either. WooCommerce has features that allow business to take reservations and also teach lessons online. Plugins like Sensei allow users to create courses, write lessons and add quizzes to test the learners. You can even charge for the lessons. Analytics provide an overview of the content, grades and who's registered.

The extensive reach of WordPress means there is a massive community that can offer support and advice for your WooCommerce store. There are resources everywhere that can help a fledgling store owner overcome any issue. The platform is constantly evolving because of the open nature to WooCommerce's source API. So as a user, if you see something is missing, you can ask the community if it exists somewhere, ask someone to create it, or make it yourself.

Published on: Aug 22, 2018