We’ve worked with a number of different e-commerce plugins and integrations for WordPress: Shopp, eShop, custom themes, and more. But the one that stands out as the most popular amongst our clients (and tends to be the one we recommend the most) is WooCommerce.
Calling itself the “most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin,” WooCommerce is a free e-commerce “toolkit” (just a fancy name for a plugin with add-ons) that allows you to sell your goods and services online.
It’s extensible, it’s easy to manage and, as a shopper, it’s easy to use.
Out of the box, WooCommerce does enough to get you started with an e-commerce store. You can manage products, you can set up coupons, and you can integrate with PayPal for payments.
But, since WooThemes, the developers of WooCommerce, need to make money somehow, most of the extended functionality comes in the form of paid add-ons (called Extensions). The Extensions allow you to do a lot more with WooCommerce, from smarter shipping to additional payment methods to inventory management.
Here’s a look at some WooCommerce Extensions and add-ons we’ve used to supercharge our clients’ e-commerce sites.
Table Rate Shipping
Shipping options abound when it comes to WooCommerce – integrations with UPS, FedEx, USPS and more are available. But Table Rate Shipping is likely the most powerful shipping extension for WooCommerce.
Table Rate Shipping allows you to set up incredibly complex shipping options for your products, based on the delivery location, product or checkout price, item weights, and more.
Here’s some of the things you can do with it:
- Create zones for target shipping destinations
- Add multiple tables of rates per zone
- Several types of table rate calculation: Per order, Calculated per item, Calculated per line, Calculated per class
- Add rules based on Weight, Number of items, Number of items by class and Price
- Add costs per row, per item cost, a percentage and per weight unit
The strength of Table Rate Shipping is also its biggest downside: there’s so many things you can set that it can become overly complicated if you aren’t properly managing every shipping possibility.
It’s a relatively simple extension, but the WooCommerce Brands Extension lets you create a new taxonomy of product brands for your shop.
So if you sell a number of products by different brands, this Extension allows you to organize them, filter them and browse by them instead of being limited solely by product categories.
MobileStore WPTouch Theme
It’s not an Extension made by WooThemes, but the MobileStore theme by WPtouch – one of the most popular mobile theme plugins – converts your WooCommerce site into a friendly, easy-to-use mobile store.
MobileStore has a user-friendly grid layout (using isotope), automatically displaying popular products and providing easy sort and filtering options. Best of all, it makes the most important part of your mobile store — actually purchasing product — incredibly simple.
I always advocate collecting email addresses for your mailing list every chance you get, and during the checkout process is a natural opportunity. WooCommerce MailChimp is a totally free plugin that integrates with your MailChimp account to allow for easy subscriptions to your mailing list.
The plugin allows you to add an opt-in field so users can choose to subscribe to your list when they complete an order, and you have the ability to choose which list or Group they should be added to.
It’s simple, easy-to-use and incredibly beneficial.