WooCommerce is a plugin/app which can be used to build an online store with WordPress / on top of an existing WordPress site. I have previously used Shopify for my own online store, but after recently trying WooCommerce I have realized that it can in some situations be a very good Shopify alternative.
From this page, you can find information about some of the pros and cons of WooCommerce. Those might help you to decide if you should use WooCommerce or, for example, Shopify for starting an online store.
Pros of WooCommerce
The first great thing about WooCommerce is its price: WooCommerce in itself is free, so if you already have a WordPress site and hosting for it, you can use WooCommerce to build an online store for free. Of course, the reality is that in many cases you will need to buy plugins for WooCommerce in itself to maximize how good your store is. But even when considering the cost of those plugins, WooCommerce can in the long run be cheaper than many other popular ecommerce platforms.
The second thing I really like about WooCommerce is that it is surprisingly easy to build a nice-looking online store with it. That as even though I myself have some experience with WordPress, I am in no way any kind of a guru with it. And despite of that I was with the combination of WooCommerce + nice theme able to create a pretty nice looking online store.
The third really nice thing about WooCommerce is that its URL structure allows you to do more modifications than, for example, that of Shopify. That might not sound like a big deal, but especially if you plan to have your store in some other language than English, it is nice not to be forced to have unnecessary elements in your URLs.
The fourth thing I like about WooCommerce is also mainly a plus for those who are not interested in having their store (only) in English: the non-English translations WooCommerce has available seem to be a lot better than those on some other platforms – with the BigCommerce ecommerce platform I even ran into a situation where the platform was not able to properly show on some places some of the letters of my home country’s alphabet.
The fifth pro of choosing WooCommerce applies to pretty much all WooCommerce users. And that pro is that because WooCommerce is so popular and so loved by an active community of developers, there are a lot of guides and plugins for WooCommerce. Meaning that even if you might initially be struggling with making your store as good as you desire to, the odds are that you are able to find help from online.
Cons of WooCommerce
As great as WooCommerce is, it is not without problems or “cons”. And in practice, the big thing to be aware of with WooCommerce is that whereas most other ecommerce platforms are pretty much equally good choices for anyone despite of their situation, that does not apply to WooCommerce. That as if you don’t have an existing WordPress site WooCommerce can especially in the short term be a bit more expensive than some of the cheapest ecommerce platforms. And additionally, if you do not have experience with WordPress you will also face a steeper learning curve than you would with the easiest ecommerce platforms.
Which payment gateways does WooCommerce work with?
According to WooCommerce it works with more than 100 payment gateways, including, for example, Stripe, Square and PayPal.
How much money do I need for launching and running a WooCommerce store?
For launching, you should reserve $0–$500 and for running the store you should be able to budget $0–$1000/year. The exact amounts depend, for example, on your goals for the store. The listed figures don’t take into account the possible costs of acquiring inventory. That is because the costs of it can vary significantly.
Should I choose WooCommerce or a more traditional ecommerce platform, such as, Shopify?
There is no clear-cut answer to this, as the answer depends entirely on your situation / on the situation of your business. However, when you are thinking between WooCommerce and, for example, Shopify it is also good to consider if you need to spend extra time on learning WordPress in order to use WooCommerce. That as if you don’t have any experience with WordPress the time spent on learning it could have likely been used more productively (i.e. had a bigger hourly rate) on working on other parts of your business. And as such the “savings” you might get by choosing WooCommerce can actually be wasted on those learning-hours during which you are not making any money.
Which web hosting should I use with WooCommerce?
As the decision to use WooCommerce is often about its cheap costs, it makes sense to try to find a decently high-quality but cheap web hosting for your WooCommerce/WordPress site. And based on my experience at least Hostinger matches those two criteria. You can read about using Hostinger with WooCommerce from, for example, this page.
Can I do dropshipping with WooCommerce?
Yes. There are several plugins that allow you to dropshipping with WooCommerce. Unfortunately though the popular Oberlo dropshipping app does not work with WooCommerce, see this page for more information.