An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce

Written by Cody Landefeld on July 16, 2018 Blog, How to sell online.

New to WooCommerce? It’s a free plugin that transforms WordPress websites into customizable eCommerce stores. First released in 2011 by WooThemes, a WordPress theme development agency with roots in Norway, the United Kingdom, and South Africa, it was later acquired by Automattic, makers of WordPress.com and Jetpack. In the U.S. alone, WooCommerce powers a whopping 55% of all eCommerce sites and nearly 2.3 million online stores.

Over the next few days we’ll look at some key questions and topics, starting with an introduction to eCommerce for WordPress. Welcome to Woo!

An introduction to WordPress and WooCommerce
The WooCommerce plugin is available for free on WooCommerce.com and WordPress.org.

WooCommerce is built for WordPress

WooCommerce was developed specifically to work with WordPress — the most popular blogging/website software in the world.

Perhaps you’ve wondered how we arrived at the name Woo: Co-founder, Magnus Jepson will tell you it was because they wanted to design products that made people go: “Woo!”

Web technology survey group W3Techs reports that WordPress powers just over 30% of all websites. WordPress is an open source platform: that means its code is open and free for anyone to use and you retain all the rights to anything you publish with it, unlike closed platforms that control your data.

WooCommerce preserves many of the functions core to the standard WordPress experience, but adds eCommerce capability, configuration, and customization. If you’ve used WordPress in the past, maybe to start a blogging or showcase your business, WooCommerce will look and feel familiar:

WooCommerce backend
Know WordPress? You won’t need to learn a whole new system — woo!

There’s a community of WordPress and WooCommerce users and developers in just about every corner of the globe, from new users to highly skilled “evangelizers” to WooExperts.

Find a WooCommerce Meetup near you — or start one!

WooCommerce solved eCommerce for WordPress

WordPress delivers superb content management, one of its early appeals for bloggers and writers. It stores content, including images, that site owners maintain as their own. Many WooCommerce developers cite the ease of store management for clients as a unique differentiator. As eCommerce expert Chris Lema notes, content drives sales — which is why he regards WooCommerce as a standout:

One of the key differentiators of WooCommerce versus other eCommerce platforms is its tight integration with WordPress, meaning you get world class commerce plus content.

Once you get into WooCommerce, it’s easy to forget it’s a plugin and not just a part of WordPress:

Open Source eCommerce: A win-win for businesses and developers

WooCommerce was a game-changer in the eCommerce world. Like the WordPress platform, WooCommerce is free and open source, which means anyone can  adapt it or build add-ons for it.

Although technically a plugin with basic features like payments built in, WooCommerce allows you to add further plugins — called extensions, to distinguish them from WordPress plugins — to add specific functionality and features.

Examples of three popular extensions from the WooCommerce.com marketplace
Examples of some extensions on the WooCommerce.com marketplace.

Thousands of developers worldwide create and sell WooCommerce extensions, many of which are available in the official WooCommerce.com marketplace, like:

With Square and WooCommerce, you can easily track all your inventory and sales from online and offline in one place.
With Square and WooCommerce, you can easily track all your inventory and sales — whether you’re online or offline — in one place.

Choose WooCommerce for Customizable, Open eCommerce

All in all, WooCommerce offers the might of a highly-scalable digital platform for eCommerce coupled with the reputation and reliability of WordPress.

Tomorrow we’ll be back with advice on choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business.

7 Responses

  1. Rohan
    July 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for the update. It got some super powerful features. DO you have any guide to link PayPal subscription to woocommerce?

  2. bestandroidtoroot
    August 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

    An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce Nice post

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    August 9, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce Nice post

  4. bestandroidtoroot
    August 13, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce Cool post

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    August 14, 2018 at 2:51 am #

    An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce Cool post

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    August 15, 2018 at 2:51 am #

    An Introduction to eCommerce for WordPress – WooCommerce Thank you for post

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