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The WooCommerce Blog

Tips, tricks and eCommerce inspiration from WooCommerce experts.

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10 WordPress plugins we greatly admire

August 18, 2015 - 86 Comments

With so many plugins available for your self-hosted WordPress site, it can often be really tough to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Currently, there are nearly 40,000 plugins in the official repo, not to mention countless premium plugins available for purchase from a host of different companies.

There are a number of ways you can work out what the best choices are for your website, but we thought we would help you out by providing you a few plugins from the WordPress community that we admire. We admire these plugins only for their usefulness, but also for the way they are built and maintained.

Some of these plugins are freely available, while some carry a price tag. But one thing that they all have in common is the fact they are all incredibly well built and perform their respective tasks in the best way possible. Some of them are also included in our WooBenefits — tailored discounts offered exclusively to WooThemes customers.

So, without further delay… here’s the list!

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WooCommerce 2.4: meet the Helpful Hedgehog

August 10, 2015 - 123 Comments

TL;DR: WooCommerce version 2.4 is here – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, make a backup, update your extensions, view our upgrade guide and then upgrade WooCommerce.

Today, we’re marking another step in the WooCommerce journey: the release of WooCommerce 2.4, the Helpful Hedgehog.

In our last release, we focused on the front-end of WooCommerce and so named the update “Handsome Hippo.” With this update, we’re focused on making store settings more intuitive for store owners by creating a brand-new onboarding wizard, simplifying setup for standard shipping options and improving how WooCommerce handles products with many variations.

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The most important features of an eCommerce platform

June 8, 2015 - 4 Comments

So you want to start an eCommerce business. You may be feeling a mixture of emotions at this point: excitement, apprehension, impatience… and confusion.

The first few decisions that new store owners make are crucial: what to name their new business, where to host their store, and so on. One such decision — and one of the most confusing — is which eCommerce platform should power their store.

With so many platforms to choose from, and countless features and functions available, the sheer number of choices is bound to get overwhelming. It’s also sometimes hard to tell whether or not the platform you’re looking at can offer you the functionality you want, or if it will properly scale or even be cost-effective as your store grows.

Today, we’re going to look at some of the most important features an eCommerce platform should have. This list will help you evaluate the platforms you’re considering along with common business goals, and help you decide whether or not it offers what you need to get started and grow your business.

Let’s get started by talking about how you can first find eCommerce platforms, and evaluate them using the criteria we’ll establish here.

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The store owner’s practical guide to being search engine friendly

May 29, 2015 - 4 Comments

There are hundreds of guides out there on the topic of search engine optimization. And they all promise one thing: with their help, you’ll rank better and sell more.

The problem is, as a store owner, you only have so many hours in your day. You’ve got enough to worry about without throwing SEO into the mix. Guides that recommend investing your valuable time into copywriting, on-page optimization, link building, or content creation seem practical enough… but only if you can grow an extra set of arms.

Rather than invest all your time and effort into additional forms of optimization — some of which may not even be practical for your niche or current growth stage — it’s best to shift your mindset to simply being search engine friendly at all times. By establishing basic SEO groundwork up front you can drastically cut down on the amount of time you need to spend on future optimization.

By following this guide, you can be confident that your store is always optimized for search because it meets Google’s basic best practices. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with practical SEO.

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The 5 things to try when your brand joins Instagram

May 21, 2015 - 10 Comments

If your brand isn’t yet marketing on Instagram, now is a good time to start. This photo sharing platform was the fastest growing social media network last year, according to the Pew Research Center. About half (49%) of its 300 million monthly active users log in daily, and 53% of adults ages 18-29 say they use the app.

There’s a lot of advice online about using Instagram as a marketing tool, but it can quickly get overwhelming for brands who are brand new to the platform. A huge list of 20 tips might not be very helpful if you’ve just signed up and are staring at a blank screen, unsure what photos to post or how to tie this growing social network into your existing marketing plans.

If your eCommerce company has just joined Instagram and is looking for guidance, we’re happy to help. Here are the five things you should try right off the bat, from posting your very first photo to linking your content to your website.

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WooThemes joins Automattic: The beginning of an exciting chapter

May 19, 2015 - 263 Comments

Today marks the beginning of the next exciting chapter in our journey as WooThemes. The short and sweet of it – we are joining the Automattic family! Read more about this from WooThemes co-founders, Mark and Magnus and from Matt Mullenweg of Automattic.

WooMattic

What does this mean for our customers? If you’re using WooThemes products (extensions, themes, or other) your subscriptions and experience will continue as before and there is no reason to worry. In the coming weeks and months you can expect business as usual from WooThemes, now with the added power of Automattic behind everything we do. For support, continue to reach out to us in the same way you always have done.

What does this mean for our team? The Woo ninjas are not going anywhere! They’ll continue working all around the world, with exciting opportunities for learning and growth through the cross-pollination of Automattic’s and our engineering, support and marketing teams.

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How to motivate customers to share your products

May 7, 2015 - 8 Comments

If you have social media buttons on your product pages, you probably added them because you wanted your products to be shared more frequently on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. You know that more shares = more publicity, and more publicity = more new customers making purchases.

However, increasing those valuable shares isn’t always as easy as sticking a few buttons on your store and calling it a day. Your customers need motivation to share your products, and it’s up to you to give it to them.

There are a few methods you can use to motivate a customer to spread the good word about your brand before, during, and after their purchase. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can boost shares of your products on social media and attract even more shoppers.

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How to drive more conversions with your store’s copywriting

April 27, 2015 - Leave a comment

When you think about eCommerce copywriting, you might think about the drab product descriptions you sometimes see online, a few sentences of filler copy meant to hold keywords or take up space. We know your store has better sense than that, but you may still be struggling to figure out what role copywriting plays in your marketing (if it should play one at all).

The copywriting on your eCommerce storefront can, and certainly should, serve a larger purpose than filling in blank space or improving your SEO. Even the smallest pieces of copy in your store can convert visitors into paying customers — it’s just a matter of knowing what people want to read.

Here are three simple ways you can use your store’s copywriting to connect with more customers, boosting conversions in the process.

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7 lessons I wish I knew before building my first online business

April 23, 2015 - 11 Comments

Six years ago, I built my first online business. Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t the hard way: through experience. Despite facing many hurdles, each project I’ve built has been more successful than the last.

Recently, I began to wonder what is it that I’ve learned that’s made this difference. In other words, if I could go back six years and give myself a few tips, what would I say?

Here are seven lessons I wish I knew six years ago, before building my first online business.

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Top 10 extensions for marketing your WooCommerce store

April 7, 2015 - 28 Comments

The truth remains that no matter how amazing your store and products, people are not just going to show up and throw money at you. Even Coca-Cola knows there’s no good time to take the foot off the gas and let up on marketing, establishing your brand, driving sales and working on UX to drive sales and secure customer loyalty.

It’s an attention jungle out there, and once your WooCommerce store is running, you’ll do well to commit money and time towards marketing. This can take the form of serving up great content on social media, Facebook advertising, remarketing ads, or by adding extensions to your store itself.

Here are ten extensions we think are among the best for promoting your WooCommerce store.

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