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Delving into the world of e-commerce is an exciting prospect. You get to sell your goods online and participate in building something from scratch. Those are two ideas worth getting excited about if you ask me.
Still, it’s not wise to jump in head first without a plan of action. Whether you build your site on WordPress or another platform – using WooCommerce or without – you need to have a few essential things in place before you hang that digital “Open” sign and process your first transaction.
WordPress offers a vast diversity of plugins that can enhance your website. But those same plugins often suffer from technical errors and weak support. There are a lot of okay plugins floating around out there, but you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity – if you’re going to put the time and effort into creating a website, you should strive to find only the best.
Luckily, there are a lot of good choices out there. Many of them are well-known plugins and themes. However, if you dig a little bit deeper you cad find some real the diamonds in the rough.
Tell me if you’ve heard these phrases before. Maybe you’ve even uttered them yourself: “Jetpack is so overrated.” “Jetpack isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” “Jetpack is bloated beyond belief!”
A lot of people hold onto these beliefs about Jetpack but I’m here to tell you that these statements couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, Jetpack packs a serious punch, offering up features aplenty that serve the needs of all WordPress users. Bloggers looking for simple tools and developers looking for robust options will both be pleased by this plugin.
For those who don’t know, Jetpack is a plugin created by Automattic. It features numerous “modules” that can be activated in order to benefit from their features.
Today, I’m dead set on convincing you to use Jetpack for the first time (or to dust it off and give it a try once again). Will you accept the challenge?
The third WooCommerce drop of 2012 has arrived and it’s a big ‘un! Dynamic Pricing, 6 gateways and a chance for more developers to get involved in the WooCommerce project.
There have been a few grumbles about the relentless Payment Gateway onslaught, and this week is no different with six new gateways (we know you love them really). But we’re also extremely excited to launch Dynamic Pricing, developed by Lucas Stark.
Payment integration is one of the single biggest barriers to some users choosing WooCommerce. Established companies rarely want to change banks / service providers so if we don’t have a gateway which suits a users business, they can’t choose WooCommerce – which we think is a crying shame! So while they may not be so exciting, they’re absolutely vital to the ongoing growth and development of WooCommerce as an eCommerce platform.
We couldn’t wait any longer for our usual Thursday drop, especially seeing we’ve been quiet on Â the WooCommerce front the last few weeks with Mike and Jay coding up an absolute storm in their bunker in the UK! With that said we are HUGELY excited about today’s release of WooCommerce 1.4!
Version 1.4 is perhaps not a massively exciting release for the end-user, but for developers it’s a biggy.Â We’ve re-written large chunks of code, made all round refinements to the plugin for our plans going forward, and optimisedÂ performance levels. Of course we’ve added some more bells and whistles too, but a lot of the changes are under the hood.
Important note: Version 1.4 of WooCommerce requires WordPress 3.3+, as well as updates to various WooCommerce extensions, shipping methods, and themes (for compatibility reasons). If you see an update available for your product please update accordingly, otherwise small modules of your shop might not work. As always, we also recommend you backup your site.
Along with the release of WooCommerce 1.4 today also see’s the release of our new plugin documentation and user guide, efficiently housed in a Wikeasi theme installation. It’s a work in progress that we plan to constantly update, but already it’s a huge improvement over our existing user guide and codex pages.
From the outskirts it probably seems a little quiet compared to our usual lightening pace of WooCommerce development? Never fear though, inside WooLabs things are seriously heating up with a HUGE amount of time going into version 1.4, that will be one of our most noteworthy updates in our track history. That’s still a couple weeks away, with the exact release date kept mysteriously vague for now. We do however have something to tide you over. 4 exciting new extensions.
We’d like to think that the early success ofÂ WooLabsÂ (and in particular that of WooCommerce) isn’t so much of a surprise to our users – the people who have been downloading it, and extending it with our themes and extensions. After all it’s your support and continued feedback that has helped make WooCommerce what it is today!
Today we get bring two amazing plugins together with the launch of our Gravity Forms Product Add-ons extension, developed by Lucas Stark.
And as this is to be the last WooCommerce drop before the new year, weâ€™d also like to briefly recap our achievements since WooCommerce launched back in September.
Gravity Forms Extension
With the Gravity Forms Product Add-ons extension, advanced product configuration forms can be built and linked to any product in WooCommerce. Forms that contain conditional logic, pricing fields, user input prices, conditional-pricing fields, conditional submit button logic can all be created for your products. Additionally, any product that contains a Gravity Form is tracked in the cart to ensure, no matter how complex your product form only unique configurations are added to the cart and duplicates are incremented in quantity.
The Gravity Forms Product Add-ons extension gives you full control over how the display of the prices in the store should appear. You can use the default price displays that WooCommerce will display, or in the case of a configurable product containing pricing fields, set the price to something such as â€œAs Low as $1000â€.
You also have control over when the built in automatic price calculation will be displayed, if at all, and have the ability to configure each label individually.
The final quarter of 2011 has been a very exciting time for us. Not only have we released some awesome themes, but in September we also dived in at the deep end of the WordPress plugins ecosphere with the launch of WooCommerce.
Weâ€™ve worked incredibly hard on building a reliable, feature rich eCommerce solution. It has since been supplemented with dozens of premium products which either extend the default functionality, or provide a gorgeous front end to your online stores.
To reflect on our progress, hereâ€™s a quick roundup of our WooCommerce specific achievements;
Almost 40,000 downloads, eclipsing the codebase from which WooCommerce was forked
Launched 49 premium extensions including payment gateways which make WooCommerce a realistic option for businesses the world over
Nurtured an active WooCommerce developer community enabling Woo members to monetise their own WooCommerce extensions, ipso facto delivering a greater number of high quality extensions to the WooCommunity at large
Launched 15 WooCommerce specific themes including child themes for some of our most popular parent themes, and our free theme; Wootique which has been downloaded over 10,000 times.
Today’s release is a beauty. A few months back we asked the talented Mr. Chris Rowe, who’s helped design a handful of our business, photography and personal themes, to design his first WooCommerce specific theme. Needless to say, he didn’t let us down and brought his usual attention to detail, clean styling, and crisp typography to the table to produce “Sliding”.
Sliding is a design that although hugely flexible in implementation I believe is tailor suited for online fashion stores. With a flexible slider designed for portrait shaped imagery your product line is presented professionally, whilst easily accessible. They key to any online store’s success is good photography and this theme shines with it.
Seems like everyone is wondering where this year has gone? Here at WooHQ we know exactly where it has gone for Jay and Mike in the WooLabs – in developing a wealth of value with WooCommerce extensions, themes and child themes for a fast growing community of users.
Today see’s the release of WooCommerce version 1.3. A significant upgrade with a rewritten tax module, Schema.org markup for products and reviews (aÂ standardÂ used for Google to make products machine readable), free shipping coupons, improved interfaces for orders andÂ variousÂ other improvements and fixes that can be viewed in the changelog.
That’s right three more WooCommerce enabled WooThemes. Specifically three more WooCommerce enabled business themes. We’ve been working down our theme leaderboard chart picking the most popular themes to cater for e-commerce facilities.
There is no WooCommerce core update to report on today unfortunately, but we don’t believe that’s a bad thing. Not everyone wants to update their e-commerce plugin every week right? Even if the update is filled with awesome sauce. It also means we can concentrate more time on further refining particular modules like the tax calculations that Mike has spent a heap of time on this week. More on this soon though.
I’m struggling to get creative writing these Thursday blog post titles, so I’m getting straight to the point.
Today see’s the release of WooCommerce 1.2.2 and 5 new extensions – and would you believe it none of them are payment gateways?!
We’re extremely excited by the amount of developers who have lept at the opportunity of developing for WooCommerce and creating a passive income stream whilst exploring the core of our offering. You’re going to like these extensions. Trust me.
As has been the case the last few Thursdays, and most likely the next few to come, you have probably come to expect some WooCommerce goodness to drop. Today see’s the release of an incremental WooCommerce plugin update, that certainly packs a lot of punch for a version 1.2.1, as well as the release of 7 extensions.
Today sees the release of a new responsive WooCommerce theme called Emporium, equipped with all the homepage modules to showcase featured and recent shop products, recent blog posts, sticky notes, sales banners and a featured slider. Not to forget the widgetized footer region to add those personal touches.
Emporium’s uniqueness lies in it’s fixed top navigation that is always accessible even when at the bottom of a long page of content, with space for two menus – one top right and one bottom left, and also includes a cleanly designed shopping cart dropdown.
This week we have three more WooCommerce child themes available for our most popular business themes. What does that mean for you if you own one of the above themes? It means you can very easily get an online shop running with the WooCommerce plugin, a child theme and possibly one or two extensions.