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Why stores running on WordPress are winning

August 22, 2016 - 20 Comments

According to the most recent report from BuiltWith, 39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress — over 1.5 million active stores. Add in the usage of additional eCommerce platforms powered by WordPress and the CMS’s own 17.6 million live sites (over 26% of the entire internet!), and, well… that’s a lot of sites.

Developers and store builders don’t just choose to work with WordPress because it’s free (although it is) or because “everyone else is using it” (although they are). There are some pretty convincing reasons why WordPress has climbed to the top of the charts, and why WooCommerce has soared in popularity right along with it.

Stores backed by WordPress have multiple advantages over those on other platforms. And these advantages allow them to work faster, spend less money, and ultimately become more successful than their counterparts.

Let’s take a look at a few convincing reasons why shops running on WordPress have a competitive edge — and why you should join their ranks, if you’re not already among them. 🙂

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The benefits of Jetpack for your WooCommerce store

May 26, 2016 - 9 Comments

Jetpack is one of the most versatile free plugins available for WordPress. Its built-in offerings range from statistics to a content delivery network to automatic social sharing of new posts, and much more.

If you’ve used WordPress for a while or are familiar with it outside of the realm of your online store, chances are you’ve had an encounter or two with this powerful plugin. But have you tried using it in combination with WooCommerce?

In combination with WooCommerce, Jetpack can bring store owners easily-integrated attack protection, downtime alerts, content sharing, and a slew of other features designed to make your life easier. It’s the equivalent of strapping a rocket to your store — but a lightweight one. 😉

Let’s explore why we think Jetpack is well worth your while, and how it can help you soar to new heights. We’ll start with a quick overview of why we here at Woo use it, and recently hooked into it for our alpha release of WooCommerce Connect.

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WooCommerce security: the 7 things you should do first

February 15, 2016 - 12 Comments

In all the frenzy and excitement that accompanies setting up a new WooCommerce store, it’s all too easy to miss little details. After all, we do live in a “move fast and break things” culture — why slow down when you can get your store live now and fix the problems later?

But security isn’t exactly a “little detail.” Yet it’s often overlooked by new shop owners, who unknowingly use weak passwords or skimp on site security, assured that everything will be fine and they’ll never be unlucky enough to be attacked.

While security measures are built into WordPress and WooCommerce out of the box, there are a few basic things new store owners should be doing to keep their customers, team, and data safe in the event of those worst-case scenarios. It’s certainly true that you might never encounter a hacker… but if you do, it’s still best to be prepared.

Here, we’ve compiled seven introductory steps to WooCommerce security that all new store owners should take. Read on to learn what they are.

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Developing as a developer at WordCamps

November 24, 2015 - 4 Comments

At Woo, we take it for granted that developers know why they should attend their local WordCamp. For us, the benefits are clear and we find huge value in these events. However, this may not be as clear for everyone.

If you’ve never attended a WordCamp before and you don’t really know why you should, then we’re here to change your mind. Here is why showing up at a WordCamp is one of the single most important things you can do for your career, life, and community as a WordPress developer.

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How to evaluate a plugin for your WooCommerce store

August 21, 2015 - 7 Comments

Plugins are awesome — that’s a fact. They make incredible things possible with WordPress, and can take your website or WooCommerce-powered store to new heights.

But plugins can also be problematic. A rogue update, an untested bit of code, an incompatibility between two extensions… in the blink of an eye, you can go from fully functional to completely inoperable. And let’s not even talk about how easy it is to get caught up in the desire to install more plugins, which has its own drawbacks.

Before installing any plugin, you should evaluate it against a list of pre-established criteria. This evaluation doesn’t have to take long, and your can set your own criteria, because what matters to you might not be important to someone else. But doing a few minutes of due diligence could prevent hours of headaches, not to mention customer complaints and lost sales.

Today, we’re going to share a few of the things you should do when evaluating a WordPress plugin for possible use with your WooCommerce store. Keep reading to learn more about this process and the steps you should take.

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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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Why child themes are so important

July 1, 2015 - 3 Comments

We recently released our first premium Storefront child themes, Galleria and ProShop. These, coupled with the two child themes already available for free on wordpress.org (Boutique and Deli) takes our total up to four, a number we hope will grow rapidly in the coming months.

But you may have questions about this. What is a child theme and why should you use one? How do they change the look of a WordPress site? And how should you go about modifying a child theme to preserve all your changes even when there’s an update?

proshop-galleria
Two Storefront child themes.

We think we can help. Here’s a little more about how child themes work, why you should use them, and what you should keep in mind when modifying them.

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The community takes action at the do_action charity hackathon

June 29, 2015 - 4 Comments

It’s no secret that I love the WordPress community. But when that community looks beyond itself and reaches out to less fortunate individuals, then I really get excited.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday, 20 June down in Cape Town, South Africa. As an organiser for the WordPress Cape Town community, I put together the second annual do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ ). Based on the results, I think it’s safe to say that the day was a huge success.

In the space of a mere eight hours, our team of 50 volunteers put together eight brand new websites for eight deserving charities. It’s a feat that makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this great community in Cape Town.

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The Month in WordPress: May 2015

June 4, 2015 - 3 Comments

May has, yet again, been a fairly busy month for WordPress. The biggest news, for us internally as well as for the community as a whole, has most definitely been our acquisition by Automattic and everything that entails.

There’s no need to go over all of that again, of course, although we’re always listening if you have additional comments, suggestions, or feedback you’d like to share. In the meantime, let’s move on to everything else that has been going on this past month.

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The Month in WordPress: April 2015

May 5, 2015 - Leave a comment

April has been a particularly busy month in the community — we’ve got a new WordPress release, a whole lot of security concerns and some interesting business developments.

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The Month in WordPress: March 2015

April 1, 2015 - Leave a comment

March has been a particularly busy month in the WordPress world – from new beta releases to security controversies it’s been an interesting few weeks, so let’s jump in…

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The Month In WordPress: February 2015

March 2, 2015 - 5 Comments

February has been a busy month for WordPress – particularly if you’re interested in what’s happening on WordPress.org. With a maintenance release and some significant UI improvements, there’s a lot to cover.

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The Month In WordPress: January 2015

February 3, 2015 - 1 Comment

At WooThemes we like to keep our ear close to the ground when it comes to what’s going on in the WordPress community around the world. To that end, we’re starting a monthly wrap-up post that keeps you up to date about all the important happenings in the WordPress world.

So, without further ado, here’s the monthly wrap-up for January 2015…

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The 6 Best Free Tools for Building eCommerce Landing Pages

January 7, 2015 - 9 Comments

It’s essential that your website has a strong landing page for each goal action that you want your visitors to take. However, that can quickly get expensive…

…if you go with the immediately available options, that is. With a little inventiveness and some research, you can find plenty of ways to build one for free.

Today, I’ve done some of that research for you. Here are some tools that you can use to design, build, and track a perfectly competent landing page with no money out of your pocket.

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SEO Beyond the Basics: An Introduction to the Technical Side

December 30, 2014 - 5 Comments

SEO Beyond the BasicsWe’ve all heard about SEO basics, but what about those areas that require you to have just a little bit of technical knowledge?

This is what we call technical SEO. Yes the term is quite technical, I know. In short, it’s less about focusing on keyword optimization and more about understanding how search engines work to index your site. It’s less about ensuring your images are ready for the search engines and more about things like rich snippets, sitemaps, and URL structure.

But, wait a second. If it’s so technical, why is it so common for people to implement these tips on their sites? Well, the good news is that it’s not all that technical. Everyone has a chance to use these tips, and plenty of companies are going out of their way to work on these SEO tactics. The only thing is that many people don’t want to take the time to learn about these slightly more technical SEO topics, creating a huge advantage for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more technical areas of SEO and how to implement these tips on your own online store.

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Tools for WordPress Contributors

December 19, 2014 - 14 Comments

Contributing to WordPress is an exciting and rewarding task – no matter how you go about it, it’s incredibly satisfying knowing that you’re giving back to a platform and community that dominates nearly 25% of the internet. That being said, it can be very tricky to know where to start with contributions. There are so many different avenues that you can go down when contributing that it would be incredibly helpful if you had a guide to show you the way.

Well, you’re in luck – here are a few tools that are designed to help new (and old) contributors find their way in the world of WordPress.

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