When it comes to eCommerce, it seems that there is a new player in town. I guess he’s been in town for a while now, but I didn’t know about him until the other day. I’m talking about WooCommerce.
WooCommerce comes from the people at WooThemes. WooThemes is a long time player in the WordPress Themes market, but now they are venturing into eCommerce too. I’m glad they are, because competition always brings a better product.
As anybody who has been reading my writings for a while knows, I am a big advocate of OSCommerce, which is what I currently use on all of my eCommerce stores. OSCommerce is very powerful and can do most anything I need to do, but it is a tough program to learn. Making changes can be a real tough challenge too. Truth is, for the past several years, I have been wanting to shift my eCommerce platform to WordPress, it’s simply a great program. However, to date I have not found an eCommerce plugin for WordPress that is really “ready for prime time.” I have tried many different WordPress eCommerce solutions, but the truth is that none of them really turned out to be a solution for me. Either they did not work with the payment gateways that I wanted to use, the flow of the checkout wasn’t quite right, or some other problem always kept me from migrating to a WordPress solution for eCommerce.
I have yet to try WooCommerce, but I intend to start playing with it in the next few days. From everything I have read so far, though, it seems that it will be a good solution for me. While investigating WooCommerce, though, I found something really cool at the WooThemes website. Did you know they have a WooThemes Playground? That’s right, if you go to the WooThemes Playground, you can set up a test site of your own, which will be live for 14 days, where you can try out WooThemes, WooCommerce and anything else from Woo to make sure you like it before buying! This is extremely cool, and other theme developers should really do something like this. So, I have set up a test site in the Playground where I can play with WooCommerce until I know for sure if I like it, before developing a live store using the platform. I am really hoping, though, that WooCommerce is going to be good enough that I can move to WordPress as my eCommerce platform. I use WordPress for a lot of sites, and getting my eCommerce sites under WordPress would make my life so much easier too!
I have never used WooThemes before. I have long been a strong advocate for StudioPress Premium Themes, but Woo has some nice themes too, and if their commerce plugin is effective and I like it, this may just sway me to become a member of WooThemes and put some of their themes to use on my other sites too. We’ll see.
Another nice thing about WooCommerce is that it is free! There are, however, modules that are for sale which would really be needed for a live site (payment gateways and such), but at least you can set up a test site and test it out before spending a penny. Nice.
I’ll report back after I have an idea whether WooCommerce is a good solution for my needs. Until then… I’m headed for the WooThemes Playground? Anybody else want to play?