WordPress allows almost anyone to build a website from a pre designed template, and has a wide array of free and paid plugins available to it. These plugins allow you to adapt and customise your site to the functionality you want for your business, within the given parameters of the plugin.
WooCommerce is one of the eCommerce plug-in’s that adds an e-commerce store to a WordPress website. It's free to get started and open-source, meaning anyone can build plug-ins and add-ons to enhance its functionality.
While that might sound good on the face of things, you can never be sure if these plugins will be compatible with the rest of your website, and you may also need several plugins to make a seemingly simple function work.
Another issue with WordPress + WooCommerce is updates to plugins and the core systems are often not compatible - leaving the website without functionality until an update is released by the plug-in developer (this is where most of the vulnerabilities coming into your WordPress website too).
With WooCommerce, and many WordPress plugin’s in general, is that although they may be deeply embedded in your eCommerce website, the plugins often don’t have API’s, so therefore can’t be part of your website integrations into other third party systems (this is common in accounting and CRM integrations).
Speed issues aside, WordPress + WooCommerce are Open Source, so hackers can get their hands on the raw code to create viruses and trojans to compromise your beautiful website. Just google “WordPress + WooCommerce Hacked” and you will find pages and pages of articles with customers talking about their horror stories.
Using WooCommerce with WordPress also means keeping tabs on security, performance, backups and updates. There is no drag and drop option with WooCommerce unless you spend additional money on the correct plug-in for your needs.
Managing a website with a lot of moving parts can be extremely complicated (and very time consuming), especially if something goes wrong. Whereas, if you had a website custom built specifically for your needs, on a system that is not reliant on plugins, you wouldn’t have these issues with malfunctioning plugin updates.
Most platforms have a range of upgrades to grow with your business, including WooCommerce. The sky is the limit, but your budget will also need to expand along with your brand. There will also be a considerable time investment to hunt out the right plugins for your growth and ensure they all work with the current build of your site.
Instead of adapting something to fit your needs, the better solution is to have a website that is purpose built for how YOUR business operates. Rather than having a plugin hungry site that takes forever to load, you would have a smooth and seamless interface that can effortlessly scale with your business.
A purpose built solution will also allow you to improve your customer experience, create streamlined customer pathways, and deliver on the expectations that are ingrained in today’s online shoppers - both during and after a sale has been made.
There are more than 400 official WooCommerce extensions (aka plug-ins) plus 55,000 (and counting) free plug-ins for Wordpress.
While this means that Wordpress does integrate with many things out there in the online world, it can be a maze trying to find a reliable and accessible option that doesn’t conflict with existing plugins on your site, and does exactly what YOU actually need. It is easy to fall down a black hole of plugin searching, losing precious time that you could be spending in more important areas of your business.
It is also important to remember that every plugin that is added to a website slows its overall performance. This can negatively impact the experience a customer can have when visiting your website, and of course your Google Page Speed rankings.
Rather than adding a bunch of plugins to a Wordpress site to get it to function as you need, it’s very often more fitting to have a purpose made solution built by a web expert.
Many people buy into WordPress + WooCommerce as an eCommerce solution because they are convinced that they can move their complex eCommerce websites to other WordPress developers if they ever fall out with their existing developers.
Although sometimes this does happen - we have seen this to be completely incorrect over the last 18 years. Other web development companies don’t want to touch older outdated websites with such complexity, as it would take them a lot longer to learn how the website code was made and in a ‘framework’ that wasn’t developed by them.
9 times out of ten - we see (and hear from clients) web developers talking them into starting again on a new ecommerce website anyway.
These days, a better way to ensure transferability to other designers is Cloud-based Software as a Service options (SaaS). The files never need to change hands - only access to different developers if need be.
The array of options is somewhat mind-boggling.
However, there is also a platform for any need imaginable. Right from DIY beginner platforms, through to B2B eCommerce options with advanced integration options and built-in Marketing and Automations - and more.
There is also the option to access the expertise of a web developer (like the team here at Fuel) to create a custom website that does everything that you require without the need for hundreds of plugins, on a platform that may suit your business needs more, and is designed well for your brand - and for Google!
We here at Fuel are always looking at the best options on the market for websites + eCommerce (and even marketing). Our ‘short-list’ of eCommerce solutions alone was 27 - and now we feel confident we are using the best solutions to grow New Zealand businesses.
It is no secret that Wordpress and WooCommerce are the most widely used eCommerce combo. But, just because a lot of people are using it, does it mean it is the right fit for YOUR business?
There are a lot of far better options out there with increased functionality, better usability, more flexibility and far greater speeds for users and search engines. The right eCommerce platform for your business depends entirely on YOUR unique business requirements.
Your website + eCommerce is extremely important in growing your business. This should be a priority to every online business in New Zealand, and choosing a platform based on the fact that a lot of other people are using it shouldn’t be the deciding factor for YOUR business.
Fuel offer a GUARANTEE that we will get your website home page over 80% in Google Page Speed Insights - setting you in good stead compared to your WordPress + WooCommerce competitors from the moment your website goes live!
How does your website (or competitors website) fair in Google’s Page Speed Insights?
If you need advice on how to create the kind of website your business needs to really grow online, reach out to us here at Fuel Design and we will help you narrow it down.