WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform that allows you to create an online store using WordPress. It is a free plugin that can be customized with various add-ons to meet specific needs. While WooCommerce is a great option for many eCommerce websites, it might not be the best choice for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some reasons why WooCommerce might be a bad choice for your eCommerce website.
Security, Backup, Hosting, and Updates
One of the most significant drawbacks of using WooCommerce is that you’re responsible for managing your own security, backups, hosting, and updates. WordPress and WooCommerce are open-source software, which means that they’re available for anyone to modify and improve. However, this also means that there are potential security vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
While there are plugins and services available to help you manage these tasks, they can add an additional layer of complexity to your site. For example, if you choose to use a plugin to manage your backups, you’ll need to ensure that the backups are being stored securely and regularly tested to make sure they’re working correctly. Similarly, if you choose to use a plugin to manage your website’s security, you’ll need to keep it updated to ensure that it’s still providing adequate protection against new threats.
Steep Learning Curve
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce platform, but it can have a steep learning curve for beginners. There are many settings to configure, and it can take some time to understand all the different options available. For example, setting up shipping and tax rules can be complicated, and it can be challenging to set up more complex product variations and pricing structures.
While there are many tutorials and resources available online to help with learning WooCommerce, it can still be a time-consuming process. If you’re not technically proficient or don’t have much experience with eCommerce platforms, it can take even longer to get up and running.
While WooCommerce has a large community of developers and users who can help with any issues you might encounter, there is no official support available. This means that if you run into problems, you’ll need to rely on forums and online resources to find solutions.
While there are many helpful resources available online, it can still be challenging to find the answers to more complex issues. If you’re not experienced in troubleshooting technical problems, this lack of support can be frustrating and time-consuming.
In contrast, SAAS eCommerce platforms like Shopify typically have a dedicated support team that can help with any issues you might encounter. This support can be especially helpful for small business owners who don’t have the technical expertise or time to solve problems on their own.
However, it’s worth noting that while WooCommerce may not have official support, there are many third-party developers and consultants who specialize in WooCommerce development and support. These individuals and companies can provide expert help and support if you encounter issues with your WooCommerce site.
Breaking Changes in WooCommerce
WooCommerce is updated frequently, which is great for adding new features and addressing bugs, but it can also cause issues with your website. When a new version of WooCommerce is released, it might not be compatible with your current theme or plugins. This can result in broken functionality, which can be frustrating for your customers.
You’ll need to ensure that all of the plugins and themes you use are compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce before updating it. If they’re not, you’ll need to find alternatives or wait for updates to be released before you can update WooCommerce.
PCI compliance is a set of standards created by major credit card companies to ensure that businesses that accept credit card payments are secure. WooCommerce is not PCI compliant out-of-the-box, and you’ll need to take additional steps to ensure that your website meets the standards.
This can be time-consuming and complicated, and you’ll need to work with your hosting provider, payment gateway, and website developer to ensure that all the requirements are met. This can also be expensive, especially if you’re a small business with limited resources.
Cost of Plugins to Add Functionality
WooCommerce is free, but you’ll need to purchase additional plugins to add functionality to your site. These plugins can be expensive, and the cost can add up quickly if you need multiple plugins to achieve your desired functionality.
For example, if you want to add a subscription model to your store, you’ll need to purchase a plugin like WooCommerce Subscriptions. This plugin costs $199 per year for a single site license. If you need additional functionality, such as recurring payments or free trials, you’ll need to purchase additional add-ons.
SAAS Products Might Be Better
SAAS (Software as a Service) products like Shopify handle a lot of the complexities of running an eCommerce website for you. Shopify takes care of security, hosting, updates, and PCI compliance, so you don’t have to worry about these tasks.
While the monthly cost of a SAAS product like Shopify might seem expensive, it may actually work out cheaper in the long run when you consider the time and resources required to manage a WooCommerce site. With Shopify, you’ll pay a monthly fee that includes all the features you need to run your store, including hosting, security, and support. This can be a better option for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to manage their own website.
Wrapping it up
In summary, WooCommerce can be a great option for many eCommerce websites, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. If you’re not experienced in managing security, backups, hosting, and updates, or if you’re not willing to invest in expensive plugins to add functionality to your site, a SAAS product like Shopify might be a better option. While the monthly cost might seem expensive, it can be more cost-effective in the long run when you consider the amount of time and resources required to manage a WooCommerce site.
Another advantage of SAAS eCommerce platforms is that they typically have a range of built-in features and tools, so you don’t need to purchase additional plugins or extensions to add functionality to your site. For example, Shopify includes features like abandoned cart recovery, product reviews, and discounts and promotions, which can all help to increase sales and improve the customer experience.
Of course, SAAS eCommerce platforms aren’t perfect, and there are some potential drawbacks to consider. For example, you might be limited in terms of customization options, and you might have to pay additional fees for certain features or services. However, for many small businesses, the benefits of using a SAAS platform like Shopify or BigCommerce far outweigh the drawbacks.
In conclusion, while WooCommerce can be a great option for some eCommerce websites, it’s not always the best choice. If you don’t have the technical expertise to manage your own website or don’t want to invest in expensive plugins to add functionality, a SAAS eCommerce platform like Shopify might be a better option. These platforms take care of all the technical aspects of running an eCommerce site, so you can focus on growing your business and providing a great customer experience.