Global eCommerce sales are expected to grow to $6.5 trillion in 2022. Now is the best time to start an online store. WooCommerce can help you build one quickly. But, is WooCommerce free?
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that helps you build and create a comprehensive marketplace to showcase your products.
WooCommerce itself is free, but there are additional costs associated with starting an online store. Not all of them are necessary, but some are non-negotiable.
Today, I’ll share the development costs associated with creating an online store as well as more details about WooCommerce.
For more details on the cost of starting an eCommerce store, check out other articles in this series:
- What is WooCommerce and Other Burning Questions Answered
- WooCommerce Pricing: Plugin Costs and More for Your Online Store
- WooCommerce Cost and Maintenance: What to Expect After Building an Online Store
- and WooCommerce vs Shopify: When to Choose WooCommerce
The Benefits of WooCommerce
One of the biggest benefits to using WooCommerce is that it integrates seamlessly with not only WordPress but also third-party plugins. It’s also open source.
It can be frustrating sorting through lists of website features. Not to mention setting up your hosting, domain and WooCommerce theme if you aren’t a computer programming by trade. But the benefits of WooCommerce largely outweigh the technical challenges.
Ease of data management and extraction can’t be underestimated in today’s market. Neither can being allowed to keep full ownership over your content and data. Both can be accomplished by using an open-source platform.
You can simply download your information to run your own analytics. You retain ownership of your data and can easily download spreadsheets of products, sales, memberships, subscriptions and client information.
Using open source code also means that developers can modify the existing plugin to customise its functions for clients. This saves thousands of dollars and many hours of programming.
There’s also tonnes of online documentation. That is, if you want to make the herculean effort required to set up a large online store. It provides a highly adaptable starting point for developers to shape according to the needs of their clients.
You can’t ignore the numbers either, as they continue to grow and regularly have 400,000+ downloads a month.
WooCommerce is also chosen by developers for its capabilities. It can be integrated with almost any web service as a result of its REST API and web hooks.
A skilled developer can create an easy-to-use dashboard for clients to maintain their online store. After all, a well-developed, professional website is much easier to maintain and expand if it’s been set up correctly, rather than being awkwardly coded by a beginner.
Is WooCommerce Free, Really?
As previously touched upon, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into an online store. You can add and manage products, services, customers and more.
WooCommerce is used on over five million websites by businesses doing commerce online. In 2020, 26% of the top million online stores were using WooCommerce checkout services.
It’s a robust and customisable plugin that can be tailored to your needs. It’s popular among developers creating custom sites for clients because it’s open source as well as robust and powerful.
Using WooCommerce guarantees that your site will look polished and professional without breaking the bank.
But, is WooCommerce free? Kind of, yes.
The WooCommerce plugin is available on the WordPress.org repository for free. You can install it and set up the basics in a few minutes. If you already have a WordPress site, adding WooCommerce won’t cost you a dime. Or even a penny.
Is WooCommerce Free? Are There Hidden Costs?
Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest in a skilled freelancer or verified WooCommerce agency such as Progressus. That way, you’ll get your site established with a professional site design and online store.
There’s also a WooCommerce marketplace. There are free and premium plugins available to add further features to your online store.
Beyond that, there are also their costs you’ll need to cover such as website hosting, a domain name and themes.
Domains, Themes and Hosting – Oh My
You need to buy a WordPress theme that supports WooCommerce well ($50-$200). After that, there’s hosting ($8-$30 a month), your domain (around $15 annually) and additional plugins (think $300-$1000 annually).
But, the biggest cost is hiring a professional developer to assist you in setting up your website. This can cost thousands of dollars or more depending on a variety of factors.
Other options are more limited in what you can do in terms of design. But, WooCommerce is customisable and there are thousands of free themes online, too.
Although, it does require you to know more about hosting and web design. You actually need to understand a lot about coding and servers to set it up. But, it can be used to create professional, appealing websites that are polished.
Professional Development Saves You Time and Money
The best thing to do is consult with a professional developer. Allow them to put together a plan for the design and hosting of the site. Let them get it all set up for you. Then, you can dive in and learn as you update and maintain your site.
It’s a big upfront cost that you can write off in your taxes. As business owners, we need to be focused on tax deductions.
A verified WooCommerce expert will also be able to sit down with you and learn about your needs. Then, they’ll be able to determine which plugins and addons make the most sense for your business. Just having that conversation is valuable for you in understanding what business tools are out there.
They can also save you time and money with professional resources, increased and reliable scalability, increased productivity, a reduced cash burn rate, and more.
For details, check out Hiring Trusted WordPress Developers Saves You Money: How and Why.
With a thriving development community behind it, WooCommerce provides small businesses with high-tech solutions for low cost. But, without a verified WooCommerce expert who knows coding and design, implementing a website using WooCommerce can be daunting. It is well worth the money to hire someone to help.
Hiring an Experienced Developer to Handle Setup
I remember my first time downloading and sorting through a directory of PHP files from WordPress.org. I was confused and felt very much in over my head.
What took me dozens and dozens of hours as I taught myself code probably would take a professional an afternoon. You then have a fully functional site that sits online earning you money.
Talking to a professional really is one of the most valuable things you can do to quickly grow your store.
I have had several consultations with online web development companies. I was really just trying to brainstorm about what I wanted. Because they are in the industry, developers can offer lots of ideas.
For example, they can find solutions for your site that you may not have known about without requesting a quote.
Knowing someone with experience is setting everything up the way it’s supposed to be provides peace of mind. That’s why paying someone to get you started with the right tools is worth it.
Verified WooCommerce Experts Deliver Professional Results
At Progressus, we have experienced and verified WooCommerce developers who can create customised solutions. Our expertise with WooCommerce ensures that you spend your time focusing on the important parts of running your business. You know, rather than with IT issues.
We create custom API solutions for small businesses and ensure you have all the tools you need to be successful.
Certainly, it can give you an idea of the state of the market to ask for quotes from multiple vendors. But, remember that sometimes a discount isn’t really a discount. At the very least, getting a quote can give you an idea of what you should pay a freelancer.
Yes, the costs of hiring an agency are higher than for a DIY project. But, the lasting increase in sales for your store is worth it. Working with verified expert developers can ensure that your set up process is smooth and easy. This results in a fantastic website that can raise your bottom line.
So, is WooCommerce free? Yes and no. While the WooCommerce plugin itself is free, starting an online store is not. You also need to consider web hosting, additional plugins for extended features, a theme, and other similar necessities.
If you want to set up a long-term online store that consistently generates strong sales, you’ll also need to hire an agency of verified WooCommerce developers.
Has your question “Is WooCommerce free?” been answered? If you have questions, feel free to share them in the comments below.