Well good morning everybody and welcome to this special seminar entitled Thesis 2.3 for the WooCommerce Store Owner. Before we jump right into the material I just want to talk about who this seminar is for.
Currently Using or New to WooCommerce
This seminar is sort of a blended seminar in that it’s really for anybody who is either already operating Thesis 2 and a WooCommerce store or people who are considering doing that in the future.
All Levels of Users
Also parts of it are for beginners so that if you are a beginner you have some things you can do right away to get started. But part of it is also for advanced users, in particular, designers and developers who may want to extend, alter or change the way the default system of Thesis and WooCommerce working together.
If some of it sounds like a little bit over your head don’t worry about it, there should be plenty here for beginners and if you think this is all too simple then hang on because we’ll be talking about some of the more complex material at the end.
Pros and Cons of WooCommerce
One other note that I want to mention and that is I’m not teaching this class because I love WooCommerce. This is not a ringing endorsement of WooCommerce in any way. I think that if you aren’t already committed to WooCommerce then it makes the most sense for you to consider all the alternatives that you have.
Small Stores/Digital Content Stores Look Elsewhere
There are shopping cart systems that are better and have better support and are simpler and easier to use for certain kinds of stores, especially for small stores with digital content or simple types of sales. WooCommerce in those cases is probably not the best choice for you.
Expensive Store without Good Support
WooCommerce is actually quite expensive. Unless you are going do the absolute base minimum you’re going to spend a fair bit of money on WooCommerce and WooCommerce’s support is awful.
I have literally spent hundreds of dollars this month on WooCommerce extensions. In the process of transitioning my system from one shopping cart to WooCommerce one of the main extensions either doesn’t work as advertised or the documentation is incorrect. Three days ago I put in a support request and I haven’t even gotten a confirmation back yet that they have accepted or received the support request.
The last time on a client’s site I needed support in the event of an emergency I didn’t actually get a response for 10 days.
Stores that Need WooCommerce
WooCommerce is absolutely the best choice for certain kinds of applications. WooCommerce is best for stores that have complex functionality. That could show up in complex subscriptions or in complex shipping needs or in the applications that you use to run your business.
For users with that kind of store you have to go into it knowing that there’s a decent chance it’s not going to work perfectly every time and that support is not going to be immediate even though you spent a lot of money on it.
For my managed hosting clients I never just update WooCommerce without testing. If there is an update I set up a staging server, update on their staging server and test it all to make sure that everything is working properly. I do this because there have been way too many times that updates have brought down essential functionality that the client requires.
Because there are so many extensions out there for WooCommerce you never really know whether or not those are up to date or if changes in the underlying code make your extensions fail and that sort of thing. So I have a love/hate relationship with WooCommerce.
Lots of Stores Are Using WooCommerce
But having said that, lots of people do use WooCommerce and use it successfully. Somewhere I read that WooCommerce is running 15 or 20% of all eCommerce sites on the web right now. I guess that’s why support is lacking because they’ve got millions of requests out there. But that’s also an endorsement for it because use it.