Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video What is WooCommerce?, part of WordPress Ecommerce: WooCommerce.
Throughout this course, we'll be using the WooCommerce plug-in to add e-commerce functionality to a WordPress site. But before we start, I thought I'd give you a better idea of what WooCommerce is, and where it came from. WooCommerce is a free plug-in managed by WooThemes, and WooThemes is a premium theme foundry that sells premium themes, and premium plug-ins. So, it might seem like a bit of your contradiction in terms that WooThemes, a premium theme foundry, is giving away WooCommerce, an e-commerce plug-in, for free.
Well, it has its reasons. WooThemes also specializes in making WooCommerce themes that are customized to work with the plug-in, but that doesn't mean you have to use one of their themes. WooCommerce, the e-commerce plug-in, works with any theme, and can work on any WordPress site for free. You can get WooCommerce by going to the woothemes.com Web site, and hitting the WooCommerce tab up here. This is also where you find more information, like this page, which is the About WooCommerce page. It has a video outlining how WooCommerce works, it has further information, and lots of fancy graphics, and some cool demos of how it works.
You can also find Extensions, which are additional plug-ins that work with WooCommerce to add things, like shipping options, or payment options, or other new features. You can find Themes that are customized to work with WooCommerce. You can also find other themes online that are customized to work with WooCommerce. You can even find themes from other themes foundries that sell themes customized for WooCommerce. You can find documentation, where you can read up on how WooCommerce works, and how you can extend it, and there's even a Community Forum, where you can search for question and answers, and you can ask your own answers.
WooCommerce was originally launched in September 2011, and WooCommerce 2.0 was released in March 2013. That's the version we'll be working with. WooCommerce is open source in the true sense of the word; the source code for WooCommerce is available on GitHub. GitHub is an online code repository where people can publish their code, and then others can either collaborate on the code, they can fork it, so make their own version of it, they can submit issues, and also submit fixes to the code itself.
If you want to see the bleeding edge version of WooCommerce -- the current most up to date version there is -- or you want to contribute to WooCommerce in some way, or report an issue, you can do all of that by going to github.com, and looking up for WooCommerce. Because WooCommerce is a free plug-in, you can also find it under the WordPress.org plug-in directory, and this is probably the easiest way to install WooCommerce. You simply log in to WordPress, and then you can install it from the admin panel. What's really cool is, because it's in the plug-in directory, you can also see information about the plug-in here; you can see the star ratings from other WordPress users, and you can also find information about the key authors, and the compatibility for different WordPress versions, and there's even links to forum entries.
Because of its agile open source development status and popularity, WooCommerce is a modern and trustworthy solution, and because of competition in the marketplace, new updates, additions, and functionalities are constantly being added to keep it at front of the pack. This makes it an ideal platform for you to build your WordPress-based e-commerce site on.
Want to learn more about ecommerce with WordPress before jumping in? Check out the first course in this series where Morten explores other WordPress solutions, WordPress Ecommerce: Core Concepts.
- What is WooCommerce?
- Installing WooCommerce
- Setting up your store
- Configuring payment options
- Using the built-in shipping methods
- Adding product data
- Monitoring product reviews
- Configuring the front page
- Receiving and managing orders
- Creating reports and coupons