From Magento into WooCommerce, part 3

Here is the third installment of a series where I describe my choice to leave the Magento platform, and examine WooCommerce. In “part 1,” I clarified my disillusionment with Magento, which started the process of looking for an alternative. In “part two,” I analyzed the procedure for testing and installing WooCommerce. In this”part ,” I keep uploading products and analyzing various plugins, all which will help me decide to stay with WooCommerce, or not.

I see that an ecommerce site as the heart of my advertising and selling. It’s the base of my customer-facing systems and a stable foundation for the back end management. The current marketing trend for ecommerce is more focus on social media in contrast to the conventional email newsletter approach.

In building a new website with WooCommerce, I am seeking to create a website that integrates nicely with Facebook and another social networking platforms — where new arrivals could be declared, intended pre-releases reviewed, and infrequent items highlighted. I seek a blog which may be printed on both the site and Facebook concurrently, so that clients can enjoy my items and promote them on Facebook. I also require a site that interfaces with Ebay, and readily loads products on Ebay.

These and more can be accomplished with both Magento and WooCommerce. I have, however, found it a lot better and more economical with WooCommerce.

Both platforms have many plugins and extensions. However, WooCommerce plugins are much less expensive than their Magento equivalents. Indeed, many WooCommerce plugins are free.

WooCommerce plugins are simple to install. They can be installed and uploaded directly within WordPress. Then they can be activated and deactivated by clicking on the”trigger” link. If anything, the approach is too straightforward. There’s a temptation to use too many plugins, which I need to resist. Another problem is the enormous choice of plugins. It can be hard and time consuming to find the perfect plugin. I’ve spent more time looking at plugins than actually testing and installing them.

A point to be careful of is that the plugins I set up, the slower my website could be — especially if I set up resource-hungry plugins. So, each time I install a plugin, I should check to make certain that my site stays fast enough for fair use. If it slows down too much, I will rethink that last plugin inclusion.

Once I’ve got the WooCommerce website up and running, I will trim the plugins farther. Any I’m not using on a daily basis I shall deactivate and delete. I did this for a number of the plugins I first loaded, when I was first experimenting with WooCommerce.

I deleted the very useful WP Import and its WooCommerce extension, because after the website was loaded I didn’t need it. If I want to load more goods, it’s a matter of moments to reinstall the plugin. In the meantime it’s not there to slow down the system. With the extreme simplicity of installing WordPress plugins, it’s a very real choice to delete idle ones and reinstall them when required. This slims down your daily system.

The plugins I am currently running are as follows — in no specific order.

  • Custom Related Products for WooCommerce. This permits you to choose what products you need to reveal as related to the chosen product, and, furthermore, show nothing when you haven’t set any associated products. This is important because with no WooCommerce will select products randomly in the identical first level category to reveal as related. Thus, if, like me, you’ve got two menu levels, the associated products aren’t really related, and seem very wrong.
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com. This brings in all of the Facebook and social networking integration. It offers a lot more than I’ve used. On top of that, it’s completely free. It walks you through the integration of Facebook and the rest of the social media sites. It was easy to establish.
  • Limit Login Attempts. Whilst I am still constructing the website rather than accepting orders, this is the bare minimum safety precaution. After I go live, I will tighten security even more and extra plugins and approaches will be implemented.
  • WooCommerce. Obviously.
  • WooCommerce Grid-List toggle. This is a small plugin which allows a visitor to toggle between a grid product perspective and a list view. It is not essential, but I like to provide the option.
  • WooCommerce Points and Rewards. This is a cheap ($10) plugin which gives me a loyalty strategy. I can set the amount of points given per $1 spent and I will place the redemption values to state how many factors to the dollar on checkout. I can even reward clients on every approved product review they write and provide an introductory bonus for every new client.
  • WooCommerce PrePurchase. This is a simple pre-order module. It enables me to specify a launch date on pre-order products. It enables cash to be gathered on purchase, or when the items arrive. It’s an option to send emails to all customers who have purchased a product to say, for example, that it’s been postponed, or it has come in early.
  • WP-Lister for Ebay. This lets me pick and list products on Ebay from WooCommerce. It’s both easier to use compared to Magento equal and stronger, which is a surprise because Ebay owns Magento. I have the free version that lists the goods (including their pictures, which the attribute comparison on the programmer’s website implies is just on the paid version) and lets me change the products readily. One particularly nice feature is the ability to add a prefix or suffix to the item titles when uploading to Ebay. This was useful as it allows me to add keywords that are superfluous on my site however needed on Ebay, because of the huge selection of products there.
  • WP Super Cache. Including a caching program to a WordPress site is indispensable. It allows pages to be stored in HTML and delivered much quicker than having them created every time. This free plugin works nicely with WooCommerce and provides good results with the default settings. A few added tweaks (marked as”recommended” in the settings) make it even better. One of the nice things is that it’s smart enough to see the mini cart at the top of the page and not cache it. Thus, when things are added to the cart, the upgraded cart information is displayed on the webpage even if the remainder is cached. There are cache plugins which cost money that might be better. However, this free one will succeed until the website starts getting a great deal of visitors.
  • YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier. This plugin came with my subject. It provides a zoom function to the displayed graphics.

Those are all of the plugins I’ve installed. There’s one more that I will set up, that’s the Linnworks Integration with WooCommerce. This is a professional interface which many WooCommerce websites won’t need. However, I use Linnworks for my stock control and order management. Thus, I want this plugin to ease. Unfortunately it looks like a complicated installation and, once installed, its documentation states that I need to never physically delete a item. So I’m holding off until I finish the introduction of all of my products, if there are a few that need deleted.

Among the most significant but labor-intensive tasks in developing a new site is producing the product information — crafting your own unique product descriptions, uploading all the pictures, getting the first inventory right, and populating all the required fields. I am a long way from finishing this, but the website is taking shape and start to look good.

Thus far I’ve some 350 merchandise loaded; most need a little tweaking. The final website will have about 500 products.

What the present load has shown is that WooCommerce works for me. I’ve therefore decided to stay with it. Once I’ve finished setting up this website I will migrate my present websites onto WooCommerce out of Magento.

Finishing this website will signify tidying up the merchandise, securing it properly, and introducing it to Google and the other search engines. I may use an search engine optimization plugin to aid in this. The migration from Magento into WooCommerce is going to be the real challenge. I know I can make a excellent empty skeleton, but can I extract the present information and move it successfully? Can I maintain the Search Engine Optimization rankings?

It is an interesting challenge, which will come.