21 Useful WooCommerce Plugins To Boost Your Woo Store Functionalities Out Of The Box
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WooCommerce, built on top of WordPress, is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the web. By every metric available, it is the cheapest platform to get started with as it can be installed on any WordPress website and the basic functionality is free.
If the basic functionality is all you need then it is absolutely free. Beyond the basic functionality though, WordPress – like all of WordPress – is extendable via plugins. In all my years of working with WooCommerce I have never been able to just install it and launch. I’ve always had to install a series of WooCommerce plugins.
Choosing a Plugin
Price and budget are always a consideration when setting up an eCommerce site but that shouldn’t be the only consideration when selecting plugins. Other things you need to consider when selecting a plugin are:
- Feature set
- Developer (or company’s) reputation
- How current is the code
A plugin that does exactly what you want done but hasn’t been updated in three years or tested with a recent version of WordPress will usually end up costing you more time and money than it is worth. If you are a programmer and have time to spare, yes, you can bring the plugin up-to-date if it is open source. However that means that you are now on the hook to keep it current.
Paid vs. Free WooCommerce Plugins
All WooCommerce plugins fall into two basic categories:
- Free WooCommerce plugins
- Paid WooCommerce plugins
In all the plugins that we talk about here, I will note whether the plugin is free or commercial. Being the cheap person that I am, I always gravitate towards the free WooCommerce plugins wherever possible. That having been said, if you are going to be making money, you are going to have to spend a little to get the more useful functionality.
The plugins I list here are what I consider to be the top WooCommerce plugins, regardless of whether they are free or commercial. If they happen to be free then that’s a win for everyone.
The Most Useful WooCommerce Plugins
There are a lot of lists of WooCommerce plugins out there on the web. Some of them look like people just went through the plugin directory searching for the word WooCommerce and listed them for you. The plugins I’ve listed here may not be the shiniest or the ones that sparkle and get the most attention. They are however the ones that I have found the most useful in building my WooCommerce sites. I hope you find them useful as well.
So let’s take a look at my favourite WooCommerce plugins.
A security plugin to keep WooCommerce safe
WordPress and WooCommerce go a long way to ensure your site stays safe and secure but it never hurts to add another layer or two of security. Of course the first layer of security is always making sure you have a hosting partner that is focused on the security of your site. Second though are a series of small steps you can take to make it more difficult for bad actors to get into your site. This plugin solves that problem.
This has become only the second plugin I have ever put on my “must install” list. When I am setting up a new WordPress site for myself or for friends, family, or clients, SiteGround Security is always installed. I don’t always use all of the options, but that is one of the things I love about it, everything is optional. I can use one or two features, or I can use them all.
Make sure that your site is as secure as it possibly can be by installing the SiteGround Security plugin. Good news: If you are hosting with SiteGround, this is automatically installed and activated for you when you install WordPress.
If you are hosting with another hosting company, you can still use 100% of the features of the SiteGround Security plugin. It does not require SiteGround hosted sites.
WooCommerce payment plugins
WooCommerce is the latest of the payment processors. It’s powered by Stripe as the payment processor, but you do not need to have the Stripe extension on your site nor an existing Stripe account prior to installing and using WooCommerce Payments. This plugin is more tightly integrated into WooCommerce than any of the other payment gateway plugins and it’s a fully integrated solution, meaning that merchants can manage everything to do with payments from one central place – their own site’s WooCommerce dashboard.
It should be noted that one of the biggest selling points of this plugin is that eligible merchants can get almost immediate access to their funds.
WooCommerce Payments also enables Apple Pay and Google Pay.
If you don’t want to process your money through WooCommerce and then through Stripe, you can use the Stripe plugin. As with WooCommerce Payments, you will need to set up a Stripe account to be able to use this plugin.
Stripe is a well documented system and a safe bet for anyone who isn’t sure which payment gateway to use.
Paypal is probably the oldest of all the online credit card gateways. Their interface is kind of clunky but it still gets the job done. Because it’s been around so long, it is accepted in a lot of different countries where some of the newer gateways may not yet be available.
If Stripe isn’t available in your area, PayPal is a solid second choice.
A newcomer to WooCommerce, Amazon Pay has been rolling out over the past few years. The upside is that if your customers have an Amazon account, they can pay for your goods and services with that account. Since most customers trust Amazon to keep their information private, this trust is transmitted down to you if you offer Amazon Pay.
Amazon Pay does support subscriptions.
If you work in the real world and in cyberspace, Square is a great choice for a payment processor. As far as a normal eCommerce payment gateway goes, Square is as good as any of the rest but they are the only one that also integrate your real-life payments in the same account.