WooCommerce is one of the world’s most popular ecommerce platforms but you are going to need more than a basic install on WordPress + WooCommerce in order to build a good online shop.
That is where the WordPress plugin directory comes in and while there are thousands of plugins to choose from, there are ten that I think are the best for someone just starting their ecommerce website.
I have used most of these plugins myself on my own ecommerce site and the ones I haven’t used, I spent a lot of time researching them, reading reviews, other blogs and support forums to make sure that they are good.
You get PayPal Payments Standard with the WooCommerce plugin but I always recommend using PayPal express checkout over PayPal standard. The main reason why, is that it makes the checkout process using PayPal a far easier and more convenient process for your customer.
The official WooCommerce plugin doesn’t get very good reviews and when I tried it myself, it didn’t work as well as other plugins that I tried. The one I opted for on my site was from the team at WebToffee who specialise in making plugins for WooCommerce, it is really easy to set up and works really well.
You really want to offer your customers multiple payment options and Stripe is a great way to take credit card payments on your site, without having to sign up to one of the more ‘traditional’ payment gateways.
There are quite a few Stripe plugins but not many are specifically for WooCommerce and I always prefer going for one that is designed to integrate directly with the main WooCommerce plugin, rather than having to set it up yourself.
Fortunately the official plugin gets better reviews than their PayPal offering but if you don’t want to use that one, then the guys at WebToffee have also done a Stripe Plugin for WooCommerce.
For me, this is an essential plugin as it adds functionality to the order management part of the plugin as this is something that WooCommerce as standard does really poorly.
With this plugin, you can print invoices and packing slips for your orders either in bulk or individually. This can be done directly from the order management area of the dashboard.
Another good thing that this plugin does it make your order numbers sequential as WooCommerce standard generates random order numbers, which isn’t great for managing your orders or accounting.
If you use any type of third party software for your ecommerce business, whether it is order management, stock management or accounting, then you need a way to export your order information from WooCommerce and that is where this plugin from the WebToffee team comes in as it allows you to export it all in CSV format.
If you need to import any order information, say from another sales channel, then you can do that with this plugin as well.
If you use any shipping service that provides a tracking number, then you want to be able to easily let your customers know what this number is so that they can track your parcel and that is where this plugins comes in very useful.
You can add the tracking numbers individually or upload them in bulk in CSV format. The plugin also allows your customers to track their order using by displaying a tracking link on their order emails and also from their account on your website.
As I said at the start, there are thousands of plugins for you to choose from and they range from very specific ones that do one function to ones that do multiple different things. For me though, the plugins that I have listed above will give you a good foundation to build an online store with WooCommerce.