Is WooCommerce free? This is a question that every new business owner asks when interested in opening an online store. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It helps in converting WordPress sites into functional online stores with amazing eCommerce features to elevate the shopping experience.
So, is this all available for free? WooCommerce and WordPress both are open-source platforms and are free to download but they have many hidden costs present that are necessary to operate them. WooCommerce does consist of basic free features that can help you set up and run a small online store, but when it comes to expanding your business, WooCommerce requires additional plugins and extensions to make it work.
Although WooCommerce allows you to grow your business and choose plugins according to your budget, there are still some necessary features you need to buy before starting, such as a domain, hosting, etc. Thus, we are here to reveal the actual costs required to run a proper online store on WooCommerce.
WooCommerce: The Real Cost Of Starting A Store
We are going to list some of the basic features required to run an online store on WooCommerce. Although WooCommerce pricing can vary depending on the size of the business and the plugin plans you are choosing.
1. Hosting And Setup Fee
WordPress and WooCommerce are both free to download. Thus, the next course of action should be to find a hosting service. There are many hosting providers for WooCommerce such as BlueHost, WP Engine, HostGator, etc that provide excellent services. Hosting services can range from $5-5000 per month depending on the size of the business and the features you are looking for. A good hosting service should provide scalability, unlimited storage and products, customer service, and high server uptime.
Purchasing a domain name is also necessary to start an online business. Domain names are relatively cheap and range from $10-15 per year. Some of the hosting services, such as BlueHost, provide domain names for free in their plans. Thus, you can save some money.
Overall, WooCommerce cost in setting up is cheaper than you expect, if you make your decisions wisely. For instance, BlueHost basic plan is priced at $2.95/mo with 1-click WordPress installation, Free domain, and an SSL certificate.
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2. Themes And Website Design
Your website design should be unique and eye-catching to attract customers. Choosing a theme is the next step of opening an online store and luckily you don’t have to pay for it!
The best quality of WooCommerce that sets it apart from other eCommerce platforms is that it enjoys the products associated with WordPress and thus has a wide range to choose from. It is also compatible with unlimited themes and designs of WordPress and WooCommerce, most of them available for free.
WooCommerce comes with a free official theme, called Storefront. It also has 14 child themes suitable for all types of products and is completely customizable. There are many other free themes available to choose from. Although free themes are limited in functionality and basic in design. If you want to stand out, then you can purchase a theme from ThemeForest or the WooCommerce official marketplace. WooCommerce cost for premium themes range from $50-150 per year and consist of unlimited features and are updated regularly.
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3. Marketing And Shipping Plugins
WooCommerce has very few out-of-the-box features available. These features are not enough to run a medium to large-sized online business. Thus, it’s time to do some research and shopping. You will notice that there are many free WooCommerce marketing and shipping plugins available that can do the job easily. Some of these are HubSpot, Google Analytics, MailChimp, etc.
The most important marketing tools for WooCommerce are email marketing, SEO, social media integration, and security. You can easily control WooCommerce pricing with plugins like MailChimp and Yoast SEO that are available for free and are the best at email marketing and SEO, respectively. WooCommerce also allows free integration with Facebook. For security, Jetpack is available for free and also consists of advanced pricing plans starting from $25-100 per month.
In case of shipping method, the WooCommerce Shipping extension is available for free and helps in printing labels directly from the dashboard and saving money from USPS shipping. There are other shipping plugins available, such as Shippo, Aftership, Yith order tracking, ranging from $0-100 per year.
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4. Payment Gateway Cost
Payment gateways are the most crucial feature required to convert your WordPress website into a shopping cart. WooCommerce is compatible with hundreds of major payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, CyberSource, Authorize.Net, Square, etc. It also allows multiple payment methods such as credit and debit cards, bank transfer, cash, mobile credit, etc. WooCommerce has built-in integration with PayPal and Stripe. Both do not charge any installation or monthly fee, although 2.9% + 0.30¢ are charged when a transaction is made through a credit card.
WooCommerce Payments is the official payment gateway of WooCommerce. It allows easy management of data in a single dashboard. It also does not have any setup or monthly charges. A fee of 2.9% + 0.30¢ is charged per transaction for US-based credit cards. For cards issued outside the US, it charges 1% extra.
Some of these payment gateways have advanced pricing systems available, such as PayPal Pro. Authroize.Net also charges a monthly fee ($25). Thus, WooCommerce pricing for payment gateways is around $0-30 per month.
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5. Maintenance Cost
Maintaining a WooCommerce site for medium to large-sized businesses is constant work. The more plugins you have, the more maintenance is required. You need to update your website regularly to stay on top of speed and performance. On the other hand, plugins need to be upgraded in case of limitations and growth. Thus, this is not a job for people who are not familiar with WordPress coding.
Your generic or managed hosting providers can help you with WooCommerce maintenance easily. Overall, WooCommerce pricing for maintenance and upgrades can cost you around $50-150 per month.
Cost of Icing The Cake (For Better UX)
Besides the basic features required to run an online store on WooCommerce, you can add more functionality to your website by additional plugins. WooCommerce is compatible with thousands of plugins, many of them are available for free as well. These plugins offer user-friendly options such as contact forms, wish lists, waitlists, coupons, multilingual ability, customer service, and much more.
You can find the complete list of plugins compatible with WooCommerce here. Some of the most beneficial plugins include TrustPulse ($49.50/yr) for purchase proof, WPForms ($39.50/yr) as a form builder, OptinMonster ($9/mo) for increasing conversion rates and sales.
You can find a plugin for almost any function you can think of. WooCommerce provides the benefit of staying within budget and you can only pay for functions you need. WooCommerce pricing for additional plugins is around $30-100 per year for a single plugin. Prices can vary depending on the pricing plan you choose.
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If you do not have any experience working or developing with WooCommerce and WordPress, chances are you will need a professional to help you out in setting up your website and updating and maintaining it as well. WooCommerce is not a complex platform and thus with time, even a beginner can learn to work with it.
If you are using a managed hosting provider, they will take care of maintenance, security, and updates on your website. In the case of self-hosting, expert help is available for around $30-100 per hour. You can also hire a full-time professional to help set up your website completely, but this will cost you around $1,000 or more depending on the work.
WooCommerce Pricing Conclusion
With WordPress and WooCommerce, the possibilities are endless. The compatibility and stability of WooCommerce make it an attractive and powerful eCommerce plugin for all sizes of businesses. So, is WooCommerce free to use? The answer depends entirely on you. WooCommerce is free to download and consists of many out-of-the-box features and free plugins and extensions to help you get started.
It also allows easy integration and customization with third-party products such as themes, plugins, payment gateways, etc to add more functionality on your website. With WooCommerce, you can search the entire market and come with the cheapest possible solution. It helps you stay in budget and create an amazing online store.
WooCommerce helps you create a multi-functional and customized website for around $1,000 or less. It’s no wonder that WooCommerce is considered the best eCommerce platform for all types of businesses.