Last Updated | October 7, 2020
Today’ it’s easier than ever to set up an online store. Thanks to various online platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, and others, it’s easier for entrepreneurs to get their online stores up and running in a matter of days. What’s even better is that the high competition has led to significant competitive pricing with each platform competing to attract more users with competitive pricing and robust features.
Well, the key to a successful online store lies in your ability to choose the right development platform that offers the tools and features required to attract users and convert them into potential customers. When choosing a WooCommerce development platform there are various aspects to consider; however, none is more important than pricing; especially for cash strapped startups looking to save money wherever possible.
The tricky part about pricing in most platforms is that various hidden costs are only revealed once you get started with the project. What may initially seem as almost free initiative may very soon get out of the budget with the extra features and functionalities needed for the proper functioning of the store.
Well, in this blog we have come up with everything you would like to know about WooCommerce Pricing plans. WooCommerce because it is one most widely used platform by startups and entrepreneurs across the world and we frequently meet entrepreneurs wondering the actual WooCommerce price to start their online startup.
So, let’s dig in!
WooCommerce setup costs: hosting and domain fees
Now before we start detailing the cost of WooCommerce, let’s first have a brief introduction about the plugin and what makes it a highly popular plugin amongst the online businesses.
WooCommerce isn’t exactly a web development platform but rather a plugin, which means that to be able to use WooCommerce, you would need to have a WordPress site. So, before you can integrate WooCommerce with your store, you would need to choose a host and buy a plan.
Thankfully, it’s pretty easy for find the host for your site. There are some officially recommended hosting services like Pressable, SiteGround and Blue Hosts. All of these may be a great option to start with, however, if you are migrating an ecommerce website or looking to create a large ecommerce store, it is recommended to choose a dedicated WooCommerce host with the right expertise and services. WordPress also offers its business plan which can be sued to upload plugins.
Here are a few aspects which you should consider while choosing a hosting plan for your online store:
- The number of stores/sites on the server. When you choose shared hosting, you are actually sharing the resources with other online stores/websites on the same server. This may lead to lower performance if there are too many stores/websites hosted on the server; especially during the peak hours
- How’s the customer support and service offered by the hosting company? You can’t guarantee seamless services and 100% uptime for the hosting and when disaster strike, you would need the company’s customer service to be available to solve the issue (even if it’s midnight). Thereby, when choosing a hosting company, look at the available support available with the company (email, live chat, call, forums, etc.). Also, check if they are offering free customer support or charging additional support fees.
- How robust is the security? The last thing you want for your ecommerce store is a cybersecurity breach, which won’t just compromise key financial and personal data of your customers, but also annihilate your store reputation amongst businesses. Thereby, when choosing a hosting service, make sure it comes with ample security features including malware prevention, spam filters, SSL, automatic backups, and others
- Server uptime. Remember, your online store should be 24 hours sales platform for your business and even the smallest of downtime may cost you money and business. Thereby, you need to ensure that the hosting you choose has the highest possible uptime; so you don’t lose business
- The speed. Online shoppers don’t like to wait, they are after the fastest and swiftest shopping experience. If your site takes even a few seconds more than the average loading time you are bound to lose customers. Moreover, Google and other search engines won’t rank your site higher in the rankings if the loading time is above the recommended time. Thereby it’s important to check out the speed of the server before finalizing the hosting
- Scalability. Last but not least, you need to check out the scalability options with the hosting site. As a business owner, you definitely want to grow with time, and hosting that doesn’t scale as per your needs will force you to undergo migration; which isn’t just an additional cost but a hassle and business loss.
WooCommerce Pricing: What’s the cost?
Ok now that we are done with the basics of WooCommerce and important aspects to consider when choosing to host, let’s start our main theme and discuss WooCommerce pricing.
As said above, the reason why we choose to discuss WooCommerce Pricing plans is that it is one of the most widely used WordPress Plugin with the widest range of features and add-ons for ecommerce stores.
So, let’s get started with our WooCommerce pricing plans.
You definitely need a domain name for your ecommerce store, right? Well, fortunately, this isn’t a high cost and you can easily purchase a domain name pretty cheaply. On average you will be paying just over $10 per year for a .com URL, whereas, specific URLs like.US or .UK may cost you a little higher.
Next in line with our WooCommerce price lists is Hosting, which is where things get a little trickier; especially for startups or new stores. As we already discussed, there are hundreds of hosting options to choose, ranging from top of the line expensive hosting to cheapest hosting.
To give you an idea for the hosting prices, on average the hosting may start around $ 10/month and can go up to $40/month.
Just to remind you once again, make sure to consider the security, speed, and other aspects of hosting before you finalize anyone. Many hosting offers free SSL (Security) certificates, whereas, others may charge additionally. Thereby, it is best to compare all the different hosting options available and choose the right one for your store.
Moving on with our WooCommerce price, let’s take a look at the cost of the website software. From the outside, the cost of the WooCommerce along with WordPress is free. While this may look an attractive proposition from the outside, when you start exploring more and compare with other options like BigCommerce or other various other hidden costs starts to surface.
Here’s a breakdown of the not so evident cost of WooCommerce:
You need a theme for your WordPress website, right?
However, if you are looking to build a WooCommerce store, you would like to check out the dedicated WooCommerce themes.
Now, while there are some free WooCommerce web design themes available, most of the time these aren’t professional enough for the liking of most online stores; especially if you are looking to create your unique identity. Alternatively, you would like to pay for a premium theme with all the right features, customization options, and functionalities you want. On average the WooCommerce premium theme may cost you anywhere around $60.
– Integration with payment gateways
Buying a premium theme isn’t the only WooCommerce pricing you would have to pay, rather you would also have to churn out money if you are looking to integrate additional payment gateways in your store. Payment gateways are an important component for any online store and these are the gateways through which customers make online transactions. As a general rule, the greater the number of payment gateway options you offer on the store, the more your chances of making sales.
Now, when we talk about WooCommerce payment gateways, there are some default options available for online stores including; bank transfers, PayPal, check, and cash.
But honestly, when we are talking about online transactions, only PayPal is a viable option for most customers, which is immensely popular amongst online shoppers.
Now you don’t want to restrict your online customers with just one viable payment gateway, right? So, you would like to integrate other popular gateways as well like Stripe, Amazon Pay, Square, and others, which are more than enough and best of all free to integrate using extensions.
However, if you want to go with any premium payment gateway system like Saga Pay or Sofort you will have to pay around $79 annually.
– Advanced shipping features
With WooCommerce you can easily segregate multiple shipping zones for your store, as well as, set up individual shipping methods for each zone. However, most of the time you won’t be getting the advanced shipping features like dynamic shipping, tracking, managing returns, and others.
Now, while the term “Advance features” may appear optional, however, these have become pretty mainstream and customers are always expecting these features for a safe and trusted shopping experience. And if you aren’t offering customers these advanced shipping features, you will be losing customers.
To put it simply, you may need to put up extra money in front to offer customers a better and streamline shipping experience at your ecommerce store. The average cost for such advanced shipping features may start at $50 for a single site license and once you add it with the UPS shipping rates calculator, you may be paying up to $80 annually just for the shipping experience.
The key here is your shipping destination. International shipments are inherently more expensive and thereby, if you are looking at multiple international destinations, you can add-up the shipping expenses accordingly.
– Email marketing integration
Email marketing is perhaps one of the most robust forms of direct marketing for all sorts of online businesses and it becomes even more essential for the ecommerce stores. With the right tools required, you will be able to regain the lost customers abandoning the checkout process by sending them with customized offers and targeted messages. Also, with the right email marketing tools, you will be able to keep up with your customers and send them instant reminders and updates for new products or discount coupons as loyalty gifts.
To be able to achieve all this, you would need an email marketing service provider. Again, while there are hundreds of choices available in this domain, some of the more popular choices include; MailChimp, Omnisend, Sendinblue, and others.
These are the free options that you can integrate with the WooCommerce mailing list. However, there are limits for free plans and you would have to pay additionally if you cross that limits (which is pretty often). Moreover, not all email marketing service providers offer free plans, so you will have to add it to the WooCommerce pricing for your online store.
Pros and Cons of WooCommerce Pricing Plan
Now that you have a fair idea about the WooCommerce pricing and various features/functionalities you would have to pay for, let’s see some of the pros of using the WooCommerce Plugin.
Well, by now you have all the relevant details you would want to know about the WooCommerce pricing plans and other related costs that you would have to pay for additional features. While on the front you may be thinking that these are too much pricing for your liking, if you compare it with other options, these are pretty reasonable. Besides, the scalability and extensions offered by WooCommerce make it easy for startups to scale as they grow and keep things within their budget.
Another great benefit of WooCommerce is the modular structure of the plugin, which like WordPress enables entrepreneurs and online businesses to scale as they grow by adding additional plugins. Ecommerce stores using WooCommerce get access to thousands of plugins, as well as, hundreds of specific ecommerce applications that are dedicatedly meant for WooCommerce.
And if you aren’t familiar with the modular system, it’s a brilliant system that enables developers to create numerous extensions of specific functionality for the platform. And WooCommerce already has thousands of dedicated extensions for various functionalities, making it easier for startups to manage ecommerce stores.
– High-Level Security
Remember when at the very beginning we said that security is an important attribute for any ecommerce store? Well, thankfully WooCommerce comes with a robust security system that can be compared to the best in the industry. What makes WooCommerce an extremely safe system is the regular security updates which ensure your website stays safe from any security breaches.
– Powerful Analytics
In today’s digital world, you need powerful analytics tools to get complete control of your business and keep up with the competitors. WooCommerce offers pretty robust and detailed analytics tools to help business owners have clarity about the performance of the store, as well as, analyze the customers’ shopping experience and how they like to communicate with your ecommerce store.
– Payment Gateway
As mentioned earlier, payment gateways are an important component that directly influences the number of sales made by the store. WooCommerce offers easy and free integration with various payment gateways including Amazon Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and many more, which makes it ideal for ecommerce stores to work in different markets.
Just like any other system, WooCommerce also comes with its set of limitations, which we will be briefly discussing below;
– Optimized for USA Market
While it may not be the problem for businesses with the USA as the target destination, the fact that WooCommerce is optimized for the USA market makes it harder for ecommerce stores to sell in other geographic locations; especially in Europe, where you would need some other dedicated plugins like Free or premium plugins.
While it isn’t a big hassle to integrate such plugins, nonetheless it’s an additional work over and thereby should be counted as a limitation of the WooCommerce.
– Legal texts not included
Moving on, another serious limitation of WooCommerce is that it doesn’t offer any generic legal texts for the stores like terms & conditions or shipping regulations, data protection declarations, and others. Generally, these legal texts should be offered for easy management of the store.
– SEO features
There is little doubt in the efficiency and effectiveness of SEO for ecommerce websites. Unfortunately, WooCommerce and WordPress don’t offer many SEO tools for the store owners to help them get higher ranking on search engines, which hinders their sales and growth. To overcome this, store owners have to resort to third-party tools and extensions which is an added WooCommerce price.
– Third-party plugins
Lastly, the cost of WooCommerce plugins is a big disadvantage; especially for startups already struggling with limited capital. As we already discussed in great detail above, you will have to pay for multiple extensions and plugins to optimize your store in line with the modern functionalities and customers’ expectations.
Ok, while WooCommerce may be one of the best ecommerce platforms available with powerful functionalities and features, there are other alternatives available in the market as well and it is worth having a general comparison of WooCommerce with some of the other more popular platforms.
These alternatives are especially viable in certain scenarios where WooCommerce would utterly fail due to a lack of features. So, let’s take a look at some of the WooCommerce alternatives you can use for your ecommerce store:
MemberPress is frequently ranked as a premium WordPress Membership Plugin. The platform is dedicatedly meant to increase memberships and multi-level subscriptions for ecommerce stores with some of its amazing tools and features. The platform comes with complete support for multiple payment gateways, interactive pricing tables, and other various functionalities you will need to improve your store’s membership.
- Easy Digital Downloads
Next in line, we have yet another specifically developed ecommerce platform that is meant for boosting the selling of virtual goods. The Easy Digital Downloads as can be taken by name is a great platform when you are looking to sell digital products like e-books, music, or movies. The platform comes with tools that make it easier to manage software licenses, integrate add-ons, accept payments, and more.
It’s certainly is better equipped with the features and tools required to sell virtual products online, as compared to WooCommerce which lacks the tools requires to manage the digital selling of virtual products.
Shopify is a leading ecommerce development platform, which unlike other alternatives listed here doesn’t need using the WordPress website. The platform is highly popular amongst entrepreneurs as it’s an easy platform to develop and manage an ecommerce store without any prior coding or technical skills.
Volusion vs WooCommerce Pricing Plan
As we have already discussed in great detail, WooCommerce is a free plugin from WordPress, which is ideally suited for small and medium stores. It offers pretty robust functionalities and features required to develop and operate an ecommerce store at a lost cost. However, you may need to put out additional money if you want to fully utilize the features and functionalities offered by the platform by integrated additional plugins or extensions which may cost you anywhere from $30 to $79 each.
Volusion Setup costs
Volusion is another popular ecommerce development platform that offers easy setup of stores for entrepreneurs and non-techie businessmen. The easy drag and drop tools offered by Volusion make it easy for entrepreneurs to set up a store without having to pay much for the development cost; because you won’t need professional developers to get started, which means it cheaper to start an ecommerce website using Volusion as compared to WooCommerce.
The overall setup cost will depend on your preferred pricing plan, which you can pay monthly or annually. Also, you can avail of a 10% discount on the setup costs by paying the annual cost upfront. Also, you would have to pay $90 for an SSL certificate, $50 for a theme template, and some other costs, raising the total setup cost to as much as $155 for a starter website.
Ecwid Vs. WooCommerce Pricing Plan
Since we have already discussed the WooCommerce pricing plan in detail, we will simply discuss the ECWID pricing plans for comparing the two platforms.
ECWID platform is highly popular among small stores with limited products (10 or under). The platform is entirely free for a store offering 10 or fewer products, which makes it a highly tempting choice for small startups against WooCommerce and other rivals.
However, the free plan offered for small stores offers pretty basic functionalities with some of the important sales features unavailable including discount coupons and selling digital goods. However, for small merchants, this may be enough to get started with their online stores.
On the downside of the store, the ECWID free plan is lacking any sort of features from an SEO point of view. You would need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want your products/stores to get any rank on search engines.
Final Thoughts: Is WooCommerce a Good Ecommerce Platform by Pricing?
Well, now that we have covered everything you would like to know about WooCommerce pricing, as well as, compared WooCommerce price plans with other platforms available in the market, the ultimate choice will depend on your needs and requirements. As we mentioned earlier, while on the surface WooCommerce like many other development platforms appears free of cost, there are various hidden charges for the essential functionalities and features which you would need to take into account.
So, if WooCommerce a good ecommerce platform? Well, it powers nearly 30% of all online stores which says a lot about its features and compatibility for the online stores. And given the extended availability of extensions and incredible functionalities, it does make an ideal ecommerce platform for stores. Just make sure you compare WooCommerce pricing with other platforms to be sure of making the best deal.
Next Steps How to Getting Started with WooCommerce by Folio3
Folio3 is a premium ecommerce web development agency offering startups and businesses with reliable and affordable development and integration services for WordPress and WooCommerce.
Get in touch with our expert developers to discuss your needs and let us help you create the best WooCommerce store for your online business.
How expensive is Woocommerce?
WooCommerce is one of the more affordable ecommerce development platforms which offer flexible pricing. While the platform is free itself, there are some related costs including domain which may cost as much as $12/year, hosting which may cost $10 – $25/month, theme (optional) which may cost up to $59, additional plugins which may cost $25 each and development costs which may add up to @$20 to $100+/hour.
Does Woocommerce have transaction fees? What are the credit card rates and processing fees?
WooCommerce charges no setup fee or monthly fee for payment gateways, however, it charges 2.9% + $0.30 for all online transactions made through US-issued credit cards, whereas, for transactions made outside the US, a $1 additional fee is also charged.
What are “Woocommerce Payments”?
WooCommerce Payments is the built-in payment gateway for the WooCommerce platform that enables ecommerce stores to accept online transactions through debit or credit cards. The payment gateway also comes with an interactive dashboard for easy management of transactions, as well as, solving refunds or other payment disputes.
Are there any Woocommerce setup fees?
No. there aren’t any WooCommerce setup fee
Is Woocommerce free to use?
Yes and No. While WooCommerce itself is free to use, you will have to spend money to buy a domain, hosting, professional themes (optional), additional plugins for ecommerce stores, and website development.