True cost of a WooCommerce store

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Hi guys,

I have found this very good article and thought it might be good to share here, because it's important for those who are still choosing between Woo and other platforms.
Below are the most important points, author's credentials/source of the article The True Cost Of A WooCommerce Store

Lets delve into the cost of setting up a WooCommerce store, bear in mind that not all of the plugins in list are essential. However most are of major significance and offer functionality that should be part of their core offering.

Payment Systems On Installation
Available free from the WordPress repo, the basic install offers a wealth of features which is great. In terms of payment gateways (online ones) it offers PayPal as an online payment system. Not everyone wants to use PayPal because of their fee structure it also supports Mijireh Checkout for credit cards (never heard of it before, does not mean to say it's not good though!).

WooCommerce also supports other payment options include, pay on delivery, direct bank transfer and cheque payment. That's about it, guess what you use another payment method your have to pay. Use HSBC, pay, use SagePay, pay.

WooCommerce Payment Solution Extensions
Simplify Commerce - Free
First Data Merchant = $79.00
Alipay - $79.00
Sage Payments - $79.00
eway - $79.00
Authipay - $79.00
Clickandbuy - $79.00
Amazon Payments- $79.00 (free version as well)
Stripe - $79.00 - $79.00
hipay - $79.00
Novalnet Gateway- Free
Total Web Solutions - Free
PayWay - $79.00
evriPay - $79.00
Pin Payments - $79.00
Pay Ex - $79.00
Pay U - $79.00
WePay - $79.00
BitCoin - Free
In fact there are over 110 payment solutions offered for WooCommerce which is fantastic, however a vast majority are paid for solutions. Using the example above lets say we want to use 2 paid for and two free solutions as they are essential to our on-line proposition, that's a cost of $158.00, and so it begins.

Basic Shipping Options With WooCommerce
WooCommerce offers shipping solutions that are enough for most people, however those looking to offer different shipping costs per country for weight and dimensions etc might want to read on. Basic settings allow you to set shipping per country based on per order, per item, per shipping class.

If however you want to offer shipping on dimensions, weight, number of items, by class and price then you will need an extension called Table Rate Shipping to offer this functionality. For a lot of people this will be essential to their carts success as proper shipping costs need to be covered. The cost of this is$199.00

Total Costs So Far? = $357.00
By now some of you might think I am being nitpicky or perhaps even an a**hole and am deliberately trying to make WooThemes and WooCommerce look bad.

Not so, in fact this theme is the Canvas theme by WooThemes * (*edit 2015: Now use Centric Pro by StudioPress) so I can vouch for their themes! However what I do not like is the additional costs of setting up an online store with WooCommerce. Better transparency of exactly what you will need to make a fully functional online store is needed. That is what I am trying to offer you as a consumer, web developer or agency.

Have A Store Already Thinking Of Moving To WooCommerce?
Lets assume in this instance you have. You have heard nothing but great things about WooCommerce. Someone has extolled the virtues of WordPress and you want to import all your products and create a new store using WooCommerce. Great.

If you have hundreds of product lines already then you might want to rethink this as to import products quickly and easily you will need to purchase the Product Import Suite. Which allows you to import (and export) directly from a CSV. The cost of which is $199.00.

Total Costs So Far? = $556.00

Have complicated products?
Do you offer products that have many different elements to them? I.e colors, sizes, range of options etc, etc? Then you will need to purchase the Product Add Ons extension which allows you to do just that. The cost of this plugin? $49.00

Total Costs So Far? = $605.00

Want to offer subscriptions on your site for digital downloads?
If you offer subscriptions on your store for digital goods or perhaps would like to at some point then you will need to purchase WooCommerce Subscriptions. This plugin allows you to do just that, offer payment for subscriptions to those who wish to subscribe a snap at only $199.00.

Total Costs So Far? = $804.00

Customer Returns Management
Hey you know what the customer is always right! Fancy offering a decent returns and warranty system for your customers. Yes of course you do. How much does it cost? $79.00

Total Costs So Far? = $883.00

Complicated products made up of other parts
Selling products that consist of other products? Perhaps you are selling PCs and need the ability to add custom components so customers can create their very own to purchase. Lets call that Composite Products, cost = $79.00.

Total Costs So Far? = $962.00

So the above just serves as a gentle reminder of the cost of setting up with WooCommerce. It's not intended to be a slight on WooThemes themselves far from it. What I wanted to do was to offer visibility of what you can expect setting up a WooCommerce store and what you may/may not need.

In fact some of you may well be happy with the basic install of WooCommerce. It is an awesome system however for me the following should be part of the core.

Table Rate Shipping costs $199.00 this for me if I was running a physical goods store and shipping Worldwide (which I can imagine a very large percentage of people do) is by and large essential.

Personally I think it is outrageous it is not included as part of the core. This is offered in pretty much most of the open source ecommerce solutions and is dare I say it a little devious that after installing you are expected to pay $199.00 for this function.

Also bear in mind this plugin was originally considerably cheaper in it's first iteration. In fact looking at the most expensive plugins for WooCommerce they are the ones that should be included. Product import is a deal breaker for those with an existing store. You want people to use WooCommerce? Then make this plugin part of the core, the more people able to import products into a new install of WooCommerce the more custom you will have!

Product options and composite products should also be part of the core. Not everyone is simply selling a book with no options. People want flexibility when purchasing they want the ability to choose elements to purchase. Granted this is not for everyone, make it available in the core. More people will use it.

So in conclusion if your looking to use WooCommerce and want some of the functionality (not all) of the above you will need to budget for at least $500.00 to give you what you need. This might not sound like a lot to bigger companies, but for small businesses or sole traders a $500.00 set up cost is a heck of a lot. As new functionality via plugins/extensions comes from WooCommerce expect your costs to go up as well.

Did I forget to mention?
All the costs above are for a one year licence and support for one year. Spent XXX amount on plugins for WooCommerce? Just gone into month 13 of your licence and update is needed? Pay again and you will get it you will get a discount of 50% if you renew within 60 days of licence expiration. So bear in mind the actual cost of running your WooCommerce store could be $250.00 per year (if not more depending on what plugins you go for).
#cost #store #true #woocommerce
  • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
    Lets also add some monthly expenses in to be able to compare it to hosted platforms:

    Good hosting: $9/month
    Max CDN: $9/month

    1 Hour a month for maintenance, testing and patches. I bill myself to clients at $125/hour. But lets say your value is $30/hour. You are now looking at $48/month just to have it up and going. Yes, your time is better spent marketing your store, but hey if you rather spend it doing maintenance, go for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author George Hunt
    That's good point, OnlineStoreHelp. Reliable hosting and support is very important, but once you have a minimum working protototype in Woo, you can use it as model for other similar stores but with different inventory, so having one framework you can build multiple stores easier, rather then open for each one a new account like in Shopify. I mean in the long-run the investment in Woo+plugins+support+hosting will be easier and better to maintain then to do it with Shopify. Or am I wrong? (I have tried Shopify and now use Woo, so I see better potential in Woo)
    We have the best talents!
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Well, obviously, no one needs 110 payment solutions, but just the fact that such a diverse range of payment options are available is a bonus.

    I've gotten many ecommerce/WooCommerce stores up and running at minimal cost.

    Here's an article on true cost of a Magento store to add a little balance in the discussion.

    How Much Does a Magento Website Cost: General Pricing Guidelines and What to Look For - Magento Developers NY
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  • Profile picture of the author jmferret
    It all depends so much. I don't have a SINGLE paid extension for my store, all I pay for is $10/mo hosting and $10/yr domain name. Do I have sales? Oh yes. Would I like more sales? Oh sure. Does it depend on having some extensions? Hell no!

    Moral of the story? If you want to make it free (or very cheap), you will. The problem is not extensions for most entrepreneurs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Alexander
    I personally find that Magento is a great enterprise solution, but a little bit of a learning curve for most.
    IMO, there's a good solution for any type of business. Wordpress / Woocommerce is a great mix for entry level a. business owners and b. web designers. Working backwards on Wordpress is a great way to learn, and incredibly cheaper than most alternatives. Although the above exmpales show a costly investment, I personally run 3 websites on Godaddy developer hosting, with domains for roughly $50 monthly. It really depends what solutions you are using, but if you are looking for a turnkey solution, Shopify will cost you an arm and a leg for integration.
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    • Profile picture of the author tridung
      according to Geogre, it seems to be that woocommerce need big budget. is it true?
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Originally Posted by tridung View Post

        according to Geogre, it seems to be that woocommerce need big budget. is it true?
        Absolutely not. You can launch a WooCommerce store with little more than hosting and domain fees, if you want to. The WooCommerce plugin is free, there are also free WooCommerce themes on if you don't want to buy one.

        In addition, there are numerous other less expensive ways to buy WooCommerce extensions, as they are all licensed under GPL. You can as many extensions or as few as you want to. Nobody is forcing you to buy a lot of expensive extensions with WooCommerce and you can get a store up and running without most of them.
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