WooCommerce is well known to be one of the best ecommerce platforms out there, but as with any system, there are elements to be aware of.
WooCommerce is updated regularly, so there can be times when running an older version will mean you won’t be eligible for official support should you run into any issues. Additionally, you need to ensure that any other plugins you’re running that are essential for WooCommerce to work correctly are up to date. You don’t want customers getting all the way to the Checkout only to find that the payment gateway doesn’t load due to an outdated plugin issue.
It’s also important to remember that plugins are often updated for security reasons, so not updating them can leave your site open to risk. Also remember to create and keep an up to date backup; should anything go wrong, you can then roll back to the last saved backup easily.
In short, always update your plugins!
If there is a major WooCommerce update that you’re wary of installing outright, install it on a staging site first. This is a clone of your website where you can test plugins and themes without impacting the live website. The last thing anyone needs is to install a new update to find they lose all their order history, so testing is always a good idea!
If you go down this route, be sure to stop search engines from indexing the staging area, or you leave yourself open to risk for duplicate content penalties.
WooCommerce gives great options for product imagery, so don’t sell yourself short by not utilising this functionality or using low quality images that don’t do your products justice. You should also use your own imagery when you can and steer away from stock images, as these typically don’t perform as well as your own photos.
If you do use images you have sourced from others, be sure to ask the original photographer for permission and provide an accreditation where it can be seen. Some photographers will also ask for a link to their website or blog. Not doing so will leave you liable for stealing images and copyright.
If you are migrating to WooCommerce from a different platform, then it’s good practice to let your customers know. They may see a lot of changes next time they visit and log on, so whilst you know you’ve upgraded for the better, letting them know is a good idea. This can lead to a boom in traffic and sales as people get your email and visit.
Some website owners also choose to run a new site promotion – an example is to run a discount code for the first week to encourage virtual footfall
WooCommerce allows you to set specific shipping locations and as such refuse orders from areas you are unable to ship to. It’s critical that these are set up correctly from the start, or you are likely to end up with orders for countries you cannot fulfil. This then means you have to go through the process of notifying and refunding these customers, which can lead to bad feeling and an overall negative impression of your brand and service.
Shipping Options can be found on the Settings>General Tab and from there you can set your permissions and restrictions per shipping zone.