WooCommerce is the most popular e-Commerce platform with a market share of 27.8%. While both WordPress and WooCommerce are free and open-source, however, there’s more to it than meets the eye. And, that’s what makes this platform the most preferred choice. Sure, opening your online store with WooCommerce represents savings. However, if you want to … Continued
While both WordPress and WooCommerce are free and open-source, however, there’s more to it than meets the eye. And, that’s what makes this platform the most preferred choice.
Sure, opening your online store with WooCommerce represents savings. However, if you want to run, nurture, and grow your business successfully; there are certain costs you’ll have to invest in because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right?
But, hey, this is what nobody tells you – unlike other platforms, here you have a lot more control over these costs and budgets with a high scope for savings
Wondering how much you’ll have to pay and for what? Well, read on to find out everything about the key expenses involved in starting your online WooCommerce store.
How much will the WooCommerce store cost me?
Well, it depends.
That’s right. WooCommerce, as a free plugin provides the basic functionalities for you to kickstart your business.
But, the cost will eventually depend on the specific functions and features you want in your store. Every business will have its own unique needs and requirements. And, as an owner, you need to identify YOUR unique business needs & accordingly look for the plugins that provide those functions.
Your needs could include – using a specific theme, plugins for different functions, hiring a developer, etc. Some themes and plugins are available for free, however, for other unique requirements, you will have to pay.
And, that’s the reason costing varies from store to store.
Having said that, the actual price for launching your own WooStore can be divided into 2 aspects:
Fixed cost (essential costs you can’t avoid)
Variable cost (optional and in your control)
Now, let’s quickly take a look at the Fixed and Variable WooCommerce pricing.
1. Fixed Cost Payments
This is the area where every new WooStore owner has to spend a certain amount of bucks. You don’t really have a choice as these payments are vital to starting your online store.
A. WooCommerce setup costs – Hosting & Domain fees
No matter what platform you choose, your online store needs some space on the internet to exist. And, that’s exactly what web hosting helps you out with.
To make your website accessible to your customers, it’s absolutely important to have your web hosting in place. So, the very first thing you need to figure is – a hosting service provider and a suitable plan that fits your needs.
But, if you’re not sure about how to pick a hosting service, look out for these factors before making a decision.
Speed – It is the response time of a site. You need to ensure this is as fast as possible.
Uptime – This is the percentage of time host servers and your website are up and running. This percentage has to be as high as possible.
Security features – Watch out for features like malware prevention, automatic backups, manual reboots, spam filters, etc.
Customer Support – See to it that the customer service reps are available 24/7 in case you run into any trouble or emergency.
Scalability – Ensure you’re able to upgrade your hosting plan as your site grows.
With that being said, the real problem is – there are tons of web hosting providers out there offering different plans ranging from as little as $2/month to as expensive as it can get. This will obviously lead to confusion.
And, that’s the reason we’ve compared some of the popular hosting providers below to help you make an informed decision.
And, when it comes to pricing, on average, a domain name will cost ~$13/year. Depending on the type of domain, this cost can also go up to $20/year as well.
On that note, both Hosting & Domain name is the most basic and unavoidable cost associated with WooCommerce.
Estimated Cost: ~$13 – $20/year (depends on the type of domain you select).
B. WooCommerce Theme
Now, as a business owner, you want your website to look top-notch, elegant, professional, neat, and clean.
But, most of us often fail to understand that a theme is more than just its designs and layouts.
So, before you get down to it, here are some key factors you need to watch out for while choosing a theme:
High-quality and appealing design
Ensures super-fast load time – Select a theme that does not take more than 2 seconds to load a page, otherwise, you’ll lose out on customers.
Regular updates – Your theme needs to provide regular updates in order to keep up with the latest WordPress, WooCommerce, and other plugin updates. If not, you could fall behind your competitors and lose out on sales.
Ease of Use – Choose a theme that is quick to install and doesn’t require you to code when making changes. More importantly, choose a theme that fits your skills and knowledge.
Mobile-friendly – Around 52% of the global web traffic comes through mobile phones. So, it’s important that your website looks equally dashing and works equally fast on mobile phones.
Good customer support and documentation – If you ever run into trouble with your theme, ensure the theme developer provides some sort of support services like live chat, forums, email, etc.
Fortunately, with WordPress and WooCommerce, you have hundreds of themes to choose from. It’s like walking into a library of themes.
And, thebest part – There are plenty of Free themes with clean and attractive designs. Some of them are even customizable and fully responsive.
While there’s no harm in using free themes however if you really want to add that ‘X’ factor to your store and stand out from the crowd, we recommend you go the premium way.
In our experience, using a paid theme comes through on all the key factors mentioned above (especially support and regular updates). It gives your store that extra bit of edge, making it look zingy, updates the latest functions, and ensures you’re able to display the best version of your store at all times.
So, take a look at some of the Top WooCommerce themes out there. And, make sure to pick a theme that checks all of the key factors and fits your nature of business and budget.
Estimated Cost – Ranging between $30 to $80.
C. Shipping & Payments
Well, it’s no secret both of these elements are lifelines of the e-Commerce world. And, rightly so because your business will suffer if you mess up either of these components.
Unless you’re offering downloadable, it’s your job to get your products delivered to your customers. Shipping allows you the luxury of doing business anywhere in the world. However, your customers expect their products to arrive in time and without any damage.
More importantly, your shipping strategy is crucial to the customer experience and conversion. And, that’s the reason there are tons of shipping plugins available today.
Moreover, nobody likes to pay shipping charges. So, you have to accordingly strategize to fit these costs in your products and choose a plugin that lets you calculate shipping costs easily.
Here are some important pointers for you to keep in mind before selecting a shipping plugin:
Flexibility – The plugin should enable you to create multiple shipping rate methods and calculate rates based on weight, quantity, dimensions, etc.
Logistics support – If you’re delivering worldwide, make sure your plugin is able to support both domestic and international shipping options.
Order Tracking – Look out for this facility as your customer will want to track their package once it is shipped. Plus, it helps in identifying the package in case of any trouble.
Again, you have heaps of shipping plugins to choose from. There are Free as well as Premium extensions available.
Our suggestion – If you’re offering a limited amount of products only, then you can go ahead with the Free plugin.
But, if you have multiple products to offer and expect a lot of traffic on your website, select a premium shipping plugin. It’ll give you more options for calculating shipping rates and you can even offer discounts on shipping as part of the customer conversion strategy.
Having said that, in the end, choose a plugin that best fits your needs, objectives, and budget.
How many payment options do you find when you’re shopping online? We’re sure plenty! The reason being – there are several payment services available and everybody has their own preferred methods of payment. So, as a business owner, you’ve got to provide them with options, or else, they’ll abandon the cart. Simple.
Having said that, it’s obviously not practical to accommodate each and every payment option out there. However, what makes sense is to provide popular and common payment gateways people use.
Now, before you decide on the payment gateway plugins, ensure these factors are checked:
Secure Transactions – Ensure all the standard security protocols are followed by the payment gateways.
Fees per transaction – The amount payment gateways earn on each transaction.
Other charges – Look out for additional fees such as set up charges, maintenance charges, cash withdrawal charges, etc.
Also, here we’ve compared the most popular payment gateways to help you make an informed decision.
Fees per Transaction
2.9% + 0.30 cents
2.9% + 0.30 cents
Yes (available for business in US & Canada only)
2.9% + 0.30 cents
Yes (available for payments in US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the UK)
2.9% + 0.30 cents
2.9% + 0.30 cents
For more options, you can check out this list of payment gateways available for WooCommerce and choose the ones that fit your needs the best.
D. WooCommerce Security
A critical aspect you shouldn’t overlook. Since your website will be loaded with customer data, transaction details, payment details, etc., you have to maintain the privacy and security of this data. It’s pretty valuable.
People are smart. They’ll buy from your store only if they’re 100% sure their data is protected. And, to provide that assurance, your website needs to have an SSL certificate that adds ‘https’ to your URL.
And, luckily most hosting companies like BlueHost, DreamHost, etc. offer SSL certificates for Free along with their hosting plans. But, you’re going to need more than that to ensure safety & security on your website.
Using a security plugin on your WooStore is a must as it’ll protect your business and client data from getting compromised, provide malware prevention, Firewall protection, regular system cleanups, and ensure all the safety processes are in place. This will safeguard your website from hackers and people with evil intentions.
Again, there are Free and Premium security plugins available for you to pick from. We recommend you don’t hold back on this front and pay for the plugin if it comes with rich security and safety features.
Estimated Cost – Ranging from $60 to $200.
2. Variable Cost Payments
Now, these are the costs that are totally in your control. You can choose whether to pay for the extensions or not.
A. Elevate your customer experience
Has an impressive customer experience ever boosted your confidence to go for the product? Well, that’s the trick. And, it works most of the time. As an owner, enhancing your WooStore adds tremendous value in providing a zen-like customer experience.
To provide this, there are thousands of WooCommerce extensions available. You can use them to add kickass functions in different departments of your WooStore. But, you don’t have to add them all.
That’s right. If you have the budget, you can add certain store enhancement extensions as per your needs. But, if you feel your shop doesn’t need it immediately, then skip it.
And, to help you understand easily, we’ve divided these enhancement extensions into different categories.
Easy search & navigation add-ons – Applying this function will enable your shoppers to quickly search for the products they need. This will save them loads of time and will speed up your conversion cycle. Provide phenomenal customer experience with these add-ons.
Product features plugins – Improve your customer experience by showcasing your products with the ultimate finesse such as product reviews, recommendations, tutorials, videos, etc. These extensions will help you nail the shopping experience.
Estimated Cost – Ranging from $150 to $1000 (depending on the plugins and customization you choose).
B. Marketing Extensions
If you’re only going to create/add products on your site and expect people to magically arrive and shop, well, we hate to break it to you but, your WooStore won’t grow let alone survive for too long.
Yup. To keep up with the competition, you’ve got to market and promote your business and products. In doing so, you’ll not just boost your sales but also capture genuine leads, email addresses, form a customer base, and eventually grow.
And, with the available sea of plugins at your feet, you have the choice of adding almost any function to your store with respect to marketing. But, always remember the trick – Buy the plugin only if you need it. You can add more functions as and when your business grows.
Now, to give you a little quick start, we’ve listed below a few important must-have marketing plugins that’ll help you stay on top of your game at all times.
And, we’ve categorized these plugins according to different aspects of the business to give you a clearer perspective.
Note: The recommended plugins are based on our experience using them.
1. WISDM Product Enquiry Pro
Capture Pre-sale Inquiries & enable Quote requests for your products.
Improve Lead Generation.
Free version available.
Pro version – $80/year.
2. Abandoned Cart Pro
Allows you to send reminder emails, SMS, Facebook messages, etc. to regain lost customers.
Improve Lead Generation.
3. Live Chat
Lets you talk to your customers in real-time and solve their queries immediately.
Available for Free.
4. WISDM Customer Specific Pricing
Enables you to apply special pricing & discounting rules for specific customers, user roles, and groups.
5. Product Slider for WooCommerce
Showcase your products beautifully in a carousel and make them visually stunning.
Available for Free.
6. MailChimp for WordPress
Run email campaigns with smart newsletters and promotional emails.
Note: Create a MailChimp account first to use the plugin.
7. Coupon Referral Program
Encourage your customers to refer your products to their friends and relatives.
8. Shared Counts
Allow customers to share their views about your products on social media.
Available for Free.
9. Yoast SEO
Improve your ranking on SERPs like Google to increase traffic & engagement.
Available for Free.
Track data analytics like avg. order value, conversion rate, bounce rate, etc. for your website and products.
Estimated cost: $0 – $110 (depends on the plugins you purchase).
Well, that was our round-up of the must-have marketing plugins for your WooCommerce Store. Now, you may not feel the need to purchase a certain add-on at the moment and that’s fine.
Again, if you do not need a particular function, please do not install the plugin. It could slow down your website.
Our Opinion: Spend less on the marketing front in the beginning.
C. Developers Cost
Starting your own store without much help can be overwhelming.
And, if you feel your store doesn’t seem to look as professional as you’d like it to be or you want to customize certain aspects of your store – you can hire a WooCommerce developer who can help you out and make your life a little easy
But, if you feel confident enough to resolve stuff on your own by watching videos, tutorials or documentation then feel free to go ahead. It’ll save you a lot of money.
However, if you have even the slightest self-doubt, we suggest you reach out to a developer to help you out with coding and other technical things. Experimenting on your own can damage your website significantly if things go haywire.
Always remember to keep aside a reasonable figure for development while planning your funds allocation. You never know at what stage, you might need them.
So, the initial fees for hiring a developer start from $10/hour and can go up to $100+/hour depending upon your requirements and work.
And, this is one of the reasons we ask you not to spend too much on marketing extensions in the beginning.
Estimated Cost – Ranging from $10 – $100/hour (depends on your requirements).
Total Cost for starting your own WooCommerce Store
Here, we’ve created two tables below to break down the overall WooCommerce Cost Structure.
Table 1 will give you an overview of the Basic cost range. This is the fixed amount you’ll need to pay in order to start your WooStore.
Cost per year
$30 – $72
$13 – $20
$30 – $80
$30 – $100
$0 – $50
$60 – $200
$163 – $522
The average amount you’ll need to kickstart your online WooCommerce business will range anywhere between $163 – $522 depending on your choice of plugins and hosting providers.
Now, let’s see how much you’ll have to spend if you want to enhance your WooStore with additional functionalities.
Table 2 gives you a cost estimate into expenses you’ll have to bear if you wish to add additional functions in your WooStore.
With that being said, honestly, it’s too difficult for any WooStore to carry out business by accommodating only the fixed costs.
At the end of the day, marketing and promotion are the ultimate game-changer for increasing revenues and profits. So, you’re bound to use certain marketing extensions as soon as your business takes off.
Plus, if you don’t have a technical background, you’ll mostly need the assistance of a WooCommerce developer in the initial phase. Later on, you might need it again as you expand and grow.
And, these costs, after a point of time become unavoidable. This is the reality for any e-Commerce business on any platform.
So, the average cost you’ll need for marketing and other purposes will range anywhere from $150 – $1000 (depends on the plugins and the extent of customization).
Launching your online store with WooCommerce is relatively inexpensive compared to other platforms.
Even for the bare minimum cost, you have plenty of options to choose from. You can compare the prices, features, benefits of different plugins, themes, etc. to pick the one that fits your needs the best.
However, on other platforms, you don’t have a choice but to go with the services and functions included in their packages.
Having said that, your total costs as your business grows will eventually match up to other platforms but, the beauty of WooCommerce is – it allows you to get rid of extensions you’re no longer using. This in a way, saves you money.
And, before we part, the other factors apart from cost that make WooCommerce the most popular are:
Freedom to control all aspects of your business at all times.
Availability of tens and thousands of Free & Premium plugins to cover almost any business needs and functions.
Presence of fan-based WooCommerce communities on social media to help you with any issues related to WooCommerce.
On that note, if you need more clarity on WooCommerce costs or are not sure if WooCommerce is the right choice for you, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to pay to use WooCommerce? No. WooCommerce is free to install and use. You can set up your online store for free, however, you have to spend to add basic elements like a theme, getting a hosting provider, domain name, and additional functionalities to enhance and add value to your store.
Do I have to pay for the plugins? It depends. WordPress has a library of Free & Paid plugins. Based on your needs and budget, you can choose to use either of the plugins.
Does WooCommerce charge any fees on transactions? No. WooCommerce does not charge any fees. But, the payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, etc.) you use will charge a certain percentage of fees per transaction.
Are WooCommerce themes compatible with the plugins? Most of the plugins are compatible with the themes. But, we suggest you check the plugin documentation for compatibility before purchasing as there are thousands of plugins & themes which makes it difficult to test each and every plugin.
Is WooCommerce cheaper than Shopify? Shopify’s price range starts from $29 – $299/month. It includes hosting, SSL certificate, and domain name. Whereas, WooCommerce is free to use but you need to pay for hosting and domain. So, the cost of starting your online business is roughly the same for both platforms.
Is WooCommerce better than other platforms? WooCommerce is better than other platforms like Shopify, Magento, etc. because it is more flexible in terms of pricing, functions, and plugins. Plus, it gives you more control over your store and lets you make changes as per your wishes.