Does WooCommerce pricing cause you a bit of annoyance when it comes to setting up the new store?
In all honesty, I must say that WooCommerce is not the most user-friendly eCommerce platform. Still, it is popular for being a free yet powerful solution for online businesses. But is WooCommerce really free? How much is WooCommerce? And what else will you have to pay for when running an eCommerce store on this platform?
In today's article, we'll address these questions by delving into the following points:
- An overview of WooCommerce;
- How much does a WooCommerce website cost;
- and Optional WooCommerce pricing;
Without further ado, let's get the ball rolling!
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WooCommerce At A Glance
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin trusted by over 6.3 million operational websites (Source: BuiltWith). It takes the lead as one of the most popular platforms, along with Shopify and BigCommerce. On Capterra, there's a slew of positive WooCommerce reviews from all across the world.
What Does WooCommerce Do?
As a reputed WordPress plugin for eCommerce, WooCommerce transfers every WordPress site into a full-fledged eCommerce store. Its open-source nature allows extensive customizability, giving merchants complete control over the appearance and functionality of their stores.
With WooCommerce, you can sell almost anything online, from physical goods and digital products to services. There's also a wide selection of high-quality plugins to make managing an online store easier. On top of that, WooCommerce is SEO-friendly with a plethora of highly-rated SEO built-in features and plugins. Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO have the ability to help your products rank higher than competitors on SERPs.
With all of these amazing features provided, one might wonder, “Is WooCommerce free, literally?”. Keep scrolling down as I'll address that question right below.
WooCommerce Pricing: Mandatory Costs Breakdown
Before diving into the details of WooCommerce pricing, let me show you how I divide the costs based on my experience.
Though WooCommerce is free to add to a WordPress site, your WooCommerce pricing will sprinkle throughout specific functions and features added to the online store. Each business has unique requirements, and you need to identify those aligned with your online store. Hence, based on the potential functions and features, we divided the actual WooCommerce cost into two aspects:
- Mandatory cost: considered mandatory because of their vitality when launching a complete WooCommerce store that can actually get online orders.
- Optional pricing: considered optional as per business’ customization demands.
If you want to skip the walls of text, take a look at the table below that concludes a WooCommerce website cost.
WOOCOMMERCE MANDATORY COSTS
✧ below $10/month for starters, up to $40/month for bigger plans
✧ up to $70/month for Woo Express
✧ $0 included in hosting plans
✧ $9-$20/year for separate purchases
✧ $0 for free themes
✧ $200+ for one-time payments
✧ $0-$108/year on average
✧ WooPayments: no monthly fees, 2.9% +$0.3 per transaction
✧ Other & monthly fees from $0-$30 per month on average
✧ $0-$348 per year with customer communication
✧ $0-$79 per year with SEO plugins
✧ $0- $300 per year with tools
✧ $0-$65 per year with SSL Certificates
WOOCOMMERCE OPTIONAL COSTS
✧ $0-$200/extension per year
✧ $0-$200/plugin per year
✧ $10-$100 per hour
✧ Up to thousands of dollars per project
WooCommerce Setup Cost
First and foremost, you need a WordPress site to activate the WooCommerce plugin. If you have never installed either WordPress or WooCommerce, watch the video below to spotlessly get your store up and running.
The very first WooCommerce cost you will encounter is the WooCommerce hosting price.
I must say that I'm blown away by the number of hosting providers available for you to choose from, ranging from affordable businesses to dedicated ones that will carefully look after your site. Therefore, the WooCommerce hosting cost relies on the hosting plan that you register for.
So which web host should you choose?
As of the writing, WooExpress is the best choice for WooCommerce stores. It includes rock-solid hosting from WordPress.com, priority support, and specially chosen WooCommerce tools and plugins that can help you launch a WooCommerce online store quickly and efficiently. You can try using WooExpress free for 14 days, then pay $1 for the first 3 months to upgrade to any paid plan. Thereafter, it costs $39 monthly for the Essential plan and $70 for the Performance one.
Or else, you can choose among the top three suggestions from WordPress and WooCommerce: Bluehost, SiteGround, and Pressable. These hosts are knowledgeable about the WordPress ecosystem and know exactly what options go along well with WooCommerce stores.
Live chat, Email
No matter what hosting plan you choose for your WooCommerce website, make sure to consider these recommended factors:
- Number of sites on the server;
- Server uptime;
- Provided security features;
- Customer service;
The next element in WooCommerce costs is the domain name. Like the address of your house, a domain name allows online customers to search for your website on the internet and find it easily.
Normally, the hosting pricing plan includes a domain name, so you don't need to pay for one separately, at least for the first year. After that period, the domain needs to be renewed, which costs from $9 to $20 annually. It varies greatly depending on the name’s extension, for instance, .com or .org. Especially, domain names that are high value or privately held can cost up to thousands of dollars per year.
Otherwise, you can purchase a WooCommerce domain name separately from one of these popular registrars: GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Bluehost. To my knowledge, this option is much more expensive.
✧ Estimated price for WooCommerce setup cost:
- Up to $70/year for hosting packages.
- Up to $20/year for a domain name.
WooCommerce Themes Pricing
As a store owner, you might desire to have a website that looks not only neat and clean but also superb and eye-catching. As luck would have it, there is a variety of WooCommerce themes for you to select, regularly ranging from $0 to $129 annually. You can choose to extend the license to use themes and pay up to thousands of dollars.
If you are on a tight budget, you can still make use of WooCommerce free themes. Even though they are free, these free themes are still eye-catching and even customizable for different business needs. Nevertheless, unlike premium themes, free options have limited functionality.
It's worth mentioning that WordPress themes are also compatible with WooCommerce. Therefore, you will have 11,000+ free alternatives to consider or pay up to $200 for a premium WordPress theme.
✧ Estimated price for WooCommerce themes: $0-$200+.
You can utilize WooCommerce free themes for your online business or purchase premium options at $200+ for a one-time payment.
Now that you have built a WooCommerce store with a beautiful storefront. Nevertheless, it's just the beginning of the story. To get your store functioning properly, there are some operational costs to spend, including WooCommerce fees for shipping, transactions, and plugins.
WooCommerce Shipping Fees
First off, shipping fees are a must-know element of WooCommerce pricing. As of now, WooCommerce enables flat-rate shipping, free shipping, and local pickup. For many businesses, these options are more than enough.
To my knowledge, WooCommerce Shipping is a good option that can save your WooCommerce business a lot of money. It's free to add, connects to USPS and DHL, and on top of that, allows you to print shipping labels right from your WordPress dashboard.
For more advanced options, you can take a quick look at the below-recommended extensions or visit WooCommerce Extensions Store.
Table Rate Shipping
Starting from $9/month
USPS Shipping Method
WooCommerce Transaction Fees
Now, you need a payment gateway for your WooCommerce store – a program created and designed to process customer payments with bank cards.
Fortunately, WooCommerce connects with several payment gateways. On that account, your online store is able to receive payments via tons of popular providers such as PayPal or Stripe. Most payment extensions for WooCommerce can cost you extra fees with additional functions such as sending invoices or printing labels.
The simplest yet powerful option is to connect with WooPayments – the in-house method for WooCommerce stores. As for WooPayments pricing, there is no setup fee or any WooCommerce monthly cost to pay. Instead, it charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction made with U.S.-issued credit or debit cards. For cards issued outside of the U.S., buyers have to bear an additional 1% fee.
If you ever wonder, “How much does WooCommerce charge per transaction?” or “Does WooCommerce charge transaction fees?”, it's a No for WooCommerce and a Yes for the payment gateways. WooCommerce's third-party payment providers often come with recurring fees every month and/or standard transaction fees, which are listed in the table below:
FEES PER TRANSACTION
2.9% + $0.3
2.9% + $0.3
2.9% + $0.3
2.9% + $0.3
✧ Estimated price for WooCommerce operational costs:
- Up to $108/year for shipping.
- Up to $30/month for third-party payment gateways plus transaction fees charged per transaction.
WooCommerce running costs
We're halfway through the process: your WooCommerce store is beautifully personalized and almost ready to take orders. For now, there are just a few WooCommerce running costs left to add, which will be detailed right below.
WooCommerce communication costs
Communication costs can never be missed from a WooCommerce pricing strategy.
An online business won’t survive alone without marketing practices, and customers won’t find stores until owners start running promotional campaigns. By engaging in necessary communication activities, you will not only increase sales but also receive target leads or personal contact information.
When running an online store on the WooCommerce platform, there are two communication activities that no owner can ever overlook: customer communication and search engine optimization (SEO).
Firstly, it's essential to create outreach campaigns through emails to encourage purchase repetition, refill abandoned carts, or send thank you cards. Among numerous email marketing tools, Mailchimp is a popular extension with both free and paid plans. You can start with a range of 2000 free emails or pay $9.99 per month for advanced features such as automation, segmentation, customer journey builder, etc.
Regarding SEO, WooCommerce provides easy integration with the top SEO plugins to get your product keywords to rank higher on SERPs. Yoast SEO, for example, offers amazing SEO practices in both free and paid pricing plans. Normally, the paid plan starts at $69 per year.
Next on the list of WooCommerce charges is security pricing.
Although both WordPress and WooCommerce are pretty stable, outside integrations (such as themes and plugins) can introduce vulnerabilities to your online store. Hence, it's important to factor in a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate as well as extra tools to prevent security-related issues.
SSL certificates encrypt data (credit cards, customer personal data, transactions, etc) that flows between customers’ devices and your website. In most cases, SSL certificates are included in hosting plans after you register a domain name (i.e. Bluehost). If not, this WooCommerce cost may fluctuate from $8 and $65 annually.
Additionally, there are a variety of WooCommerce security plugins available for you to choose from, including anti-malware tools and firewalls, such as SiteLock, Sucuri, and Jetpack Security.
✧ Estimated price for WooCommerce running costs:
- Up to $427/year for customer communications & SEO plugins.
- Up to $300/year for security tools & up to $65 per year for SSL certificates.
WooCommerce Optional Services Cost
Besides the fixed WooCommerce pricing mentioned above, I noticed that there are additional costs that you might need to manage your store better.
Customer experience enhancement
When running a WooCommerce store, you might need to invest some bucks into building a zen-like customer experience and increasing conversion rates.
WooCommerce offers both free and paid options up to $200 yearly, and you can use them wisely to kickstart the roles of your store functions. For better understanding, I suggest the below categories on WooCommerce Extensions Store:
- Product Page Features: Enabling add-ons such as waitlist setup, present wrappings, quick view, swatches, etc. (i.e., Mix and Match Products, Name Your Price, or Request a Quote).
- Cart and Checkout Features: Displaying upsells, checkout field adjustments, social media logins, notifications display, etc. (i.e. Conditional Shipping & Payments, Product Recommendations).
- Merchandising: Creating striking pop-ups, product slideshow, allowing product comparison and highlights, etc. (i.e. Advanced Product Labels, Catalog Visibility Options).
- Search & Navigation: Adding table views, filters, or matching products and brands, etc. (i.e. Custom User Registration Fields, WooCommerce Product Search).
WooCommerce plugins costs
For any online business, plugins are optional features and functionalities to make your online store more appealing to customers. Therefore, the WooCommerce plugin cost is just a permissive element in a WooCommerce website price.
WooCommerce provides hundreds of free and paid plugins (ranging from $43 – $200) for you to choose from, allowing you to customize store capabilities to your heart's content. That said, adding too many plugins to your store can result in slow loading speed or even conflicts on your site. Hence, it's best to browse a list of the best WooCommerce plugins and pick what goes along with your business needs.
Below are our top choices across different eCommerce categories:
- Growth plugins: WooCommerce Multilingual, Booster for WooCommerce.
- SEO & marketing plugins: Yoast SEO, WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration.
- WooCommerce dropship plugins: AliDropship Plugin.
Once in a while, setting up a website may cause you to be overwhelmed. Also, if you have the slightest self-doubt after building the store, calling for help from a WooCommerce developer is a solution. Hence, the last puzzle piece in your WooCommerce pricing scheme is hiring website experts.
WooCommerce offers a list of well-selected experts who can efficiently get things up at a glance. The hiring cost is usually at an hourly rate, stretching from $10 to $100+ per hour. Otherwise, if you hire developers to work from scratch, it can cost you up to thousands of dollars as per your needs.
✧ Estimated price for WooCommerce operational service costs:
- Up to $200/year for customer communication extensions
- Up to $200/year for WooCommerce plugins
- $10-$100 per hour or thousands of dollars per project for developer hiring
WooCommerce Pricing: FAQs
A plus point is that WooCommerce is a free plugin. Some of the other functional plugins and extensions for WooCommerce can be free. However, you may have to pay some bucks when upgrading those extensions and plugins for the store.
If you are looking for a platform that enables you to freely customize your store performance, WooCommerce should definitely be the top choice.
WooCommerce now accepts all major payment cards and has Stripe.com as the payment gateway: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Discover, Diner’s Club, and American Express card. The prices are frequently charged in USD and they will be exchanged to your local rate by the card/bank issuers.
The WooCommerce plugin is free, but your store can only survive with a basic hosting plan and additional adjustments. Your WooCommerce pricing solely depends on how you use your money on WooCommerce add-ons, and fortunately, there is much flexibility for every budget.
Without any further ado, finish your WooCommerce pricing puzzle immediately!