From a developer’s perspective:
About a couple of weeks back I got a call from someone asking me to setup an ecommerce store for their business. Having had prior experience in creating ecommerce websites using OpenCart, the layout of the designs and functions of the website were running on my mind
Since I have had plenty of experience in developing websites using WordPress, I wanted use that platform for the project the client asked me to for 2 reasons. One, WooCommerce being flexible ecommerce platform; two, it’s more user-friendly (compared to OpenCart in my view)
One of the best thing about building websites in WordPress is that it uses a template system for the design and layout of the website. If you know where to pry the code of the template and use the right tool to pry it, you can manipulate it as much as you want to get the final design you need for your client. On the other hand, OpenCart is bit time consuming on changing the design and layout.
Now that I have reasoned why I chose WooCommerce over OpenCart, so how did I do it?
First thing first. Once you have done setting up WordPress on the domain URL, it’s just a simple step- you add WooCommerce as a plugin. By the time of writing this post, the default theme/template WordPress had was Twenty Seventeen, which does not support the functions that an online store requires. So, when you install WooCommerce, it will automatically ask you if you would like to change the theme to something that supports online store, which again is one of the awesome features of WordPress and its plugins.
I chose the official WooCommerce theme, Storefront (which of course developed by the team behind the awesome plugin WooCommerce). It will then import you some dummy products for you to display in the website, and a very basic online store design. For beginners, that’s pretty much it. The rest is just to customize the product names and prices once you set up your store details, which of course will be automatically asked by the system when you initially install WooCommerce. And then, you start selling.
I know what’s next in your mind. So why do most web development agencies charge so much money for this simple procedure?
Before I answer to that question, you need to understand that not every person need the same boring design of a basic website. A hero image, some icons and some eye-catching colors are not just enough. So, they need customization. That is where the price comes, varies for different types of customizations according to the client’s needs. Some will say they need a video background, and some will say they need some sliding images. Some needs different colors and some needs a pop-up notification to the visitors. So, all these customization are not included in the box when you initially set up an online store using WooCommerce. In order to achieve these, the developers use prebuilt plugins or develop custom plugins to be used in the store to achieve specific task which sometimes cost more.
For instance, my client wanted the customers to be able to checkout the products they purchased to some restricted hours (I know what you are thinking, the point of having an online store is to have it available 24/7, but this is kind of a different concept and yes, he need that store closed for specific hours) which of course needs to be achieved by customizing. So yes, with all these customization comes a cost- which of course varies for different projects.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think WooCommerce is better than OpenCart?
Do you need to develop an online store? Contact us to have your store set up.