There’s a reason why WooCommerce with WordPress is relied upon by some of the largest corporations worldwide. According to W3 Techs, WordPress currently powers over 35.8% of all websites worldwide!
The majority of people interested in building an online website tend to question what the best CMS (Content Management System) is when it comes to creating an eCommerce store capable of hosting a TON of products. Our technological options have never been more abundant than today. However, it’s important to understand the “backend” of CMS platforms in order to truly grasp their capabilities.
In recent years, popular CMS’ like Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce have revolutionized the eCommerce landscape. In many cases, they’ve “stolen the limelight” for larger, more established platforms like WooCommerce. While these shiny new platforms are extremely user friendly and easy to set up- they all have their limits.
Why WooCommerce Is The Best Option Available
A simple google search is enough to discover why WooCommerce is the absolute greatest platform for websites that plan on hosting millions of products. We recap some of the main reasons why below.
- Freshly installed, WordPress is an incredibly robust and powerful platform. Factor in the 50,000+ WordPress plugins (including WooCommerce) capable of integrating with your site and you now have the ability to perform just about any task or function imaginable. There are plugins for anything you could possibly need such as SEO, Form Building, Email Marketing, Image Compression, Security, Media Management, and more!
- In terms of security and stability, WordPress is bullet-proof. Cache plugins allow you to serve high levels of traffic without overloading your servers. Hosting providers like WP Engine or Kinsta provide you with a full-suite of performance, speed and intelligence solutions that allow you to deploy any type of online experience. The possibilities are virtually endless.
- Maximum flexibility. WordPress is an open-source platform that is constantly being worked on and contributed to by some of the brightest engineering and development minds worldwide. Because of this, WordPress sets the stage for your website needs. You can utilize free, premium or custom themes to your advantage. Although some options are better than others, there are thousands of “pre-made” templates for all types of websites on the market today.
Once someone is convinced they’re moving forward with WooCommerce on WordPress, the next most important question arises. “Should I go with a free, premium or custom theme?” The truth is, there is no one-size-fits all answer! However, we can offer you some in-depth information that will help you decide what to build your site with…
Free WordPress Themes
While many consider the free theme option to be the most economical and straightforward, it’s usually the riskiest. Free themes are rarely supported when it comes to new WordPress and Plugin updates. They are also extremely limited in customization capabilities. This means you will have less flexibility in achieving the “perfect website look” you have envisioned in your mind. Free themes are usually reserved for non-business websites that aren’t required to look professional. Think of this as a cookie-cutter theme.
Premium WordPress Themes
When it comes to premium themes, you are more likely to achieve the results you are looking for. These are themes that are primarily created by professional WordPress developers and later sold for a premium price. They are constantly updated, serviced and maintained as part of your purchase. Prices for premium themes may vary, while most are in the sub $75 range, many can be as expensive as $1000+!
Premium themes give you more customization flexibility than free themes. This is because premium themes are usually built with a purpose or niche in mind. You can easily find premium themes for eCommerce, foundations, blogs and more! It’s important to remember; with more flexibility comes more responsibility. The cost to tweak and adjust a purchased premium theme is more often than not greater than the cost of the theme itself. This is because premium themes are not built to your specific needs but rather the actual “purpose” of the theme.
In other words, if you are looking to create an eCommerce store but you’ve purchased a premium blog theme because it fits your aesthetic requirements, it’s going to cost you some money to get a proper cart functionality integrated and running.
It’s also important to keep in mind that premium themes often lead to performance issues, scalability bottlenecks and website bloat.
Custom WordPress Themes
A custom WordPress theme is considered the “Mac Daddy” of all theme options.
A custom WordPress theme can be defined as a theme that was specifically developed from the ground-up. This means custom themes are built to fulfill your exact needs and requirements. Custom WordPress themes can also be created using an existing premium theme that undergoes extensive modification and customization. For many, this is a more viable option.
The bulk of the customization work inside of a premium theme goes into creating a one-of-a-kind user experience that can’t be found anywhere else. It features all of the plugins and tools you need to get things running exactly how you want them to. This means you can freely integrate CRM’s, inventory management systems, social media, customer service systems and more!
Custom WordPress themes generally enjoy the fastest speeds and load times as well. Because the theme is built for you, it features everything you need and nothing you don’t. Custom WordPress themes are built with only the necessary backend components meaning you’ll be running as light as possible. Like mentioned above, this is where Premium themes fall off as they are built to appease a large customer set. This leads to your theme being overloaded with tons of features you may never even use, leading to slower site speeds and bloat.
Maintenance and SEO are massive beneficiaries of a custom theme. Because the theme is custom-built to your needs, the code powering your website is much leaner, cleaner and efficient. This makes maintenance a breeze in comparison to free and premium themes. Think of it like this: is it easier to work on a car you built or a car you bought off of someone else? The answer is clear. As far as SEO goes, custom themes allow UX/UI designers to create the most optimal website for visitors. All of your meta and alt data can also be tailored to your keywords and market research giving a custom theme a higher level of SEO-compatibility. Did someone say higher search engine rankings?
This concludes all of the immediate information necessary in making the right decision when it comes to picking the best website platform. Although we’ve personally tried and tested the large majority of CMS options on the market, we remain extreme WooCommerce advocates. The upside to a properly constructed WooCommerce website can leave the runway to “Fortune 500 status” wide-open for you, while a poorly constructed website can put a bottleneck around your online business that’ll cause you a lot of time and money to solve.
Perhaps the single most important factor that makes WooCommerce the best choice in CMS systems is its uncapped scalability potential. With premium hosting providers like WP Engine and Kinsta, your WooCommerce website has the ability to effortlessly host any level of traffic whether it’s ten or a million users. This makes WooCommerce a viable platform for just about any application (blog, business, government, personal, enterprise, etc). Services like WP Engine or Kinsta are a perfect hosting candidate as they strategically partner with Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services to offer users a complete hosting experience.
A proper hosting provider can allow your website to seamlessly flex in order to accommodate massive amounts of users. At the enterprise level of hosting, spikes of 10 to 100 million users can happen almost naturally. Server uptime and availability goes unaffected, data protection and backups continue as planned and your customers and visitors are happier than ever. Caching plugins allow your visitors to load content lightning-fast, search functions allow customers to pull any search query almost instantly (no matter how large your site is) and an easily integrated CDN network allows your customers to pull website data from several network relay centers around the world, effectively speeding up the browsing experience. All of this is possible with WordPress thanks to their abundant application/plugin network!