I Finally Gave WooCommerce a Try on the Ankhjii.com Web Relaunch

Not a lot of opportunity to post over here on VoodooPress lately. I did finally graduate with my Master’s last week, that was a big piece of what was keeping me from doing anything WordPressy for the past three years. That’s not to say I’ve been completely absent, after all, I have many websites to run! I just haven’t been able to post about it.

My wife is a professional figure competitor, to those who don’t know what that means, it’s like bodybuilding but more feminine. Well, my wife has had a good deal of success in competitions, and we have been trying to translate that off-stage. How can we keep the momentum going? These competitions are extremely expensive and we don’t make a load of money. So I’m her media and web guy, she puts in the work in the gym and on-stage, I put in the work behind the scenes. She has always had a web presence, just because I like to make websites. But recently we decided to relaunch and try to take the website a little further. So I wanted to make a few posts on here about the products we used because I really like where we’ve arrived!

You can chack out her website here, ankhjii.com. We’ve been trying to figure out how to make the website do a bit more. My wife had a photo shoot done and we’d promised a magazine exclusive launch of the photos, we wouldn’t share them until they were out in the mag. That gave me about a month to work with, I thought the first thing to do was to offer those photos for sale on her website which in turn required an ecommerce solution.

I’ve always been a roll it yourself kind of guy, I like to come up with my own solutions. But these days that doesn’t make sense anymore, there are a lot of great solutions out there from really quality developers. So this time around I decided to try some ready made solutions for my relaunch. I decided for my ecommerce solution I would use WooCommerce.

Like I mentioned, I’d given myself a month of lead time to get things in place. So I installed WooCommerce on my test/development site (you DO have a test site, correct?) and played around with it. At first it was confusing. Not because of any particular way the plugin is setup; rather, I am so new to these types of plugins I had to figure out a lot of terminology. After a week of playing around I was ready to start building an actual shop.

I installed the plugin onto my wife’s live shop and started building in the backend. Right now we had 20 some odd photos to add in, I wanted them available in two sizes. My advice is to plan ahead, what attributes do you want, what pricing variants should there be, shipping costs, etc. I made a few mistakes and had to edit each of my products a couple of times. No harm, no foul, just a bit tedious. Had I planned ahead a bit it would have been much better!

In all honesty, it probably took me a few days of tinkering to get all of the settings sorted out, all my products in place, and everything ready to go. If you know anything about ecommerce, or selling at all, it will probably go even faster for you since you already are familiar with concepts that I wasn’t.

My overall opinion? I really like WooCommerce. Everything looks really good, there are some nice looking dash widgets, the sales stuff is all nicely laid out, it was easy for me to integrate payment options and to run some test orders through in sandbox. Quite simply, I went from an idea to a shop in very little time, I think that says a lot about a product! It just plain worked for me!

What do you think? Have you been considering setting up shop online? Do you already have one? What products have you been considering for your needs, or what plugins do you already use? I’m curious to see what’s out there and I also like to know what I can do to enhance what i have.

In my next posts I’ll talk about my theme choice (my original theme wasn’t woo compatible) and some enhancements I’ve made.

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