One of our Facebook group members asked for advice about using WooCommerce instead of Shopify. I think there are many pros and cons to both platforms, but today I’ll share what I’m working on (still a work in progress).
And how to make this thing bring the rain. First and foremost you need very fast hosting. A normal “shared” hosting plan will not work for you. In my case we started building my solution on WPEngine with the added CDN for a performance boost.
This has not been up to my standards.
The faster your site, the lower your bounce rate will be, and the more sales you will make. I’m migrating our work so far to a Siteground GrowBig Plan for WooCommerce.
My blog runs on this (using the WordPress version) and I can tell you that it is the one of the absolute fastest hosting you can buy for WordPress (under 1 second load times for most pages).
Next you need security, WordPress is really bad with that. Make sure every password you create is seriously tough, I use the LastPass chrome extension and have it generate secure 24 character passwords for everything I do.
I also recommend you use Cloudflare to host your DNS and install a WordPress plugin called Wordfence.
The biggest question I see, is what about the theme?
There are many options… but here’s the best one in my personal opinion: Flatsome Responsive WordPress Theme from Themeforest
Honestly I did a ton of research on this one, and a common suggestion was Divi… but the truth is that Divi is bloated with code and has pretty poor performance across the board.
Flatsome is fast, relatively lightweight as far as code goes, and it has a visual page builder that will let you make your store completely optimized for conversions.
For those unaware, by default many Shopify themes suck.
They’re not optimized for sales, like really? Well the thing here is that the coders behind many of Shopify’s themes are not marketers, they’ve never been in sales, and they’re just making what they think are nice looking designs.
But, a nice looking design means little when it comes to conversions.
You need a certain layout, elements in certain places, elements that some themes are lacking, etc etc.
Flatsome will let you create perfectly optimized product pages.
Next up you need to fulfill from Aliexpress in most cases.
I won’t lie to you here and tell you there are solutions as good or better than what’s available for Shopify.
Your best bet here is a plugin called Alidropship. It’s only a one-time fee compared to Dropified or Oberlo so that’s pretty cool, and a close second to check out is Woodropship that does have a monthly fee of $49 per month, but there is one thing I really didn’t like, that for other you probably won’t care about: when you auto import ali products into your store it makes them active and viewable immediately.
With other platforms you can import the products and keep them hidden until you create your product copy and get it looking good.
Still, not a deal breaker by any means.
Other recommended plugins include:
There are a few other WooCommerce specific plugins that will make your life better as well, but those are the main ones to increase your sales and conversions.
If there is more interest in this I can create some videos on the setup, let me know in the comments below!
Matt Gartner is the owner of 3 very successful e-commerce stores that focus heavily on dropshipping, automation, and profit ;)