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March 31, 2015
Week: 1 All time: 403
Lopo Lencastre de Almeida
linkedin.com/in...WooCommerce, from WooThemes, recently acquired by Automattic, the owners of WordPress, is a great eCommerce platform with lots of extensions and with the benefit of total integration with the renown WordPress GNU/GPL CMS platform.
Besides, the author is a real experienced WordPress developer and works for WooThemes, so you could be confident that the information is accurate and to the point.
If you are a good WordPress developer or you are really used to work with it, and you do not mind spending some money, mostly to WooThemes, to fulfill almost all the recipes in the book, then this is the book for you.
In the rest of this review I will explain a little about what you can found in each chapter and also the costs involved with all recipes.
So, lets get started.
On Chapter 1 you will get the basics about WooCommerce: installing, setting location and currency, how to find documentation, how to install WooCommerce official plugins and themes, how to create a very basic WooCommerce compatible plugin and how to add extra currencies to it. To aplly what you learn in this chapter you will not need to acquire any plugins.
The second Chapter is about products. You will learn almost all that is to know about how to add them, modify them, bulk upload CSV files and bundles, etc. The down side is that you will need to spend about US$300 to follow the recipes that would allow you to do so.
Chapter 3 is about changing product organization. In this you will learn how to reorder and refine how your products would appear in your page, sorting and filtering products, adding social media sharing, how to display savings in product's page and some more tricks related to visual organization of your store. The purchase of the required plugins will cost more or less US $250.
If you are planing to build a membership based store them you will get a lot from Chapter 4 and you should read it. It will save you countless hours of work, although the necessary plugins will cost you more or less US $500 to apply the included recipes.
Chapter 5 is about setting shipping methods and will require that you spend at most US$400, but you do not need to have all the mentioned shipment plugins, and some may not even work on your country.
The information contained in this chapter is very interesting and even may help you in building your own shipment plugin. The most interesting part, for me, is the one related with setting free shipping per minimum amount and per product. I missed a less USA centric shipping offer.
On the Chapter, 6, the title says it all: "Get paid". This is the most important thing in any business and in your new eCommerce store also. Basically, you will learn how to configure three payment gateways and how to setup fees based on which payment your costumer chooses, how to setup HTTPS on your store globally or just for the important pages, and how to analyse your store's traffic with Google Analytics. Like the previous chapters this has an implied cost, in this case, it could mount up to US $300.
Sometimes, just because law requires you to do so, or because you need to redeem a coupon or due to some marketing requirements, you may need to modify your checkout process. In Chapter 7 you will learn how to do that in various ways.
Even if you did not need to spend around US $300 the information and concepts that you will get in this chapter could be beneficial for your strategy.
It is important to know how you get costumers in but also how you process their checkout, not forgetting costumer retention strategies. Many stores loose real money when not considering this issues upfront. So this could be a good US $300 well spent.
Orders and Taxes management is one of the most important tasks when you have a store. Specially more when you have to deal with the new European VAT legislation. On Chapter 8, all the process of sending notes, refunding orders, importing from old stores to your new shiny WooCommerce store, drop-shipping - if you need it on your business - giving away goods, tax management (two excellent pieces of information on this one included), local pickup, etc., are important and crucial time consuming tasks and you will wish to have most of them automated if your store start to really grow (and we all want that, right?).
In this chapter you will learn how to setup a bunch of plugins for doing that and even extending or modifying the way some work. The amount required to fulfill the recipes is around US $280.
Chapter 9 is all about theming your store. Starts just by teaching you how to turn your theme WooCommerce compatible. You can also make a lot of modifications and WooCommerce has a lot templates and hooks to help you do so.
You can just start with WooCommerce's free theme Storefront and the book will lead you on creating your own sub-theme, but if you have another theme you will need to do some modifications for which this chapter will also help on that.
The recipes included will be using Underscores, a free theme and framework by Automattic, help you on that task. This is the recipe chapter that involves less money spending: just one plugin is required, for USD $29, and only if you really want a product slideshow in your store.
At last, on Chapter 10, the author talks about a few things that can be useful but were not included in the previous chapters. Theses are also important aspects of any successful business so you should not neglect them.
Costumers reviews of your products can do more for your sales that a US$1,000 spent on advertising, and you should deal with this to your favor. In this chapter you will learn not only on how to get them but also on how and when to display them in your store.
You will also learn how to use affiliate links, creating and bulk-generating coupons with or without restrictions, how to change the from address and, something important for your store, sending follow-up e-mails to your costumers after the purchase.
Of course, like most of the chapters in this book, you'll have to acquired some plugins. In this case they could cost you more or less USD $200.
Most of the recipe's code in the book can be added to one or more new plugins or just added to your theme's functions.php. But, be warned, if you use an acquired theme, and you didn't create a child theme, updating it could destroy all your code in functions.php, so I always advise on creating a new in-house plugin. It's easy to do and avoids a lot of headaches later on.
WooCommerce Cookbook is a good acquisition if you are planing to build an eCommerce store based on WooCommerce and wish to do it fast, and are also prepared to spend some real money acquiring plugins.
If you are planing to build it only with Free Software then this is not the book you are looking for. Nevertheless, even without buying any plugin, you have a lot of information and a few real useful recipes in it.