If you have been in the e-commerce business, WooCommerce does not need an introduction. The widely famous WordPress e-commerce plugin powers around 15.2 million stores, which is approximately 37% of online stores.
So, regarding e-commerce website builders, WooCommerce takes the lead. The plugin has been downloaded over 82.5 million times.
The reason for the popularity of WooCommerce is that it is a highly customizable, open-source, and user-friendly backend that allows you to build your store the way you want.
However, the best thing about the plugin is that it is free of charge. WooCommerce is built on the most famous CMS that is WordPress.
Since the plugin has become extremely popular, many companies provide WooCommerce website development service. Such companies first try to understand your needs, expectations, and goals for their projects.
Then, they work to deliver on the project. No matter your expectations, there must be some WooCommerce website development service for you. However, with so many options, how do you decide which is suitable for your project?
An Introduction to WordPress WooCommerce Website Development
You should know what WooCommerce website development is and the deliverables of this service. The backend of WooCommerce allows the user to make any customization they want. You can customize how your store appears to the end users, its functionality, the product offerings, and more.
A WooCommerce website development service includes:
- WooCommerce theme development, including the development of the entire WordPress website with a theme.
- WooCommerce plugin development, like creating your website features and integrations.
- Web design and further customization.
- WooCommerce shopping cart integrations and customizations
- WooCommerce site maintenance and repair.
- Optimizing the code of your site, managing the database, optimizing images, handling any WooCommerce API or PHP updates, etc.
- Performing WooCommerce migration from any other platform, such as Shopify.
- Adding payment gateways
- Third-party vendor integrations
- WooCommerce SEO services so potential customers can find your products on google.
While WooCommerce makes it extremely easy to make an online e-commerce store. However, you still need to perform many tasks regularly to ensure that the store is functioning optimally. On the other hand, if you feel confident that you can learn as you go, you can do without a WooCommerce website development service.
You can also take the help of the support community of WooCommerce. If you ever have a query, their community will help you.
In addition, many resources can help you start an e-commerce store. However, if you have little to no technical skills and want some solid results quickly, you are better off hiring a professional.
How to complete a WooCommerce website development project successfully?
Suppose you are getting started with developing your WooCommerce website or are creating a much-needed update that will provide a better user experience. In that case, you need an intelligent development plan.
A development plan consists of the following:
Project overview: Kindly write down the motivations behind the project and what you wish to achieve. Also, note down other critical factors like stakeholders and constraints in the path to success. This paints a clear picture of what the developer should work to achieve.
Scope: Define the project’s schedule, milestones, tasks, and deliverables. A good plan lets you know whether the project is going on the path you intended it to go on or not. You will also see whether you are right on schedule or falling back. If you are falling back, you can work hard to complete the tasks within the required time.
Plan: Break down the entire project into small tasks that can be easily achieved. You also need to outline other details regarding the project, like how you will do quality management. Besides that, you need to consider the resources you will need and the budget for the entire project.
With an excellent WooCommerce development plan, you can get ahead of any unexpected events and stay in control. Of course, you would want that if financial investors were involved in the story.
Each project is different and can be either a normal level, or it can be complex. Complicated projects will need the help of a professional. When you hand a project to a professional, a big chunk of the workload is taken off your shoulders.
You will still have to check on the project’s progress now and then, but other than that, most of the work is done for you. You can either choose a freelancer to do this or a development agency. However, the question is, which development service provider is right for you?
What to expect from a WooCommerce website development agency?
WooCommerce web development agencies have staff that brings different skill sets to the table. That is why these agencies can provide various kinds of services, from back-end WooCommerce development to front-end customization.
They can also help you migrate your e-commerce site from another platform to WooCommerce. Other than that, they also provide services like:
- website maintenance
- Provide optimizations to improve the user experience of the website
- Work to develop new website functions
- Develop custom WooCommerce plugins to make working with WooCommerce easier.
Pros of working with an agency
- You will get better customer service with an agency as their team members will be there to answer your queries.
- They have a lot of experience in developing websites for startups and medium-sized e-commerce businesses, so they can use their expertise to create a better website for you.
- An agency has different team members with different skills so that they can provide you with other services too. After completing the website development, you will not have to search for someone else to provide you with an e-commerce site-related service.
Once the deal is closed between you and the agency, you are both in it for the long haul. If your site or business does well, it is suitable for their business too.
Cons of working with an agency
- You must talk to different teams when working with an agency. This can lead to communication problems in their company and yours.
- If you have a tight budget, working with an agency is not a good idea because they charge more than freelancers.
- An agency has many clients, and if your project is small, they may not give you their undivided attention to focus on clients who bring them more money.
What to expect from a freelancer who develops WooCommerce websites?
If you choose to work with a freelancer, you will only have one point of contact.
In contrast to the agency, you will have to manage the freelancer a bit to check how they are performing and whether they are working on schedule.
You should not underestimate freelancers because they are a solo operation, as many can deliver the same services as an agency.
The only thing that matters now is whether you can manage them correctly and whether you can hire the right freelancer or not.
You will have to assess the skills of the freelancer that you plan to hire. There are many platforms like Freelancer.com, Upwork, and LinkedIn where you can find suitable freelancers.
Of course, you cannot expect the same level of customer service from a freelancer as you can from an agency, but you save bucks.
You can also find freelancers via hiring partners who have a good reputation. If you choose to do this, you will be more relaxed during the project development process since the hiring partners put their freelancers through complex screening tests. So, if you find someone through a hiring partner, they will provide you with high-quality services.
Pros of working with a freelancer
- You will be able to manage the freelancer and get the experience of forming a closer working relationship.
- Freelancers will charge you less than an agency.
- You will have control over the budget costs.
- If the project’s success is essential for you, then hiring a freelancer is the right option. Since you will be able to do the quality assurance yourself, you can monitor how the project is going and be more involved in the development process.
- Freelancers work in a competitive environment which forces them to upskill themselves.
- A freelancer is more likely to deliver the project on time.
- If you have a complicated project, you will need to hire more than one expert, leading to a regular hiring schedule. On the other hand, one person may not have all the skills to handle the project, in which case an agency is always the best solution. Also, freelancers do not provide after-sales services like agencies.
Cons of working with a freelancer
Which WooCommerce website development option is best depends on many factors.
Hiring a skilled freelancer is the best option if you need the development to be done quickly and cannot spend much.
However, always be on the lookout for red flags in freelancers. You should hire a different expert if they are not the best for the project.
The best option is to hire a freelancer and form a long-term relationship with them. Then they can provide after-sales services like maintenance and adding new features. This way, one expert takes care of your entire website, and they report everything to you.
The only difference between working with a freelancer and an agency is that while working with a freelancer, you will have to monitor to ensure you get a high-quality site. In contrast, a high-quality site is usually guaranteed if you pay an agency.