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Lessons learned from releasing WooCommerce 2.4

August 26, 2015 in Blog, WooCommerce. 19 Comments

Just over two weeks ago, we launched WooCommerce version 2.4, the Helpful Hedgehog. From our standpoint, we thought the release went well. However, while we thought this was a pretty good release, we think we can do better.

In the interest of openness, we thought we’d share some of our observations from this release. We also wanted to share what we learned as we deployed 2.4, and we’re planning to do better for the next release.

Let’s start with what went well.

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Questions to ask before recommending a host to your client

August 25, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 12 Comments

As a developer, you’re used to answering questions for your clients, both the easy ones and the tough ones. Some of the answers you give are the same for every client, but some answers are different for everyone.

“Where should I host my website?” is one of those tricky, every-answer-is-different questions. And it should be: every project is different, and no one host fits everyone. So it’s sometimes a challenge to answer that question immediately, or to even come up with a thorough response.

Today, we’re going to give you a list of questions you should ask when the topic of hosting comes up. These are questions you might ask the client, ask yourself as the developer, or even ask the hosting companies you’re considering. They’ll help you make a smart decision and well thought-out recommendation for each client you work with, both now and in the future.

Let’s go over the questions you should ask when you get the hosting question, one-by-one, to find out how you can use the right criteria to suggest the best solution possible.

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How to evaluate a plugin for your WooCommerce store

August 21, 2015 in Blog, Technical WordPress. 7 Comments

Plugins are awesome — that’s a fact. They make incredible things possible with WordPress, and can take your website or WooCommerce-powered store to new heights.

But plugins can also be problematic. A rogue update, an untested bit of code, an incompatibility between two extensions… in the blink of an eye, you can go from fully functional to completely inoperable. And let’s not even talk about how easy it is to get caught up in the desire to install more plugins, which has its own drawbacks.

Before installing any plugin, you should evaluate it against a list of pre-established criteria. This evaluation doesn’t have to take long, and your can set your own criteria, because what matters to you might not be important to someone else. But doing a few minutes of due diligence could prevent hours of headaches, not to mention customer complaints and lost sales.

Today, we’re going to share a few of the things you should do when evaluating a WordPress plugin for possible use with your WooCommerce store. Keep reading to learn more about this process and the steps you should take.

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Storefront 1.5 arrives, brings Right-to-Left support

August 19, 2015 in Blog, Storefront. 15 Comments

TL;DR: Storefront version 1.5 has arrived – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard or try it for the first time by downloading a copy here. Enjoy!

The last major release of Storefront saw us add many accessibility improvements and achieve the “accessibility ready” tag on

That release went a long way towards making Storefront a more rounded solution for store owners looking to make their online shops accessible to the widest audience possible. Storefront 1.5 carries on that theme of enabling, and achieves another coveted tag on


Introducing Storefront 1.5

Here’s a look at some of the biggest chances in Storefront 1.5.

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10 WordPress plugins we greatly admire

August 18, 2015 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 86 Comments

With so many plugins available for your self-hosted WordPress site, it can often be really tough to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Currently, there are nearly 40,000 plugins in the official repo, not to mention countless premium plugins available for purchase from a host of different companies.

There are a number of ways you can work out what the best choices are for your website, but we thought we would help you out by providing you a few plugins from the WordPress community that we admire. We admire these plugins only for their usefulness, but also for the way they are built and maintained.

Some of these plugins are freely available, while some carry a price tag. But one thing that they all have in common is the fact they are all incredibly well built and perform their respective tasks in the best way possible. Some of them are also included in our WooBenefits — tailored discounts offered exclusively to WooThemes customers.

So, without further delay… here’s the list!

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Why we created the WooCommerce Showcase

August 13, 2015 in Blog. 15 Comments

Many times out of ten the reason I buy something, or into something, is because of proven positive impact. Reviews impact sales more than price, social proofing sells and seeing live examples of the thing you are considering is a dead effective way to build confidence.

So where can one find great examples of WooCommerce?

Great question. Despite WooCommerce powering a staggering 30% of all online stores, until last week we didn’t actually have a curated space where we showed off our favourite examples. As so often happens, this suddenly came up a bunch of times and we realised it was time to hop to it.

Particularly: developers and agencies wanting to easily show their clients WooCommerce in action, aiding in the pitch to use us over other platforms. Game on.

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How The is using WooCommerce to encourage giving to non-profits

August 12, 2015 in Blog, Customer stories. 2 Comments

People use WooCommerce for all sorts of things. Here’s the story of The THX Co., an innovative eCommerce store that, by design, encourages customers to donate to non-profits in need as they shop. Hello, THX (“Thanks”).

We chatted with Brett Malden, director of the social enterprise’s brand experience, about how it all came together and the process of building their store with WooCommerce.

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WooCommerce 2.4: meet the Helpful Hedgehog

August 10, 2015 in Blog, WooCommerce. 123 Comments

TL;DR: WooCommerce version 2.4 is here – upgrade via your WordPress dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, make a backup, update your extensions, view our upgrade guide and then upgrade WooCommerce.

Today, we’re marking another step in the WooCommerce journey: the release of WooCommerce 2.4, the Helpful Hedgehog.

In our last release, we focused on the front-end of WooCommerce and so named the update “Handsome Hippo.” With this update, we’re focused on making store settings more intuitive for store owners by creating a brand-new onboarding wizard, simplifying setup for standard shipping options and improving how WooCommerce handles products with many variations.

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How Nick and Erick are helping people sleep better with WooCommerce

August 7, 2015 in Blog. 3 Comments

Did you know we spend a third of our lives sleeping? For the average person that means about 25 years of your head resting on a pillow that probably looks like a pancake. Meet Nick and Erick, who are changing the world one good night’s sleep at a time. Noble much.

Our new WooCommerce Showcase is full to the brim of beautiful online stores and we’re looking forward to sharing stories of the amazing storeowners behind them. Today the spotlight is on HIBR – pronounced like hibernate, without the ‘nate’ – which was dreamt up, designed and built by Nick Ondrako and Erick Arbe:

Getting a great night’s sleep allows you to wake up feeling refreshed and energized to create those special moments in life. This is not your parent’s memory foam – we are using the most cutting edge formulas, designs, and combination of materials to build the ultimate pillow.


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How Jill used WooCommerce to create the “Netflix you have to wear pants for”

August 5, 2015 in Blog, Customer stories. 5 Comments

Jill Bourque’s many years as a performer in the independent theater scene allowed her to identify  a need she knew had to be filled: empty seats were costing theaters and live performers.

To solve this problem, Jill created RushTix, a curated membership site for live performances and events. Through the site, Jill creates a connection between live event organisers (who need to fill seats) and curious event-goers (who are looking for an affordable way to regularly see live performances and events).

Using WooCommerce, she built a simple solution and has been growing her business ever since. Here’s how she created and grew “the Netflix you have to wear pants for.” 

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WCEU: A weekend of firsts and the unexpected

August 4, 2015 in Blog, Team news. Leave a comment

WCEU 2015 was my first WordCamp. I was the first to sign up, and I had no clue if anyone would come with me or how many of us would go.

As the countdown to Sevilla inched closer, we had a Euro meetup of 12 and a planned Woo house wouldn’t hold us all. Anyone on the fence about attending then gave into serious #fomo.


WCEU also marked the first time meeting fellow Ninjas in real life. How would that go? Will people like me? Is everyone as awesome and smart as they are online? These are questions that a lot of us have when we work remotely and only interact with coworkers via Slack and Google hangouts.

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Consider these 7 things when setting up shipments

July 30, 2015 in Blog, How to sell online. 13 Comments

You started your eCommerce business and it’s taken off. Products are selling and customers need to receive it all. How are you getting everything from point A to point B?

Shipping can get frustrating fast. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Having worked with thousands of store owners like yourself, we’ve seen the pitfalls both new and experienced businesses make when it comes to shipping.

We’ve collected the top seven things you need to give love and attention to when you’re getting started with shipping to save you time, money, energy, and stress. Read on to find out what they are!

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How WordPress developers can hook bigger clients

July 28, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 12 Comments

It’s a great time to be a WordPress developer or agency. There are economic, technological, and social factors all converging to make this a truly unique time for those of us in this space.

It’s also very competitive and challenging. Growth is not easy. It requires skilful management of resources, enormous self-confidence and boatloads of energy. It also requires some personal development, especially when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone.

I talk to hundreds of WordPress consultants from all over the world on a regular basis and one of the conversations I find myself having over and over again is about dealing with larger organizations.

It can be uncomfortable. Tackling a larger client can feel intimidating and overwhelming. So much so that it’s easier to put them in the “too hard” basket. This is what most do, and this is why there are huge opportunities for those of us who are willing to step out of our comfort zone and dip our toe in the water.

The purpose of this article is to give you some structure and help you feel supported as you navigate the uncharted waters you will find yourself in when talking to larger businesses. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be inspired and have some actionable takeaways you can implement.

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How to train your clients to use WooCommerce

July 27, 2015 in Blog, For developers. 4 Comments

Handing over a freshly built WooCommerce-powered store to a client is exhilarating. You’re excited to have completed your task, and your client is excited to finally have the robust, flexible online store they desired.

The trickiest part of this handoff, however, comes in the training. Do no training at all, and your client won’t know how to operate their store. Do too much of it, and you’re likely to get an earful when the bill for your time arrives.

Training clients on WooCommerce doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, there are several ways to make this process easier for both parties, and cut down on the number of questions you receive after your client’s new store launches.

Let’s explore some of the best ways you can train your clients to use their new store — without investing too much of your time or racking up a big bill.

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How to set up Facebook dark posts

July 24, 2015 in Blog, Social media marketing. 3 Comments

Do you ever think it’s a good idea to leave your customers in the dark?

With much of what store owners post on social media, advertise online, or send out in emails, it’s a “one size fits all” approach. Products are marketed even if customers have already purchased them, which means these owners could effectively be wasting some of their hard-earned marketing dollars.

That’s why Facebook dark posts, also known as unpublished Page posts, have become so popular. Instead of showing content to all of your fans, no matter who they are — or what they might have already done — you can create and promote content to groups as big or as small as you please.

Today, we’re going to give you a brief tutorial on how to set up a dark post on Facebook for your own brand. Read along to find out more about these ads, and why keeping some fans in the dark can be so beneficial.

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How to choose names for your products

July 22, 2015 in Blog, Build your business, Physical goods. 4 Comments

You’ve finally done it: you’ve created a product. It’s perfect. It’ll change lives. It’ll sell like hotcakes and make you millions.

And you’ve got absolutely no idea what to call it.

Whether you’ve invented life-changing technology or are just planning to introduce a new item in your line of fashion accessories, naming a product can be tough. Get the name right, and you’ve got a good chance at going down in history (or at least making some money). Get it wrong, and you’ll be hard-pressed to attract any customers.

Today, we’re sharing some tips that will help you choose an effective, clear, and memorable name for your newest product. Read on to learn why product names are so important to your business before diving right into our ideas!

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