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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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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 child themes are so important

July 1, 2015 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 3 Comments

We recently released our first premium Storefront child themes, Galleria and ProShop. These, coupled with the two child themes already available for free on (Boutique and Deli) takes our total up to four, a number we hope will grow rapidly in the coming months.

But you may have questions about this. What is a child theme and why should you use one? How do they change the look of a WordPress site? And how should you go about modifying a child theme to preserve all your changes even when there’s an update?


Two Storefront child themes.

We think we can help. Here’s a little more about how child themes work, why you should use them, and what you should keep in mind when modifying them.

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The community takes action at the do_action charity hackathon

June 29, 2015 in Blog. 4 Comments

It’s no secret that I love the WordPress community. But when that community looks beyond itself and reaches out to less fortunate individuals, then I really get excited.

That’s exactly what happened on Saturday, 20 June down in Cape Town, South Africa. As an organiser for the WordPress Cape Town community, I put together the second annual do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ ). Based on the results, I think it’s safe to say that the day was a huge success.

In the space of a mere eight hours, our team of 50 volunteers put together eight brand new websites for eight deserving charities. It’s a feat that makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this great community in Cape Town.

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The Month in WordPress: May 2015

June 4, 2015 in Blog. 3 Comments

May has, yet again, been a fairly busy month for WordPress. The biggest news, for us internally as well as for the community as a whole, has most definitely been our acquisition by Automattic and everything that entails.

There’s no need to go over all of that again, of course, although we’re always listening if you have additional comments, suggestions, or feedback you’d like to share. In the meantime, let’s move on to everything else that has been going on this past month.

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The Month in WordPress: April 2015

May 5, 2015 in Blog. Leave a comment

April has been a particularly busy month in the community — we’ve got a new WordPress release, a whole lot of security concerns and some interesting business developments.

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The Month in WordPress: March 2015

April 1, 2015 in Blog. Leave a comment

March has been a particularly busy month in the WordPress world – from new beta releases to security controversies it’s been an interesting few weeks, so let’s jump in…

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The Month In WordPress: February 2015

March 2, 2015 in Blog. 5 Comments

February has been a busy month for WordPress – particularly if you’re interested in what’s happening on With a maintenance release and some significant UI improvements, there’s a lot to cover.

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The Month In WordPress: January 2015

February 3, 2015 in Blog. 1 Comment

At WooThemes we like to keep our ear close to the ground when it comes to what’s going on in the WordPress community around the world. To that end, we’re starting a monthly wrap-up post that keeps you up to date about all the important happenings in the WordPress world.

So, without further ado, here’s the monthly wrap-up for January 2015…

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The 6 Best Free Tools for Building eCommerce Landing Pages

January 7, 2015 in How to sell online. 10 Comments

It’s essential that your website has a strong landing page for each goal action that you want your visitors to take. However, that can quickly get expensive…

…if you go with the immediately available options, that is. With a little inventiveness and some research, you can find plenty of ways to build one for free.

Today, I’ve done some of that research for you. Here are some tools that you can use to design, build, and track a perfectly competent landing page with no money out of your pocket.

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SEO Beyond the Basics: An Introduction to the Technical Side

December 30, 2014 in How to sell online. 6 Comments

SEO Beyond the BasicsWe’ve all heard about SEO basics, but what about those areas that require you to have just a little bit of technical knowledge?

This is what we call technical SEO. Yes the term is quite technical, I know. In short, it’s less about focusing on keyword optimization and more about understanding how search engines work to index your site. It’s less about ensuring your images are ready for the search engines and more about things like rich snippets, sitemaps, and URL structure.

But, wait a second. If it’s so technical, why is it so common for people to implement these tips on their sites? Well, the good news is that it’s not all that technical. Everyone has a chance to use these tips, and plenty of companies are going out of their way to work on these SEO tactics. The only thing is that many people don’t want to take the time to learn about these slightly more technical SEO topics, creating a huge advantage for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more technical areas of SEO and how to implement these tips on your own online store.

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Tools for WordPress Contributors

December 19, 2014 in Blog, WordPress tips & tricks. 14 Comments

Contributing to WordPress is an exciting and rewarding task – no matter how you go about it, it’s incredibly satisfying knowing that you’re giving back to a platform and community that dominates nearly 25% of the internet. That being said, it can be very tricky to know where to start with contributions. There are so many different avenues that you can go down when contributing that it would be incredibly helpful if you had a guide to show you the way.

Well, you’re in luck – here are a few tools that are designed to help new (and old) contributors find their way in the world of WordPress.

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Tips for organising a successful WordPress Meetup

November 18, 2014 in WordPress tips & tricks. 1 Comment

Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis. Anything that brings together 2 or more people to share their WordPress experiences counts – there’s no minimum number of attendees or required format.


If that’s the definition of a WordPress meetup, how do you go about organising one?

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How to Use Big Data for Your E-Commerce Business

September 9, 2014 in How to sell online. Leave a comment

Big Data EcommerceWhat is “Big Data,” anyway?

It’s hard to define, and made even more difficult by the world’s inability to agree on what it is.

One generally-accepted standard was laid out by analyst Doug Laney in 2001, and has been in constant use ever since. It’s called “The 3 Vs,” short for volume, variety, and velocity. In other words, Big Data is “a large amount of stuff, being generated very quickly, and incorporating a wide variety of content.” However, some people disagree with this definition, claiming that’s an oversimplification or that other metrics need to be used. Still others claim that Big Data is just “anything too big to deal with in an Excel spreadsheet.”

But no matter how you personally choose to define it, the truth is that it’s a catch-all term for any data sets too large to process using conventional methods. It can sometimes take parallel software running on thousands of servers just to handle it.

Intimidating stuff.

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4 Plugins to Set up A/B Testing for Your Online Store in Minutes

April 29, 2014 in Blog, How to sell online. 10 Comments

A/B TestngWhen you do business online, you have to conduct tests.

But why?

Well, testing allows you to see precisely what elements of your online store are effective and which ones leave room for improvement. They show you which call-to-action drives the most conversions and which one is dead on arrival. A/B testing allows you to tweak, fiddle, and fuss with your site in the best possible way.

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Increase E-Commerce Sales With These 4 Design Tips

April 22, 2014 in Blog, How to sell online. 8 Comments

Having a good product or service is your best bet for running a successful online store. But how you present that product or service plays a major role in how it is received by your target audience and whether or not you’ll see your conversion rate slope upwards.

Yep, I’m talking about web design here. You obviously want a site that looks good, but there are some specific things you need to pay attention to if you want to boost sales on your e-commerce site.

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