What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that can convert your WordPress website into an ecommerce store. Sell physical goods, digital products, accept payments online, manage shipping, email receipts, offer discounts, and the list goes on.

WooCommerce History

WooCommerce was officially released in September 2011 by the WordPress theme shop, WooThemes. WooThemes hired two developers, Mike Jolley and James Koster, to work on a fork of Jigoshop, an existing WordPress ecommerce solution.

WooCommerce logo

Over the next few years, WooCommerce became incredibly popular. Then, in May 2015, WooThemes (along with the WooCommerce plugin) was acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com.

WooCommerce Stats

Barn2 Media has compiled a nice list of WooCommerce stats. If you’re really into the data, you should check that out. But I’ll include a few general WooCommerce stats below. Data updated April 2018.

  • Total Downloads: 42+ million
  • Active Installations: 3+ million
  • Languages Supported: 51
  • Percentage of Ecommerce Sites: 42% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce (source)

WooCommerce Themes & Plugins

While nearly impossible to calculate, we’ll try to give you some kind of idea how many themes & plugins are out there to extend the functionality of WooCommerce.

  • WooCommerce Themes: Over 1,500, but impossible to calculate accurately
  • WooCommerce Plugins & Extensions: Over 2,500, but again, the number is likely much higher

If you’re searching for a theme, we’ve compiled our list of the best WooCommerce themes on the market.

Storefront single product page
Example of a single product page on the popular Storefront theme

Themes & plugins are sold on popular marketplaces, independent third-party sites, as well as WooCommerce.com itself. As of April 2018, the official WooCommerce store has 14 child themes & over 300 WooCommerce extensions.


How much does WooCommerce cost?

WooCommerce is 100% free to download and use on your WordPress site. However, there are many add-ons you can purchase that will enhance your online store. In most cases, the free version of WooCommerce will not be enough to power your store. You’ll likely need to purchase a few add-ons.

In addition to these add-ons (which can run anywhere from $10 to $200 per add-on), you’ll also need reliable WordPress hosting. Our WordPress hosting guide has everything you need to find the right host.

WooCommerce Alternatives

WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform built specifically for WordPress. There are WooCommerce alternatives you can use to run your online store, but if you’re using WordPress, WooCommerce is definitely the way to go.

If you’re not completely set on WooCommerce, here are a few WooCommerce alternatives you could look into:

  • Shopify: Fully-managed ecommerce platform. More expensive. Less flexibility. Easier setup. Good for beginners & non-techies. Starting at $29/mo.
  • BigCommerce: Fully-managed solution starting at $30/mo.
  • Magento: Enterprise-level ecommerce software starting at $2,000/mo.

I hope we were able to provide you with a quick overview of what WooCommerce is, and what it can do. When time permits, we hope to expand this article to include even more information on how to fully master the WooCommerce plugin.