Cheap WooCommerce for Custom WordPress [Expert Tips]

Cheap WooCommerce for Custom WordPress [Expert Tips]

WordPress websites with custom WooCommerce themes can take a long time to design and build. 100+ hours is common as is $100+/hr. But that doesn’t mean $10K is a given for custom e-commerce. Cheap WooCommerce can be a thing as WooCommerce developers have a number of shortcuts that cut time and complexity and can make working for lower rates possible.

So here are a few ways custom WooCommerce can be less expensive.

Table Of Contents

Custom WooCommerce Themes

On install the WooCommerce plugin adds a number of pages to your site, most notably the Shop, Cart, and Checkout pages. These run automatically based on products you add, but they are not automatically styled like your site. As a result, adding WC to a site can easily more than double the hours needed for design and development.

Cheap WooCommerce is about simplifying both the design and development process to provide a custom outcome as quickly as possible.

Cheap WooCommerce Design

Limiting the hours needed for WooCommerce design is really where the biggest savings can be found implementing the plugin. With four or more page templates to style a web designer could easily make choices that add a great deal of time to development.

Keeping things efficient means keeping this simple.

Match your WordPress theme

The most obvious necessity is simply to ensure that the design of the WooCommerce page templates matches the site’s design. On a budget we don’t need the commerce pages to have custom flare. No different backgrounds or colors. No new fonts. No big layout shifts.

WooCommerce does work, with varying results, within any WordPress theme. However, it rarely looks great on install. It often has far too many features in view and there can be elements broken by your site’s current styling.

Keeping things efficient here is about:

  • removing unneeded features so you have less to style
  • matching those left to the site

Simple form input styling

If you already have form inputs on your site, maybe for a contact form, then you can use that design for the Checkout page. This page is a long form with various inputs. It’s possible to spend a good deal of time on the layout and styling of this form and it’s page. Save time by changing as little as possible and matching what you can.

In addition, there are some form input designs that aren’t very cross-browser compatible and some that just don’t work well. So keeping things fairly conventional here is important.

Limit behavior complexity

If you want to limit design and development time, limit design and implementation of interactive behaviors. You can leave the flashy hover states for version 2.0. Interactive motion can be very cool, but can also cause a host of bugs that take time to work out.

Cheap WooCommerce Development

While designing your e-commerce store can go quickly, building it is a bit more labor intensive, regardless of time savings. In addition to styling multiple page templates it’s also necessary to show and hide features, get filler content in place, ensure that all the essential setup has been done, and do testing.

Providing cheap WooCommerce development can be challenging, but here are some suggestions.

Don’t change basic layout

It will be tempting to get creative with the layout of your store pages, particularly if you have an unusual layout you want to match. Add a store to your website can be a chance to spruce things up. But if you want to keep WooCommerce development less expensive you need to keep things as out-of-the-box as possible.

As I will point out below, you can easily hide features you don’t want or need. However, it’s a lot more work to change the overall layout of your store pages, changing the basic order of elements. These kinds of changes can involve complex code changes and may introduce a number of visual and functional bugs that significantly increase build time.

Hide unwanted features with CSS

While there are some settings on the WordPress dashboard that will let you show and hide certain features of WooCommerce, by far the fastest way to decide what features you are seeing is to simply hide the one’s you don’t want using CSS, the web styling language.

Without question, WC includes more features that many will ever need. Things like related products or reviews may be entirely unneeded. Where possible your developer will hide these features using the settings. But some can just be physically hidden to make this easier.

There are two things going on here. First, it’s best to limit features to only those you think your audience will need or care about. And second, the fewer elements on the page, the fewer that need to be styled and tested.

Cheap WooCommerce uses PayPal checkout

WooCommerce has integrated support for PayPal on install. You can use an offsite link on checkout to PayPal, or install a plugin that pulls PayPal checkout into your site. Visitors can use their PayPal account or any bank card. Both options are relatively easy to setup. The same is not true for other payment gateways.

Payment gateway plugins, or the code used to connect your site to your bank account, are notoriously buggy and frustrating to setup. While they have improved over the years, it’s still the case that the fastest and easiest way to get WooCommerce running is with PayPal.

In the past people didn’t like the integrated PayPal option because at the point of sale it takes you offsite to PayPal checkout. However, a plugin was created making it very easy to get PayPal working within the on-site WooCommerce checkout system.

This is a critical step in saving money building WooCommerce as it ensure that the most important part works right without fail.

Cheap WooCommerce Setup

The final big piece of the puzzle is the time taken dealing with content, including settings. Filler content. Final content. Taxes. Shipping. This is a big concern with specific issues.

Generally underestimated

Setting up and running an e-commerce site is not necessarily hard. But it does take some amount of steady attention to get working right and get content and products in place. It’s very common for people new to e-commerce to underestimate the time involved. And as a result this part of the build process can often balloon in scope.

Cheap WooCommerce anticipates needed content

An important way to prevent scope creep in WooCommerce setup is to ensure that stakeholders have an early and clear picture of all the info they will need to provide before launch. So it’s good to make a list of needed info and content early in the project.

Clarifying needed content and info makes it clear to stakeholders the attention needed from them to launch. Things needed may include:

  • Learning how to use the WordPress dashboard and location of WooCommerce features
  • Product images, descriptions, prices
  • Tax logic
  • Shipping logic
  • Return Policy text
  • GDPR compliance

Google generic settings

If you want to save some time don’t overthink your tax or shipping logic or things like GDPR compliance. It’s quick and easy to Google location based settings for taxes. You will probably use a shipping plugin that automates calculation of shipping cost. And there are GDPR plugins that make that easy to implement.

In other words, while getting all this in place does take time, there are shortcuts. Your best bet is to avoid making your product pipeline overly complex at the start.

Basic Return Policy

One of the big pitfalls is legal ramifications of a return policy. Your site might need a Privacy Policy, GDPR statement, and Return Policy, all of which have legal ramifications. You can use generic versions of each and you will probably be fine. However, once you start running an e-commerce site you become responsible for fulfillment.

Ensuring that you have a simple and logical return policy that no one could possible misunderstand is important. Saving time on this is about finding good free examples you can copy that fit your business model.

WooCommerce on a Budget

In summary, while there are a lot of moving pieces to a WooCommerce integration and many steps for design, development, and deployment, experienced web designers / developers should be able ‘keep it simple’ and save time.

The key there is experience. While WooCommerce is an integral plugin to the WordPress ecosystem, and it is certainly easier to use than any other custom e-commerce platform, experience allows a web producer to anticipate road blocks and make choices that minimize time, providing truly cheap WooCommerce.