Tag Archives | woocommerce

Is Shopify Better than WooCommerce for eCommerce?

two women looking at computer discussing a project

Recently, a website platform seemed to claim responsibility for a celebrity’s online success (web traffic, voluminous sales and market domination).  But what made that celebrity’s site successful?  Was it the platform they chose?  Or was the site’s success being driven by the celebrity themselves and the brand they represent?  In all likelihood that celebrity could have used any platform and still have had a successful site. They were responsible for their own online success, and the platform had little to do with it.

Your website is an extension of who you are.  It is an expression of your vision.  It is a result of hard work and creativity. And if you have an ecommerce site, then it is also a revenue source.  If you are selling something, the website platform you choose has to have your back because you have a lot invested in, and a lot riding on, the virtual space you’ve created.  You can’t choose a platform based on what a celebrity, or any successful site, uses.  You have to dig deeper.

There are two kinds of people in the ecommerce world: those who need a website and those who already have a website.

If you need an ecommerce site, the first questions you should ask are: What is my website’s intent? What am I trying say, do, express, and accomplish?  The second questions are: What am I selling and will the platform I’m looking at support the sale of my product or service?

If you already have an ecommerce site, then you are (hopefully) regularly evaluating the platform you are using to ensure your site is being taken care of in the best possible way.  You should always be asking: Is the platform I’m using reliable and are my content and business safe?

When choosing a platform, you have many decisions to make.  Will you need ongoing support, or can you be independent?  Do you need a highly customized site, or can you use one straight “out of the box”?  Do you anticipate having high volume sales, or will your site be more specialized with less traffic?

The answers to these questions will guide you through the pros and cons of many platforms. No platform is perfect, and many might meet your needs.  But if you are selling something, whether you are new to ecommerce or have an active store, there is one overriding question that must be addressed: What are you selling?

Not all platforms are ideal for all types of ecommerce.

Platforms can be tied to specific payment gateways.  If a payment gateway decides that it does not want to support the sale of a specific product or service, then your ability to sell could be denied and your store could be closed. If you plan to do, or already doing, online sales, it is in your best interest to choose a platform whose payment gateway is reliable and flexible.

Let’s get specific.

In Shopify’s Payments Terms of Service, prohibited businesses are listed in section B5.  That’s right: prohibited businesses.  If you sell or offer anything on this list, your store will likely be closed in the near future.  And remember – this list can change at any time, which means your ecommerce venture may not be safe if you use this platform.

Here is a partial list of businesses that are currently prohibited on Shopify:

  • All cannabis related businesses and products
  • Any business selling products that claim to have health benefits
  • Travel reservation businesses
  • Timeshare services
  • Flea markets

So, what’s the alternative?  Using an open source platform like WordPress with WooCommerce.

WordPress allows users to choose from any number of payment gateways and WordPress is not held hostage by the whims and demands of those gateways. Unlike Shopify, a publicly traded company that is required to meet certain criteria from its financial partners, WordPress has no such financial obligations; WordPress clients are free to choose whatever payment gateway fits their needs.

So, if you have a cannabis business with products to sell, WordPress with WooCommerce is a platform that will support you.  If you sell vitamins or health improving products, WordPress with WooCommerce is the platform for you. Whatever your business is, WordPress will support it. This is the beauty of using an open source platform.

It’s hard work to prepare, create, and maintain a virtual business. Be sure you select a platform that offers you choice and does not limit your vision.  WordPress with WooCommerce is a platform you can trust.  It has your back.

Contact us today for more information.

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business solutions, ecommerce, how to, woocommerce, wordpress

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WooCommerce is the Best Alternative to the Google Checkout Shutdown

In the last few weeks, I have had some clients call me in a panic over news of the Google Checkout shutdown. Google recently announced that Google Checkout will be retired on November 20, 2013. While this is certainly inconvenient for some online e-commerce sites, there are solutions to implement to keep an online store running. One easy alternative is using WooCommerce as a payment gateway for your WordPress site to continue to sell merchandise.

What is Google Checkout?

Google Checkout is an online process that Google created for paying for goods or services purchased online. Individuals enter their credit card information, as well as as shipping address, into their Google account, which enables them to easily purchase items on e-commerce sites. Google Checkout also provides fraud protection, and allows buyers to track their online purchases.

Google Checkout closure

Google Checkout

On November 16, 2011, Google Checkout was renamed to Google Wallet. This service allows users to store their credit, debit, and even gift card, information on their mobile phone to pay for purchases made on the web or in stores where contactless payments are accepted. Google Wallet also allows users to use special store promotions; all one has to do is have the barcode on the phone be scanned at checkout for the discount or promotion to be applied.

How Does the Google Checkout Closure Affect You?

The Google Checkout closure will affect many online e-commerce sites as of November 20, 2013. Here is what Google has to say:

  • Merchants selling digital goods may transition to Google Wallet for digital goods
  • Merchants selling through Google-hosted marketplaces (e.g. Google Play) will be unaffected
  • Merchants selling physical goods will need to switch to third-party alternatives

WooCommerce – a Google Checkout Alternative



If you have a WordPress site where you sell physical goods and you have used Google Checkout as your online processing center, you will need to replace that method this November. A great alternative is WooCommerce, which is a free plugin that allows users to customize their selling and shipping options for an additional fee.

As I explained in my previous blog, “WooCommerce – The Best WordPress E commerce  Plugin,” WooCommerce works by allowing customers to pick the items they want, add them to a cart, and then click purchase. Once they do that, they will be transferred to PayPal, which will take their credit or bank account information, process it, and then notify you once payment has been made. Once you know that payment has been secured, you can set up account updates for clients, so they can be alerted when their product ships, etc. WooCommerce has offsite checkout built-in, so you don’t need an an extension to connect to PayPal. It also allows for built-in shipping options, with national, international, and even local delivery options.

WooCommerce lets visitors easily scroll through your site and view photos and detailed information about products and their different attributes, such as sizes and colors. It also integrates with social media, therefore allowing customers to leave reviews and share the products you offer on sites like Facebook. WooCommerce allows owners to set up promotional discounts and coupon codes, even rewarding buyers with discounts for sharing your products on social media forums.

WooCommerce makes it easy for business owners to keep track of sales. You can view and edit order details, get update statuses, and add notes to orders. You get access to built-in reports, and can even manage your inventory with this plugin.”

To replace Google Checkout, you will need to uninstall it from your WordPress site, and then install the WooCommerce plugin. I always recommend WooCommerce to my clients, and believe it is one of the easiest plugins in to integrate into a WordPress site.

The team at Behla Design is dedicated to creating visual experiences that effectively tell our clients’ stories while engaging, exciting, and enticing their customers. Our firm consists of the top web design and development, WordPress, search engine optimization (SEO), and copy writing professionals. Our founder, Andrew Behla, has worked in the graphic, print and web design industry for over twenty years.

For more information, visit Behla Design.

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business solutions, ecommerce, how to, wordpress