WooCommerce Weekly Review #7: Woo vs Magento, shop security and customer confidence

What is a WooCommerce shop in practice? And how do you protect it against external attacks? This and more in our Weekly Review.

WooCommerce vs Magento: Scorecard

How suitable is WooCommerce for beginners? There are a lot of comparisons between WooCommerce and other systems around the web. Andreas Gerads from Stofftaschentücher.de already has experience with Magento. In his blog he gives his own firsthand personal assessment (in German).

The results are fascinating for all shop owners:

  • What is it like in terms of hosting?
  • What are the useful and essential plugins? (Disclaimer: he also talks about the issue of legal certainty and our own plugin WooCommerce German Market)
  • Which WooCommerce extensions are useful for marketing products?
  • What about user rating systems, such as Trusted Shops or eKomi?
  • Which technical and administrative factors need to be considered?

Here is a summary of his, at times, very sophisticated conclusion:

For me, the implementation speed and flexibility of the WooCommerce shop is exactly what I was looking for and just enough so that I am prepared to accept the drawbacks in terms of operational complexity.

Because of the, at times, difficult interaction between WooCommerce, external plugins and third party themes, it is, however, not recommended to stick with an older, working version of WooCommerce, as he suggests in his post. Firstly for security reasons and secondly, because unresolved bugs will get worse with future updates.

Target-oriented navigation in the web shop

Right or wrong navigation in the online shop can mean substantial revenue jumps or sales just about breaking even. In this blog post, WooThemes provides numerous tips on what to look out for when trying to achieve a target-oriented layout of the navigation elements. They also outline the corresponding tools for WooCommerce.

Navigation as an example
Even big shops get things wrong: what are the dirndl shop and Christmas cookies doing in the technology section ?

Here is a snippet from the post:

  • The author argues for a top-down approach in which visitors initially have just a few main categories to orientate themselves. She also gives practical examples.
  • Limited product ranges can use alternative sorting methods, including colors and product sizes.
  • If used sparingly, even double submenu entries can be of use (linked in various main menu items).
  • Easy-to-use filters are recommended, especially for stores with a wide range of goods. Because if the potential customer has too much choice, he soon loses interest.
  • The post discusses how categories with discounted articles are best placed.

Nicole Kohler from WooThemes also reveals the most common shop navigation mistakes and how to avoid them.

Increase WooCommerce security

The Cloudways Blog lists 13 tips on how to make a WooCommerce shop secure. The individual tips actually relate to WordPress in general. But it can’t hurt to check them out. Because a hacked online shop is not only annoying, it can also cause serious problems, especially in the case of stolen user data.

The post includes information about:

  • A range of security plugins which impede hackers
  • Hiding the author URL created by WordPress
  • A web hosting service which blocks suspicious requests
  • Multiple backups which are not only easy to secure, but also easy to restore.
  • The use of premium WooCommerce themes
  • Turning off pingbacks and trackbacks and changing the database prefix

Ultimately only one of the packages from the measures outlined by Cloudways can really help to ensure maximum security.

Trustworthy e-commerce

How does an online shop gain that all-important trust they need from their customers? We have discussed this topic a number of times here in this blog. Kissmetrics has published an infographic which lists the most important factors for a “trustworthy” e-commerce website.

Online shop trust
A section of the infographic (© kissmetrics).

These include:

  • Direct and prominent means of contact, including customer-friendly service hours
  • Specify: how many deliveries/products have you processed or shipped?
  • Is PayPal the most popular payment method? Or credit card? The relevant icons should be displayed in a central location accordingly
  • A well-designed “About Us” page with pictures of the team works wonders in an online shop, just as it does in a corporate blog
  • You should make the effort to work with authentic customer testimonials, especially for best-selling products
  • A tip, which in our experience always seems to be taken for granted: Centrally-integrated and comprehensible policies about shipping, returns and warranty

These measures will, of course, not be relevant for all web shops. Stating the amount of orders placed in a relatively new shop could be counterproductive. Nevertheless, the infographic does include some useful pointers.

Source: Roadmap for a Trustworthy E-Commerce Website – Infographic

What else went on…

  • WooThemes has released a significantly enhanced version of its WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin
  • The WooCommerce Maps Store Locator will make it easier to embed Google Maps in your store, for an overview map with shops in the near, for example
  • This post will show you how to use WooCommerce product keywords for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • If you want to hide the sidebar in the product overview or on the product page, here are the instructions

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Editor at MarketPress. Passionate blogger, corporate blog expert and book author (e.g. "Blog Boosting"). Co-organizer of WP Camp Berlin.

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