WooCommerce has grown a lot in the last few years.
Many choose this solution to power their e-commerce websites. I’ve talked to people, and they said it’s easier to manage the shop than other e-commerce solutions, like Magento, Opencart or Prestashop.
So, for small shops of non-technical people, WooCommerce might be the best solution.
But what if you mean business? Can WooCommerce be a serious platform to build your e-commerce business? The reason why I’m asking this is that my experience with webshops powered by WooCommerce is not so great.
So, what’s wrong with WooCommerce?
I heard many complain that the admin section can get very slow. Some, unfortunately, are on shared hosting, so there’s the hosting issue, but I remember one shop owner who was on a big Linode, 64 GB RAM / 16 CPU cores, with a LEMP stack. Pretty good setup, the website could handle quite the traffic.
And everything was working fine on the frontend; he had no complaints.
But over one weekend (Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend) the shop had about 7,000 orders. While very happy with this success, they had trouble managing those orders in the backend. The WordPress admin was so slow that it took him 3 weeks to process all the orders.
We talked about how we could solve this and, while I am pretty good at making WordPress faster, I couldn’t find a solution. I can only assume that he would need to move MySQL to a separate server and make some complex database optimizations, things that go beyond my abilities.
So we talked to another guy, and he says, why bother with WooCommerce? Just migrate to CS-Cart, I can guarantee you won’t have this problem. Since I know nothing about this CMS and I can’t help with anything at this point, I didn’t follow the discussion.
After a couple of months I talked to the shop owner and asked him about what he did, I was curious how they solved the issue.
He said he switched to CS-Cart and, indeed, he can manage orders faster than with WooCommerce and his operational efficiency is much better.
Now, this is not a praise to CS-Cart, I still don’t know much about that CMS. Nor is supposed to be a rant on WooCommerce. It’s just the facts as I see them.
While I love WordPress and you can build almost anything on top of it, maybe this CMS cannot be the best solution for every type of website.
What do you think?
Have you encountered these issues with managing orders in WooCommerce? What database optimizations can you do?
Can WooCommerce be used as a robust e-commerce solution by people who mean business or is it just for small timers who want a fast, simple, easy to build online shop?