Mistakes happen, it’s a part of life; its mistakes that could cost a lot of money are the ones we want to avoid at all costs; especially in the eCommerce space.
We wanted to help recognise some common WooCommerce mistakes so that you can avoid them to keep your eCommerce site performing at its peak!
Here are the top WooCommerce mistakes to avoid.
Neglecting your testing/staging site
Not sure what a staging site is? Essentially,a staging site is a private clone of your live website that is used to test plugins, updates, themes, and customisations in code.
Updating any element of your WordPress site on the live store without testing on a staging site is a terrible idea. We’ve seen so many horror stories from people doing this. So many people run updates to WordPress or WooCommerce on the live site and lose thousands in orders and data. All because they didn’t test it first.
Do you know how to build and test on an effective staging site? Many think they do; almost everyone running a blog can easily enough update their WordPress themes and plugins in real time. However, when you’re using WordPress and WooCommerce as a foundation for an online store, it’s a more sophisticated site and therefore requires the extra step to prevent loss and downtime.
Given the complexities involved, it’s recommended find a WordPress or WooCommerce expert to handle it for you.
Not Updating WooCommerce
WooCommerce actively releasesupdates. Continuing to run an old, unsupported version of WooCommerce, opens your site and business to a lot of risks.
When you fail to update, you’re wreaking havocon your site security. Security issues may have been found and fixed in the newest version. Using old versions leaves your site and store exposed and vulnerable to all manner of attacks. Security should be of utmost importance to an eCommerce site, not just to protect your business from potential clientele and profit loss, but your visitors share sensitive information with your site and you should be protecting that information.
As a site owner competing with a vast array of other eCommerce sites, you want to ensure your site has the best user experience (UX) for your users. Running older versions of WooCommerce may mean you’re not offering your users the best experience when visiting your site. The older versions haven’t been optimised to provide the best experience, they could be full of bugs and in turn,could see you lose orders and money; all because of poor UX.
There may be some legitimate reasons to run old versions of WooCommerce, for example, compatibility with third-party plugins and themes. However, you’re still running the risks and if the theme or plugin developer isn’t updating their software to work with the latest WooCommerce code updates and ensuring compatibility with major releases, it may be time to stop using their theme or plugin. Remember, if it’s not updated regularly, you open your site and business to vicious attacks from hackers and once your site has impacted on a customer, the risk amplifies. You may then update the site, but the customer will always remember the site where their personal data was hacked.
Commonly, most third-party developers support the current and one previous version of WooCommerce. So, if you haven’t updated in a while, you might have trouble finding official support for your site’s plugins and themes.
We will always recommend testing your store on a testing site with the latest version of any theme or plugin, but especially, WooCommerce once it’s released before updating your live site.
Site Security? What Site Security?
Website security is important for assuring customers they can have confidence in your site. If your customers feel confident with your eCommerce site, they are more likely to buy from you and potentially recommend you to others. The best way to achieve this is to secure your site with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
In 2016, Google started warning users to a site that didn’t use an SSL certificate from the moment they landed on the site. So, before they can see your products, Google is firing off a warning that the site isn’t secure. That’s why a global SSL certificate across the site is better than simply providing the security for the account or checkout section of your site. Now because of cyber security threats, most customers won’t consider buying from a site that is not secure. That translates into losing sales and customers.
A website without security not only turns customers away, SEO and Rankings are now also impacted. Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal, so if you aren’t using SSL and haven’t updated your site to an HTTPS platform, Google will not rank you. Less traffic to your site will ultimately ensure your business doesn’t receive the sales it needs.
System Status reports
System misconfigurations may wreak havoc on your site; misconfigurations are not infrequent with WooCommerce. So,the WooCommerce team included a System Status report with the plugin. The feature lists information about your site, including versions of plugins and themes,web server and PHP versions, and much more.
In this report, you can find details on what could be causing issues for your site caused by system misconfigurations. Each item causing an issue is coded red and comes with an explanation of what the issue is. Making it easier to navigate fixes and troubleshoot. Ignoring this report and its insights is a mistake that ensures your store stays saturated with issues and becomes more and more costly, the longer the issues are left alone.
Missing Selling Locations
By using the Selling Location(s) feature built into WooCommerce, the plugin allows you to set the countries you are selling in. You can find this option in the Settings > General tab. You can also restrict which locations you ship to, you can find the setting on the Settings> Shipping tab just look for the Restrict shipping to Location(s) setting. It works by restricting the countries available on the shipping form. If you don’t set specific locations, you may have customers make orders from countries you’ve never heard of, and will then need to figure out how to get their order to them or refund it, which can cost you money in processing fees. So if you’re not shipping worldwide, Selling Locations is imperative to the setup process.
You shouldn’t be daunted by the process of setting up WooCommerce to manage your online store, it’s just important you get things right and it’s easier to complete all the important things initially rather than retrospectively. One mistake can cost you money, even if it’s a learning exercise and when you’re starting a store, the last thing you want is to lose money unnecessarily.
We haven’t compiled the exhaustive list of mistakes to avoid, but these are key points to remember with any WooCommerce store on WordPress.