Just like money makes the world go round, mistakes make businesses go down. And some mistakes could cost a lot of money, especially in a user-centered space like eCommerce. Let one happen and you will go home with less money!
Not something you want, yeah?
As they say, friends are for helping each other; so today, we wanted to help you identify some potential WooCommerce mistakes so that you can keep them in check, suck more money out of eCommerce, and make your world go “round-er.”
Here are 5 WooCommerce mistakes you really should avoid, even if your mom doesn’t want you to.
WooCommerce Mistake #1: Neglecting a staging site
For the benefit of those who don’t know what a staging site is, it is an independent, private clone of your live website that can be easily used to test plugins, themes, and custom code.
Updating WooCommerce (and its WordPress themes and plugins) on your live store without testing first on a staging site is a bad idea.
It could lead to terrible things for your business. For example, at WP Tangerine, we’ve seen many people update WooCommerce in a live environment and lose thousands in orders and data because they didn’t test on staging site first.
To begin with, do you know how to build an effective staging site? Do you even know how to properly test tools on it?
You might think you do. Of course almost anyone running a simple blog or website can easily update their WordPress plugins and themes in real time via the WordPress dashboard. But let’s face it: you’re using WordPress and WooCommerce to support an online store, which is far more sophisticated than a blog or a simple brochure based website.
To cut it short, it’s highly recommended that you get a WooCommerce or WordPress expert to handle this for you.
WooCommerce Mistake #2: Running an old version of WooCommerce
WooCommerce has a pretty active release and update cycle. If you keep running an old, unsupported version of the tool, you’re opening your business to a whole lot of risks.
For one, you’re messing with your site security. There may be security issues that were found and patched in the newest version. Running old code leaves your site exposed, making your store vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.
Being an eCommerce site and owing to the fact that your site collects sensitive visitor information such as passwords, credit card information, and personal data, security should be high up on your list of priorities.
For two, you want to offer the best user experience (UX) to your users. An old version of WooCommerce may not bring to the table all that the tool has to offer. There may be some discrepancies and problems; all this lead to bad UX, which in turn makes you lose orders and money.
There are some “legitimate” reasons why people run old versions of WooCommerce, like being able to use third party plugins and themes.
But here’s the reality:
If a theme or plugin developer doesn’t update their software to support the latest WooCommerce versions and ensure compatibility with major releases within a short time after release, then you really shouldn’t be using their theme or plugin. Doing so will open your business to the risks we’ve talked about above and more.
Generally, WooThemes and most third party developers support the current version of WooCommerce and one version back. That means if your store is running older versions than those, you won’t be able to get official support for plugins and themes.
We suggest first testing your store on a staging site with the newest version of WooCommerce when it is released before moving it to your main site.
WooCommerce Mistake #3: Overlooking site security
Good website security is important for increasing customers’ confidence in your site. If customers feel confident and safe to use your eCommerce site, they are more likely to buy from you than not.
The way to achieve this is to secure key areas, like the “My Account” area and checkout process, with an SSL certificate.
Savvy customers will think twice before buying from a site that is not secure. That translates into losing money.
But there’s more.
A website with questionable security not only turns customers off, it does engines and robots, too. In fact, Google do use HTTPS as a ranking signal. In 2017, Google Chrome began marking sites without HTTPS as non-secure, which means HTTPS is a requirement if your site collects sensitive information.
WooCommerce Mistake #4: Ignoring the System Status report
System misconfigurations may cause trouble for your site; and misconfigurations are not uncommon with WooCommerce
So here’s what the WooCommerce team did: they included a System Status report within the plugin. This feature lists several helpful information about your site, including facts on the versions of plugins, active theme, PHP version, web server version, and more.
In this area, you can more easily find details on what could be troubling your site caused by system misconfigurations. Items that normally cause trouble are color coded with red. Each step that is red will have an explanation of what the problem is.
Ignoring this report will be a mistake that not only leaves your store packed with issues, but also potentially cost you some eCommerce money.
WooCommerce Mistake #5: Failing to set selling locations
Using its “Selling Location(s)” feature, WooCommerce allows you to set which countries you will be selling in. You can find this option on the Settings > General tab.
A related setting is the Restrict shipping to Location(s) setting on the Settings> Shipping tab. This feature works by restricting the countries available on the Checkout page’s Billing and Shipping Address forms.
Without setting specific locations you will be selling in, you may have people make orders from countries you hardly know where on earth they are located.
Then you will be forced to get into the hassle of notifying the customer that they won’t be getting the products they ordered and refunding the money collected (sometimes losing money on a processing fee).
If you’re using WooCommerce to manage your online store, it’s important you get things right. This becomes more important when you realize that [successful] eCommerce is dependent on the activities of users and involves [the usually sensitive] financial transactions.
One mistake could make you lose customers and money, but you don’t need that. That’s our reason for putting together this list of WooCommerce mistakes.
Of course, the list is in no way exhaustive, but if you keep an eye on the five discussed above, you will definitely be able to forfend yourself from suffering the consequences that come with these mistakes and from losing eCommerce money.