It’s 2019 now; WooCommerce has been around for almost 8 years. Considering the staggering numbers they showcase, 60 million downloads till date with 4 million active installs, it’s no surprise it serves the purpose well. With almost no effort whatsoever, this free WordPress eCommerce plugin has taken over the mantle of the best eCommerce platform.
But how do they do it? How do they add a contact form page? How do they add shipping options to their Cart page? And why the overall shopping experience is so smooth?
The answer is plugins. Lots of them actually. Famous and successful WooCommerce websites don’t waste hours finding the right plugins. They avoid the hassle and go right for the best ones. And so should you. You wouldn’t want your competitors to get a head start and snatch away your customers right away.
Which is why we have curated a list of the Top 10 Most-Popular Plugins for your WooCommerce store. Treat this list as a checklist because that’s what they have installed on their websites.
1. Yoast SEO
Your website is ready, and everything looks good. But how would you get the traffic and the customers? You don’t actually believe if someone types in “leather handbag” and your website’s going to show up at the top, do you?
Well, this plugin does the hard work for you. Yoast SEO improves the overall onsite SEO and optimizes your website well for search engines like Google and Bing. One of the amazing things is you can set the keyword, “leather handbag” for any of your products and Google will point visitors to your website. Not just that, if you have someone to write good posts then you can make their posts SEO friendly as well.
Of course, there’s a lot to configure in the plugin to achieve that but it’s a good start. You can educate yourself about making your products and posts SEO friendly.
The plugin has two versions – Free and paid. We recommend you to install the Free version first and get the hang of it. You can obviously upgrade to the paid version later on and experience a few additional features.
Most visitors usually know what they want, while some don’t and get confused with so many options around. The latter group of people thus needs professional help in order to figure out the right product. Having a contact form can really help them contact you with their query. Apart from helping out your customers, potential affiliates and company associates can contact you without spamming your inbox.
Contact Form 7 is one such plugin that does all the work efficiently. With this solution, you can manage multiple contact forms on your website. And yes, you can customize the form and the email contents with simple markup. The contact form submissions are also powered by AJAX, reCAPTCHA, and Akismet Spam.
This contact form plugin is one of the most popular plugins out there and allows you to create and set up simple contact forms on your website very quickly. The plugin comes for Free and can be downloaded from the WordPress plugin repository.
This is a big one. If you don’t essentially sell products(digital or physical) on your website, and rather want bookings for your services then this one is for you. WooCommerce Bookings essentially allow clients to select the date and time of booking, allocates the selected bookable product for the selected time duration, automatically blocks the already booked dates, asks clients to pay for the booking, and finally sends an email with the booking details. All of this works alongside with a calendar.
It doesn’t matter whether you offer therapy sessions, or host cooking classes, or offer rental cars, or even hotel rooms, the plugin handles everything that’s bookable. You get the necessary options to set the availabilities for your bookings, define booking cost, assign additional items/services along with the bookings. Check out the features below,
- Offer Bookings in minutes/hours/days/months
- Allow users to book multiple days or multiple appointments at a time.
- Offer multiple bookings for the same time slot.
- Set a minimum and maximum booking duration – For Eg: Users can book minimum of 2 days and up to 8 days
- Allow cancellations. Set a time limit until which cancellations can be accepted before booking starts
- Enable Booking approvals/confirmations from the Admin.
- Convert your bookings calendar into Accommodation bookings. Allow per night bookings and display the check in and check out date.
- Set the start and End time for a booking
- Dynamic Total Booking Cost calculation based on the no of days or time slots selected
- Capture additional information from the users by enabling the Booking Notes Field.
- Allow Buffer or padding time between bookings. (Flexible Buffer after or before a booking)
- Change the Calendar color to suit your website
- Comes with Google Calendar Sync
- Staff Management – Add any no. of staff, manage their respective availabilities and prices
Most of the above features come packed with the premium version of the WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments, so we recommend you go for the paid version. But you can definitely check out the free WordPress booking plugin as well.
4. WooCommerce Shipping plugins
We cannot recommend one shipping plugin to everyone. Most stores ship products via shipping carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL, so it depends on what you’re looking for. On the other hand, some stores handle shipping on their own and thus, only have to display the shipping quotes, and estimated delivery date. Let’s categorize them shipping plugins.
WooCommerce Shipping (Carrier-Specific)
These plugins are specifically designed to handle shipping related to carriers. You can provide real-time shipping estimates/rates, offer order tracking, print shipping labels on your computer, handle international shipments, and a lot more.
- WooCommerce UPS Shipping — for those looking to ship items using UPS services like UPS Ground, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS Next Day Air, etc.,
- WooCommerce FedEx Shipping — for those looking to ship items using FedEx services like FedEx Express Saver, FedEx Ground, FedEx 2Day, etc.,
- WooCommerce Canada Post Shipping — for those looking to ship items from and within Canada using the Canada Post services.
- WooCommerce Royal Mail Shipping — for those looking to ship items from and within the United Kingdom.
- WooCommerce Multi-Carrier Shipping — for those looking to offer multiple shipping carriers at once. So if you want to offer services from FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, and Stamps.com USPS then this one is for you. Please note this plugin neither offers shipment tracking nor print shipping label. You can know more about the plugin in this detailed article.
This plugin helps you set up rules in order to calculate the shipping rates for a combination of conditions. If the user’s cart matches the conditions in the rule, the shipping cost you have defined in that rule is applied. The conditions are based on parameters like product/order total weight, quantity in cart, different product categories, shipping classes, shipping zones, zip codes, many more.
We recommend you to go for the premium versions as they offer much more features. The one year license comes with regular plugin updates and premium customer support.
We all know spam is bad and publishing or commenting malicious content on websites can really harm your business in many ways. What most people don’t know about spam is that it can ill-affect your website’s ranking drastically. It tampers with your Meta Keywords, Alt Attribute, Meta Description, etc., To prevent such issues from coming up in the first place it’s better to set up a firewall beforehand.
Akismet is a wonderful plugin that periodically checks new and old comments posted on your website. It goes through your contact form submissions and compares it from its database that stores in all the spam. If ever there’s a match, it alerts you and blocks that comment/contact form temporarily in order to prevent your website from damage. The plugin offers a dedicated section that’s accessible only by the admin(you). Here you can review all your spams and decide what to do with them.
There are other cool things about the plugin,
- It automatically checks and verifies the comments on your website. Thereafter it filters out the ones that may or may not be spam.
- Each comment on your website will have a history. Akismet will show which comments were spam and cleared, or which comments were marked as spam or not spam by the moderator.
- The links are shown in the comment body so that you can reveal the hidden or misleading ones.
You get the option to install Akismet when installing WordPress for the first time. If you already have WordPress installed you can download the Free version from the WordPress repository.
One of the many reasons why you find websites like allblackshop.com quick and responsive is because they use plugins like W3 Total Cache. This plugin essentially increases your website’s performance drastically and reduces the download times by using a feature called the Content Delivery Network (CDN). Most users aren’t aware of this plugin or the features that it offers; they usually end up blaming their themes or certain plugins.
You don’t have to be a genius to put 2 and 2 together. W3 Total Cache is a wonderful plugin which is very easy to use. The plugin has an ample set of information to guide you through, and if you’re stuck somewhere, be sure to check out their documentation page. A lot of benefits come along with this plugin. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- You can see huge improvements in rankings in search engines. It will also provide a supported view for mobile and other handheld devices that use SSL.
- You can expect a huge improvement in the overall site performance. They claim at least 10 times only when the plugin is configured properly.
- Conversion rates and site performance are two parameters that affect your website’s ranking in google.com. This plugin will improve them as well.
And here are a few standout features that make this plugin so special:
- Compatible with shared hosting, virtual private/dedicated servers, and dedicated servers/clusters
- Transparent content delivery network (CDN) management with Media Library, theme files and WordPress itself
- Mobile support: respective caching of pages by referrer or groups of user agents including theme switching for groups of referrers or user agents
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
- Caching of (minified and compressed) pages and posts in memory or on disk or on (FSD) CDN (by user agent group)
- Caching of feeds (site, categories, tags, comments, search results) in memory or on disk or on CDN
- Caching of search results pages (i.e. URIs with query string variables) in memory or on disk
- Caching of database objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of objects in memory or on disk
- Caching of fragments in memory or on disk
- Minification of posts and pages and feeds
- Minification of inline, embedded or 3rd party CSS (with automated updates)
- Browser caching using cache-control, future expire headers and entity tags (ETag) with “cache-busting”
- Import post attachments directly into the Media Library (and CDN)
- WP-CLI support for cache purging, query string updating and more
- Various security features
- Caching statistics for performance insights
- Extension framework for customization or extensibility e.g. New Relic, Cloudflare, WPML and more
- Reverse proxy integration via Nginx or Varnish
The plugin comes for free in the WordPress repository. We recommend you to download and check out the plugin for yourself.
Images say a lot about a website. You can easily grab your visitor’s attention if have a set of compelling images to showcase your products. Take Apple.com for example. They showcase their products by displaying photos and animation in a very peculiar fashion. Most people find their website attractive, and as a result, their products look more compelling to the visitors.
So undoubtedly, adding some beautiful photos, high-quality images, and pouring in a lot of good animations, could really help your website look professional. But easier said than done.
High-quality are generally big in size and thus occupy a lot of space on your website. Which means your webpage will obviously load slower, that can make your visitors wait for seconds or minutes, which is definitely not good. So in order to reduce the image size while maintaining the same quality level seems a good approach indeed.
Sumsh Image Compression is one such plugin that can save you. It is a popular plugin developed by the famous plugin author, WPMU DEV, and offers some commendable image compression features. You can read below to know more about them:
- Lossless Compression – This feature basically removes unused data while maintaining image quality.
- Bulk Smush – Lets you trigger the plugin to optimize up to 50 images with just a single click.
- Image Resizing – You can set the maximum size for an image’s height and width. This way the bigger images will be shrunken down while they are being compressed by the plugin.
- Incorrect Size Image Detection – The plugin automatically locates images that potentially slow down your website.
- Directory Smush – This feature will allow the plugin to optimize the images that are not present inside your media library.
- Automated Optimization – With this feature enabled, the plugin will automatically compress your attachments(Images, photos, etc.,) in order to increase the upload speed.
- Unlimited & Free – This feature lets you optimize images up to 1 MB.
You can download the plugin directly from the WordPress plugin store. But it also comes with paid upgrades that can help you expand its features even further.
Now that you know why images are important and how you can optimize them in a way it doesn’t affect your website. So the next step is to make your website look better and more accessible by your customers. If you go back to our example at the beginning of the article, you’d find that All Blacks Shop has some wonderful galleries. The images look proportional and visitors can easily make out what the product is all about.
NextGEN Gallery is one of the most-used and trusted gallery plugin of all time. It was first launched in the year 2007 and continues to receive north of 1.5 million new downloads per year. It is an easy-to-use plugin that offers professional yet simple photo galleries, and they are powerful enough for the most demanding photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals.
On the back end, NextGEN offers a complete WordPress gallery management system with the ability to batch upload photos, import meta-data, add/delete/rearrange/sort photos, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more. While on the front end, the free version of NextGEN provides two main gallery styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries) and two album styles (compact and extended), all of which come with a wide array of options for controlling the size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.
The plugin also has two versions, NextGEN Plus, and NextGEN Pro. Both of the plugins are premium WordPress gallery plugin extensions for NextGEN Gallery that add new photo gallery displays, lightboxes, eCommerce, proofing, and pro support.
We recommend you to download the free version first and see what suits you well. And based on your liking you can decide to go with either the Plus or Pro. You can check out their prices here.
This is another great tool to improve your website’s SEO. But it does thing differently than the Yoast SEO. Basically, this plugin allows you to create special XML sitemaps that allow Google, Bing, Ask.com, and Yahoo to index your website better. With the help of such sitemap helps web crawlers to check out your site and fetch information more efficiently.
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin will support and easily check all kinds of pages generated by WordPress including the ones generated with custom URLs. And in addition to that, the plugin will trigger(ping) search engines every time you publish a new post, page or even product. This way your website will be in constant updated and people can find new changes on your website.
Here are a few more details about this plugin:
- Updation of new contents like— posts, pages, products, taxonomies, authors, archives, etc.,
- Customizable user interface for parameters like priorities.
- Support for multiple languages
- Allocates the priority for posts based on the number of comments under the same
- Offers a unique WordPress filter for other plugins installed on your website to add pages to the sitemap
- Can be used with multiple websites
The plugin has been around for more than 9 years now and is one of the most downloaded ones. You can download the plugin right from its WordPress page and start using it.
A great many things come out of an eCommerce website— money, customers, brand value and awareness, and much more. But it also has its fair share of risk and security concerns. Any average snooper or hacker can unmount your website within minutes. So probably the first thing you should be doing before doing any business is making sure you have your defenses ready.
Wordfence is one such plugin that provides a powerful barricade around your website and monitors your website timely. It comes with features like WordPress Firewall and WordPress Security Scanner.
WordPress Firewall— This web firewall finds and blocks traffic that is malicious. It shields your website at the endpoints and does not break any sort of encryption, or share/leak any sensitive data outside. One of the premium features, Threat Defence Feed, is a real-time firewall that updates the malware signature periodically. Another feature, IP Blacklist, blocks the requests that come from IP addresses that could be malicious. Multiple manual attempts (brute force) is prevented by limiting login attempts, enforcing strong passwords, and other login security measures provided by this plugin.
WordPress Security Scanner— The plugin constantly checks your files, data, installed themes, installed plugins, bad URLs, SEO spams, etc., making sure your website remains secure at all times. It also compares your files with the ones present in the WordPress.org repository and checks the integrity of the same; it will display the report whenever there’s a mismatch. This security scanner also repairs files that have been mistakenly changed/edited, with the original files. This way your website will not fail at any point in time. The WordPress Security Scanner also scans your website for any known or unknown threats, security vulnerabilities, issues and reports back to you whenever a scan is completed. It will also check if your WordPress website or IP have been blacklisted for any malicious activity, generating spam, or other security issues.
This all-in-one security plugin is worth checking out and you should consider going for the paid version as it offers really amazing features. You can know more about the plugin here.
Let’s have a look at other plugins are worth mentioning in the list. You can definitely consider downloading them.
Jetpack was developed by the team behind WordPress, Automattic. Instead of being a single plugin it offers a wide range of different extensions, including site security, social sharing, improving site performance, optimizing your images, and a lot more.
You can either choose to download the plugin at the beginning of the WordPress installation or from the WordPress plugins page. You can easily go with the free version as it offers ample features to get going.
Slider Revolution is a very versatile slider plugin. You can create simple slideshows, entire media galleries, and even newsletter sign up pages. With this plugin, you’ll have control over the final layout of each slide.
This is a very commonly used plugin and almost 4 million websites are using this plugin. You need to get a license in order to make this plugin work.
Redirection is one of the most popular link redirection plugins. With this plugin, you’ll be able to change the permalinks of certain pages or posts, and easily redirect your users to the current version of the page. This plugin is also useful when you’re migrating pages or posts from an older site. You can download the free version which offers more than enough features to handle most tasks.
Sometimes you want to give your pages and posts a completely custom design. This is where you can use a plugin like Page Builder by SiteOrigin. This plugin is very easy to use and will let you create custom designs from within your WordPress page editor.
With over 1 million active installs, this free page builder plugin is probably the best option out there. The plugin supports the following languages— Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Chinese (simplified), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese (BR), Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
MailChimp, as you might already know, is essentially used as a newsletter service. So website admins can create and send out multiple email campaigns to a list of email subscribers/customers. The MailChimp for WordPress plugin will let you easily sync your WordPress site with your MailChimp list. And you can also create opt-in forms to add to your site to encourage readers to join your list.
The Free version of the plugins will allow up to 2000 subscribers. So if you have just started with an online business then we recommend you to start with the free one. Once your website becomes bigger and you start getting more and more customers, you can move up and upgrade to the premium version where you can accumulate more subscribers.
There are tons of other plugins out there that offer good application-based features and facilities. Based on your requirements and the scale of your business, you can choose the right plugin to carry out necessary processes effortlessly. The plugins in the list offer some of the most advanced features that provide you with the comfort of handling different business scenarios.
We recommend you to try the free versions of all the plugins and start exploring their features. So once you’re aware of the working and find yourself in need to upgrade, we then recommend you to pay for the premium version.
We hope this article would have helped you with choosing the right plugin for your business. You can contact our customers support to know more about the shipping and bookings plugins we mentioned before in the list.
Let us know in the comments section below about how you feel about the list. Did we miss anything? Would you like to recommend a plugin and would like to see on the list? Then please drop a line below.