The Most Important Plugins for WooCommerce: Subscription Shops, GDPR, Newsletters & Co.

9 Min.
WooCommerce plugins selection

There are hundred thousands of plugins for WooCommercefor all conceivable purposes. It is not easy to assess the quality of the extensions. We present the most important tools you need for common shop projects. But also free alternatives.

The diversity of plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce is a great advantage. So you don't have to pay for every special function in your shop Developers or an agency to the company. In many cases, existing solutions can also be adapted with relatively little effort to meet your specific needs.

But whether an extension is really of high quality or even a security risk is sometimes only apparent at second glance. This is especially true if it is offered free of charge. For example on the largest market place WordPress.org. Because despite many a gratissolution that works well and stable: there is not the same amount of personal contact or support available to you as it should be with paid plugins solutions.

Tip

You're new to the world of WooCommerce? Or you want to start your online shop first? Then let our contributions How good is WooCommerceit? and WooCommerce for WP professionals through. Also our extensive E-Book (only available in German) on the subject.

What makes a good plugin?

Indications for a high-quality solution are among others:

  • Number and type of evaluations on WordPress.org or trading places like codecanyon.net
  • Response time and volume of responses in support forums of the provider (or also on WordPress.org)
  • number of downloads
  • Support in your language, ideally from a local support team
  • How quickly are updates provided after an update from WordPress or WooCommerce
  • How often is this Plugingenerally revised
  • Have there been critical security vulnerabilities in the past, how quickly were they fixed

You can also ask in expert groups for WooCommercewhat other users have experienced with a particular extension. For example on Facebook. See our Sources and references to the community.

You can WooCommercefind the in-house extensions of Portal of the provider Automattic. Among them are also free tools. For example, for simple connection of PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay or Google Analytics.

WooCommerce for freelancers and agencies

In the following I will introduce you to some well-known premium plugins and their free alternatives. These supplement WooCommerce with functions which, from experience, are in particularly high demand. From shop operators but also from agencies.

WooCommerce Memberships

If you sell memberships instead of physical items, or if you only sell your goods exclusively to selected customers, then WooCommerce Memberships worth a look. With the extension you can implement membersites areas, closed customer areas, premium content shops and much more (Picture: © WooCommerce):

WooCommerce Memberships
Managing subscriptions with WooCommerceMemberships

The options range from limited access to products and special content areas to free trial memberships. Create different plans like "Silver", "Gold" or "Platinum" subscriptions.

Members can be rewarded with certain special offers and vouchers. In combination with WooCommercesubscriptions (more on this in a moment) they can also upgrade or downgrade their memberships.

Mailchimp for WooCommerce

With Mailchimp you can send newsletters and automate your marketing emails. The extension for WooCommerceintegrates your online shop into this workflow. Integrate your newsletters at different points in the checkout:

WooCommerce Send newsletter
Newsletter dispatch in WooCommercewith Mailchimp

But this is only the beginning. The following use cases can be realized with extended integration:

  • Synchronize your buyers' email addresses with existing lists
  • Segment your customers by the products in their shopping cart or by frequency of purchases
  • Evaluate the success figures of your product and marketing emails in detail
  • Integrated ad campaigns from Facebook and Instagram
  • Send product recommendations or vouchers based on the purchases made
  • Remind your visitors by e-mail of shopping baskets whose purchase was not completed
Note

Some of the items are not legally permitted in some countries, or only under certain conditions. For example in Germany. There, you usually need an explicit consent for shipping (Double-Opt-In). You should also be careful with customer segmentation. Clarify this with your law firm.

By the way, similar extensions are also available for MailPoetthe newsletter-Plugin for WordPress . Even if not quite as comprehensive.

WooCommerce Subscriptions

Selling products in a subscription model, this is possible with WooCommerce Subscriptions. Because in the standard of WooCommerceit is not possible to demand automatically recurring payments. You will need this if you sell software with monthly fees, other services or regular deliveries.

That, among other things, Pluginenables you

  • Flexible payment periods per product
  • Integration of payment services such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay or Wirecard to make the payments
  • Creation of the corresponding invoices per cycle
  • Your customers can switch between different subscription models or take out several subscriptions at once
  • Convert reminders to renew subscriptions by e-mail, or even discounted subscriptions or free trial periods

You can measure at any time how many subscriptions have been taken out, when they are due or expire, and how much revenue you generate now or in the future. Based on these figures, appropriate marketing campaigns and new models can then be planned.

The Most Important Plugins for WooCommerce: Subscription Shops, GDPR, Newsletters & Co.

WooCommerce Bookings

Your business model is based entirely or partly on the distribution of events, training, rentals, consulting, holiday, health and wellness offers, webinars etc.? WooCommerce Bookings extends the shop system with functions for appointment-based services. Including modules for event planning (picture: © WooCommerce):

WooCommerce Bookings
Plan events with WooCommerceBookings

Your customers can specify their preferred dates, while you specify free and blocked slots. Bookings are made by days, hours or even minutes. You can assign individual sessions or group appointments and restrict the minimum or maximum number of participants.

Grant discounts for teams, early booking and for certain target groups. Or demand higher prices on weekends or at certain highly frequented times. This even plugin supports different time zones if your customers book from abroad. You decide how bookings are confirmed, or if and how reservations can be cancelled. Appointment reminders can be sent automatically by e-mail.

WooCommerce product bundles

WooCommerce supports the creation of so-called grouped products to represent simple product packages ("bundles"). The standard functionality, however, does not include a deeper product logic:

Grouped products
Grouped products in WooCommerce: Not always suitable for everyday use

For example, Grouped Products allow your customers to place only a portion of the products in their shopping cart.

If you want to offer product packages that include a price advantage or that only make sense together, you have nothing to gain. Furthermore, there are no logical conditions possible in the basic function such as "Product A excludes product B" or "Product A may only be included x times". For all these cases WooCommercethe chargeable extension Product bundles designed.

Further highlights of the plugins: Increase your cross-selling revenues with features like "Frequently purchased together". You know this from shopping giants like Amazon. Add additional products to the bundles, which can be added to the shopping cart as an option. For example, care products for clothing or cables and accessories for technical goods. You determine how the sub-products are displayed in the shopping cart, checkout and order emails (grouped or individually).

WooCommerce dynamic pricing

Via variable products in WooCommerceyou can set different prices for different product variants. Then the "blue" t-shirt is cheaper than the "red" one. The voucher function of the shop system is also quite sophisticated. Discounts can be controlled according to the minimum order value. Or certain products must be included in the shopping cart for the discount to take effect.

WooCommerce gratis Hosting

However, for complex discounts directly on the product itself you need the additional tool dynamic pricing. It implements the following scenarios, among others:

  • Grant a 5 percent discount on a product if it is placed in the shopping cart x times (graduated prices)
  • Increase this discount to 10 percent for certain WordPress user roles, such as "Gold Members
  • Discount a product if the customer adds another product from the same category
  • For x products from the same product category there is a special discount

These actions can also be partly linked to each other. An example: "Discount for Category A if Gold Members purchase x Category B products". Correctly applied, the extension is a powerful marketing tool.

Note

In some countries only some of these benefits are allowed, others may be subject to competition law. Check this out before you decide on one Plugin like Dynamic Pricing.

Product Add-Ons & Gravity Forms Product Add-ons

The sale of individualised goods is increasing. No matter if it is shoes in your personal favourite colours, the self-made muesli or jewellery with engraving. With the extension Product add-ons you have the possibility to let your customers customize product data before they click on the "Buy" button.

The tool of WooCommerceextends the product display by the necessary input fields and checkboxes. Individual prices for special requests can be implemented as well as uploading graphics, building instructions, samples and sketches. You can even offer additional services. For example gift packaging, a special delivery or a dedication or signature for works of art.

Tip

Gravity Forms Product Add-ons is heading in a similar direction. It extends the popular and very comprehensive solution for contact forms Gravity Forms for WordPress to implement a product configurator. The tool is especially suitable if you are already using the corresponding main plugin form.

One more small note: In addition to the two paid extensions there are free tools like the Personalized Product Option Manager. This is not quite as extensive, but you can use it to add more building blocks to your product pages. For example, text and selection fields, checkboxes, date or number fields:

Individual products
Individual products with WooCommercesell

You can do the Plugin to try out and gain experience with individual products. If the range of functions is then not sufficient, you can still go for a trial-Plugin change. However, the product data entered by the customer up to that point cannot be transferred.

Table rate shipping

With the so-called shipping classes of WooCommerceyou can determine very individually, who in which case and with which products has to pay how much for the shipping. The setup of these classes looks quite complicated at first. But with a little experimentation on your test system you will quickly understand the principle behind it.

In some cases, however, the standard solution is not sufficient. Especially if the following scenarios occur:

  • You need to further subdivide the shipping classes, for example by regions that cannot be mapped into WooCommercethemselves
  • The shipping costs should depend on the weight
  • Or the number of goods in the shopping cart plays a role
  • Depending on the amount of the order the shipping costs vary

Then you should look at the extension Table rate shipping look at.

Tip

In addition to the originalPlugin of WooCommerce there are numerous imitators of the same name. These may be cheaper. However, check whether they offer the same range of functions and support. I advise you to buy the original.

With Advanced Flat Rate Shipping there is also a free solution here. You can also use it to set special shipping costs per product, or for individual categories and countries.

You just want to make the option "free shipping" in WooCommerce subject to certain conditions? For example, depending on the products, the quantity, the weight, the dimensions, the shopping basket total or the WordPress user role? Then you could WooCommerce advanced free shipping be the right thing for you. This Pluginis especially ideal if some customers order very bulky or heavy goods while you normally do not charge shipping fees.

Plugins for Europe

In the European Union there are numerous legal requirements that you have to take into WooCommerceaccount. Especially in Germany and Austria. A wrong attitude and the quite realistic danger of a warning - by competitors, competition associations or authorities - is imminent. This is especially true when:

  • Your online shop is located in the EU or
  • If you sell from your shop to EU countries

In both cases you cannot run WooCommerce the standard way. This also applies to the basic regulation on data protection (GDPR). Fortunately, there are several plugins and service providers who can help you with legal security for WooCommerce. You can read more about these extensions in the blog post WooCommerce plead guilty to legal proceedings.

Tip

Note that there is no 100% protection against legal warnings there. You must have your webshop checked by an online experienced law firm. Before you start and in an ongoing process.

WooCommerce Product
Legal certainty: In Germany you have to provide your products with very specific information.

Other sources for WooCommerce plugins

In addition to the well-known extensions, there are numerous little helpers that make your life with WooCommerce easier. This saves you the need for a costly individual development. But be careful: Too many installed plugins at once can slow down your WordPress system. Or the extensions can paralyse each other. If you are unsure, then ask a Service provider.

Note

Hint: The more important it is that you have each in Pluginadvance in detail on a separate test system before you unlock it in your live shop. The same applies to updates from WordPress, WooCommerce and third plugins party .

Equally important is a high-performance web hosting that is completely geared towards WooCommerce. This is the only way to manage the many processes that your visitors perform simultaneously in the shop. See our article 4 factors for WooCommerce hosting. You develop online shop projects for your customers? Then use our free hosting for WooCommerce.

Climate positive WordPress hosting

Here are the most important contact points, where you plugins can find the most diverse tasks. From performance optimization to product management to a better presentation of your webshop:

You can find more WooCommerce tips in our 70-page e-book WooCommerce for Professionals: Online shops with WordPress. The book is aimed at freelancers, agencies, WP professionals and also at beginners.

Are you lacking a solution? You have questions about WooCommerce? Please use the comment function. You want to be informed about news and instructions for the shop system? Then follow us on Twitter, Facebook , or subscribe to our newsletter.

Pictures: Todd Quackenbush

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