What’s going on with your WooCommerce website? Is it working well for you – or could it be better, somehow?
There’s a plugin for just about everything you could possibly want to do with your site. But, as the saying goes – just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. Let’s just stick to the ones that will make the best impact.
What makes a Woo plugin punch above its weight?
- Effortless installation
- Free or reasonably priced
- Configuration supported by good documentation
- Makes an improvement that has a positive impact on sales
Dan & Conrad’s 5 essential Woo plugins
- Feefo (to enhance trust)
- PayPal (for a frictionless checkout experience)
- Yoast SEO (up your optimisation game)
- Imagify (image size versus site speed)
- W3 Total Cache (everything versus site speed)
Our Woo plugin guide
WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin is customisable, so you can add bespoke elements or integrate other third party plugins to make it work smarter, harder and better.
Plugins are easy ways to make improvements to your website. They vary in simplicity and cost and they usually come with detailed tutorials and documentation.
All plugins will do something impressive straight out of the box. However, proper configuration will help you get the best performance. Some plugins will require more technical know-how than others.
Image by Feefo
Feefo helps you get authentic reviews from customers, which wield immense power to influence prospective customers that you’re the real deal.
Credibility means business. If prospective customers don’t know if they can trust you, they’ll go on to spend money with someone they feel they can. Customer reviews are one way of proving you’re legit and you keep your promises.
The plugin integrates with the sales data from your back office; a sale triggers a request to the customer to provide a helpful review and star rating. These are pulled into your website and also Feefo’s.
Feefo plugin installation and configuration
If you’re confident with digital, you can install and configure Feefo for your WordPress/WooCommerce site out of the box. Alternatively, it’s a simple job for your digital agency.
Feefo has four payment plans – something for every WooCommerce business.
2. PayPal Payments
Image by PayPal
Woo has its own checkout but this plugin from PayPal allows customers a slick, all-in-one checkout experience.
- Accepts PayPal Digital Payments, credit/debit cards, and local payment methods
- Secure and also helps combat fraud and supports compliance
- Pay Later and other payment options available for customers
- A reputable brand and solution, making it a powerful trust indicator
- Customers can checkout quickly and conveniently from a product page
PayPal claims that customers are almost three times more likely to complete a purchase when PayPal is an option at checkout: more sales, fewer abandoned carts.
PayPal plugin installation and configuration
It’s fairly quick and easy to set up PayPal Payments but it’s a job for someone with technical configuration expertise. It directly affects payments, so the last thing you want to do is break your checkout process.
This plugin is an extension/upgrade to your business’ PayPal account, so there are no monthly subscription fees or one-off payments upfront – you pay for the service through merchant’s fees.
3. Yoast SEO & WooCommerce SEO
Image by Yoast
Yoast SEO is a really useful free tool that allows your marketing or digital teams to control all sorts of important SEO related settings without the need for development work.
It easily integrates with your WordPress WooCommerce website. You use it to keep your site healthy in the technical sense and optimise content, like:
- Readability scores
- Internal link building
- Automatic structured data
These features are across both subscriptions (free and paid for). There’s also a more sophisticated paid version of the plugin specifically for WooCommerce that offers quicker and easier configuration and help fixing SEO issues.
Among its exciting yet very practical features are:
- Ability to show off your product pages in SERPs
- Help to improve breadcrumb navigation for user-friendly browsing
- Configure extra detail for users and search engines through structured data
- Creation of attention-grabbing formats for social media feeds
Yoast plugin installation and configuration
Download and activate the general SEO plugin (either the free or paid version), then add the WooCommerce plugin – it’s that easy.
Yoast offers a lot of guidance and training with the free and paid for subscription. This means that if you’ve got a basic knowledge of your website and how it works, you can install and configure this yourself, and use it to improve your SEO. If in doubt though, ask an expert.
Yoast SEO starts free, so you can test it out before you move to a monthly fee that adds features. The Woo extension is a paid-for service that can be added to the free or paid plugin.
Image by Imagify
From May this year, Google made speed into a major ranking factor for websites. This is because a slow site gives your customers a poor user experience.
Even if the biggest search engine wasn’t pushing the agenda, a faster website is in your favour. Web visitors don’t want to wait for a page to load – they’ll click off and visit the competitor whose website loads more quickly.
Many elements on your site affect speed, but size of images is the worst offender. There are many ways to tackle this but Imagify’s WordPress plugin is an absolute gem.
It’s best feature? Making the odious task of resizing all the images in your media library to their optimal size, without losing quality, “in one click”.
Imagify plugin installation and configuration
It’s an easy installation – download the plugin and activate. Imagify boasts that you can start optimising your media library within five minutes. Hmm… yes, probably.
However, you might need a techie to tell you where to find your api key and to configure the plugin.
There are three pricing plans starting at zero, with one to suit every size of business – and media library.
5. W3 Total Cache (W3TC)
W3TC improves your website’s SEO and user experience by increasing its performance and reducing load times (speed).
Before you point out that you got Yoast SEO and Imagify on the back of the recommendations above, this one handles different aspects.
So, a large proportion of what this plugin does is down to caching and minifying (compressing) scripts and HTML files. And it leverages content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices too.
- Improvements in SERPs, especially for mobile-friendly websites
- Minimum 10x improvement in site performance when fully configured
- Improved conversion rates and increased visitor time on site
- Improved web server performance that can sustain high traffic periods
- Up to 80% bandwidth savings possible
W3TC is user-friendly and will do a lot of things out of the box but you’ll need the help of a techie colleague (or your web agency) to get the most out of this Woo plugin. It requires particular attention to certain URL rules for configuration, especially for an online store, for example.
Though you will need technical support to configure it.
- Lighthouse – an app for your browser to check website speed
- Mobile-friendly test – what’s stopping people buying on the go?
Get help to install your WooCommerce plugins
There’s no doubt, however easy these plugins seem in the advert, it’s easier and more time-efficient to get a developer or other technically-minded person on the job.
Coming to a digital agency for support will provide holistic advice about the performance of your website, including which other services would impact your sales, profit and growth.
Don’t leave sales to chance – get in touch today.
Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash
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