WOOCOMMERCE – 1000 And TWO Reasons It Sucks

After having been away for a while, I’ve encountered Woo again.  Left to my own devices, I’d rather call them Oww.  I had a customer who bought a Woo Theme from them thinking that it would look like the demo on the home page. Well, you probably could, but it would be far simpler for me to code the whole theme over again.  The “demo” they show to get you make the purchase is partly hard coded and partly relies on more of their $50 each plugins.  What you see is definitely NOT what you get.

Its been two years since I wrote this post and looking at their code, it hasn’t changed much.  The crap-tastic documentation and even more crap-tastic support haven’t changed much either.

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Woocommerce – 1000 and 1 Reasons Why It SUCKS

If you need an e-commerce package for WordPress, do yourself a favor an install WP-e-commerce instead.  It’s about 1000x easier to work with.  It’s documented. And you don’t have to pay get someone to answer a question for you if you can’t find it in the documentation.  

Woocommerce is one of “those” projects.   For those of you who may not know them, they are an e-commerce add-on for WordPress.  They’ve been smelling their own farts far too long and apparently, due to lack of oxygen, much of their collective mass of brain cells seems to have undergone what ecologists refer to as an extinction event. The creator of the product is awfully proud of it, for reasons I can’t quite fathom.  It’s difficult to install.  You have to disable EVERYTHING in your WordPress instance in order to install it.  It doesn’t play well with wide variety of themes and plug ins.  It’s designed to make you buy a WooTheme just go with their e-commerce suite.  Those are $70 each. 

It also doesn’t play well with a lot of hosting providers because the WooDorks insisit that you have part of your server that is writable by your web server.  This is something that most shared hosting providers will not allow because if it is even slightly mismanaged, its a sure path to being hacked.  So unless you have VPS and you know how to configure you file permissions and harden your server, you should really consider finding another e-commerce suite.  I can’t believe that in this day and age they actually expect you to find a shared hosting provider who will give you write access to a root directiory on the server – outside of your own hosting directory.

The documentation, for developers is woefully inadequate.  And if you ask about real documentation, you are told that you should “just pay the $20 to get into the support forums because we only answer questions in our support forums”.  The crap-tastic documentation that does exist, has been in my very recent experience – DEAD WRONG.  All sorts of things that they talk about do NOT work as advertised. Case in point are the product category short codes.  It doesn’t matter what you put into the “short code”, it pulls out ALL the products.  If I had wanted all the products, I’d have used the crappy Woocommerce default product listing instead of trying to create something that looks better and is more functional. 

The “base” package is free but if you want it to actually DO anything – like calculate USPS shipping charges in real time or take a PayPal payment, well you need a module for every single little thing.  And they are $50 each.  So if you want to ship via USPS, that’s $50.  Want to ship via UPS too, that’s another $50.  PayPal Express check out is $50.  Google Checkout is another $50.  Regular PayPal is yet another $50.  So by the time you’ve added enough modules to actually make it useful, it’s a $200 to $500 proposition.

So I think that the “nickel and dime”-ing that goes on with them is probably one of my biggest annoyances.  The biggest annoyance is the attitude of the staff – arrogant, condescending, and juvenile.  If i didn’t know better, I’d swear they were 12 and that they’ve all spent a lot of time shoved into a locker with a Melvin and a jockstrap on their head – hoping that the janitor will come by and let them out eventutally.