How to Safely Update WooCommerce Via Staging

When a new version of the WooCommerce plugin is released, and the WordPress dashboard starts sending you notifications that it’s time to update, this question comes always to mind: “Should I update WooCommerce right now, wait a little longer, or stay on the same version unless something breaks?

Well, updating WooCommerce is ALWAYS a big risk – potentially you can break your live website and miss out on traffic and sales. This can happen every time a significant update is released – many store owners don’t update their stores because they feel the hassle is not worth the effort.

But updating WooCommerce is definitely a good idea for the long-term. The main cause of WordPress hacking is because of out-of-date plugins and themes. And this is where staging environments come in.

A staging website is a clone of your existing live store. It’s completely separate and it doesn’t affect your live store in any way. Staging is also called “testing environment” or “sandbox”, while your live site is usually called “production environment”.

Staging gives you the benefit of 1-click-cloning in a few minutes, updating and testing WooCommerce without worrying about breaking your actual live website, and finally “pushing” the changes to the live website (a.k.a. overwriting the live environment), so the functioning is 100% guaranteed.

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WooCommerce: How Store Credits Can Benefit Store Owners and Customers

Running an online store often means coming up with smart ideas that can help you sell your products faster. Some of those ideas might succeed and some may fail.

There are no strategies that work all the time, for all WooCommerce websites. But there is one that is often very effective: offering store credits. The reason for its popularity can be attributed to the awesome flexibility it provides to both store owners and customers. 

So, let’s find out more about store credits through this article and how you can enable them in your WooCommerce online store. But first – what are store credits?

Well, with this functionality, customers can purchase store credits (as opposed to buying products) and then they can use their credits to buy products from the store. Buyers can either use it for themselves or gift it to others. It’s an easy and effective way to convert your store visitors into buyers. 

Now it’s time to figure it all out. And thankfully, there’s a plugin for that.

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How to Build a Successful WooCommerce Wholesale Store

The default WooCommerce shop page layout makes it difficult for wholesale buyers to purchase in bulk.

This is because wholesale stores have different requirements as compared to retail stores. For instance, wholesale products are best displayed in a one-page order form for quick wholesale ordering as opposed to a more visual, image-rich layout.

In this post, we’ll run the rule over some of the best tools available for building a great WooCommerce wholesale store.

Along the way, we’ll share some tips on how each WooCommerce wholesale plugin can help you achieve a specific goal and deliver a better user experience.

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WooCommerce: How to Calculate Product Prices with Custom Formulas

WooCommerce is a powerful and feature-rich WordPress plugin. But despite the fact it’s got many features, there is always something missing for custom ecommerce businesses.

The problem with “all-you-can-do plugins” is the same as “all-in-one WordPress themes“: the more custom functionalities a piece of software has, the worse its performance gets.

Therefore, there is no need to pack every imaginable functionality into WooCommerce as it is easily expandable with other plugins.

For example, one particular feature is not available in WooCommerce out of the box: the possibility to use math formulas to calculate product prices.

This functionality is crucial for specific industries such as digital printing, custom-sized furniture, curtains, tiles, rollers and so on.

Curious to know how this can be implemented?

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How to Clone/Migrate WooCommerce (Step by Step)?

Maybe you don’t have staging, and you need to clone your WooCommerce website elsewhere to test updates or new functionality (because you’re not doing that on a live website, right?). Maybe you need to migrate an existing WooCommerce website to another server. Or, like me, maybe you need to copy an entire WooCommerce website on a fresh subdomain in order to write this step-by-step tutorial!

Either way, the free Duplicator plugin, available on the official WordPress.org repository, is your best friend. Whether you need to duplicate, clone, migrate, copy or even backup your WooCommerce website, Duplicator is the most straight forward system to achieve that.

Of course, is not super simple and this is why you’re reading this step-by-step tutorial about duplicating WooCommerce websites (including helpful screenshots). Hope this is helpful to those of you who need to achieve a complex and delicate operation (cloning/migrating is ALWAYS a delicate thing) within few steps.

All you need is an existing WooCommerce website, the Duplicator plugin, an FTP client (or File Manager) and access to the server where you will create the new subdomain and blank database. All the rest is handled by the plugin, so here’s the tutorial you were waiting for.

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WooCommerce: Advanced Order Search

When it comes to saving time, the out-of-the-box WooCommerce plugin doesn’t give you many options and features. For example, searching through your WooCommerce orders is not straight forward enough because the search options are fairly limited.

By default, you can go to the WooCommerce Orders admin page (wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=shop_order) and use the basic search bar.

You can look for a customer name, a customer billing email and a few more, but that’s pretty much all you can do. You can’t look for multiple fields, you can sort, you can’t filter by order total, and so on.

You get the picture – for a store manager this Orders dashboard is not handy at all. Each extra minute wasted in trying to find something could be better invested – in marketing spend for example.

That’s why we want to show you a quick alternative in order to do advanced searches in seconds. You won’t need any PHP snippets – just a quick plugin that turns your order list into an intuitive and easy-to-use spreadsheet so that you can do all the filtering and manipulation you desire.

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WooCommerce: Why Rotating Payment Methods Can Protect your Revenue

By now, you probably know that you should never run WooCommerce with a single payment gateway. We’ve already seen in the “PayPal or Stripe?” article that (spoiler alert!), the best solution is “PayPal AND Stripe”. Which means you need to understand that different customers prefer different kinds of payment methods (and this could increase your conversion rate dramatically).

Now we move to the next step: the chargebacks issue, and the risk of having your payment gateways banned by their providers.

A user recently told us that he has a WooCommerce subscription-based business, which is great. The problem is that sometimes customers don’t read that part and think they’re making a one-time purchase. And sometimes, when they realize they purchased something different than what they had in mind, they ask their bank or credit card company to issue a chargeback.

The Stripe website explains it like this:

A chargeback happens when a cardholder makes a claim to their bank or credit card company that a payment made on their card was fraudulent. When a chargeback occurs, the business to which the payment was originally made is required to repay the full purchase amount, plus a chargeback fee.

While you can really do your best to avoid chargebacks by being transparent on your website and order receipts, sometimes – especially for WooCommerce Subscriptions – that’s not enough. Investors say: “Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket” and the same applies here: you’d better record your active subscriptions under PayPal, Stripe, Authorize, and so on, so that all your recurring revenue is not in the same account.

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How to Customize your WooCommerce Store Without Coding

WooCommerce, with 25% market share for website eCommerce solutions as of November 2019, is the most popular platform for building online stores. It’s easy to get a basic setup running and start selling your products online.

WooCommerce also offers a lot of hooks and filters for further customization – the only problem is you need to understand a bit of PHP programming.

This is where the WooCustomizer WordPress plugin comes in. WooCustomizer offers all of these filters and more, all neatly built into one WordPress plugin so you can visually customize your WooCommerce store in an ‘easy to use’ and intuitive interface within the WordPress Customizer.

No more creating a child theme to manually add code snippets to your WordPress website, no more adding multiple plugins and increasing the chance of bugs coming up… Just a simple, one plugin solution.

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6 WooCommerce Tax & Accounting Tips to Save You Time This Tax Season

If just the thought of tax season gives you a headache, you’re not alone. In fact, 60 percent of small-business owners don’t feel confident about their accounting knowledge (Small Business Report – Accounting).

We understand the feeling – tax season is approaching and you’re frantically trying to add up and categorize all of those shoe boxes full of receipts. Or maybe you’re not even completely sure of your business’ financial position as you haven’t accurately tracked your orders/sales.

Whether you’re behind on your accounting, unsure of what your business income is, or simply want to save yourself the time and headaches that tax season entails, this guide is for you.

We have compiled our top WooCommerce accounting tips to save you time this tax season (and every year there after…)

Ready to dive in?

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Boost Your WooCommerce Sales With Advanced Analytics

Product recommendations is an efficient and proven way to boost your WooCommerce sales.

The downside is that it could be a very time-consuming activity to bundle products manually, as well as the fact that it is not always the logical “pairing” that will generate the most sales.

The way forward is to utilize AI (Artificial Intelligence) and let analytical data models do the work for you.

Meet Engage, an AI-powered product recommendation engine. The type of recommendation vary a bit depending on the page your visitor is viewing. This is mainly because the recommendation model needs input to function properly (e.g. the first time a new visitor lands on your homepage, the model doesn’t know anything about their behavior and therefore it can’t provide recommendations.

But as the user interacts with the website the model picks up on behavioral patterns and is then able to provide better recommendations.

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How to Add Extra Product Options (Add-Ons) to WooCommerce

This is a guest post by Maarten Belmans of Studio Wombat – if you like the article, make sure to thank him in the comments!

If you use WooCommerce for your online business, you may have needed the ability to add extra options.

That functionality allows buyers to personalize their products exactly the way they want – whether they want to add their favorite pizza topping or buy a laptop with extra RAM.

When you provide those options, you optimize the customer experience on your website. But in order to provide those customization options, you’ll need a product add-on plugin.

That type of plugin makes it easy for you to create additional form fields, which in turn allows your visitors to customize the products they want to purchase.

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6 Secrets to Running a Successful Ecommerce Business

Creating an ecommerce business can be a great way of making money, but it’s a competitive world. This is why you need to do all that you can to turn your ecommerce business into the success that you are looking for. 

There are several steps that you need to take. Here are some tips that you should find useful. 

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6 Popular WooCommerce Payment Gateways

As you probably already know, WooCommerce offers the easiest way to build an online store with WordPress.

Depending on your individual needs, WooCommerce allows you to add digital products as well as subscriptions. One of the most important components of your store is the payment gateway you use.

This is what offers your shoppers a secure shopping experience by connecting your store to an online payment service where they can pay for their orders, safely and securely.

What is a WooCommerce Payment Gateway?

WooCommerce payment gateways work by verifying the billing information for every customer, approving requests and ensuring you get paid.

The type of WooCommerce payment gateway to choose depends on several factors which include how easy it is to integrate with WooCommerce, the target clients you serve, related costs and the level of security you need.

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How to Choose the Right WooCommerce Theme

WordPress truly powers the web. With over 75 million active websites currently using WordPress, it’s no wonder it’s such a natural choice for so many online businesses. When it comes to eCommerce, WordPress makes it exceptionally simple with WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is the go-to eCommerce solution for WordPress. It’s easy to install, free to use, and full of customization options that make it easy to design your own eCommerce store quickly. With thousands of easy-to-use themes, how do you know where to begin?

It’s worth being strategic when you choose your WooCommerce theme. The right theme is easy to use, enticing to your audience and helps build your brand.

Before you invest your time and money in a theme, make sure you know exactly what to look for. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to choose the right WooCommerce theme for your site. 

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WooCommerce: Why & How to Disable Ajax Cart Fragments

If you’re here it’s because your WooCommerce website is slow and you’re wondering why the “/?wc-ajax=get_refreshed_fragments” URL generates delays and server loads (spikes).

Besides, there is too much online literature about WooCommerce Ajax Cart Fragments (including specific plugins and performance plugin options), and you want to learn quickly what they are before understanding if and how you should disable them.

Performance optimization tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix often put the blame on this little WooCommerce functionality. And disabling it carefully can give you a boost in speed, page load and ultimately sales conversion rate.

So here’s all you need to know.

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7 Easy Ways to Increase Your WooCommerce Sales

WooCommerce is an awesome WordPress plugin that allows you to create a custom shop no matter what you sell. Because of its endless customization options, your shop won’t look like any other website out there.

However, when it’s time to increase your website sales and optimize your conversion rate, options, snippets and plugins can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed.

Instead of getting stressed out and giving up, here’s a curated list of strategies and plugins that can give your WooCommerce shop a higher conversion rate.

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132 WooCommerce Themes at ONE Subscription

If you want to create your ecommerce business from scratch or freshen up your WooCommerce theme, today’s topic might catch your attention.

I want to share with you the new ONE subscription service for designers and developers. ONE is a service from TemplateMonster, which provides access to lots of themes and tools for design and development for a fixed yearly payment.

ONE is a service that works on a paid subscription. You don’t have to worry about credits and download restrictions. This approach gives you the opportunity to experiment with different templates before making a final decision – and if you don’t find what you need, there is also a 14 days money back guarantee.

Thanks to the subscription, you can access not only themes and templates, but also pluginsgraphic elements and even PowerPoint templates. There are also lots of Elementor templates and many different themes for ecommerce like Magento, OpenCart and, of course, WooCommerce.

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WooCommerce: How to Write Shortcodes Without Outputting Content?

When I write tutorials like WooCommerce Separate Login & Registration Pages I often need to “write” on the screen the actual shortcode – but I don’t want the shortcode to output content!

For example, if I write [woocommerce_my_account] it’s guaranteed you won’t see “[woocommerce_my_account]“… you will see Business Bloomer’s My Account page content instead!

So there is a great workaround for those of you who write tutorials, snippets and WordPress articles and need to print the actual shortcode on the screen, without making it “process” its content and outputting it.

Enjoy! Continue reading WooCommerce: How to Write Shortcodes Without Outputting Content?

WooCommerce: How to Set Different Prices Based on User Role?

B2C WooCommerce stores can also have a B2B section. Wholesalers can offer different prices based on different criteria. Subscription stores can offer lower prices to current members.

Either way, setting different WooCommerce prices for different users (“based on user role”) is not that difficult. All you need is a plugin (or a stack of plugins, depending on your custom requirements), and you can immediately show different prices if the logged in user has a specific role or “capability”, as well as targeting active memberships, active subscriptions or other criteria.

If you want to learn more about user roles and capabilities, I suggest to take a look at the WordPress documentation: https://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities – you’ll know WordPress has 6 default roles (administrator, editor, etc.) and that WooCommerce adds another one (customer). Other plugins can set additional roles – for example https://wordpress.org/plugins/members/ by Justin Tadlock, a very popular WordPress developer.

So, while “targeting” user roles is quite easy, the only difficult part is to choose the right “user role based pricing” product. As usual, when picking a plugin, you always need to consider its functionalities as well as the quality of its support team, long-term reliability, code cleanliness, frequent updates and total number of sales.

Today, we’ll take a look at the plugins I recommend, together with their pros and cons. If you use different stacks or custom functionalities, feel free to interact via the comments.

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WooCommerce: Which “Subscriptions” Plugin Should You Buy? [2019]

Setting up a recurring revenue stream is one of the hottest ecommerce money-making strategies. And there is no doubt that, no matter whether you sell cakes, audio books, services, rentals, there is always room for a “subscription” product.

Think about selling a product once, and then seeing automatic renewal orders come through. And where the customers’ credit card is automatically charged. Yes, this can be done with a “WooCommerce Subscriptions” plugin.

Though, it comes at a cost (besides, it’s a subscription you have to purchase from a WooCommerce plugin developer to guarantee on-going bug fixing, support and maintenance!), with the reason being you can’t really code such a delicate functionality on your own (with a snippet for example). Subscription plugins are about money, revenue, automatic charge operations, tokens, error handling, retrials and other complex things – at this stage you have no other choice than purchasing an out-of-the-box solution: a reliable WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

The hard part here is deciding which subscription plugin is the best fit for you as a user and for your WooCommerce store. You also need to consider things such as integration, compatibility, UX, payment gateways, support (my favorite), code quality, functionality roadmap, maintenance, long-term reliability and – also – price.

This ultimate review guide goes through my top 3 choices. From $49 to $199, you have a full range of products, and each one offers the same exact thing: recurring payments.

So, what’s the difference? Which one should you pick?

Continue reading WooCommerce: Which “Subscriptions” Plugin Should You Buy? [2019]