Everyone knows WooCommerce. It’s the biggest and most popular ecommerce platform on WordPress, due to its free pricing, rich-feature list, and massive extendability. If you’re planning on opening an ecommerce store, WooCommerce is likely the first plugin you’ll download.
It already comes with quite a few features at no cost, not even a cut of your sales. But the elements it includes are generic, suitable for the majority of websites. If you want to create a specialized store with unique features, you’ll need WooCommerce extensions.
Extensions help you tailor the platform to your exact needs, and there are thousands of them, adding essentially any feature you can think of.
Want to try it?
We’ll show you where to find the best WooCommerce extensions and how to install them on your site.
What is WooCommerce?
WordPress by default doesn’t come with any way to sell products or set up a functional online store. Many ecommerce plugins were created to rectify this, but WooCommerce has risen to the top in terms of popularity.
WooCommerce is a free, open source ecommerce platform that lets you sell products in WordPress. You can market physical and digital products, it’s easily modular using extensions, and it’s completely compatible with most themes.
And there are no strings attached. The core of it is all free with no product restrictions. With all its features, it’s no wonder 5 million small and large stores alike use it as their backend. You can download WooCommerce from WordPress’ official plugin repository and follow our guide on setting it up.
But how does WooCommerce make money?
While all the necessary features come at no cost, they sell premium themes and extensions, and many third-party developers also create their own WooCommerce extensions.
What Are WooCommerce Extensions?
While the platform offers quite a lot of out-of-the-box functionality, it won’t be able to cover everything you might possibly need. Bloating the base program with functionality only some stores can use would make WooCommerce difficult to navigate and harder to learn.
That’s where third-party WooCommerce extensions come in. Similar to WordPress plugins, WooCommerce extensions add extra features to your store. They might include new types of products such as memberships or subscriptions, integrate with postal service APIs to track shipping or allow you to purchase through new payment gateways. Some add one small feature, while others are more like entire overhauls.
You can find WooCommerce extensions both on their official website and on various third-party extension repositories.
Why Use WooCommerce Extensions?
Why do you need WooCommerce extensions? Isn’t the core program good enough?
While the free main plugin will work well for most people, it might not include everything you’ll require to design the store you’re envisioning. What if you want to add optional add-ons to a product like gift-wrapping or create dynamic pricing that responds to factors like user roles?
Plus, the WooCommerce Extensions Store has many major payment integrations available for free. These let you accept credit cards, Amazon Pay, or PayPal. You’ll probably need to install an extension at some point, even if it’s just one of the free payment integration plugins.
Downloading third-party WooCommerce extensions does come with some drawbacks. By adding third-party plugins to your website, you’re opening up a potential security risk if they’re coded badly. Also, they aren’t covered by WooCommerce support, so if something comes up, you’re on your own.
However, the pros far outweigh the cons. You can’t go without key features for your store and extensions are the most effective way to get them. Your only other options are learning to code and making it yourself, or hiring a developer.
Overall, it’s safe to use WooCommerce extensions if you source them from reputable places.
WooCommerce Extensions vs. WordPress Plugins
WordPress is a CMS. Third-party developers have created thousands of plugins that extend its functionality.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. In turn, it has its own set of user-made extensions that only work with WooCommerce.
It’s a hierarchy that goes like this:
WordPress > WordPress Plugins (WooCommerce) > WooCommerce Extensions.
You need WordPress installed to use WordPress plugins, and you need both WordPress and WooCommerce to use WooCommerce extensions.
While WordPress plugins can add any feature under the sun, like user registration management or a page builder, WooCommerce extensions are focused around ecommerce and fleshing out its parent platform.
What about widgets? These are often included in plugins and are blocks that add functionality to widgetized areas (think your sidebar or footer). Drop a widget into a widgetized area and the block will appear on the frontend.
For instance, say you download a plugin that adds social media icons. It may also include a widget you can add to your sidebar or footer. When you drop its widget into the sidebar, the icons will appear on your site.
In other words, widgets execute plugin functions, similar to a shortcode. Both WordPress plugins and WooCommerce extensions may use widgets.
How to Install WooCommerce Extensions
The process of installing WooCommerce extensions is a little bit different from normal WordPress plugins that you can get off the plugin repository.
First step: downloading a WooCommerce extension.
If you’re installing it off of WooCommerce’s official store, you’ll need to first log in to WooCommerce with a WordPress.com account. You won’t be able to download plugins from the Extensions Store or WooCommerce > Extensions > Browse Extensions without an account.
Once you’ve picked your plugin, click Download Now or Buy Now if it’s a premium extension.
Login to your WordPress backend and go to WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions. Connect your WordPress.com/WooCommerce account to be able to manage your extension subscriptions.
Premium extensions you’ve purchased will appear in a list here. You can click the Download button next to them if you haven’t installed them yet.
If you’re getting an extension off a third-party repository, just download the file they give to you. It may be sent to you in an email after you purchase it or you may need to log in to your account on the repository.
Whether you download from a third-party store or WooCommerce itself, you should end up with a zip file.
Go to Plugins > Add New and click Upload Plugin. Upload the plugin zip file you downloaded.
If you got the plugin from WooCommerce’s store, go back to WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions and click the Inactive toggle next to your new plugin to activate it.
If you got the plugin from a third party, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and click Activate.
Your new extension should now be active. Most will add a custom settings page under WooCommerce > Settings where you can configure it.
The Best Places to Download WooCommerce Extensions
There are quite a lot of WooCommerce extensions scattered across the internet and many are only hosted on certain repositories.
Where should you go to find the best ones, then?
Repositories, unlike websites dedicated to single plugins, host a collection of WooCommerce extensions ranging from a small handful to the thousands. Here are a few you should take a look at.
The best place to start is WooCommerce’s own Extensions Store. Here you’ll find over 300 extensions, including ones developed by Woo themselves. Not everything here is made by them, but they still have the official stamp of approval. Make sure to check out the Free section and browse some of their freebies.
Extensions on the official store are generally safer to download than from other sources. They can also be managed or activated from the WooCommerce screen in your WordPress backend, so it’s much more convenient.
The next best place to go is the WordPress repository. There are quite a few extensions to find here and every single one is free. They may not be as carefully vetted as they are on the WooCommerce Extensions Store, but WordPress.org plugins still need to pass certain guidelines to be hosted there.
Quality can be hit or miss, but downloading plugins off the WordPress repository is generally very safe.
CodeCanyon is one of the largest WooCommerce extension repositories. You’ll find all sorts of extensions and plugins there, with an extensive search system you can use to narrow down what you’re looking for. Everything is a paid product, with prices ranging from under $10 to over $100.
On Envato Elements you’ll find nearly 100 premium WooCommerce extensions/plugins that cover a variety of niches. The annoying part, though, is that you’ll need to subscribe to Envato to unlock them. There’s simply no way to just buy a single extension. On the bright side, you get access to each and every one for a relatively cheap price.
Recommended WooCommerce Extensions
With hundreds of WooCommerce extensions to sift through spread across multiple repositories, where should you even begin?
It might be easy enough if you already know exactly what you’re looking for and can simply search for it, but it’s a good idea to browse through extensions/plugins and see which ones might be helpful. You could be missing out on important functionality you don’t even know about!
If you’re totally lost, no worries. We’ve put together a list of some of the best, most useful, and most popular WooCommerce extensions and plugins.
If it’s your first time running a WooCommerce store, this should be a big help for you.
Shipping, Payment, and Product Extensions
It’s time to get your store set up and running the exact way you want it. These plugins will help you optimize payment methods and shipping.
Stripe and/or PayPal
WOOCS – Currency Switcher
WooCommerce Currency Switcher makes it easy to switch between currencies and support many from around the world.
You can use it also in any widgetized area on your site or via a shortcode for insertion within content. You can even choose how visitors can select their preferred currency (dropdown, flags, or a side switcher).
Add checkboxes, input forms, color pickers, and more to your checkout page, or edit and rearrange them using WooCommerce Checkout Manager.
You can also re-order or rename all checkout fields within the billing and shipping sections or enable an “additional fields” section that allows you to ask for more information before customers checkout.
One Page Shopping
One Page Shopping makes it easy to optimize and improve user experience by compressing store pages and checkout into one.
This way, when a shopper adds an item to their cart, the checkout fields immediately appear, making the purchasing process speedy and easy. Other options make it possible to customize the order and checkout page combination to suit your needs.
Smart Coupons is helpful for applying discounts, gift certificates, and supporting any type of coupon in your WooCommerce store.
You can also use it to create coupons in bulk, run giveaways, and setup limited promotions with ease. It also eliminates the need for developer assistance when setting up these promotions.
Raise or lower shipping rates based on quantity or purchase, user area, product weight, and more with the WooCommerce Advanced Shipping plugin.
With conditional logic, you can establish conditions such as zip code, weight, quantity, stock, and more. You can also add several shipping methods, use table rate shipping, volume-based pricing, and many other features to suit your shipping needs.
With WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can sell recurring subscription-based products in your store, which makes it much easier to set up a residual-based business.
You can enable many different types of subscriptions for both physical and digital products or services, which provides the flexibility many store owners need.
With WooCommerce Simple Auctions, you can add comprehensive online auction functionality to your WooCommerce store with just a few clicks.
With this plugin, you can basically create an auction website or even an eBay-style clone with silent actions. Regular products can still be supported as well.
Bookings & Appointments
The Booking and Appointment plugin allows users to make time-sensitive appointments and bookings in WooCommerce.
It provides everything you need to turn your store into a full-fledged booking system with time or date-based bookings, duration-based bookings, and it even adds a search feature so customers can find what they’re looking for faster.
In addition, here are some extensions that let you customize how you sell your products.
As its name suggests, with Product Bundles you can bundle products together in packages to encourage users to buy in bulk, or upsell and make recommendations.
It’s described as a “product grouping toolkit,” that makes it easy to better market to your customers. This makes it a snap to offer deals and discounts for purchasing products in a bundle rather than individually.
With WooCommerce Brands, you can assign product brands to allow users to sort and search by them.
This straightforward yet useful extension makes it easy to create brands and assign an image and description to each. This gives your store great search functionality and can be used to create a robust brand index for customers to browse.
With the Min/Max Quantities extension, you can apply a minimum/maximum quantity or cost before customers can check out.
This is helpful if you have limited stock of certain items and want to ensure as many individual customers are able to get it as possible. It also allows you to set group or multiple min/max specifications.
Custom Product Tabs
Product pages getting too long? Add tabs to your products to split up information like specifications or variation info using the Custom Product Tabs extension.
So, right next to the product description, you can have tabs appear with further info without cluttering up the page and making customers scroll forever. The tabbed areas can contain text, images, HTML, and shortcodes.
YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier
What does the YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier do, exactly? Well, by using this plugin, customers can zoom in on a product image when they hover over it.
This also adds thumbnail slider functionality to item pages and all around improves the user experience for customers.
Variation Swatches for WooCommerce makes it easy to add swatches for color, design, and other variations to your products. You can add as many product attributes as you want.
Plus, it’s highly customizable and plenty of tutorials are offered from the developer to make sure you’re getting the most out of the plugin as well.
WooCommerce Better Variations is a simple plugin that can make a big difference for users. It grays out product variations that are out of stock and lets you customize the message customers see as well.
The more information you can provide your customers, the better. Case in point, you can even add a “back in stock” date to product variations to encourage people to mark their calendars.
Fancy Product Designer
Do you run a business that sells custom-made items? Fancy Product Designer handles all the details of this process for you in an official way.
Whereas many online stores ask customers to just leave details about their customization preferences in a generic comment box, this plugin lets customers design a product, such as clothing, while tweaking colors, adding text, and uploading images.
Management and Marketing Extensions
You can never get enough management plugins. It’s not easy to run a business, so take the opportunity to automate whenever you can. These WooCommerce extensions can help you appeal to customers and keep things running smoothly.
It actually is made up of over 10 separate extensions including Better Coupon Box, Sales Pop, and Checkout Boost, each of which is designed to automate and simplify the marketing and sales processes on your WooCommerce store.
An automation service, Zapier connects to thousands of apps and chains them together when something is triggered. Sold something in your store? Automatically add it to a Google Sheet and notify shipping companies.
WhatsApp Chat and Share
With WhatsApp Chat and Share you can offer support to your users with WhatsApp and improve customer satisfaction.
It also makes it possible for your site visitors to chat with you using WhatsApp directly on your website, which eliminates some of the need for phone support and puts your customers in direct contact with you more readily.
OpenPOS – WooCommerce Point Of Sale
OpenPOS is an extension that adds WooCommerce-compatible local store management, including restaurant mode, inventory management, and transaction reports. Basically, this makes it possible to sync data from your online store with a local, physical store for easier store management, inventory tracking, and more.
WooCommerce Memberships allows you to add membership functionality to your website, including selling memberships and setting up members-only content restrictions. You can also use this extension to set up drip feed content, add membership perks to your store, and manually assign memberships to products.
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
If you’re a fan of Google Analytics, you’ll love this nifty integration. WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration allows you to add a referral to purchases and add transaction info to your Google Analytics account. This plugin also includes support for Universal Analytics.
Advanced WooCommerce Reporting
Google Analytics does work with WordPress, but this is a more tailored solution that integrates well into WooCommerce. Advanced WooCommerce Reporting offers detailed reports for all aspects of your WooCommerce store, including order status, stock, shipping, top products, and more.
Product CSV Import Suite
Product CSV Import Suite allows you to Import or export CSV data to Google Product Feed, Bookings, and more. It’s a huge timesaver because you can basically sync your catalog — even bookable products — automatically. You can import special details for all your products with one-click as well.
SUMO Reward Points
With Sumo Reward Points you can incentivize customers to make purchases and reward them for their loyalty with a point system. Earn points from buying, social sharing, and signing up, and spend them on products or redeem prizes. You can even set up competitions to earn reward points and add expiration dates to the points, too.
These extensions don’t quite fit into any other category, but nonetheless, they’re great products you should definitely consider picking up.
Booster for WooCommerce
Booster for WooCommerce is the ultimate WooCommerce plugin that adds dozens of small and large improvements, all of them invaluable. The extension covers a wide range of features including pricing and currencies, buttons, products, shopping carts, the checkout process, payment gateways, shipping, invoicing, email, and more.
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist gives your users the ability to save products they want to buy later, and share them with friends. Offering this feature increases sales because customers can save items they’re interested in for later. The plugin is also WPML compatible.
WooCommerce Waitlist is a super helpful extension. When items go out of stock, that doesn’t have to mean permanently lost conversions. With a waitlist, you can bring back potential customers by automatically notifying them when an item on their waitlist comes back in stock. Customers can also view and edit their waitlists at any time.
Is translating your ecommerce site proving to be a headache? WooCommerce Multilingual makes things much easier on you, and it integrates perfectly with WooCommerce.
With this plugin, you can translate product descriptions, change pricing, and take care of SEO as well.
Want to add custom text to buttons or other parts of the UI? WooCommerce Customizer lets you do just that without having to master PHP. You change what the Add to Cart button says, what sales badges say, change the Submit Order button, what the checkout page says, and more. All with just a few clicks.
A brand is nothing without colors. If you want to customize WooCommerce’s buttons, tabs, and UI palette, you’ll want to use WooCommerce Colors for sure. This plugin makes it a snap to change button colors as well as the colors of other frontend styles and elements.
Custom Product Designer
Do you want to build and design products right in your backend? WooCommerce Custom Product Designer gives you the tools to make mockups without ever logging out of WordPress.
With it, you can customize your interface, design products from any device, and whatever you make will work with any printing method.
YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search
With the YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search plugin, you can add the ability to instant search products with a widgetized search bar that you can place anywhere on your store. This feature is easy to set up and use and adds just another layer of usability to your site that should make shopping a more straightforward experience for your customers.
This is just a small handful of WooCommerce extensions that seemed helpful to many store owners. There are plenty more out there to find.
WooCommerce is a great ecommerce platform for small and large stores alike, but it may not come with all the features you’re wanting. Luckily, WooCommerce extensions can help fill that gap, allowing you to extend this huge plugin even further.
There are many repositories you can use to find more extensions and we encourage you to look through them. This curated list of WooCommerce extensions is a great starting point for new users. See if any of them are right for your business.
What are your favorite extensions for WooCommerce? Which ones are you currently using and couldn’t live without? Tell us in the comments!
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