Woocommerce is a fantastic, though complex, time-consuming, and/or expensive ecommerce system. That said, it is the most popular on WordPress, and has a lot of potential for the future. It is getting a lot of development effort at Automattic, and has a fairly extensive functionality set, and some loosely- and tightly-coupled extensions and sister-plugin functionality.
That said, it is a whole other thing to learn, and out of the box it is pretty, damned, ugly. From what I can tell, the theme business at WooThemes is to generate a number of rather generic, though varied themes that integrate with WooCommerce (via a WooThemes Framework).
Start with a Theme
Once one has Woocommerce in mind, it is important to start with a theme or theme framework that will be flexible and fast. It seems that the Canvas Theme has a dedicated developer, is integrated with WooCommerce, and also is more or less a highly customizable framework-worthy theme.
Child Theme Files
- Copy any WooCommerce files to be customized into the /woocommerce directory
There will be a lot of additions to functions.php and also to style.css.
- I want to get very strict on not using in-line CSS, and pulling out all such CSS into classes and placed in the single style.css file.
- Still, if the Customizing Additional CSS part of the live preview editor lives up to its promise, one can quickly add, test, and deploy new CSS
- Likely best to use that for testing, but then move any CSS code change to style.css
It is clear that this is a shortcode-centric theme, which is highly desirable for developers and those who need to maintain sites, not just build something pretty.
There are a wide variety of plugins that are WooCommerce Extensions, and supplement or modify behavior in some small or big way, including:
- Aelia Currency Switcher
- WC Variations Radio Buttons
- WooCommerce Bookings
- WooCommerce Checkout Add-Ons
- WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor
- WooCommerce Deposits
Other Woocommerce Compatible Plugins
There are also many other plugins that offer some degree of compatibility and/or interoperability and/or integration, including:
- AffiliateWP (Affiliate Management)
- Sensei (Course Management)
- Follow-Up Emails (Drip Email and Newsletters)
Others are mentioned in a previous note on the Woocommerce Ecosystem.
Update May, 2017
Woocommerce is a total shit show. They are on release 3.0.7, less than a month from 3.0.0. Haven't seen any negative press calling them out. All Woocommerce plugin and theme designers can't or won't criticize, so they are all slaving away madly. What a crock. I've revamped my outlook on this turdblossom. I believe it is safe to say that there is a part of the market that is tired of this nonsense, and is more interested in dealing with content and commerce in a sane way, but with some kind of baked-in extensibility (for example, multilingual). I realize there are tax issues and composite products, and this makes it more difficult, but lose that part of the market, or make it simpler and easier.