If you work with WordPress, you’re in luck—WordPress themes and plugins are now included in an annual Envato Elements subscription. And what’s more, you can lock in a special introductory rate for a limited time. Read on for more details.
Envato Elements already gives you unlimited downloads from a massive library of 400,000+ photos, graphics, templates, and other creative assets. Plus it gives you free access to more than 1,000 courses and 240 eBooks here on Envato Tuts+.
From today, you’ll still get all of that plus a curated collection of beautiful, premium WordPress themes and plugins.
As with everything else on Envato Elements, this is an „all you can eat“ deal. You can download as many themes and plugins as you want, with no limits or credits to keep track of. And there’s a simple licensing system so that you know you’re covered for all of your projects.
Right now, there are over 190 top themes and 130 plugins available to choose from, and you can expect that number to grow as more authors join the platform and existing authors upload more items.
There’s a wide range of premium themes on offer, whether you’re looking for a multipurpose theme suitable for a corporate audience or something more creative that would work for a blog or portfolio site. There are even niche themes for real estate sites, wedding sites and more—and of course, you can find e-commerce themes to help you make sales from your site.
A well-designed theme is a great start, of course, but if you’re working with WordPress you’ll also need access to premium plugins to add the features and functionality you want.
Envato Elements has you covered here too, with a selection of powerful plugins to help you create booking and scheduling systems, contact forms, responsive menus, social media feeds, and more.
What It Costs
It’s important to understand that WordPress themes and plugins are only available with an annual subscription, not a monthly one. Usually, an Envato Elements subscription costs $29 a month, so the annual subscription will be $348 a year ($29 x 12).
However, for a limited time, you can save $120 on your subscription and sign up for just $228 (the equivalent of $19 a month). Remember, for that price you get not only the WordPress themes and plugins but also thousands of photos, fonts, graphics, templates and more. It’s a pretty special deal.
So head over to Envato Elements to see what’s on offer, and if you like what you see, sign up for an annual subscription to start making unlimited downloads. Don’t spend too long thinking about it, though, because this introductory deal won’t last forever!
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web and the most popular way of bringing eCommerce to WordPress. If you’re creating an online store, you might be surprised at how easy it is to get up and running with WooCommerce!
In this free live stream course, Rachel McCollin will show you how to set up the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. Follow along live on YouTube as she installs and configures a WooCommerce store.
Watch the course live to ask questions as you follow along!
When a website, such as an online store, is at the core of your business, the site’s ability to serve customers through traffic spikes and sudden server failures can mean the difference between a big win and a frustrating loss.
So, while setting up a single virtual server for the job is easier than ever, it’s worth taking a few moments to consider a high-availability cluster. In a cluster, instead of running everything on one machine, the different parts of the server architecture are handled by separate server instances. In such a setup, you can scale the server by adding more workers when the load grows and keep the server running even if one or more of the workers break for any reason.
When you are well prepared, you can stay assured that this year’s Black Friday sales or a sudden feature won’t bring your online store down.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to use ClusterCS and Amazon Web Services to create a scalable cluster of servers and to use it to host a WordPress site for a WooCommerce-based e-commerce website.
1. Set Up Your ClusterCS Account
ClusterCS is a control panel for servers in the cloud. It brings the power of regular control panels to your virtual and dedicated servers, collecting them all behind a single interface. The tool was originally created for handling the hosting accounts managed by Soft Dreams, the company behind it, so it has been well tested in real-life production environments.
ClusterCS supports multi-server applications such as the e-commerce-optimized WordPress site we’ll build in this tutorial, as well as maintaining individual servers.
A free account lets you manage a single server and up to five separate domains running on it. A cluster setup split on multiple servers requires a paid account, but many of the steps you’ll see in the tutorial are applicable also on a single-server setup.
In this tutorial, we’ll go with AWS. If you don’t have an AWS account yet, sign up for one. Then, sign in to the AWS Console to create the server instances for our website setup.
The setup we’ll create in this tutorial is as follows:
Load balancer (lb): This instance will be the outward-facing part of the cluster. It’ll also hold the files for your website.
Two (or more) application servers (app1, app2): These instances will run the web server. Having more than one application server makes the setup more resilient—if one goes down, the others can still serve the application’s pages. Also, adding more application servers is a quick way to respond to an increase in traffic.
Database server (db): Having the database separate from the app servers adds a level of security while making the database available for all servers using it.
Let’s get the servers up and running!
Step 1: Create a Security Group
When you launch servers for a cluster, it’s important to make sure they can talk to each other and that ClusterCS can reach them using SSH.
At Amazon Web Services, firewall configuration is done using a Security Group. We’ll create one right at the beginning, but if you have connection troubles at any time, you can always return to verify and modify the settings.
In the AWS EC2 Admin console’s left side menu, click on Security Groups. Then click on Create Security Group.
In the popup that opens, give your security group a name and description. Then, click on Add Rule to add new rules one by one.
First, allow SSH access from the ClusterCS IP addresses 22.214.171.124/32 and 126.96.36.199/32. Then, allow HTTP and HTTPS access (ports 80 and 443) from everywhere so that your customers can access your website.
At this point, your security group setup will look like this:
Click Create to save the changes.
Now that you have created the security group, it has an ID, which you can use to configure the access between your cluster’s server instances.
In the list of security groups, select the one you just created and open its Inbound tab. You’ll see the rules you just created. Copy the security group’s ID (a string starting with sg-) and click on the Edit button to modify the rules.
Add a new rule with the security group’s ID as the traffic source. You can either choose to allow all TCP traffic from this source or, if you prefer being more specific, use the following list of ports: 80, 443, 25, 110, 143, 465, 587, 993, 995, 2049, 111, 892, 662, 32803, 21, 2049, 111, 892, 662, 32769, 8080, 8081, and 8082.
At this point, your configuration will look like this:
To be able to connect to the AWS instances from your computer, add an SSH rule for your IP. The AWS console has an option for this („My IP“), so you don’t need to look up your IP.
Finally, to allow FTP access for uploading files to the server cluster, add ports 21 and 50500–50900.
Once that’s done, you are ready to start some servers.
Step 2: Start Four AWS EC2 Server Instances
With your security group in place, it’s time to launch the AWS instances for the cluster. AWS gives you many options for customizing the virtual servers, but most of the time, the default options are a good choice.
Return to the EC2 Dashboard and click the Launch Instance button.
Clicking the button starts a seven-step wizard for launching the server.
In Step 1, you get to select the base image for your virtual server. Pick the first option, Amazon Linux AMI, by clicking the Select button next to it.
In Step 2, choose an instance type that fits the needs of your website; a smaller instance won’t be able to handle as much traffic as a larger one, but a larger one will be more expensive. Consider the roles the machines will play in your cluster. For example, you can quickly add new application servers in response to an increase in server load, but adding database resources is much more difficult. That’s why it’s a good idea to run the database on a more powerful server with more memory than on the app servers.
In steps 3 to 5 of the Launch Wizard, go through the options to see if there’s anything you’d like to modify—but most likely, the default options will be good for your setup.
In Step 6, choose the option Select an existing security group, and choose the security group we defined above.
Finally, review your settings and click Launch to start the instances.
As the last step, AWS will ask you to specify and download an SSH key pair for accessing the servers.
Select the Create a new key pair option and enter a descriptive name for the key pair. Then click Download Key Pair to download the private key file.
Save the key in a safe place on your computer. I like to place all my SSH keys in the ~/.ssh directory, but you can choose any location.
Once you have downloaded the key, the Launch Instances button becomes clickable. Click on it, and wait a few minutes for the instances to start.
If you are starting instances one by one, repeat the process for the next instances until all four servers for the cluster are up and running.
Step 3: Attach Elastic IP Addresses to Your Instances
AWS assigns IP addresses to your instances when you start them. Stopping an instance releases its IP address. As ClusterCS relies on the server’s IP addresses to connect to them, this can lead to trouble if for any reason you need to restart your instances.
To get past this issue, you can use AWS’s Elastic IP Addresses feature.
An Elastic IP address is a permanent IP address that you can attach to any of your server instances. By using that address in your ClusterCS configuration, you can keep it pointing to the instance even if the instance is stopped.
Click on Elastic IPs in the AWS Console’s left side menu. Then, click on the Allocate new address button.
Select VPC as Scope, and click Allocate. An IP address is immediately allocated for you to use.
Right click on the IP address, and select Associate Address to link the IP to an EC2 server instance.
Click on the Instance text field. Then, select an instance from a dropdown menu showing all your instances. Finally, click Associate. Repeat the process for the rest of your EC2 instances.
Now, your servers can be accessed using their Elastic IP address, even after they have been restarted.
Step 4: Verify That You Can Access the Servers
Once your EC2 instances are up and running, before moving to ClusterCS, it’s good to verify that you can connect to them.
First, change the SSH key’s permissions:
chmod 400 ~/.ssh/key_name.pem
Next, look up the instance’s public IP address (IPv4 Public IP) from the EC2 Dashboard:
Then, connect to it, for example using the command-line client (or PuTTY if you are using Windows):
If you have trouble connecting, return to the Security Group settings and make sure all of the required ports are accessible.
When you see that you can connect to the server, you are ready to move over to ClusterCS to set up the software for the servers on your cluster.
3. Set Up the Server Cluster
The server instances are now up and running. It’s time to configure them to do their part in running your e-commerce website as parts of a multi-server cluster. We will do this using the ClusterCS control panel.
The ClusterCS admin is split into two parts: Servers and Domains.
The Servers section defines the underlying system: the server configuration and the software running on the one or more machines that form it. The Domains part, which we’ll look into in a bit, specifies customer accounts and sites that run on top of the low-level configuration.
Step 1: Add Server Instances to the Cluster
Click on Manage Servers to start configuring the cluster. If you use the free version, you won’t be able to create a cluster, but the steps in setting up a single server are very similar to what we’ll do in this part of the tutorial.
Click on Add Cluster.
Then, on the next page, scroll down to the Add new server section. There, you’ll see some instructions, followed by a form.
To add the first server to the cluster, fill the form with the following information:
Server IP: The server’s public IP address. You can find it from the EC2 Dashboard.
SSH Port: 22
Login type: SSH key
Host Name: A name that makes it easy for you to keep track of what the machine does. The field is only used as an identifier, so you can use any name you like, for example, lb for the load balancer and app1 for the first application server, and so on.
When you choose „SSH key“ as the login type, a text area for entering the SSH key appears. Copy the contents of the .pem file you downloaded from AWS when starting the machines and paste it in this text area. Leave the SSH Key Password field empty.
Once all the data is in place, click Next.
ClusterCS will now connect to the server and verify that it matches the setup’s requirements. Once the check finishes, you’ll see the following results.
Click on Add Server to Cluster Pool.
You’ll see that the server was added to the list of servers that are going to make up your cluster.
Scroll down and repeat the process for the remaining three servers.
Only then, click on Continue to Setup to configure the cluster and the services you wish to run on its different servers.
Step 2: Configure the Cluster
Now that all the servers are available for ClusterCS to use, you can start the fun part of choosing the roles for each of the servers.
Give your setup a name and choose a recipe, a template configuration, to use as a basis for the configuration.
ClusterCS comes with an optimized starting point for PHP-based applications, called Smart web server (optimized LAMP). On a single machine setup where the entire configuration runs on a single server, this recipe is ready to be used out of the box.
In a cluster setup, you will need to do a little more configuration.
Click Customize to open a detailed view. You will see the following list of „layers“, combinations of software modules that together give the servers their capabilities. All of the functionality within a layer can be configured, and you can also create new layers and add new applications to existing ones.
Start from the first layer, Firewall, byclicking on the Manage link next to its title. You’ll see the following view for specifying the details of this layer.
On the left side, you can choose which modules make up the layer (we’ll use the default set of modules, so you can leave that part as is).
On the right side, you can select the servers that will run this layer. A firewall is something every server in the cluster needs to have, so select all four servers by clicking their names.
Then click Save to return to the cluster configuration view. Now, the Firewall layer looks like this:
Go through the rest of the layers in your cluster and create the following configuration:
lb, db, app1, app2
Smart Traffic Manager
Not used, remove from configuration
Not used, remove from configuration
lb, app1, app2
In this tutorial, there’s no need for email, so I removed the email-related layers from the configuration. If you want to use email in your setup, I suggest adding a separate server instance for it. That way, issues with your web server won’t interfere with your email or vice versa.
I activated the Storage layer on the load balancer machine as well as on the app servers. Later, when configuring the site, we’ll select the lb server as the one that holds its files. The two other machines will be mounted to it using NFS, so they too will have access to the data. This way, your website won’t be dependent on any single app server, and you can scale them up and down freely.
When everything looks good, click Save to save your configuration and start the installation process on the servers.
The setup will take about 20 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your cluster.
4. Configure the Domain
You have now created a server cluster with a database server, two application servers, and a load balancer carefully routing traffic to the different instances. It’s time to start using the cluster by setting up a website to run on top of it.
Click on Domains in the ClusterCS top menu.
Then, click on Add Domain.
On this screen, you specify how the cluster (or a single server) is used for your domain.
Domain Name: The domain name of your website. You can either configure the domain’s DNS settings outside of ClusterCS (point the domain to your load balancer instance’s public IP address) or check the Enable DNS Management option at the bottom of the screen and use ClusterCS’s name servers.
Username / Password: The username and password combination you (or your customer) will use to access the site using FTP.
Login Type: The method you want to use (or let your customers use) for accessing the server. You will still be able to connect to the underlying AWS instances using the SSH key method, but that’s probably not something you want your customers or other site admins to do.
Server: The server or server cluster the domain will run on. Pick the cluster you just created.
Storage Location: The server on which the site’s files will be stored. Pick the load balancer server (e.g. lb WooCommerce Cluster) as explained earlier.
Entry Point: The server instance in the cluster through which traffic comes to your website. This should point to the load balancer instance which can direct the traffic to the correct servers within the cluster.
IP: The public IP of the load balancer
When the setup looks good, click Add.
Once the orange „In progress“ text changes to „Active,“ the domain is ready to be used. This step usually only takes a few minutes.
Optional: Configure SSL
On any website that handles sensitive customer information, such as people’s orders in an online store, it’s recommended to use SSL to encrypt the traffic between the user and the server.
Using ClusterCS, SSL is easy to set up. In the Domains dashboard, click on SSL. You’ll see three different ways for configuring SSL.
We’ll go with Let’s Encrypt, a free, widely trusted certificate authority backed by big organizations such as Mozilla and created to speed up the web’s move to secure browsing.
Click on Install Let’s Encrypt to start the setup.
Give the certificate a name, enter your email address, and select the domain names you want to create certificates for. Check the Auto renew checkbox so you will always have a valid SSL certificate.
Then click the Start button, accept the confirmation popup that shows up, and wait for the certificate generation to complete.
When the certificate is ready, you’ll see a screen with its information.
The Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate is now ready to use.
Configure the server cluster’s firewall to allow access to the load balancer from port 443, and your website is ready to accept HTTPS traffic.
On the Servers dashboard, next to your cluster, click Firewall. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page to add a new rule.
Set up the new firewall rule using the following information:
Server: lb (your load balancer instance)
Source IP: any
(Source) Port Spectrum: All
Destination IP: any
(Destination) Port Spectrum: Exact
Click on the Add button to add the configuration and then on the Apply button to execute the changes in your server cluster.
5. Set Up WordPress
You are now ready to set up WordPress. The beauty of this ClusterCS setup is that, even though you are using multiple servers, the installation isn’t different from what you’d do with a single server or shared hosting.
Step 1: Create a Database for Your E-Commerce Site
Start by creating the database. In the Domains dashboard, select Databases. Then, click on Add Database.
On the next page, enter a name for your database (for example, wordpress), and click Create.
On the next page, you’ll notice that the database has now been added.
Click on the Add New User button to create a new user.
When the setup asks you to choose the host the database user can connect the database from, select Anyhost. This will allow the application servers to connect to the database, even though they are running on separate servers.
When you have added the user, click on Associate next to the user’s name to give the user access to that database.
On the next page, you will be able to choose the permissions for the user in this database. Click on Check All to give the user full access to the database. Then, click on Associate User to apply these changes.
The database is now ready to be used.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Download the latest WordPress version and use FTP (using the username and password you specified when creating the domain) to upload it to your new site. If you have already configured your DNS settings, connect to your domain’s URL. You can also use the load balancer instance’s public IP address.
When you have uploaded WordPress to your site’s public_html directory, open the website’s URL in your browser and run the WordPress installation.
Use the following database information:
Database Name: The name of the database you just created.
Username: The name of the database user you just created.
Password: The password you selected for the database user.
Database Host: The private IP of your db server instances. You will find this information on the AWS EC2 Dashboard. Private IP addresses are used for server-to-server communication within the Amazon virtual private cloud.
When your WordPress installation is ready, continue by setting up WooCommerce and any other plugins and themes you want to use on your e-commerce site.
Then, come back for some final optimizations, and to learn how to scale your cluster up and down.
6. Use ClusterCS to Optimize Your WordPress Setup
You have now configured a multi-server WordPress website on ClusterCS. The site is secure, stable, well organized, and easily scalable. But what exactly do you do when your online store or other website gets a lot of traffic and it’s time to scale the service up?
Step 1: Add App Servers
This is where you’ll see the power of a cluster setup: thanks to the work we did up front, when you need more processing power, you can simply add more servers to the cluster.
First, launch a new server instance on AWS, making sure it uses the same SSH key pair and belongs to the same security group as the other servers in the cluster.
Then, in the ClusterCS Manage Servers dashboard, click Manage to update your cluster’s preferences.
Scroll all the way down, and click on Add Servers.
Repeat the steps for adding a server to the cluster pool from above.
Click Continue to setup and configure the layers for the server. Select all the same software as on the app1 and app2 servers. Then click Save to apply the changes and wait until the configuration finishes.
Your website is now running on three application servers instead of two.
Step 2: Caching
As easy as adding new servers to the cluster is, it’s not the only thing you can do to respond to growing server requirements. In the Speed section of the ClusterCS Domains dashboard, you can configure rules for how requests coming to your website should be handled.
As you used the „Smart web server“ recipe to start the cluster, you already have some optimizations in place: while PHP traffic is handled by Apache, there is a rule, „Static files to Lighttpd“, that tells the load balancer to route requests for static files such as images to Lighttpd to take some load off Apache.
Below that rule, you’ll notice a section for configuring your own configuration sets.
There are many things you can do with this tool, but we’ll look at one of the most effective ones: caching a single page using Nginx.
Fill in the following information:
Set name: Give your configuration a descriptive name, for example „Cache Shop Front Page“.
Operator: Select if all of the conditions need to be matched for the rule to apply (and) or if it’s enough if just one does (or).
Conditions: Add as many conditions as you need for specifying the rule. You can create your conditions based on path, cookies, IP, method, referrer, user agent, or dynamic values. In this case, choose path and ends_with, and type the shop page’s path—for example, /shop. Then click Add.
Action: Choose the action to do for requests matching these conditions. To cache the shop page, choose cache_with as the action and Smart Traffic Manager / Nginx as its parameter.
Click Add Set. Then, click Execute to apply the changes to your server cluster.
Now, the page will be cached using Nginx, which means that less time is spent on running PHP requests on the Apache server.
In this tutorial, you learned how to use ClusterCS to set up a cluster of AWS servers and a WordPress site on top of it. We also looked at ways of scaling the site up and down as well as configuring caching to handle big traffic spikes.
As you saw, these steps can also be applied to smaller, one-server setups, or alternatively, if you want to dig deeper into the details of your setup, ClusterCS has more options for that too.
Visit the ClusterCS website and Knowledge Base to learn more. The ClusterCS staff is also always ready to answer your questions and help you with your server setup.
Envato Tuts+ instructor Rachel McCollin will show you how conditional tags can help you cut down on the number of different templates in your theme and also make your plugin logic more straightforward. Along the way, you’ll get to practice using conditional tags in a simple plugin.
Watch the introduction below to find out more.
You can take our new Coffee Break Course straight away with a subscription to Envato Elements. For a single low monthly fee, you get access not only to this course, but also to our growing library of over 1,000 video courses and industry-leading eBooks on Envato Tuts+.
Plus you now get unlimited downloads from the huge Envato Elements library of 300,000+ creative assets. Create with unique fonts, photos, graphics and templates, and deliver better projects faster.
It comes as no surprise that WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web. Built on the success of WordPress, this combination has become an online knockout punch for eCommerce entrepreneurs.
And while the vanilla version of WooCommerce packs a lot of punch and includes a surprising number of helpful features for a free download, its robust foundation lends itself to an amazing array of possibilities found in plugins specifically tailored for WooCommerce.
One of my favorite, and usually first, ways to level up WooCommerce is integrating MailChimp. Here are the ten best email and MailChimp WooCommerce Plugins you’ll want to consider adding today:
WooChimp – WooCommerce MailChimp Integration is so much more than a „subscribe to our newsletter“ during checkout. This MailChimp WooCommerce plugin is the ultimate in WooCommerce MailChimp integration. It’s overflowing with features.
So many features:
integrates with MailChimp’s Advanced Autoresponders
signup fields associated with MailChimp merge tags
Don’t just install a MailChimp subscription popup solution, install the WooCommerce MailChimp Discount plugin. This plugin gives your WooCommerce store a subscription popup that’s highly effective for building an email list, but does so with an incentive. New subscribers receive a coupon code!
„WooCommerce MailChimp Discount helps you to easily make your MailChimp list healthy by providing a one time discount when someone subscribes to your MailChimp list.“
uses the native WooCommerce coupon generator system
generates unique coupon codes for each signup
easily customized to match your website
option to disable popups
set expiration excludes
excludes sale items
Popups are great, but sometimes you need to keep things static. The WooCommerce MailChimp Discount plugin also includes widgets and supports shortcodes. This MailChimp WooCommerce plugin is an excellent addition to any online store.
Leveraging an autoresponder system like this is a great tool for online commerce. Not only does the WooCommerce Autoresponder plugin support MailChimp, it also supports eight other top-tier email marketing systems: Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Infusionsoft, and others.
Some of the features include:
automatically add customers when an order is created or completed
This is one of the more sales-centric WooCommerce plugins, and it uses MailChimp in a very powerful way. The WooCommerce Price Notification plugin notifies customers when a certain product price drops. Users sign up to receive notifications on specific products, so then store owners can use that information to make informed sales decisions.
Includes helpful features such as:
includes availability checking, so if it’s out of stock, emails are not sent
Here’s a great way to synchronize your WooCommerce customer information with your MailChimp list. With the WooCommerce Checkout Newsletter – MailChimp, you can easily field map your WooCommerce checkout fields to MailChimp.
„Install the plugin within seconds and you will have the power to select which WooCommerce customer fields you wish to save the data from in MailChimp. With this data you can then create targeted emails to send out to your database using MailChimp.“
Also integrating with many other top email marketing solutions, the WooCommerce to Autoresponders Email Syncing plugin will sync email addresses used for WooCommerce orders with specific autoresponders that have been configured.
While finding new customers for new sales is always important, it’s easy to overlook selling your products to the customers you already have. A WooCommerce plugin like the Category Based MailChimp List For WooCommerce makes marketing products to your current customers much easier.
send emails to customers solely based on purchases they’ve made from specific categories
send promotions on a product from a different category based on previous purchases
update customers on new products from their category of interest
Some of the features include:
prompt users or add them automatically when making purchases
integrates directly with MailChimp lists you’ve created
The WooCommerce Coupon Registration Overlay adds a few different features together, making it a rather useful MailChimp WooCommerce plugin. Easily set up and send new registered users a coupon before they make their first sale. And if that wasn’t great enough, it will sync your user registrations to MailChimp.
With ten different autoresponders integrated into this plugin, the WooCommerce Email Autoresponder Pro is more than just a great way to connect MailChimp to WooCommerce; it supports many other notable email marketing solutions as well. This plugin has the option to solely capture a customer email or capture the email and add the name to the autoresponder of your choice.
Most WordPress-centric hosting solutions do not include an email server. And if your webhost does provide email, it is often not recommended to use the same server for your website and your email. A third-party solution is almost always the best route.
So what about the email that WordPress generates? All those emails that it sends—from lost passwords to WooCommerce customer orders?
This is why using something like WooDrill – Mandrill For WooCommerce to connect your WordPress site to a service like Mandrill is a great way to go.
tracking statics for open rates and click tracking
supports Multisite installs
view sent emails
By combining many of the MailChimp and WooCommerce plugins listed here with WooDrill – Mandrill For WooCommerce, you’ll build a powerful online eCommerce solution that will give your business the edge it needs.
MailChimp is not the only email marketing solution. Some of the aforementioned plugins also include support for Constant Contact, AWeber, iContact, and others. MailChimp tends to be a crowd favorite, so you’ll find far more WooCommerce integrations leaning towards MailChimp.
That being said, it’s important to consider all things when picking the right email marketing solution. At the same time, there’s nothing that says you can’t try out something different and make the switch if it fits your needs better.
The biggest takeaway, in my opinion, is that while WordPress, WooCommerce, and MailChimp can all be powerful eCommerce tools, combining them has an exponential effect that cannot be ignored.
What is your favorite WooCommerce and email marketing combination?
WooCommerce and WordPress have become a powerful combination for online commerce. Leveraging these two is the perfect combination for selling physical products, digital goods, and services online. It’s certainly no accident that it has become „the most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business.“
But having the most awesome WooCommerce storefront and the best products may not be all you need to find online business success. You may want to consider an affiliate program to help spread the word and get your business in front of as many eyes as you can.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the best affiliate WooCommerce plugins and how they compare.
Affiliate WooCommerce Plugins You’re Looking For
The following affiliate WooCommerce plugins are what you would usually find in an affiliate solution. There is some deviation among these, but nothing too extreme. You’ll find differences in their feature sets and approaches. From simple to robust, to earning points to multilevel referrals, these are the affiliate WooCommerce plugins you were probably looking for.
Let’s start with the Ultimate Affiliate Pro WordPress Plugin.
It is easily one of the most robust affiliate WooCommerce plugins as it is integrated with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, PayPal, and Stripe, and it includes a robust feature set to get your own affiliate program up and running.
You’ll find all sorts of useful features such as:
performance bonuses and banner management
unlimited affiliates and special offers
rankings and commission levels
referrals and social shares
PayPal and Stripe Payouts
and much, much more
This is one of the best affiliate WooCommerce plugins you’ll find on Envato Market.
If this all wasn’t impressive enough, this also includes free login, register, and account page templates; and connects with the top email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and many more.
The SUMO Affiliates – WooCommerce Affiliate System is simple and straightforward.
Its approach is on point:
„…logged in users can apply and become Affiliates and promote the products in the site. Whenever a user purchases a product by using an Affiliate Link, the Affiliate associated with the link will earn commission for the purchase.“
This solid solution works with WooCommerce supported themes and also includes:
CSV export for unpaid commissions
translation and WPML ready
affiliate cookie validator
affiliate link generator
and much more
If you’re just looking for an affiliate WooCommerce plugin, look no further.
WooCommerce is an excellent platform for selling digital and physical products with WordPress. Adding an affiliate system is an excellent way to increase your reach around the web and reward those who are funneling more sales your way.
But what if you sold your own products and became an affiliate yourself?
I’ve always thought of WooCommerce as being a physical and digital marketplace for those creating a product or offering a service.
But that’s not what it is limited to. It can also be used for affiliates.
Let’s face it, Amazon and other marketplaces are full of everything. So what if you offered a niche of particular products? A curation of the tidal wave that comes your way with every product search?
By using the power of WordPress, WooCommerce, and some of the following plugins, you can create a niche portal that has the look, feel, and convenience of a WooCommerce shopping experience, while serving users products from Amazon, Walmart, and others.
Offering an affiliate program for your products and services is an excellent way to leverage grassroots advertisers and help identify where you may want to give more attention. Envato Market offers some solid and unique solutions that are worth serious consideration.
Diving into this comparison of the different affiliate WooCommerce plugins, I was surprised to find affiliate WooCommerce plugins that were built with affiliates in mind. It was honestly something I had never thought of before.
If you’re looking to start your own affiliate program or you’re an affiliate yourself, you’re likely to find the best affiliate WooCommerce plugin here.
With almost a third of all online stores running WooCommerce, it has become a powerful tool for online business. Once you begin to use it, you quickly see why it is the most popular eCommerce platform on the web.
Using WooCommerce in its vanilla form is great. It hasn’t climbed to these kinds of heights without being a powerful tool or a solution that isn’t complete. But because it has such a large userbase and it is flexible, the number of plugins that can augment WooCommerce is almost breathtaking. Building a more custom, robust, useful, and profitable business using WooCommerce is easier now than ever before.
One great way to level up your eCommerce build is to add new ways to handle pricing and shipping. There’s a great diversity of products being sold online, so it only makes sense that the ways in which they are priced and shipped are highly diverse as well.
To help build a better experience for both shopkeepers and customers, here are 20 best shipping and pricing WooCommerce plugins.
Let’s start with pricing:
Pricing WooCommerce Plugins
Adding pricing plugins to your WordPress WooCommerce-powered website is a great idea. Sure, running vanilla WooCommerce is just fine, but when you begin to dig into these different pricing plugins you’ll begin to see how much more power your sales platform can have. Not only for more sales, but to run a better business.
Here are several different pricing WooCommerce plugins that are worth considering:
WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts is an excellent all-in-one solution. It includes enough features and options to replace multiple tools. This can handle sales, special offers, bulk pricing, bundles, wholesale, loyalty programs, and so much more. There are thousands of different combinations ready for you to try!
The WooCommerce Wholesale Pricing is the solution for those looking to include wholesale pricing. How it works is simple and straightforward. An extra wholesale price field is added, and based on the user role, this price is displayed. User roles and other options can be set.
WooCommerce Deposits – Partial Payments Plugin is designed for partial payment integration in WooCommerce. Customers can log in to pay the remaining amount, and the initial payment can be set up as a fixed price or percentage. It’s also a great plugin to combine with WooCommerce Bookings.
If you’re selling online, chances are you’ve had to think about international sales at some point. For those selling digital goods, the ability to sell internationally becomes even easier, as you simply need to assemble the right kind of digital tools together to sell outside of your own country.
The Smart Currency Converter for WooCommerce is one of those tools you’re going to need.
„Widget for visitor’s to select their preferred currency. If widget is not added, Auto-detected currency will be used.“
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Pricing plugins are great, but there are actually more shipping WooCommerce plugins to consider. Sales is sexy, but who wants to talk about shipping? In actuality, shipping is where more money can be saved and customers feel more empowered. And if customers are paying less for shipping, that gives them more money to spend on your products, instead of sending money to the shipping company.
Here are several different shipping plugins that approach shipping in many different ways. I’m sure you’ll find something that fits your need.
If you’re interested in leveling up your shipping, WooShip – WooCommerce Shipping Plugin is your best bet. You’re not going to find ultra unique features or fill a unique niche found in these other plugins.
What you will find, however, is a powerful shipping extension for WooCommerce.
charge based on cart, class, weight, product, or quantity
shipping zones based on country, state, or postcode
This is a great feature to add for your customers; a great way to build customer loyalty. The Shipping Details Plugin for WooCommerce allows customers to enter a shipment tracking number and track their order—as well as email when the order is marked complete.
Dropshipping isn’t something every WooCommerce website is going to need.
But if you do?
You’ll want WooCommerce Dropshippers.
„For every sale made, the dropshipper will receive a mail notification with the customer’s address where to ship the goods. After the shipment is complete, the dropshipper will be able to notify the store admin of the completed operation.“
Set up your own list of conditions and costs used to determine shipping options for your customers using the Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce.
„This table rate method for WooCommerce has the ability to add multiple rates for a given customer based on a variety of conditions set by admin. These can include shipping destination, cart subtotal, item shipping class, price, weight, and so much more.“
Not only is it one of the best table rate shipping plugins for WooCommerce, it’s one of the best shipping WooCommerce plugins.
create multiple instances and options per method and add shipping titles and descriptions
add conditions like price, quantity, weight, dimensions, shipping class, categories, specific products, and dates
numerous cost types include flat, percentage, as well as different multipliers
What about bundles? There’s a WooCommerce shipping plugin for that.
The WooCommerce E-Commerce Bundle Rate Shipping plugin makes it easy to extend special shipping rates when customers purchase multiple items.
„You can also add additional layers for each category, adding a degree of complexity that you may find suitable for your store’s situation. For example, if you sell books, you could charge $5 for the first book, $2 for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th books, and nothing for any additional books purchased.“
create different rates for different categories or shipping classes
set up different rates for different countries
easily integrates with WooCommerce
Setting up bundle shipping rates is a great way to help your customers save money on shipping and help you make more sales.
Allowing customers to have more than one address associated with their profile can be very handy. If you only allow one address, it’s a bother for users who may want to send a gift to a friend or loved one, as they have to „update“ their address details to send the shipment to any other place than their personal address.
WooCommerce Multiple Customer Addresses shatters that bothersome mechanic and allows customers to associate multiple addresses to their profile!
apply different addresses for different products in the same cart
switch billing and shipping addresses in the checkout
The WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping is an especially important WooCommerce shipping plugin for businesses dealing with heavy products.
„Weight Based Shipping is a simple yet flexible shipping method for WooCommerce focused mainly on cart weight (but not limited to) to calculate shipping cost. Plugin allows you to add multiple rules based on various conditions.“
WooCommerce Delivery Slots takes a very local approach in its approach to shipping methods. Customers are able to reserve a delivery date and time of their choosing when submitting their WooCommerce order. Another great delivery solution for locally based WooCommerce systems.
upcoming deliveries and currently reserved admin tabs
datepickers and time slot selection field at checkout
As you can see, there are many different shipping and pricing WooCommerce plugins, not to mention the many other types of WooCommerce plugins found on Envato Market.
If you’re selling a product online that needs to be shipped, you will more than likely find what you’re looking for in this list. As I stated before, vanilla WooCommerce is a great place to start. It’s important to understand exactly what it can do and figure out what else you may need it to do for it to be even better.
Hopefully, this list will lead you to build a better eCommerce platform, or at the very least, start you thinking about what exactly you can do to level up your online business.