WooCommerce Extensions Review

For the last part of the WooCommerce review series we tested a few of the extensions available for the core plugin. These extensions are premium and paid for, they extend the core functionality to allow you to build your online store.

Product to media link

This extension allows you to link your product images to the products posts you’ve created with one click, saving you a lot of time. Another cool feature is the ‘buy now’ button that you can add to compatible lightbox pop-ups.

PayPal Pro

Besides the standard payment gateways that WooCommerce includes, you can subscribe and activate the PayPal Pro plugin. Credit card payments are a common payment method that people use online. This plugin allows you to take credit card payments directly on your site. PayPal handles everything when your customer enters their credit card details. By using this plugin people will be less likely to leave your website during the checkout process. Unfortunately it’s only available in the UK, USA and Canada right now, lets hope it’s available worldwide soon! You also need an SSL certificate installed to keep credit card details safe.

Per Product Shipping

There is the possibility that some products may require a separate shipping rate. With this plugin you can define a specific shipping cost for an individual product. When people order multiple products with different shipping rates, the costs will combine at checkout to give one shipping total.

Sales Flash Pro

To attract people with your special price deals it’s a great idea to install this plugin. You can let your potential customer know exactly how much of a discount they will get on your product. You can choose if you want it to display the saving in % or the actual amount.

Table Rate Shipping

With this plugin you can customize your shipping rates with ease. You can define separate shipping rates based on location, price, weight or item count. You don’t have to add complex table rate shipping data, this interface helps you with the process of adding, removing and duplicating rates.


WooCommerce is a great plugin that makes it possible to build your own WordPress online shop easily and effectively, both in the backend, through simplified controls, and on the frontend, through good design. I experienced, as a beginner WordPress user, that you can build your online shop quite easily, especially with the support documentation that WooCommerce provides. I have tried almost all the features step by step, adjusting the various settings and options in the WooCommerce panel. You can pimp your website with the great themes that WooThemes provides and finally add products to your website. It will obviously take some time to add your products to your website depending on the amount you have.

To to see if all the features work, I went through the process of ordering products from the customer’s perspective. The ordering of products worked well as did the the payment gateways I tried. I also made myself a discount coupon and as WordPress rookie I was impressed by what I was able to do. I feel great that I was able to set up an online shop with my beginner knowledge of WordPress.

WooCommerce has provided something really excellent here and the plugin extensions they provide are awesome and will complete your online shop without a whole lot of extra complex coding – thumbs up from me!

Read the rest of our review on WooCommerce:

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WooCommerce Themes Review

We’ve had a look at the WooCommerce Core Plugin and now we will discuss a few of the WooCommerce themes. Most of these themes have similar theme options, features and functionality, so we’ll talk about some of these.


Wootique is a customisable theme with minimal design that WooThemes are offering for free. There is a really great homepage slider to showcase your Featured Products and it offers great animation – it allows you to flip a product image to view further information on that product.

Apart from the slider you can customise the homepage with adjusting the footer, changing the background, adjusting the menu and adding a background image. The Wootique theme options panel is great, no long page loading when you are setting up your pages.


Simplicity is a WooCommerce child theme (to use the theme it needs to be downloaded and installed with the WooCommerce plugin, along with the Simplicity parent theme). The overall design is just like the name says, simple and really nifty too. What’s really great is you can restyle it to your own needs using the styling options panel. Like all the other Woo themes, Simplicity has a the sidebar feature where you can add widgets that will make searching your products easier.

Canvas Commerce

We tested the Canvas WooCommerce child theme (to use the theme it needs to be downloaded and installed with the WooCommerce plugin, along with the Canvas parent theme).

This theme has a lot of advanced settings in the theme option panel. Of course you can still do the usual adjustments to the layout, slider and typography, but they have added some other very cool features e.g. you can change your page template to a magazine or business layout (the support documentation guides you through this setup). In the theme option panel you can adjust your header styling as well as your post, widget and footer styling. In my opinion, the Canvas theme provides great theme options to set up your website.

Canvas frontpage (590x376)



Statua is a WooCommerce child theme (to use the theme it needs to be downloaded and installed with the WooCommerce plugin, along with the Statua parent theme).

The theme options panel is more advanced than the Wootique panel. You can make 3 different presets that contain slider settings, and with one click you can change your settings. In my opinion, if you could manage your entire layout with these settings it would be really awesome.
There is an extensive panel where you can adjust your typography of your navigation, widget titles, post titles and your general typography. You can adjust you slider with settings like animation speed and slide interval.

Read the rest of our review on WooCommerce:




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WooCommerce Core Plugin Review



WooLabs, a division of WooThemes, has recently launched their first offering to the market, an e-commerce plugin called WooCommerce. This opensource plugin was developed with the aim that it will be as easy to setup and use as WordPress itself. Installing the plugin on a WordPress website gives you the ability to turn your site into a superior online store.

The WooCommerce plugin is built to function with WooThemes current theme repository and consists of all the setup panels you will need. From this panel area you can setup all the features for your online shop, like orders, shipping methods, payment gateways, inventory, reports and many more features. It’s important to note that while the free plugin gives you the ability to create and configure your online shop, to actually allow for transactions to happen, you will need to research the various additional plugins provided and purchase the ones you will need.

Product Management

Once the WooCommerce plugin is setup on our site, you can sell anything online, from physical through to digital products. The product management functionality is simple and intuitive to use. Adding a product is just as easy as writing and publishing a post within WordPress. A product can be categorised and tagged, just like a post is, and you can set your product types e.g. simple, downloadable, variable etc. You can also set up all the data for your product e.g. SKUs, weights, taxes, etc. Adding products to your webshop should be a breeze.

Screenshot of the product management screen in the back-end

add product back

Discount Coupon

Another great feature of WooCommerce is their discount coupon management system, which allows you to setup and allocate a variety of different types of coupons, assisting you to encourage your potential customers to buy your products. Each coupon can be set up with an expiry date, an amount and how many times it can be used. This is a great way to promote your products, generate traffic to your site and increase your sales conversion.

Add New Coupon _ WooCommerce _ WordPress

Ordering System

Because the ordering system is the most important part of any online store, WooCommerce has created an order management area that’s extremely simple to use. You can edit orders, manage your stock, track your orders, manage your client information and send invoices to your clients. There’s a very user-friendly order history section where you can track your order as it changes status by utilising the available filters (dates, customers, statuses). Each tab that’s contained within the order management panel is pretty much self-explanatory, and little, if any, help will be needed to use this effectively.


Payment gateways

WooCommerce supports a wide variety of popular payment gateways e.g. BACS (direct bank transfer), cheque, and Paypal. These are integrated into the backend and are free. There are other payment gateways supported, e.g. PayPal Pro, 2Checkout, PayGate etc, but there is a cost attached to these which you will need to investigate. We will discuss the PayPal Pro plugin later.

Shipping & Tax

The built-in shipping functionality gives you the ability to define your shipping costs per product, create a flat shipping rate across products or allow for free shipping.

There are a number of great shipping plugins that can be purchased from WooCommerce that offer loads of additional shipping features and functionality and we discuss these here.

The tax plugin is a very important feature. It’s very difficult to develop one that works across different tax structures across different countries, and it looks like WooCommerce has succeeded in doing just that.  With WooCommerce you can configure different tax rates for different regions, so when your online store goes international, this is a must have. All you need to do is set the region and % of tax and WooCommerce will do the rest.

Order Tracking

Your customer can track their order on your website by filling in their order ID and email address.  The customer then has a summary of their order and can check if their shipping and billing addresses are correct. One feature that’s missing that would be great to have is if your customer could receive an automatic email when the status of their order is changed in the back-end.


The built-in reporting functionality allows you to, at a glance, check your sales, orders, your store’s overall performance, or tab across to inspect daily sales, monthly sales, individual product sales, top sells and top earners.


This is so often the most critical part of a theme and Woothemes provides comprehensive support documentation on their website. There are also video walk-throughs guiding you on using each feature. If you’ve never worked with WordPress before, the documentation and videos will be really helpful. There is also a forum where you can post support questions to WooThemes users who can provide you with assistance .

To continue reading part 2, theme review, click here!

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WP-eCommerce – Dan Milward

Dan is going to give everybody a quick over view of their e-Commerce Plugin, take everybody through the latest version, install a cool theme or two (maybe even a WooTheme Theme), and quickly take everybody through the purchasing process – just so that everybody is on the same page. Once everybody is on the same page Dan is going to give us an over view of the e-Commerce Plugin history, and then share with us the ups and downs of running an Open Source community.

Hopefully by the end of Dan’s session people will have lots of questions and you”ll all know what to do, and more importantly what not to do, if you have plans to launch your own Open Source project.

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LightSpeed will be hosting WordCamp Cape Town 2012

lightspeed wordpress development

This year WordCamp Cape Town has shown that the interest in WordPress runs deep in the South African community.

As organizer of the event, Ashley Shaw and LightSpeed WordPress Development has learned a lot from organizing WCCT 2011 and has committed to bringing WordCamp back to Cape Town next year mid September. We want to build on the success of this year’s event and expand WordCamp 2012 to a two day event, with more speakers and workshops.

So, even though it’s still almost a year away, we want to put out the call for anyone interested in co-organizing, sponsoring, speaking or volunteering at WordCamp Cape Town 2012 to fill out the form HERE and let us here from you.

Speaker Session Videos

Goosebump Productions have finished editing the speaker session videos and we are posting them onto youTube. There is an awesome highlight video showing off the day and the WordCamp Cape Town 2011 speaker session videos can be watched here.


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WordPress as a CMS – Why and How – Nur Ahmad Furlong

This will cover a quick introduction on WordPress as a CMS, the advantages attached to it, achieving basic requirements of a website easily and quickly using already existing plugins, themes and basic customization of existing themes that do not require any coding. It will basically be trying to show the simplicity of WordPress and the power it has.


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Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress – Neil Pursey

Neil spoke about Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress.

We will give a brief overview of SEO and what it means to be #1 in Google search. Our main topic of discussion will be around Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress, how it works and what are its benefits.

Continue reading Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress – Neil Pursey

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Winners of the Wren bags

Wren bags are very special because every bag has a history, like the Wren laptop bags that were gave away at wordcamp Cape Town 2011. The Laptop bags had a previous life as a packaging that has cement mixing instuctions on it.

At Wordcamp Cape Town 2011 we gave away 3 Wren bags to those who had the best question for a speaker.

The proud winners who won the Wren bag are:


Jeffrey Johnson

Donavan Costaras


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Building high volume websites with WordPress – Roy Foubister

Roy spoke about Building high volume websites with WordPress.

I decided to take a real life approach – you land a busy WordPress site that spikes performance every few days, you get the server from the hosting co. and then what??
Continue reading Building high volume websites with WordPress – Roy Foubister

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Panel Discussion: Making Money with WordPress

A profitable and vibrant ecosystem has evolved around WordPress with many leveraging the open source CMS to build successful businesses. Join us as our four panelists discuss the art of making money with WordPress at the core of your business.

Panelists: Adii Pienaar, Dan Milward, David Perel and Jess Green
Continue reading Panel Discussion: Making Money with WordPress

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Panel Discussion: The Future of WordPress Publishing

WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform and online publishing CMS in the world. Come listen to our four expert panelists discuss what the future holds for this powerful platform.
Panelists: Charl Norman, Marc Perel, Neil Pursey and Joe Botha.
Continue reading Panel Discussion: The Future of WordPress Publishing

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WordPress as a mobile publishing platform – Matt Geri

Having developed MobilePress, I have unique experience and knowledge about using WordPress as a mobile publishing platform.

Continue reading WordPress as a mobile publishing platform – Matt Geri

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Get the WordPress relationship working – Jess Green

Give a man a fish and he’ll follow you for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll follow you for a lifetime.
The way to get repeat and loyal WordPress clients is to get them involved and learning, not by holding all your cards to your chest. Continue reading Get the WordPress relationship working – Jess Green

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Using WordPress as a development framework – Jeff Pearce

Using WordPress as a development framework aims to alleviate the overhead associated with common activities performed in Web development. WordPress gives you a base set of application functionality such as user management, routing, caching, that you don’t need to build from scratch.

Continue reading Using WordPress as a development framework – Jeff Pearce

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Responsive Web Design – Jason Bagley

How does a designer adapt to the ever increasing number of screen resolutions, devices, input modes and browsers these days? Creating different versions of a website hosted on multiple sub-domains is a very archaic way of trying to solve this problem.

Continue reading Responsive Web Design – Jason Bagley

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