It’s not particularly challenging to manage a WordPress website, but it can be cumbersome. When you add the extra layer of operating a business through WooCommerce, there’s more to take into account. You’ve decided to hire a professional to sort out the little details of your WooCommerce store. Should it be a WooCommerce Certified Agency or a Codeable Developer?
The short answer to which professional to hire is that it depends on what you’re searching. You might want a simple project or a more complex one. Perhaps you’ve run a WooCommerce website for a while and now need some tweaking, or you’re starting it from scratch. The level of complexity of your site can guide you through the type of expert you need.
On the WooCommerce website under customizations link. They give two options for help. WooCommerce Certified Full-Service Agencies and Codeable.com
This can be a bit misleading because it states projects from $5000 but there are several WooCommerce Certified Full-Service Agencies who do work on small projects and offer maintenance plans for store owners.
How do we know, because we’re a Certified WooCommerce partner:
As an example, we offer WooCommerce and WordPress store management plans and bill by 1/2 hour increments with no job too small. We feel this is important for WooCommerce store owners to know because some of the experts specialize in start-ups and small stores while going to extra mile in providing education to new online store owners.
In addition, we have been certified by Codeable. Making Bright Vessel one of the only WooCommerce Experts which is also certified by both WooCommerce and Codeable with a 5-star rating.
So which path is better for a WooCommere store owner to get support?
To decide whether to hire a WooCommerce Certified Agency Vs. Codeable Developer, we’ve created a guide of possibilities. We’ll talk about who you’ll need in the following scenarios:
- When you require front-end work, including visuals
- In times where you need to tweak the backend and functionality
- When you have trust issues hiring a single developer
- If you’re not looking too far into the future
WooCommerce Certified Agency Vs. Codeable Developer
Front-end work constitutes changing simple details on your WooCommerce store. You don’t need a WooCommerce specialist to improve the visuals of your eStore. Some examples of simple front-end work are:
- Changing the theme
- Switching the order of items
- Generally speaking, any aesthetic aspect of WooCommerce
Bright Vessel founder Judd Dunagan elaborates on this:
Customizing the visuals of your WooCommerce site should be a piece of cake for a WordPress developer. The structure of the plugin is very similar to the WordPress layout, and toggling its look works the same. However, if you’re looking for more in-depth customization, you will need a WooCommerce specialist who knows the code and has a direct line to WooCommerce developers.
In some cases, a bigger WooCommerce Certifed Agency does not do one-off jobs for design and layouts (Shameless plug: We love to do web design and can help). However, Codeable has many website designers that you can hire which have no issue in providing one-off services, including Bright Vessel.
On Codeable, the experience is a little different. You go through an estimation process with several developers who try to outline what you’re looking to do. You then choose a developer which most manage the projects in different ways and some work communication only through the Codeable platform for your project. So the client experience is a little different than hiring an Agency. However, most Codeable developers also have agencies (Ex: Bright Vessel) so it is a matter of knowing what you’re looking for and finding the best match that makes you feel comfortable.
The backend of WooCommerce is precisely where you’ll need a WooCommerce Certified Agency. Why?
- Although visually similar to WordPress as a whole, WooCommerce has very particular workings.
- A WooCommerce specialist will know about the code and upcoming changes to the platform.
For Judd, this is why you should find a WooCommerce professional:
“The WooCommerce backend is very complex, and it can have a lot of minutiae depending on what you’re selling. While a WordPress developer might be somewhat familiar with the platform, WooCommerce is very peculiar. It’s also constantly undergoing improvements, and someone with superficial knowledge of the platform won’t be aware of every new thing. A WooCommerce specialist will know about every update to the plugin. You’re going to need someone with a vast understanding of the mechanics of the backend, and WooCommerce in general. If there’s a major change in the platform, you want someone who optimizes the site thinking ahead. While WooCommerce does take a lot from the standard WordPress view, the fact is you’ll need an expert to get things done well. Once you’re in a deeper territory, it’s time to hand the keys to a pro.”
- The best WordPress developer will focus their knowledge on the all-around platform.
- The nuances of WooCommerce might escape developers, as there are so many specific functions and aspects to it.
- For a highly technical scenario, the best thing you can do is hire a WooCommerce specialist that knows their way around.
- A WordPress developer won’t have the full grasp of the ever-changing landscape of the popular eCommerce plugin.
- There are many specific functions to a WooCommerce store, and the platform undergoes constant improvements. You need to hire someone who knows about the current and upcoming changes and, above all, what are the new best practices to follow.
The wp_update_post function is a prime example of how WooCommerce is constantly changing. Judd has this to say about it:
“It’s easy for someone who isn’t an expert to make mistakes with the wp_update_post function. Right now, it’s easy for you to use it for an order, post or product because they work as posts in the database. However, WooCommerce announced that they’d move away from the standard database of posts and their meta information, using their database structure. Soon enough, WooCommerce will optimize the platform on its terms, so it’s not the best idea to post products through the wp_update_post function. Once WooCommerce moves to its proprietor database, the code won’t work anymore. You’ll be stuck with obsolete code, and you’ll need to spend even more time fixing it. This logic applies to a lot of functions on WooCommerce that remain from previous versions and you shouldn’t use. A WooCommerce specialist will know which functions to avoid.”
Can’t Afford a WooCommerce Certified Expert?
If you’re starting your WooCommerce store, there’s a good chance you may reach out to a few Expert vendors on WooCommerce which may be out of your prices range.
- Keep in mind that setting up a business will require investment. It’s just a fact of life.
- Skimming expenses at first can potentially cost you much more in the future. You’ll have a contrived setup that will inescapably require more work in the future.
- If you need specialized work, a specialist is always the way to go.
One thing to remember is that you don’t need a completely perfect store from the get-go. The best way to go about building your WooCommerce on a budget is by constantly adding to it.
Many businesses have been able to afford a WooCommerce Certified Expert by taking things slowly through agile development or Minimum Viable Product or MVP. These formulas work around building the eStore slowly instead of doing everything at once. Judd adds:
“If the issue with hiring a WooCommerce Cerified Expert is one of money, there’s a way around it. The iterative approach to building an eCommerce is prevalent among smaller businesses. Here’s how that works: you get the WooCommerce Expert to create a Minimal Viable Product where you can start an online business that makes money. Once you’re at a comfortable pace, you can start adding additional changes, from functionality to different types of products. Bright Vessel can guide you through the process of building the best eCommerce for your growing needs, as you grow. The first version of your eStore doesn’t have to be the final one.”
The iterative approach allows you to:
- Run a basic version of your eStore to get things started
- Make money from it
- Improve the WooCommerce store as your business grows. Make additional investments somewhere down the line to add as many layers as you need from your store
Both WooCommerce Certified Agencies and Codeable Developers are the best choices you have and why WooCommerce recommends both paths. Now you could be paying the same on either place and we recommend checking all WooCommerce Experts before trying the Codeable route because you will be surprised on how many are willing to help.
You Have a Trustworthy WordPress Developer
If you’ve had a website for a while, you probably have a go-to WordPress developer. They’re trustworthy, and you know they work well. You prefer working with someone who has already shown you good results.
If you only need to get a few basics done on WooCommerce, this isn’t a bad idea. It depends on what features and enhancements you want out of your WooCommerce store, however. For Judd, the solution is simple:
“Work with your trustworthy WordPress developer for as long as you can. You’ve already established a good rapport with this person. However, when you’re building your WooCommerce store, it’s also important to have an honest conversation with the developer. How much are they able to manage before calling an expert? There will come the point in which they won’t be able to help anymore. That’s where the WooCommerce expert should make an appearance.”
In other words:
- Maintain a good relationship with your developer
- Work with them for as long as you can
- Talk to them about their knowledge of WooCommerce to see how far along they can accompany you
Not Looking Far Into the Future
You might not be thinking ahead when it comes to your WooCommerce store. If you’re only thinking of the next few months, the issue might be not planning. Business growth is a factor to consider, and one you should anticipate. It might seem like a good idea to economize at first, but it can ultimately harm you. Judd explains this well here:
“One thing we frequently see at Bright Vessel is cleanup. A client comes in, and they’ve had their store set up before, and there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be in the backend. Clients can end up losing sales during the process of backtracking and trying to fix it up. It’s always going to end up being more expensive to do cleanup than to start with a WooCommerce specialist from the get-go. Why? Because there’s code to fix instead of the custom code done from scratch. The best thing you can do is hire a professional who knows their way around WooCommerce from the start. It’ll save you a lot of headaches down the line, as you’ll end up paying two people to do the same thing at different points.”
In other words:
- Hire a WooCommerce Certified Expert the second you decide to build a WooCommere store.
- Hiring a professional to do reworking will end up being more expensive.
- Your business can suffer from having to close the eShop while undergoing fixes.
- You’ll eventually need a pro anyway – don’t fight it!
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, and a WP developer should know a little about it, but the best course of action is going with a WooCommerce Expert. They’ll guide you through exactly where your store needs to go so it can be profitable and grow.
The Bright Vessel team of WooCommerce specialists has worked with the platform for a long time. We pride ourselves in our hard and customized work for clients from all walks of life. Contact us to get help and find out more about our plans and prices!