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WooCommerce – No Thanks

WooThemes LogoSo WooThemes have released v1 of WooCommerce an ecommerce plugin for WordPress. This is a fork of the Jigowatt ecommerce plugin Jigoshop. Given the GPL licensing of the code the fork was legally fine, but I found the whole process ethically dubious. The reason for the fork seemed to be purely for financial gain given their own attempts to create an ecommerce plugin had failed and they could not come to a commercial agreement with Jigowatt or at least 1 other similar plugin development group.
Jigoshop LogoI have 1 site about to go live using Jigoshop, but another in early stages of development. It would be derelict of me not to at least check out WooCommerce for the sake of my client.


Having a core WP developer like Mark Jaquith give WooCommerce a security audit is a good move, especially given the relative immaturity of the plugin code.
The feature list of the 2 plugins are still pretty similar and this is to be expected given the short time of the split. An interesting difference is that WooCommerce has built in HTML emails & up-sells / cross-sells functionality. These are premium paid extras in Jigoshop. But is it based on the same code? If so, an interesting way to undercut the competitors financial model. There are other paid extensions for both systems with some cross over.


Ok, I still have serious reservations, but lets download and compare if there is a compelling reason to switch to WooCommerce. Hit the download button and up pops a window, “REGISTER TO DOWNLOAD THIS PRODUCT”. You have to be kidding me, and at that point I shut down the tab for that site. No thanks WooCommerce.


  1. Mike

    You know, you could have just gone straight to wordpress.org (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/woocommerce/)

    • Ernie Leseberg

      And they could also say that upfront. I have also just heard about the github repository for WooCommerce, which seems pretty active.

      • Mike

        Yep, I agree it could be clearer, but its no secret its on wp.org – I think we’ve mentioned it several times in posts etc.

        GitHub is where development is going down so it should remain pretty active. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made since leaving JS – I’ve rewritten a lot of my code so it should be nice and stable if you give it a whirl.

  2. James Koster

    It would be derelict of me not to at least check out WooCommerce for the sake of my client.

    Yet you wont even enter a few details to download it? Or have a quick Google to find the WordPress or GitHub listing? Oh my.

    • Ernie Leseberg

      Touchy from one of the developers.

      I saw nothing from the site of WooCommerce that made me think this is yet a substantial improvement of JigoShop. So why add myself to the mailing list, to a company that I believe are ethically dubious.

      Create the best WP ecommerce plugin and give me no alternative but to switch. I will be keeping an eye out.

  3. Andy Eastes

    Went through the whole setup process, then the checkout does not even work. Spent hours trying to fix, cannot even find the calls in the code. Even tried different templates to no avail…..

  4. MacyMyDay

    I started with Jigoshop on a new site project in September. at the time JS was v.9.8; I had plenty of issues with the content wrapping to get it to work with a Theme my client had chosen.

    Since the forking and questionable behavior of the Woo management, I’ve been keeping an eye out; rooting for the underdog, hoping for a major score by the JS team.

    Today JS is v.9.9.3 — not even an official/final release. Woo has made steady improvements, and today has released v 1.3 — the 13th release since launch in September. JS has maybe 4.

    Perhaps the resources scoffed by Woo have crippled the development team and therefore they still after more than 4 months don’t have a ‘real’ release.

    I’m rooting for them. But I have a client to serve. And it appears that Woo has committed significant resources to the project, for good reason.

    I’m trying to stay with JS, but if I read between the lines — of code and otherwise — Woo appears to be advancing what ultimately JS should’ve and could’ve been doing, at a much more rapid rate.

    As for the requirement of an email address; come on! I know you’ve used a stale or proxy email in the past. You coulda simply done that!

    thanks for sharing!

  5. John

    I went with Jigoshop because i didn’t really like the whole “fork” thing. (plus the creators are in the same town as me, so it was nice to support a local company)
    Now however, i have just switched the site over to Woocommerce, simply because there are issues with the Jigo version and support/fixes just don’t seem to be happening.
    It’s a bit sad, but i have to be realistic – despite rooting for the underdog, functionality support and stability are what matters – and i think Woo are striding ahead of the Jigo team.

  6. Ernie Leseberg

    Of the 2 sites I originally set up on Jigoshop, 1 has already switched and the other will probably move as well. The last 2 releases have had a number of problems around variations and attributes. So I am already eating my original words.
    I must agree WooCommerce is leaving jigoshop behind. Woocommerce and Mike who seems to be doing nearly all the dev, do need to be careful with their releases as they are coming thick and fast (3 in 2 days 1.22 to 1.24). Thankfully any small issues have been fixed very fast.

  7. Peter Cunningham

    Very interesting thanks. I was thinking of using a template that uses Jigoshop. Could someone tell me that if I do this and add products etc, later will I be able to use woocommerce plugin without having to re-input all my products?

    • Ernie Leseberg

      The one site I migrated, most of the product content went without trouble. The missing area was around product attributes. Of course as time goes on the changes are likely to be greater and migration harder.

  8. Dan Thornton

    I just wanted to update everyone on what’s been happening at Jigoshop as there have obviously been some changes since the original post and some of the comments were made.
    Jigoshop itself only launched 8 months ago, and obviously any changes to the team straight after launch were going to cause some disruption, although we’ve minimised it as much as possible, and invested in a growing development team and a growing support team.
    We’ve also spent a lot of time rebuilding several sections of Jigoshop from the ground up to make it more stable, more reliable, and easier to build on, and that’s been a major focus to give us a great base to work from – hence why we’re ‘only’ on version 1.1 right now – the version number isn’t an indication of how mature the product is, or how much work has been done.
    We’ve also had a Jaquith security audit and launched a new support system on top of reworking areas such as products to add better UI and easier administration on top of more efficient code (This isn’t to knock the original code of Jigoshop, but when you’ve had 50,000+ downloads and feedback you get a great understanding of what needs to be improved).
    Our release schedule was originally planned to have less frequent updates to allow more stability for end users, but if that gives the impression that we’re not moving quickly, then maybe we need to look at that again!
    Certainly we’ve committed a large amount of resource, both financially and in terms of manpower, to continuing to improve Jigoshop with the aim of making it the best possible WordPress eCommerce solution, and we’ll continue to focus on that.

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