Now, if you had been searching for a WordPress e-commerce plugin, you would definitely have gone through the many plugins and shopping cart software that are available on the Internet. There are a few pretty remarkable e-commerce software such as CS-Cart, Magento, and OpenCart and at the same time, there are plenty of plugins that are well, just alright.
So when Jigowatt introduced Jigoshop, I was pretty excited and yet doubtful at first. While the design was clean and light at first glance, did it really have what it takes to gain the confidence of the hundreds of thousands of potential users?
Is the free version of Jigoshop able to satisfy the basic needs of e-commerce businesses out there or is it just an attempt to get us to buy the extensions? Is it secure? Is it customizable?
How about support? OK, before I begin to confuse you guys, here’s my take on this WordPress shopping cart plugin.
The first public beta version of Jigoshop appeared in 2011. Yes, the plugin’s rather new. Since then, the company has released a number of upgrades with the latest (at the point of writing) version the Jigoshop 1.3 being released in August 2012. Clearly, Jigowatt has been listening to its users’ feedback and has been hard at work improving the software!
There’s a long list of extensions available for this plugin, fast turning it into one of the most comprehensive WordPress e-commerce solutions. From themes to payment gateways to shipping integrations, Jigoshop seemed to have them all covered.
To date, which is slightly more than a year since they debuted, Jigoshop has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. It also has more than 100 extensions, available free as well as paid.
Jigoshop is an open-source software and thus, is free to download.
The latest Jigoshop version requires WordPress 3.3 or greater so if you have an earlier version, it’s time to upgrade. Other requirements include minimum PHP version 5.2.4 and MySQL version 5.0 as well as mod_rewrite Apache module and fsockopen support. These features come as standard on almost all shared web hosting packages.
Installation is simple enough. But if you need help, there’s a guide available on their website.
Here is a brief discussion of what you can expect from Jigoshop.
The latest version now has reports included. Information like total sales, customers and orders, highest sales and quantity are easily available.
Each product is a WordPress post with a specific URL. Inventory management is also made simple where Jigoshop is able to help you keep track of your inventory and to highlight when the quantity of a certain item is near a preset threshold level.
Jigoshop’s shipping panel allows you to 2 shipping methods ie flat rates and free shipping.
You get to include sidebar widgets like featuring the customers’ shopping cart and highlighting your best sellers, discounted products, items recently viewed and so forth, within a custom timeframe.
Jigoshop gives you the ability to accept payments from your customers via bank transfer, cheques, PayPal standard and Skrill (Moneybookers).
There are a few methods that you can create discounts coupons for your customers, from fixed amount or a percentage. Use these discount coupons to encourage your customers to make purchases.
There are loads of extensions and themes available with Jigoshop. Some are free while others cost a few dollars. So feel free to browse through them on Jigoshop’s website and download the ones that you think will be useful for you.
As a free software, Jigoshop do have some pretty good support mainly in the form of community forums and believe it or not, to an extent, from the management too. And for a software that’s just over a year old, its community is quite strong and encouraging!
So are there any downsides to this wonderful software? Well, there are a few but which software doesn’t?
- Jigoshop is suitable for small to medium size e-commerce sites. Bigger e-commerce businesses may find that the software is less than perfect to manage their high volume of traffic and stock. For bigger sites, you can take a look at a full e-commerce software, CS-Cart.
- The other challenge is that not all themes and programs can be integrated with Jigoshop (unless it’s specifically listed on their website), which is fully understandable. My advice is to check the forum or ask them should you have doubts.
As your website grows, you probably want more features in your shopping cart. You have an option to purchase individual extensions and themes or you may wish to save by purchasing either Jigoshop $100 Bundle or Jigoshop Club. Jigowatt is, after all, a business and thus, need funds to run.
Jigoshop $100 Bundle
The Jigoshop $100 Bundle offer was initially for a limited time until July 2012 but has been extended to an unannounced date. What you will be getting for your $100:
- 2 official themes ie Jigotheme and Serenum worth $80
– the former’s a responsive theme and the latter’s great for those who wished to maintain a blogging feel.
- Table Rate Shipping worth $49
– ability to define separate rates for different customers based on geography, total purchases etc
- Sale Flash Options worth $19
– for highlighting sales prices and discounts
- MailChimp worth $19
– professional emailing and newsletter features
- Simple SEO Met Tags worth $9
– SEO options for your products
- Up-sells & Cross-sells worth $29
– for promoting other relevant products to the one your customers are buying / looking at
- HTML emails worth $19
– HTML email templates
- Product Accessories worth $29
– allows additional items to be shown with individual products
- SagePay Form worth $49
– for credit card payments
- and the free Jigoshop Statistics and Admin Bar extensions
- 2 official themes ie Jigotheme and Serenum worth $80
Should you have a need for more extensions and themes, you can consider Jigoshop Club membership. For a one-time fee of $500, you are able to
- download every official Jigoshop theme and extension, currently worth over $2,000!
- have unlimited access to all existing as well as future releases.
- access Jigoshop’s priority Premium Support and also their knowledgebase.
- integrate major e-commerce applications eg PayPal, Sagepay, Campaign monitor and Google Checkout
If you are looking for a reliable and easy to use shopping cart for your e-commerce website, then I would urge you to give Jigoshop a test drive. Remember, this shopping cart is absolutely FREE to download and use. It is also fully functional. But if you want to extend the features, you can do so with both free and paid extensions.
This WordPress plugin is so good, after a while you might just find it worth to go for the Jigoshop Club. As discussed above, I would like to highlight that this e-commerce plugin is best suited for small to medium size websites and has all the extensions (both free and paid) needed to help you build your online business.