Practical Ecommerce

From Magento to WooCommerce, part 4

This is the fourth installment in my series of describing the process of migrating from Magento to WooCommerce. In “part 1,” I discussed my frustrations with Magento and the appeal of WooCommerce. In “part 2,” I explained the steps of installing and testing WooCommerce to determine if it would fit my ecommerce company. Then, in “part 3,” I imported selected products and descriptions into WooCommerce and began choosing (and recommending) plugins.

That brings me to this “part 4.” I recommended a WordPress plugin in the previous “part 3” installment that, as it turns out, I should not have. Even now, after 30 years in information technology and 10 years in ecommerce, I can still get scammed. One cannot be too careful when purchasing items.

When purchasing something like a plugin, it is all too easy to skip the website terms and conditions and to not check the legitimacy of a site. With many good WordPress plugins being free or very cheap, it is easy to miss the obvious checks when one is just $10. That is what I did.

Worse, I ended up recommending a plugin that I thought cost $10, but does not. It’s the “WooCommerce Points and Rewards” plugin to which I refer. I purchased it (I thought) from a site called Woogang.com. On the face of it, the site appears to be selling, cheaply, some very good plugins.

In fact, what the site is doing is selling the URL. Indeed if I had taken the trouble to look at the terms and conditions, which is linked on the foot of every page, I would have read: “WooGang Club is providing only links for various themes, plugins & scripts which are licensed under GPL (GNU General Public License) and hence you can use them on as many websites you want and use it the way you want- modified or non-modified.”

Moreover, the terms and conditions include the very customer-unfriendly statement, “All payments towards WooGang Membership are non-refundable and any request or dispute will be rejected without any communication.” Only an idiot — i.e., me — would buy a plugin that is not supported and will never be updated, especially from a company that does not even own the software.

The WooCommerce Points and Rewards plugin is actually written by WooThemes and costs $129. WooThemes does indeed support and offer free upgrades to this plugin — if, naturally, you purchased it from that company. But Woogang fools users into thinking they are getting a bargain, not something of no value.

It is always worthwhile doing a few checks to avoid getting fooled by such sites. Pick the wrong site or the wrong software and you can be letting malware into your site. The site Woogang.com has a number of omissions that I should have noticed. To start with, there are no real contact details, just a form. There is no address, no phone number, and no business registration details.

Woogang.com’s terms and conditions spell out that you are not getting what you think you are. Also, I should have noticed that all the product images are screenshots from WooTheme pages with a “Sale!” image covering the WooTheme logo. I allowed myself to grab what seemed to be a bargain, instead of remembering the truism, “If it seems too cheap, then it is”.

I will look into other rewards plugins. The options appear to range from $30 to $100. These may be better values than the $129 WooThemes plugin. Certainly the WooThemes plugin works well. But for $129 there may be a better alternative.

See “From Magento to WooCommerce, part 5.”

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  1. Marcio March 19, 2015 Reply

    Hi Richard,

    So you didn´t receive the plugin, that’s right?

    Or the plugin did not work?

    • Richard Stubbings March 21, 2015 Reply

      The plugin worked. It was a great plugin developed and sold by WooThemes. HOWEVER the version “offered” by Woogang was an old version that you cannot upgrade nor get any support.

  2. Marie March 19, 2015 Reply

    That’s brave of you to admit such a colossal mistake, but I thank you for doing so. I try to be careful, and you’ve pointed out things I haven’t thought to look for. Thanks!

  3. Ray Haiduk March 19, 2015 Reply

    Did you complete your move to WooCommerce? If so, will you write part 5 and 6 or more?

    • Richard Stubbings March 21, 2015 Reply

      Yes I plan to complete the move. I will finish off this with a part 5 and possibly a 6. Then move on to a new series concentrating on just Woocommerce.

  4. Bret Williams March 20, 2015 Reply

    I certainly hope woogang.com goes away. I didn’t know about them until your post, but their business model is just shy of fraud. Although they do tell you what you get, it’s a shame case. I’m surprised WooCommerce hasn’t challenged them given that they are reselling the WooCommerce extensions and giving the impression that it’s on the up and up.

    Thanks for admitting your being conned on this. Shame on WooGang!

  5. Ray March 20, 2015 Reply

    I have run across that site (and others like it) that purport to sell WP plugins cheaply. Many offer subscription services that will provide access to a range of plugins for a monthly fee (typically $15/mo). I would definitely steer clear, since no support or license is provided. Unless you’re a seasoned developer, you’re probably opening a can of worms with these “cheap” offerings.

  6. Dan March 27, 2015 Reply

    Read some parts of your post. Why would you use magento if you can downgrade to wordpress? Magento should be used only if you have a multistore system with complex products and thousand of transactions per day. Otherwise use opencart or wordpress. When approaching clients I only recommend magento if they are big or there is a reasonable chance to get big.

    • Richard Stubbings March 29, 2015 Reply

      When I first used Magento, Woocommerce was barely around. Also my requirements were initially more complex and could not be satisfied by Woo. Read “part 1.”

  7. Miro December 18, 2015 Reply

    I have ran into a bunch of those sites that offer woothemes plugins for cheap. Does anyone has any positive experience with any of them? For example http://www.woodiscounts.com or http://www.gplplugins.com

    • ferdi January 9, 2016 Reply

      I was checking for the same info Miro but seems now they are blogging about their updates as they do them .

      Seems pretty quite interesting since i bought 2 plugins from http://www.gplplugins.com and checked the code and seems all ok

    • Miro November 14, 2016 Reply

      edit: in the meantime I joined a few memberships. Its been working quite well for me with http://www.woodiscounts.com.

      Its worth mentioning woodiscounts.com is now http://www.pluginfusion.com. They had to rebrand due to Woo trademark violation which arises new question whether this type of clubs will survive in the long term.

      • richard stubbings November 14, 2016 Reply

        I am a cynic, and feel that you just post to promote these sites.

        If you are serious about ecommerce. If you want to run a proper business. Then don’t purchase from third parties, buy direct. It is madness to use an unsupported extension. A respectable merchant does not sell fake goods, so support the authors of the software and ignore those that exploit the copies.

  8. Prasad February 25, 2016 Reply

    Hello,

    Great Post. Yes I was also attracted to WooTreasure for the first time I saw them. They seemed legit, but they had also clearly mentioned that they wont be providing any support of any kind and updates would be limited to 30 days after buying the plugin.

    So because of no support I didn’t have a choice but to buy from WooThemes. Anyways, the one who knows these plugins in and out and doesn’t need support can try them for a small price, when the project client doesn’t care about the originality and doesn’t want to pay for it.

  9. Stefanie May 28, 2016 Reply

    Wish I had seen your post sooner. I was one of the idiots who fell for their scam. Out of $50 and from what you’re saying it’s unlikely that my PayPal dispute will go through. Purchased 3 downloads, and not one of them worked. Two failed to install entirely, and the third routed me to Woothemes to purchase a license key. Funny thing is, I actually did research Woogang before buying, and believed what I read here: http://paperhedge.com/woogang-club-is-it-legit-or-a-scam-the-gpl-point-of-view/#comment-11525. Lesson learned the hard way.

  10. Sameer December 17, 2016 Reply

    Hello,

    Amazing Post. I really loved reading your content.

    Yes I was also attracted to WooTreasure for the first time I saw them. They seemed legit, but they had also clearly mentioned that they wont be providing any support of any kind and updates would be limited to 30 days after buying the plugin.

    Looking forward to use it.