The View from England

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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