Support » Plugin: WooCommerce » Still good, could be better

  • Updated review: I am leaving the original review below, so the comments don’t look really weird out of context.

    If you’ve never used Woocommerce before, it’s very decent, and it is a really robust ecommerce platform that can handle an amazing variety of different store types from single-item shops, to massive stores with different products, to reservation systems for hotel rooms or events. I have used it for all of the above, and I will use it again. It can handle almost any option you can throw at it, and is extensible so it can take on more if your store or products require it.

    As a programmer, I find it a little unwieldy at times to customize, and I would like the documentation to be a little more user-friendly at a casual level. It seems like all API documentation is bad – totally not limited to WooCommerce, and WooCommerce docs are far from the worst! Coupled with the fact that I normally am not looking at docs until I’m many-hours into something frustrating that I can’t solve and am usually tired and coffee-deprived by that time, it would be nice if API docs were less technical.

    Unlike far-too-many plugins now in the WordPress Repo, WooCommerce is still 100% free and can be fully used out-of-the-box. It’s not a demo or a limited-use version and in this era that’s a big plus. They make money selling upgrades, but you can also craft similar upgrades yourself if you desire. For a non-programmer, the upgrades are very reasonably priced, especially considering they come with a year of service.

    There are still some issues that pop from time to time, and it can be scary when upgrading/updating because updates have a reputation for breaking existing sites. It would be nice if that was less of a potential thing. The PayPal gateway is glitchy, and unexpectedly works or doesn’t without seemingly any reason. My last go-around with it I installed a site on a development server on AWS and it worked fine through all testing. Then migrating it to the GoDaddy production server it failed. Returning with a brand new, totally fresh install of WordPress and Woocommerce with nothing else installed, it failed again on AWS. I ended up writing my own PayPal gateway for the REST APIs which has worked fine. PayPal is pushing the REST APIs and mothballing older technologies. I would up-rate this another star if they ditched the existing Paypal gateway for a new REST version.

    In my original review, only the PayPal gateway was (VERY) glitchy. I made it after 2 days of frustrating, fruitless trial-and-error to get it fixed, so I reviewed WooCommerce unfairly in a fit of NerdRage. I’d give it another half-star for Mike Jolly not totally losing it and keeping cool…especially after seeing all of the other quick trigger bad reviews.

    To anyone that’s shopping around for eCommerce solutions, I recommend at the very least giving Woocommerce a look.

    I used to love this plugin, but it’s a mess now.

    There are problems with inventory reduction working properly, connectivity with Paypal fails and items do not get marked as paid/processed, and deleting old products causes a database error (or something) that causes the setting page to glitch out and return a blank white page that just says “Action failed. Please refresh the page and retry.” with no other details. The only fix is to completely wipe the WordPress database and start from scratch…for deleting a product???

    I don’t know if this is a new problem since Automattic took over, but what was a good product has turned to trash.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Avant 5. Reason: Unfair rage-driven review
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Avant 5.
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  • Plugin Author Mike Jolley



    If you’re able to replicate issues with only WooCommerce active, log them on GitHub.

    However, going by your forum history, you’ve had issues with an abandoned cart plugin. Thats not part of core and not something we can officially give support for. If it’s glitchy, stop using it or find an alternative plugin that does not have the same issues.



    Thanks for reaching out on my review.

    The issues were actually not related to the Abandoned Cart plugin at all. I hadn’t noticed that Adam’s post was on a plugin support forum, and not the general WordPress or Woocommerce forum(s). That was a mistake on my part. I never used the Abandoned Cart plugin.

    Your advice turned out to be perfect, however. I didn’t have the time on this project, and was too invested in setting up the store (three times), and teaching the client how to use it, to craft a new eCommerce and hotel booking solution from scratch. I did follow your advice to one point, and wrote a new Paypal gateway plugin, and now it’s working perfectly.

    Whatever the problem is, it’s not Godaddy’s hosting, security settings, Paypal’s system, my theme, or other plugins causing conflict. Everything works perfectly with my gateway.

    I never was able to track down where the glitch is in the default Paypal gateway. The default logging tells very little, and I added dozens of new logging points to try to capture information. I got a lot of information, but nothing helpful.

    But the issues were with only WordPress and Woocommerce installed. After the first time coming across the error and unable to hack the glitch, I did a complete fresh install: New Database, new WordPress install – including fresh download of /, fresh install of Woocommerce from within WordPress, using only the default WordPress theme and a single simple product, skipping the Woocommerce setup, and then after *with* the Woocommerce setup (hoping that would fix it).

    This error occurred both on Godaddy shared hosting, and a naked AWS EC2 Amazon Linux instance with Apache 2.4, MySQL 5.6, PHP 7.1. Godaddy uses a similar setup, including PHP7.

    Plugin Author Mike Jolley


    Did your custom paypal gateway use IPN or PDT or nothing? I’d expect all users to be affected by an actual bug in that. Maybe you can share you code.

    PayPal standard in core has changed very little in years – it has nothing to do with Automattic 🙂 Same code, same team. Usually the order notes or debug log will show if there is a comms issue with PayPal, or if something is invalid or misconfigured.

    Hi, sorry for the super-late response. Work has been crazy.

    The gateway uses nothing special. Nothing for rerouting around firewalls or other issues, just straight, dead-simple REST API connection, in a single-page light plugin, plus the Paypal SDK.

    The code was adapted from this wonderful tutorial by Igor Benić:

    I was just looking for a quick refresher on gateway structure, and luckily Igor’s tutorial was specific for Paypal. Usually they are for for some reason. This one I didn’t have to adapt to a different payment processor, but I did have to do some fixing because there were a few issues with his code that needed tweaks.

    I still have not figured out what caused the problem with the default Paypal gateway, and it’s driving me insane. I had it working totally as expected on my dev server (AWS), then testing on the production server (GoDaddy) and it doesn’t work. But then a second, brand new install on the exact same AWS EC2 instance failed, so same server configuration on AWS and it works once, but not the other time. It’s one of those goblin in the machine glitches that I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out.

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