If you’re looking to turn your WordPress site into an online shop, one option reigns supreme: WooCommerce. With roughly 7.5 million downloads, it’s easily the most popular e-commerce WordPress plugin — hell, it’s one of the top 10 most popular WordPress plugins overall.
And now it’s officially a part of the WordPress family. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has just acquired WooCommerce.
Automattic isn’t disclosing the price of the acquisition, but tells me that it’s by far “the biggest acquisition by Automattic to date.” We’ll keep digging for details beyond that, of course.
So why might Automattic snatch up an e-commerce plugin? Because it’s what the people want.
“I remember a few years ago I was at [a WordPress conference],” says WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg in a video announcing the acquisition. “Someone stood up in the Q&A and asked me ‘When are you going to make it as easy to publish stores online as you’ve made it to publish websites?’… and there was spontaneous applause from the audience. People loved this idea.”
If e-commerce is the next step for WordPress, this acquisition helps them make a massive splash into those waters: WooCommerce already powers roughly WordPress-based 600,000 storefronts.
So what is WooCommerce? Put simply, it turns WordPress into a store — and since it’s built by a team that once focused on making WordPress themes, it does so while feeling pretty natural within WordPress.
Adding products is made to feel just like adding a new blog post. Want to take payments? It comes with PayPal support out-of-the-box. Want to use Stripe/Amazon Payments/etc. instead? Just grab one of their extensions. Coupon codes? It’ll do it. And it’ll help with shipping logistics. And inventory management. And analytics. If it’s a key part of running a store, they’ve built it out.
Here’s WooCommerce’s demo video breaking down its feature set:
This isn’t the first time Automattic has bought something from within its own plugin store — just a year ago, it acquired the WordPress security plugin BruteProtect.
Automattic tells me it expects the acquisition to close within the next month.