Woocommerce and ClassicPress

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Woocommerce.

It’s clear that Woocommerce will be fully embracing React and Gutenberg (https://wptavern.com/the-new-woo-adopts-gutenberg-components-user-interface-driven-by-react).

“Once it reaches beta, the plugin will be made available on WordPress.org to allow a larger audience to test it before being merged into WooCommerce core” - where have we heard this before?

I suspect that once Gutenberg is launched in wp 5, Matt Mullenweg will turn his full attention to Woocommerce in order to “compete” with Shopify. I also suspect that the next major version of Woocommerce will declare incompatibility with WordPress installs lower than v5 and have a LTS version of the previous version before discontinuing it completely.

What will this mean for Woocommerce and ClassicPress? Will Woocommerce quickly become incompatible with ClassicPress? Do we need to fork Woocommerce as well?

Some big questions, but let’s not shy away from them and the possible hard truths (such as the new dashboards in Woocommerce look like a great addition).

General consensus so far

  • our official standpoint would be that we won’t actively attempt to keep ClassicPress compatible with Woocommerce if they make a breaking change
  • we will approach a Woocommerce competitor to be our official recommendation and they would ensure ClassicPress compatibility
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My personal opinion is this:

Shop owners are going to want to use the new version of Woocommerce when it gets merged. Even if they’re staunch anti-Gutenbergers, the pros of the new Woocommerce interface will outweigh the cons of having Gutenberg on the system.

I also believe (and have always believed) that Gutenberg should be available as a plugin and that there has never been anything wrong with having Gutenberg as a concept - having another choice in the page builder market can only be a good thing (my objections about Gutenberg focus on not having it in core). We need to remember that ClassicPress is about freedom of choice and serving the business market, and if people want to get the benefits of ClassicPress and also have Gutenberg installed, then we should welcome that option.

With these thoughts in mind, I think the reality is obvious: future versions of Woocommerce on ClassicPress will require a Gutenberg plugin. And perhaps that plugin can have the option to enable/disable Gutenberg as the default editor.

The problem with this approach, however, is that the long-term goal of Gutenberg is to replace everything in WordPress, so at what point would the plugin diverge from the real thing?

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I think that WooCommerce indeed is the elephant, but in a different way than you mean :slight_smile:

Maybe we can invite Jigoshop to become the “official” ecommerce solution for ClassicPress instead, you know, to complete the circle :wink:

All kidding aside, as long as there is a Classic Editor supported, WooCommerce will need to support that too, so instead of installing the GB plugin (will it still be available as plugin after WP 5.0 drops???), perhaps we can put something together as a bridge plugin where the bridge cuts away the GB crap?

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I know it would be a big undertaking, but I think a fork of WooCommerce is needed for the long term, I haven’t looked at Jigoshop in a while: if it stacks up against Woo it could be an alternative.

What I dont think is a good choice is attempting to maintain support for guten friendly plugins or themes once that starts equating to extra workload or code bloat for CP.

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Remember that WooCommerce forked Jigoshop to begin with. After they attempted to hire/buy them… and Jigoshop said no… WooThemes just went and forked it (which was perfectly fine).

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In my opinion, there are PLENTY of other apps that perform as well as, if not better than, woocommerce. It would be FANTASTIC if one of them were chosen as the dedicated commerce app for CLASSICPRESS

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I would fork WooCommerce if you intend to have it compatible with ClassicPress, based on your logic (which I think is very reasonable).

I know there are many other eCommerce platforms that would work great with ClassicPress (such as ecwid.com), but WooCommerce gets the publicity.

As for your other points, my points of contention with Gutenberg have always been that as a WP user you are essentially forced to use it as a mandatory new editor. Then you add the forced roll out of a very buggy beta program, that even Yoast questioned, that (to me) will set back design standards a few notches as well (as Gutenberg current stands last I looked it would take weeks to build something even resembling Medium.com let alone something agency-level). Add to that the fact that many mom and pop WP users are likely to have serious issues, it seems (to me) illogical to update to 5.0. And I’d read somewhere that there was serious consideration in making update to 5.0 mandatory or forced at some point. So the writing is on the wall that Mullenweg is focused on appeasing investors and going for the Wix competitor status over all else. Otherwise why even consider forcing out a buggy Gutenberg over the holidays?

So all that aside… you can create a fork of WooCommerce as well (which obviously is alot more to support as you’re growing an entire fork ecosystem at that point) and / or (doesn’t have to be “either or”) point out alternatives also such as Ecwid. I agree that it’s probably not a great idea to start code bloating CP to make it accomodate Woo. I think you can start a fork of Woo, keep it on the back-burner depending on resources for down the road, and it probably also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a list of other eCommerce platforms that work fine as is with CP. I like Ecwid just because I’ve used it for a few clients, it’s secure, and it’s very simple and customizable.

So anyway just my humble thoughts.

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I don’t really think it’s realistic to think we can expect to support WooCommerce for more than a couple of years. Gutenberg is slated to become so much more than an editor, and that will almost certainly cause WC to be modified in ways that will make it problematic to use on ClassicPress.

So the options seem to me to be to fork either WC itself or another e-commerce plugin, or come to some arrangement with the developers of an e-commerce plugin whose quality and viability we think will be a good fit for the ClassicPress brand.

Forking would give us more control, but it would involve a great deal more work, and we’d need quite a few more developers involved before we could be confident about our ability to pull this off. Forging a close relationship with the team behind a plugin that already exists would avoid those problems but would create others. Could we really rely on them? What if the current developers leave? In other words, we’d also need a backup plan.

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Timkaye’s response is exactly how I feel as well. If you want to use WooCommerce, after a few iterations it’s going to get more and more buggy with ClassicPress as it tries to accommodate Gutenberg more. As we all know Gutenberg changes now just editors but how you use WP, so Woo has to change considerably to stay a WP product… I agree forking it might be good short term but could quickly become a royal pain in the fundament to continually support and tweak and add to over time when you already have the main ClassicPress offering and a fledgling plugin repository coming and all the marketing to consider with all of that.

I agree with everything you’re saying and hope that it’s all considered. As for eCommerce, I personally nominate Ecwid as a “go to” platform since it would work perfectly with just copy and paste code. I can query them, but I know it would work without issue.

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Did not entirely read everyones posts here… But I personally think a really great idea would be a fork of Woo, totally integrate with CP. Then in the back end. have a switch to “Enable E Commerce”.

Just an idea…

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I don’t think we have the manpower to fork WooCommerce, but if anyone decides to I think we could work closely together.

I’d prefer that we support WooCommerce while we can, but look for an alternative to promote, as their later versions are pretty aggressively pushing Jetpack and other paid services from Automattic.

I’ve heard ecwid being proposed as an option.

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If we are going to advise to use 3rd party ecommerce platforms, then we also need to look at Shopify I think.

I don’t think Shopify has a plugin we could suggest users install. In order to add Shopify you would need to add in their “Buy” html tag to each page/product.

Ecwid seems like a better fit, even though I would have loved to see Shopify be used, as a Canadian anyways.

I find at least one existing plugin: WP Shopify which seems in active development too. And there are a few others down the list when doing a search for Shopify.

But no official plugin is still in development: https://www.shopify.ca/blog/113145925-introducing-shopify-for-wordpress

I think we’re getting away from the point here - it’s not a viable solution to say to someone with WP and Woocommerce to switch to a different ecommerce solution in order to use ClassicPress.

People like Woocommerce and will want to stick with it.

So either we can figure out a way to make this work long term, or we say upfront that ClassicPress isn’t going to be viable for woo powered shops.

ClassicPress only supports 3rd party software when there is an “official” plugin?

I mean no plugin being developed by Shopify themselves.

With Ecwid you are likely to use their “official” plugin developed by them.

You don’t have to use any plugins with Ecwid. I just copy and paste code into my site. It’s pretty basic.
I have a client who’s a private investigator who uses Ecwid to take payments for work online, and she uses the plugin, but I use Ecwid on several of my sites to sell packages and take payments along with PayPal copy and paste code…But I get what you’re saying that if you look at Ecwid you would be more likely to go with their “official” app and not be open to copying and pasting code? With the eCommerce option, it seems to me that short term, yes you can use Woo or fork it, but it’s a huge manpower drain to do that. It’s it’s own bird all together to maintain. So short term if there is a way to maintain it, or provide for its use, but in the long term, I think a separate provider that is more WP 4.9 friendly long term might be better. If Ecwid works for that purpose, that’s good. If not, that’s good, too. I’m just mentioning it because I know it should work fine with copy and paste code as well as 4.9 since it’s copy and paste code with a plugin that basically enables the same thing. I’m not a great programmer but it seems in theory it should work fine. Maybe if not, something else along those copy and paste code lines like a PayPal “prettier upper” type of plugin? I hope you guys get what I’m trying to articulate. Voltaire would be embarrassed.