WordPress powers more than 28% of websites on the internet.
No doubt, it is a dominant content management system.
When I say websites, it’s not just content rendering blogs or portfolio sites. A decent percentage of enterprising merchants are also using this powerful software to create online stores.
Monetizing your website is actually relatively easy, thanks to WordPress’s intuitive design. However, the enormous amount of choice out there makes the process of choosing an ecommerce plugin difficult.
Jigoshop Ecommerce plugin is one amongst those.
Jigoshop might not have the user base of the giant WordPress ecommerce plugin, WooCommerce, yet has a solid foothold in the industry(also Jigoshop vs WooCommerce in the recent times is an increasingly popular debate).
Should you create a new store on Jigoshop, or migrate over an existing one perhaps? Find out, in my Jigoshop review.
Before moving on to the actual review, here is the quick overview in the form of highlights:
- Good interface, suitable for beginners and WordPress veterans
- Can expand basic features with wide selection of plugins
- Poor customer support options
Ease of Use
Getting the Jigoshop plugin in the first place is incredibly simple to do. Simply go to the ‘Plugins’ section of your WordPress menu, search for Jigoshop, and install it. Done!
After that, the difficulty you’ll encounter with Jigoshop will depend entirely on your experience with WordPress given that, as a plugin, Jigoshop follows the same layout and has the same appearance as the basic CMS.
Adding a new product, for example, works in almost the same way as adding a
new blog post to your WordPress website.
That being said, some choices have been made by the Jigoshop team regarding layout, and generally speaking, they seem to be good ones.
The basic dashboard, which gives you an overview of your whole store, looks a little overwhelming at first, but you’ll quickly acclimatize to it and begin to appreciate it as a useful hub. Subsequently going about store-related tasks, like adding products or setting up special offers, is speedy and intuitive.
Bottomline:, I’d say even if you’re not a WordPress expert, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to grips with Jigoshop.
Website Templates is one area in which, for my money, Jigoshop scores a victory over WooCommerce.
Firstly, it has a wider choice of themes on its website, with around 30 of them available (though annoyingly these are not sorted into any defined categories). There are still only a couple of them which you can get for free – just like WooCommerce – but the rest of them are priced slightly cheaper than its big competitor’s counterparts, and look just as sleek and modern.
Most of the themes are also responsive, so they’ll scale automatically for mobile and tablet devices.
Crucially, you also can dive into the HTML/CSS of your website, to edit your chosen theme to your heart’s content. In fact, the only negative point I can come up with regarding these Jigoshop themes is that not all are compatible with the latest version of the plugin; make sure you check that before you purchase one.
Features and Integrations
Compared to its competitors, Jigoshop surprisingly has a wide range of features ready to go straight out of the box, without needing additional plugins.
Managing inventory is one vitally important area. With Jigoshop you can upload an unlimited number of products to your site by default, without paying an extra penny. Besides, after you’ve set an initial volume for a specific product, Jigoshop will monitor your sales of that product and automatically update the quantity remaining in your inventory.
Tracking how well your store is performing, whether on a macro level or a product-specific micro basis, is easy.
Thanks to Jigoshop’s robust analytics section.
Check out how well each product is selling, your gross and net sales figures, a variety of data on your customer acquisition and much more, all within one convenient section.
The selection of payment methods available with Jigoshop by default (i.e., without using plugins) is solid, without being outstanding.
You can accept five different types of payment, including FuturePay and PayPal Standard. Of course, you can add plenty more via add-ons, many of which are free.
It’s also worth noting that accepting international payments is no chore with Jigoshop, as it supports over 100 currencies.
Whether by choice or by design, there’s a hard limit on how many features most ecommerce solutions will offer themselves.
However, plugins and extensions section on any platform is the solution for this problem.
Jigoshop is no different! It does a fantastic job with its Extensions section.
While the layout of this section could be improved, there’s no arguing with the sheer volume of Jigoshop plugins on offer here.
There are over 300 of them, with 26 of those being completely free of charge. You can sort all of the extensions by their basic category – Media, Shipping, Support, etc. – to easily find what you’re looking for.
The only problem I have with the Jigoshop Extensions section is that, for the vast majority of the plugins, there are few if any user reviews available.
For the big-name extensions like MailChimp that apparently isn’t a problem, as you know what you’re getting. But or other extensions which you haven’t already heard of, however, you’re forced into taking a gamble that they’re actually operational and effective.
However, there are enough big-name extensions to prevent you defecting from Jigoshop to WooCommerce; famed brands like UPS, FedEx and reCAPTCHA are all present and correct.
On their homepage, Jigoshop makes a mention of their PHP7 optimization, which they claim will provide a sizeable boost to runtime speed on their sites.
I still wanted to check how well Jigoshop stores performed for myself, however, and to do so, I turned to Google’s handy PageSpeed Insights tool.
I tested out four example websites. The average score for the desktop versions was a disappointing 64/100, with the mobile versions faring even worse at 57/100. Both results are adjudged to be “Poor” by Google’s evaluation, which is particularly surprising given that the websites are proudly displayed in Jigoshop’s Showcase.
Those performance levels certainly leave a sour taste in the mouth, and things don’t get much better with Jigoshop’s SEO.
As mentioned, the free analytics section is extremely good. After that, however, if you want to get access to a full suite of SEO capabilities, you’ll have to shell out some cash. The main tool you’ll be interested in – and one which Jigoshop pushes on you pretty hard – is their own SEO Deluxe Plugin. It’s certainly feature-rich, but many of those features – such as editing the URL of individual pages – are available free of charge on the best website builders.
Downloading and using the basic Jigoshop plugin is completely free.
As is the case with most of these free ecommerce solutions , however, if you want to create a powerful store then you’ll need to start sinking in some cash.
For starters, there’s no SSL included with Jigoshop, so you’ll need to pay for a certificate to secure your website.
You will also have to pay for a domain name, and hosting, which again is standard practice in the industry.
After that, the amount which you pay is completely up to you.
As I mentioned, there is a decent selection of free plugins within the Extensions section which should get you off the ground. Other plugins naturally vary in price, with the majority costing a reasonable $29 or $49; certainly not a bank-breaking amount.
The only other cost to note comes from the paid-for support packages, but I’ll tackle those in the Customer Support section below.
The amount of free customer support you get from Jigoshop is limited.
There are a few guides available, including their Getting Started Guide, which does a good job of helping you get off the ground.
Regarding direct support, the only way to contact them is via their forum, where the staff often take a couple of days to reply to users’ queries. This is certainly unimpressive, but unfortunately, it’s an accepted standard across the industry when it comes to open-source ecommerce solutions; it’s a similar story with WooCommerce, for example.
If you’re willing to pay for it, however, you’ll find Jigoshop’s representatives much more eager to help you out. They offer a series of paid-for support packages, which are split into two groups: Small Business Support and Enterprise Level Support.
Small, Business Support packages, start out at $40, which gets you… almost nothing!
You can get email support within two working days, but that’s about it. Subsequent packages cost $200, $500 and $800+% of sales.
For those, you get quicker responses, and the support covers more areas, eventually including third-party tools and themes.
Enterprise Level Support begins at $200, then $500; then you have to request a quote. As with Business Support, the speed of responses and the areas covered grows depending on the cost.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the results of my Jigoshop review. The ecommerce solution market is pretty packed, and the open-source section of it is almost dominated by WooCommerce. Compared to its biggest competitor, I’d say that Jigoshop more than holds its own, and I’d be more than willing to say so on a Jigoshop Wikipedia page!
The fact that Jigoshop sticks to the basic WordPress layout makes it easy to get to grips with, and I found the menus to be well laid-out, and the various options clearly presented. I never felt like I had to fight with the interface, which is great. A big mention needs to be given to the Extensions section, which is filled with a wide selection of plugins, a good chunk of which are free.
The only true criticism I can level at Jigoshop (aside from lacking free SEO options) relates to its customer support. As I mentioned, however, it isn’t really any worse than its open-source peers in that regard.
Overall, if you’re looking for a free, open-source ecommerce solution, I’d rate Jigoshop as an excellent choice.