Jigoshop from Jay Koster and the rest of the Jigowatt team shipped it’s first public beta today. Jigoshop is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress. As someone who has played with just about every eCommerce plugin for WordPress, and who does a lot of work with other eCommerce platforms like Magento, OpenCart and Prestashop, I couldn’t wait to take Jigoshop for a spin. WordPress eCommerce plugins to date have always come up short in key areas like UI design, core Admin UI integration and at best were just ok – and a worst a maddening heap of crap.
I’ve just spent the last hour playing with Jigoshop.
Well let me tell you boys and girls – eCommerce for WordPress don’t suck no more! Jigoshop is a joy to behold – right from the initial install through to getting a test order through the cart. You can literally have this thing up and running and taking orders in about 10-15 mins tops.
Here’s a quick run down of why I think in one single public beta release, Jigoshop is the best eCommerce plugin, beating off competing plugins like Shopp and WP-eCommerce.
- Attention to detail – It’s clear that Jay and the team have spent countless on the small details of Jigoshop – the level of detail and care taken to craft an incredibly user friendly and efficient admin UI is immediately obvious. Believe me this doesn’t happen by accident and this alone sets Jigoshop apart. The use of core WordPress data standards for custom post types and custom taxonomies is comforting as this will ensure the longevity of this plugin.
- Frontend UI standards – I installed Jigoshop on a clean 3.1.3 WP install running TwentyTen. Things looks pretty good without touching a single custom css class. Jigoshop also have a premium theme coming down stream very soon which can be seen via the Jigoshop demo and it incorporates the best responsive design I’ve seen to date for an eCommerce website – WordPress plugin or no plugin. Exceptionally good stuff.
- Product Management – The UI for product management is simply kickass. I really like the option of setting up global attributes but also having the ability to add unique attributes for individual products.
- General Settings – There is a higly configurable settings section letting you control things like sensible defaults for SKU logic, Allowed Countries, Guest Checkout, Localisation of Weight, Currency, excellent Coupon options and Stock management logic.
I’ll be actively giving the guys some feedback for future versions but here’s some things I think Jigoshop can improve on in the future:
- Shipping Options – Very few open source cart platforms have cracked the complex shipping requirements that many global exporters require. I would encourage the Jigoshop team to check out how shipping is handled in OpenCart – it’s the best I’ve found. Zone based shipping rates are extremely important for exporters – just think of those shipping charges for bulky goods going around the world!
- Payment Gateways – Jigoshop comes out of the box with Paypal standard, Cheque Payment and Moneybookers. I’m sure the guys are on it but the more sophisticated Paypal integrations will be important for future versions.
- Some label tweaks in the Admin UI – While 99% of the UI is perfect already – there are some admin labels that need refinement to be 100% obvious to first time users – I’m nitpicking now 🙂
I’ve only just scratched the surface of Jigoshop and I’m already sold. What’s more insane is that the plugin is free! If this post is coming across a little fan boyish – fuck it I don’t care! I’m a Jigoshop fanboy 🙂 I will be using this as my eCommerce plugin of choice from now on.