WooCommerce vs JigoShop

On Open Source, Forking, Branding and Reputations

There’s a whole ordeal in the WordPress community right now over the fact that WooThemes has decided to fork JigoShop into WooCommerce. Quite a few people have asked me for my opinion on this, given my recent trials and tribulations with copyright issues. I decided it would be good to give my opinion here instead of in tweets that can be misunderstood or taken out of context.

Let me start with a big fat disclaimer. I’m currently working with the WP e-Commerce team on several things, I like their plugin a lot and am thus bound to be a bit biased in this whole field.

Now: what WooThemes did was entirely within their right. The fact that they also hired two of the developers behind JigoShop may make it look a bit weird, but these guys were apparently freelancers before, not contractually bound to JigoWatt apparently employed by Jigowatt, the company behind JigoShop. In their response, JigoWatt have said that WooThemes, who tried to acquire them “grossly undervalued the business and didn’t come close to covering our initial development costs”. You know what, while that sucks for them, that’s how open source works, grows and prospers. Making an offer to buy is a gesture of good will, as there’s no need, as shown by the next steps taken by Woo.

Right now we have two essentially the same plugins out there, though my guess is they’ll quite soon be very different, making the landscape of WordPress e-Commerce plugins even more competitive. Both plugins will probably continue to be around and, I hope for both of them, successful.

It teaches us, as a community, something entirely different though, or at least I hope it does. It teaches us how important reputation and branding is. You see, the value of the plugin rises, because Woo decides to attach its brand to it. While I do not necessarily think that “Woo” is a seal of quality, some of their stuff is great, some of their stuff is not so great, they do have a well established brand and support environment.

The “Jigo” brand, on the other hand, is new. Nobody knows of it or about it. If I had to choose right now, between installing WooCommerce and JigoShop, I’d go for WooCommerce, every time, since they have a reputation to defend.1

Now, as for that reputation: would I have decided to take the route that the Woo theme has decided to take? I can understand they tried to acquire JigoShop, given their issues with developing an e-Commerce plugin in-house. When that failed though, I think it’d been wiser for them to take a step back and re-evaluate. The backlash they receive now might do some serious damage to their brand, although to their credit they’ve been handling it wisely, honestly and open so far. Still, would I have done as they did? No. Do I think less of them for doing it? No.

You see, on the other hand, if Woo get through this episode well, they’ll have a very valuable addition to their product offering as well as two pretty good new coders… Time will tell. For now, I wish both teams wisdom and success. Competition in a marketplace usually leads to better products for the end user, let’s together make sure that is the case now as well!

1 Luckily though, WP e-Commerce has been around for ages, they’ve shown that they actually understand e-Commerce quite well and are, in my opinion, the far better choice.

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65 Responses

  1. Dan ThorntonBy Dan Thornton on 26 August, 2011

    Hi Joost, and interesting post, especially given your experiences and success!

    Just wanted to clarify that although Jigoshop is relatively new, it’s already becoming pretty established with over 14,000 downloads and favourable features on places like Mashable – Jigowatt, the company supporting it has been around for a few years now and has a lot of experience in eCommerce with both Magento and WordPress.

    And I would disagree that the value of the plugin has risen due to forking – historically, forking has tended to diminish the value of a project in the short and medium term.

    WooThemes had every right to acquire developers, make an offer for the copyright, and fork the project under GPL. What we wanted to clarify with the response is that there were good reasons for rejecting that offer (As it was way under value and meant any future versions wouldn’t have to be GPL’d), and that the collaboration offer they are referring to included some restrictions that they didn’t mention, which made it less of a collaboration, and more of an agreement that WooThemes would get the best bits of the work and Jigoshop would be left with the bits that are less glamourous and profitable.

    And we’re also fans of WP-eCommerce, and believe that there’s room for some different solutions to eCommerce to exist with mutual respect for each other!

    • MikeBy Mike on 26 August, 2011

      As it was way under value and meant any future versions wouldn’t have to be GPL’d

      It was always the intention to keep it GPL – this has and always will be the case.

      the collaboration offer they are referring to included some restrictions that they didn’t mention, which made it less of a collaboration, and more of an agreement that WooThemes would get the best bits of the work and Jigoshop would be left with the bits that are less glamourous and profitable.

      I read the collaboration proposal and it stated Jigoshop would continue as Jigoshop letting you guys carry on with plugins etc as normal, and we (the developers in conjunction with woo) would have control over the direction i.e. features. There was nothing unfair in this proposal.

      • Mark LuscheiBy Mark Luschei on 26 August, 2011

        Other than that they paid you guys to build it for an entire year and should ethically have all rights to it.

        Seriously, that’s like paying £200,000 for a sexy new car and then having the manufacturer drive off in it while flipping you off out of the window.

        • MikeBy Mike on 26 August, 2011

          Thats not the case Mark. Open source code cannot be owned in the traditional sense so your analogy is incorrect.

          They still have Jigoshop. We are using the source as a base for a different plugin which will be taken in the direction we think is right.

          At the end of the day JS had the option to be acquired or to collaborate on a single plugin; in the end they rejected these proposals and decided to carry on alone with full knowledge a fork would be made.

          I think this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, but at least Yoast has approached the topic sensibly.

          • Mark LuscheiBy Mark Luschei on 26 August, 2011

            Of course, Mike, don’t over analyse it. My point stands that you completely ripped them off.

            The ‘option’ you mentioned, in the words of JigoWatt: “grossly undervalued the business and didn’t come close to covering the initial development costs, not forgetting the planning, time and effort both the Jigowatt team and community put into the project.”

            Your collaboration offer “included conditions which would have given WooThemes full strategic control over the direction and development of the Jigoshop project in the future.”

            Those aren’t options, Mike. Those are compromises, except JigoWatt would be the only one making concessions.

            And of course you’d say the situation has been blown out of proportion, it’s in you and your new owner’s best interests.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      Yoast, it might also be worth mentioning that the Jigo guys were not the only ones burnt in this fiasco.

      Adii was working with us at the same time they were obviously planning on buying Jigo, and then subsequently forked. We invested more then 100 hours of time, if not more, helping them and then consulting about different practices, even helping build site, on the gentlemans understanding, that we were going to collaborate.

      I’m not bitter but it wasn’t nice to tell my team that all of their efforts were wasted and our commitment and good will obviously didnt mean much – on that basis I feel the WP community deserve to know all the truths about this situation which is why I’m speaking up.

      While Jigo is also written nicely, we think Woo made a bad decision because they went with a young Plugin that hasnt learned any of the lessons we’ve already learned, feature wise it is years behind us and that in my opinion is actually far worse for the WordPress community then anything else that has gone on here.

      Another reason we know that WP e-Commerce Plugin is ultimatly better, I believe we have much greater knowledge in this space, and that experience matters…

  2. Luc De BrouwerBy Luc De Brouwer on 26 August, 2011

    Nice post Yoast. Like you, I’m a bit biased to this situation because of my plugins for WP e-Commerce, which is a magnificent e-commerce solution.

    But I do want to express my concern for this move by Woo. They’re clearly on the prowl to get a bigger marketshare in the WP universe ( e.g. Miniraffe ) but this latest move will cost them a lot of respect from the community. At least I think it will.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 26 August, 2011

      I share the concern Luc, I withhold judgement on that for now though :)

    • Tom HermansBy Tom Hermans on 26 August, 2011

      I’m not biased at all, understand what is legally possible within the GPL, but think this is still some kind of a “dick move” as someone described. Not entirely ethical in my book.

    • David DeckerBy David Decker on 26 August, 2011

      And I think that’s the “only” or biggest problem a lot of people have with that: loosing the respect of the community.

      Even today I had nice conversion with some from Jigoshop staff and they are very open and supportive for suggestions and involvement – even before this discussion rocketed yesterday/today.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      Thanks Yoast. Thanks Luc. Thanks Tom.

      The WP e-Commerce Plugin, being the biggest, means that we also cop the most flack from users, in the past a lot more of that flack was warranted, these days though I truly think a lot of the people that attack WP e-Commerce Plugin are either competitors or angry that we didnt get to support them in time, which is sad and frustrating for us, because we’re a limited sized team and do the absolute best we can with the resources we have.

      When I read comments like “WPEC has bad code” it almost always confirms my suspicions, admittedly some of the code isnt great but we did build the Plugin over 5 years ago when WP didnt have all the magic hooks and filters that it comes with now, and every day we align WPEC more and more with WordPress core.

      These days, when anybody says WP e-Commerce Plugin code is crap, I hear them saying;
      - that custom post types are rubbish
      - that WordPress taxonomies are rubbish
      - that using WP User Interface is rubbish
      - that WP core developers are also rubbish developers (because we use them too)

      And so on. I believe this is true because we’re aligning more and more of our code with WordPress and relying on WordPress to do a lot more heavy lifting, AND we’ve employed some of the best developers in the world to help us, we havent always, but we do now and we have for sometime.

      In fact, here’s a funny story from the inside, a friend of mine sent an email to a rather loud developer on a certain linkedin thread, my friend was genuinely asking this person to do some WPEC work, but this person came back to my friend, and told him that he would not because they have their own Plugin. WTF I thought, and so did he because of just how disingenuous the whole experience was.

      This type of behavior is very real and rather poorly too.

      • Paul W.By Paul W. on 1 September, 2011

        @Dan: I have been a user of WPEC since 2007 and frankly I hate it, BUT (and this is a big but) I have yet to find anything better (and believe me I have looked). You may be right about your competition attacking your plugin, but as an active user I can assure you that your product is a far cry from a superior solution. I use your plugin for my parents herbal company (you can see it here), and each time you have an update I say my prayers that your system won’t break (which it has done multiply times over the years). I am your average wordpress user and do understand that it is impossible to have a perfect solution for 100% of your users. However, it is extremely frustrating to customize WPEC and than have an update destroy the countless hours of work put into customizing our solution. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that though you are probably receiving some unfair clamor about your product, that not all the complaints are unfounded. I have to say that hearing about Joost helping the WPEC team gives me great hope for the future of WPEC.

    • Justin SaintonBy Justin Sainton on 29 August, 2011

      I agree with Dan on the points regarding naysayers of WPEC – most people I run into that started using WPEC from 3.8+ have had nothing but great things to say. The few that have issues are often minor configuration settings they’ve over-looked. Some people are naturally frustrated by the pace of support – but I have a hard time thinking of any other company trying to support as many customers in the ecosystem as the GetShopped team does.

      Unfortunately, for every 100 people they help out, there are a few that slip through the cracks – and those are often the most vocal people. You do what you can. Ultimately, competition should equal more innovation, and if the pace GetShopped is setting with innovation is any indicator, this whole e-commerce/WordPress market has a whole lot to look forward to :)

      • Matthew JonesBy Matthew Jones on 29 August, 2011

        I’ve been developing premium themes for the WP-e-Commerce plugin over at http://storefrontthemes.com and before that for over 2 years now and used the plugin even before then…I just wanted to tag in on that note and add my voice to notion that most of the criticism for WPEC has been because it is the oldest and therefore was written originally when WordPress wasn’t intended for a robust plugin of that nature. I’ve worked with Dan and the staff a bit and the changes they’ve made to plugin in the last year alone have been greatly overlooked…

        In the end, e-commerce is the mother-of-all applications to built on any platform simply because you have to design it for so many different implementations. I’ve been asked by a few of our customers if we would consider developing for the other platforms as well…we don’t plan to and for good reason…I’ve seen JigoShop and it does look promising, but as someone who has tested out all of the ecommerce platforms for WordPress, I can assure you that the rest of them will be playing catch up to WPEC for quite some time. It’s one thing to create a new custom post type with variations for products and stuff like that…it’s quite another to account for the complicated tax settings and shipping options that so many users need. If you care about flexibility with either of those, then WPEC is really the only reasonable choice right now….also, the niche advanced features (digital products, membership subscription options, multiple checkout forms, etc) are already there. They’ve been at it a long time, and you can’t deny their experience provides them with better intuition and decision-making.

        Not trying to be a fanboy, but I kinda am and thought I should say something ;-)

  3. RyanBy Ryan on 26 August, 2011

    If you don’t want your work forked, then don’t work on GPL stuff. That’s always been my opinion on things.

  4. JigowattBy Jigowatt on 26 August, 2011

    Thanks for your impartial post Yoast, much appreciated :)

    To clarify, both Mike and James were PAYE employees of Jigowatt whilst developing Jigoshop.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 26 August, 2011

      Updated, thanks.

    • JayBy Jay on 26 August, 2011

      Although countless hours of our own time, way above our duties as employees were poured into the support and development of Jigoshop. Just to clarify further :-p

  5. Daniel LyonsBy Daniel Lyons on 26 August, 2011

    I tried the free version of WP e-commerce and couldn’t for the life of me get it to work for digital downloads with pay pal express. I was all over their forums and many people were having the same problem with no success or solutions.

    • Arpit JacobBy Arpit Jacob on 27 August, 2011

      The last I checked WP-Ecommerce was a complicated nightmare to integrate and work with.

      I think a comparison with JigoShop and Cart66 with would give people a better idea.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      Not sure what happened Daniel and sorry you didnt get it going. If there is an issue with paypal express and digital download I’ll get it added to google code. Again this doesnt make WP e-Commerce Plugin a bad Plugin, this means piece of it doesnt work for Daniel.

      Actually Digital Downloads is something we have a lot of experience with. A lot of people have issues with digital downloads and their servers / webhosts, especially when their download files are too big. If you have a cheap hosting account then there is the risk that the download will time out – to fix that we launched an Amazon S3 Plugin so shop owners can host their files on the cloud and no longer have to worry about their host.

      • Daniel LyonsBy Daniel Lyons on 31 August, 2011

        Dan, it wasn’t that it didn’t work for just Daniel. I found dozens of people looking for answers to the same problems I was experiencing (no downloadable URL emailed after purchase, problems with the download products button, etc.) and not finding any answers. There had to be dozens more of lurkers like me who didn’t take the time to type anything.

        There may be a fix or fixes for someone smarter or more experienced than me, but it would be nice if it worked out of the box. My host, Dreamhost, has completed several transactions of the same products (PDF’s) with ZenCart (also not so easy to set up, but it worked) so I don’t think the problem is there.

        If you get it working properly out of the box for non-experts let me know.

  6. Brett RogersBy Brett Rogers on 26 August, 2011

    I know these are not the main topic here, but they’re related…

    Regarding WP E-Commerce:
    My experience with it has been awful. I’m currently using it on one production site and it’s been a bit of a nightmare. Even paid for the Gold Cart upgrade with “premium support”. Crippling bugs, having to hack core files to customize standard output like emails to customers, etc. The “premium support” I paid for was a joke. Took 3 weeks to get a response to a serious problem and the response itself was a joke. Then no more responses. Then they redid their whole website (getshopped.org) and BROKE their entire website, most importantly the support forums, for an extended period of time.

    All in all it’s been extremely disappointing. Turns out there’s a reason the plugin has a mediocre rating of 3 stars on wordpress.org – it’s not great.

    Regarding Google Analytics for WordPress integration with WP E-Commerce:

    Joost – Your integration with WP E-Commerce doesn’t work for me. Been using the latest WP E-Commerce versions, latest version of your plugin, latest version of WP, and a pretty basic theme based on TwentyTen.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      Sorry about your experience Brett. Yes we’re human and fallible – we updated our site and it broke. It was an awful experience for us but we fixed it and the premium forums are back up. Today alone our two full time support staff have helped a number of people get their sites cranking and earning them money.

      Hacking emails is not a bug in WPEC but I admit its not great practice and something we’ll be adding in a future release.

      Perhaps we could even commission you to help us get that patched sooner rather then later.


      • Peter B ButlerBy Peter B Butler on 30 August, 2011


        Good to ‘see’ one of the people behing WPEC. We also had pretty major issues when we set it up for a client. It’s operational but times out if we do an update. The support was um, not good to say the least. At one stage I ven offered money to fix it but got no response.

        I have ALL the paid versions of your stuff. Well, from 2 years ago, not sure what you have now.

        Good to hear you guys are still developing and great that you have Yoast on board for a bit.

        Ironically I posted on the StudioPress forum 2 days ago a request for anyone who knew of great ecommerce plugin for WordPress. Yours and a few others were mentioned. I don’t want to start learning about a new plugin if yours will continue to be developed and supported. Hey, how can I get premium support? Let me know.

        Just to encourage you buddy, keep developing.

        • Peter B ButlerBy Peter B Butler on 30 August, 2011


          is this you guys – http://storefrontthemes.com/? and this? http://getshopped.org/

          • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 1 September, 2011

            Yes sir it is. The GetShopped site is home of the new and constantly improving WP e-Commerce Plugin.

            The http://www.storefrontthemes.com site belongs to a friend of mine, Matthew Jones, who has built a very successful business selling themes made specifically for the WP e-Commerce Plugin.

        • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 30 August, 2011

          Well the good news is that we’re just about to launch a Genesis Child theme designed around selling music / digital downloads.

          Thanks for your kind words :)

          • Peter B ButlerBy Peter B Butler on 1 September, 2011

            That’s what I’d love to see.
            We ONLY use the Genesis themes for our sites, with damn good reason and would love to see you guys ‘marry’ up. Do you guys put out a newsletter and updates on your stuff?

      • Brett RogersBy Brett Rogers on 30 August, 2011


        I get that you’re here doing damage control and trying to explain your position. I just wish my posts on your own forum would have gotten so much attention. That said, I sympathize with with your plight. WP definitely needs a quality e-commerce solution and while yours definitely has its flaws, it may very well still be our best bet.

        Is your site completely fixed yet? When I log in and go to Your Account, I get a “Sorry, page not found” page. I have no way to find my previous posts, including the premium support post I referenced above. The old URL for my premium support post also results in a 404. And since I ended up resolving the premium support question problem on my own, do I get my premium support token back?

        True, having to hack the emails and transaction result page is not a bug – it was just bitterly disappointing to find that, in what was supposedly the most popular and mature WP e-commerce plugin available, they were so very basic and completely non-customizable out of the box.

        And I actually may be interested in helping out on that. We can continue that discussion via email.


  7. DanBy Dan on 27 August, 2011

    I guess the lesson is if you aren’t prepared for this to happen don’t go GPL.

    Doesn’t pass my ethics test.

  8. Haroun KolaBy Haroun Kola on 27 August, 2011

    It seems to be getting hotter in the wordpress premium plugins kitchen, I too have had my share of frustration with ecommerce, tried shopp, also frustration, and now looking at this development with interest.

    Respect in the community long term is much more valuable than short term struggle for superiority.

  9. John N.By John N. on 27 August, 2011

    I’d certainly welcome Woothemes to the WordPress e-commerce fray. I also had a terrible experience with WP E-commerce back in late 2008 / early 2009 (similar to experiences recounted here) which led me to go with Shopp but this past spring an upgrade broke the Google Merchant functionality and because it’s on a WMPU (now multisite) installation, even though it’s used on one site only and has always worked, they’re not showing an interest in fixing it. So I’m actively looking for other solutions… I think this is all good news… theoretically competition works.

  10. CharlieBy Charlie on 27 August, 2011

    I tried WP E-commerce and it didn’t go well for me. I hadn’t heard of Jigowatt before all of this but have used Woo products before and found them straight forward and easy to use. Personally, I won’t feel bad about using Woo Commerce and I’m looking forward to having a good new option. This just means everyone has to up their game and in the end it’ll be good for the premium e-commerce ecosystem.

  11. Nirav MehtaBy Nirav Mehta on 27 August, 2011

    We develop extensions for WP e-Commerce too, and I’ve been looking at all WP e-Commerce solutions (to port our WPeC extensions to others).

    All in all, the experience is that current solutions are not as robust as pure-play e-commerce solutions like PrestaShop / Magento / others. So a beautiful, stable e-commerce integration with WP is definitely needed.

    Woo has the skills to make it look good. Jigo has/had the skills to make it stable.

    It’s risky to run a business based on GPL products. It lasts while it does and it takes marketing skills to create a brand. Techies (me included) think building a good product, answering support questions promptly and adding features that people request is sufficient to build a brand. But that’s just a fraction of what it takes.

    There is a whole lot of “ethics” aspect to GPL. Unfortunately, that’s for the developers.

    Customers simply go for what looks better and seems workable. They go for a better known brand. All they care for is whether the product solves their problem. And that’s how things are.

    That’s the reason I always having paid products from day one – and not just paid support. Every business intending to use/create GPL products must stay aware of the risks and rewards of GPL.

    All said and done, I would be hurt if someone took my hard work and started making millions.

    But it’s technically correct and only time will tell who really benefits / loses.


  12. synergywpBy synergywp on 27 August, 2011

    Joost, I am surprised to read you are such an avid supporter of WP e-Commerce…

    I, like a few other commenters here, have tried it on multiple occasions. My last attempt had a very simple shipping error of which the bug reports on the forums dated back 3 months with no response from any admin/developer.

    For me, increasing feature set is important, but if a new release introduces a bug, all efforts should be placed back into getting the plugin back to 100% functionality. After all, they do have people paying for the premium “gold cart”.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 29 August, 2011

      I’m letting your comment stand here even though you’re not really complying with my request to use your real name here. Read Dan’s comments above and you’ll understand why I’m a supporter of WP e-Commerce.

      They’ve had their bad times, but they now understand that working with the best people in the business and using WP core as much as possible, they can make the best product. This unlike some other plugins out there…

    • Matthew JonesBy Matthew Jones on 29 August, 2011

      Also, I will admit that there was a time when the WPEC project was focused on new features…however, for over a year now, they’ve focused on nothing but stability and it shows. I’d recommend you give them another try ;-)

      • LukeBy Luke on 31 August, 2011

        True but as soon as you start to sell a product you need to be able to support it.

        (They sell the gold cart)

        When I purchased WPEC gold cart I had a *single* support ticket that I could use to email support *once* to get a reply.

        After that you had to *purchase* priority support tickets in order to get a response to emails.

        The support forum was absolutely useless (other than the odd great guy who didn’t earn money or work for WPEC but just wanted to help)

        It was just littered with posts in CAPS LOCK shouting HELLPP! And my questions were never answered I had to find a coder and pay to get it all running.

        To clarify – I still use WPEC because it is still the best solution for me right now.

        Does it work how I want it to? No
        Does it do what I need it to i.e. take transactions? Yes
        Will I be looking for another solution when it comes out? Yes.

        Biggest reason for me – don’t sell a product if you can’t support it.

    • Anggi KrisnaBy Anggi Krisna on 12 September, 2011

      Dan and team is the first who provide WordPress eCommerce plugin, and they know what they built. Since WPEC release to 3.8 everything looks ecommerce heaven at WordPress. yes they only a few member team that can give us great experience at ecommerce.

      Now Yoast help Getshopped to make it better, and me has been made great themes for wordpress ecommerce http://www.tokokoo.com. they listen the customers and they partnering with a great team. so give them some chance to make better ecommerce :)

      Last month, me and Dan made a free theme for WPEC we call BUYSELL theme, this is because Dan love you guys :)
      check it out http://getshopped.org/themes-and-design/freebie-buysell-theme/

  13. AndrewBy Andrew on 27 August, 2011

    I’ve used products from all three companines on here.

    WP-ecomm was just awful, it’s buggy and badly written.

    Woo themes, never again – I have no idea why people love themes.

    I have my issues with the way JigoShop operates but out of the available wordpress ecomm options it’s the one I’d choose right now.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      Just to clarify, Andrew is also actually stating that;
      1) WordPress custom post types are badly written
      2) WordPress custom taxonomies are badly written
      3) The WP UI that we hook into is badly written
      4) And that the staff we love and the developers we employ (the likes of JJJ, Joast, etc are all spawn of Satan) and are *cough* well badly written

      Actually the only things really left to move to WP core code is the template engine, this is easy because we’re going to be switching to JJJ’s bbPress system, and fully utilizing the WP settings API. I suppose all of which are awful, buggy, and badly written too according to Andrew.

      I personally wouldn’t use JigoShop (I definitely wouldn’t use WooCommerce because of the ethics) because JigoShop unlike the WP e-Commerce Plugin doesnt have a rich Tax system, or a rich suite of Shipping options, there isnt a Group Deals Plugin, a ticketing Plugin, a this that or the other thing. It is still very young – hopefully with our resources we’ll be able to help the remaining Jigo team after the set back they got from Woo by collaborating at some level.

      We also have a huge range of themes and plugins made by various theme developers from all over the globe. Here are just two.


      Both of which, at least in terms of e-Commerce features, are more industry relavant then anything else on the market. Just say’n….

      • Andrew (Chrome orange)By Andrew (Chrome orange) on 1 September, 2011

        Thanks for putting words in mouth there Dan

        Actually, what I meant was WP-Ecom was/is a nightmare waiting to happen, specifically, if you use (you may have fixed this, who knows) a coupon then the tax rate reverts to 5% (and it is/was hard coded in) – I finally found a solution when a client spotted this but it wasn’t on your forum.

        That’s just one of the things I found when using your plugin.

        Are WordPress custom post types easy? After a couple of goes they are ok, they could be easier to use of course but I haven’t found anything that is going to cost me money when the tax man comes knocking.

        I don’t know any of your staff to know if they are related to Satan, I just know the product they put out was unfinished, unsupported and not user friendly.

        Is JigoShop finished? No, but they haven’t actually got out of beta yet. Is it missing features? Yes, of course, but what e-commerce package does everything that everyone wants? I can (and do) write my own additions to JigoShop as plugins without upsetting the core code, payment gateways are easy to integrate (I know this because I wrote 2).

        As for your comments on themes, I’m not even going to go there, I haven’t found any that I like – I mean the admin side rather than the design.

        I have got the latest version of WP-Ecom to try, obviously tax rates and coupons is high on my list, and I’ll keep looking at whatever gets released – I just want a stable e-commerce plugin that will let my clients sell stuff with a minimum of fuss and that I can modify as the client needs, for now that seems to be JigoShop.

      • Anggi KrisnaBy Anggi Krisna on 12 September, 2011

        Yup its true Matt, until now we have been release 8 themes using wpecommerce plugin. Their plugin is awesome and we had some sales 50-60 montly. Dan know what developer need it :)

    • Matthew JonesBy Matthew Jones on 29 August, 2011

      ‘preciate the shoutout there Dan…as a developer, I want to say that you’ve made tremendous strides in making it easier for us to theme for WPEC and I know you’ve only just begun there..it’s been getting easier with every release!

  14. MattBy Matt on 28 August, 2011

    I’ve been hoping for a robust wordpress ecommerce solution. I’ve completely left WP e-Commerce off my list because there are so many nightmare stories about integration as stated above.

    I discoverd jigoshop last week but it’s incomplete and doesn’t meet my needs…yet.

    This area is ripe for progress and I’m surprised it’s taken so long for someone to create a stable ecomm wordpress plugin.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 12 September, 2011

      I’d encourage you to read the positive stuff written by friends of the WP e-Commerce Plugin in this post. Including Joost.

      There is a reason we’ve been around for a long time. And there is another reason why e-Commerce takes a long time to build. Because its infinitely complex – more so then WordPress by a long shot.

      I’d encourage you to try our latest beta posted on our blog. Its a really really nice Plugin and I think you can take some of the horror stories as competitor spin.

      Even if you read through the comments in this post there are inconsistances such as where a fellow called Daniel talks in the third person about Daniel (himself). Its just weird and its what I call the dark side of the WP business ;)

  15. wholmesBy wholmes on 28 August, 2011

    JigoWoo… Really?

    I’ll attempt to look at this objectively.
    (note… I use Marketpress)

    I have mixed emotions about this…

    1. Woo’s changes have to be public and distributed freely (ala GPL license)and Jigowatt’s code will retain it’s copyright.

    2. To Woo… I think you shouldn’t release the fork until it (at the very least) has substantial alternate features, functionality or re-design, otherwise you really are being unethical. Once you do any of those things, you’ll be a little more righteous I think.

    Conclusion. GPL is a good thing to me, Woo needs to step-up and make significant improvements or changes before putting their name on it. Just call it what it is. JigoWoo lol!

    But seriously… if every trusted company took GPL and released it under their name without significant changes the community would suffer. It would not be a good thing. That’s why I say make those changes, improvements, whatever and until then keep the Woo version under wraps.

  16. wosciBy wosci on 29 August, 2011

    this is another WordPress based stable shopping cart > http://wosci.com/demo2/

  17. AndrewBy Andrew on 29 August, 2011

    I haven’t really followed the discussions closely, however I’d like to share my comments.

    I’ve used WooThemes, and I think they are well designed themes, and have excellent capabilities.

    I’ve not use WP e-Commerce, nor have I used JigoShop, however I see that people are concerned that Woo has decided to fork the JigoShop project, which is under the GPL, which allows forking provided recognition is given to previous developers.

    I see that people think that Woo will release their forked version of JigoShop without major modifications, however from what I have seen, I highly doubt that Woo will release their version without modifying the backend to look like a WooThemes backend.

    Some might see it as unethical for Woo to be forking a project that they offered money for, however if you don’t wish for that to happen, don’t release your project under GPL except where required.

    If every forking of a project is unethical, would we have WordPress? Would WordPress be where it is today? I don’t think so.

  18. Brad TouesnardBy Brad Touesnard on 29 August, 2011

    I think there’s a very important lesson to be learned here when you have a company developing open source software. I’ve posted my thoughts on my blog: http://bradt.ca/archives/lessons-learned-from-the-jigoshop-woocommerce-fiasco/

  19. RabBy Rab on 29 August, 2011

    Hi, I too was surprised to read that you’re supporting WP-Ecommerce. 6 months ago I used it for a website and it wasn’t easy to wrestle with it and the support on the forums was very, very poor with little or no response from anyone. Even pre-sales questions went unanswered. Hopefully this is changed now however. I’ve since moved onto the premium Cart66 plugin and the difference in usage is night and day for me. Then again, it is paid. Perhaps next time I’ll take a look at WP-Ecommerce giving the benefit of the doubt that things are better now.

    It would be interesting to see your view of the customer service Dan, and if it’s different to what it undeniably once was. I know it’s free, and it’s foolish perhaps to expect certain levels of support – however like many others, I had used $140 (give or take) of upgrades.

    • Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

      I think that our support is getting better and better. We’re growing and see the need to support our users and community.

      I also genuinely think that the WP ecosystem around this stuff is still young, especially when we started, there were no other premium plugins!! And there definitely was no resource on how to do this the right way, in fact, how to sell premium plugins, is a topic I talk about at WordCamp events around the world, because I want to help people, I fell like can help people do things properly :)

      When we first launched we just launched with just a blog post, then we added a forum, then we changed the site, then we added bbPress, and now we’ve got what we’ve got today. What we have today is a better infrastructure, and a bigger team. That makes us better ready to serve our community.

      I can guarantee that WooCommerce is going to get inundated with the types of support questions we got over two years ago and that we have since dealt with. Sure we were the first to get slammed but we’ve done our time and we’re still making WP e-Commerce even better.

      Here is a link on Cart66 support. Its all the same no matter what Plugin.

      Notice the last ladies comment – I’ve seen exactly the same words used about us and other e-Commerce plugins. People have huge expectations around e-Commerce and everybody is passionate about their shop because it might be their livelyhood, so in that sense its fair enough to be passionate, but all too often, we see people complain that XYZ WordPress e-Commerce solution is buggy because XYZ feature that they want isnt present.

      That said of course genuine bugs need to be resolved and worked on – thats what good companies do.

      I’m not sure if that is what you were asking Rab but either way the WP e-Commerce Plugin kicks ass. Especially if it has all the features you want :P

  20. Syed BalkhiBy Syed Balkhi on 29 August, 2011

    Nicely put Joost. I felt like that you took the words out of my mouth…

    Woo was entirely within their rights however I would just wish that we have ONE freaking good open-source free e-commerce plugin, and then all these third parties just build modules for it.

    Similar to how WordPress works (free / open-source / best at what it does)… developers build custom themes / plugins for it…

    Take WP-Ecommerce as one super WP plugin… and then developers just build skins and modules…

    Anywho best wishes for both companies.

    • Matthew JonesBy Matthew Jones on 29 August, 2011

      Echo that Syed…:-) Once you consider the amount of extension plugins already built for WPEC, there’s really no comparison. I saw Nirav Mehta post above and I wanted to say that his plugin Smart Manager is one of the most powerful plugins and if you take a look at it, it alone might just convince you of what a good developer can do with the WPEC codebase… http://storeapps.org/

      • Nirav MehtaBy Nirav Mehta on 29 August, 2011

        Thanks for the mention Matthew. I am certainly proud of our plugin – people have said it’s saved them enormous time.

        And frankly, we couldn’t build Smart Manager without WPeC.

        Everyone who says bad things about WPeC, must have not seen the recent versions and the commitment the WPeC team has shown. I have seen Dan personally answer support questions every now and then, I also know that they’ve hired some great developers, and they are dedicating a significant portion of their time to support customers. I am sure there are a few glitches, but who doesn’t?

        Come to think of it, developing and growing a plugin over 5 years is not small feat. Add well over a million downloads and you are certainly into a tight spot. Woo has been struggling with WooCommerce for a very long time and that says something about the efforts required to build an e-commerce solution.

        I’d thank Dan and team for being open. I’d thank them for their contribution to the world. And thank them for supporting millions of people with their work. It really makes a difference.

        And like Syed mentioned, I’d love for there to be WPeC, and a collection of plugins and themes around it that serve everyone’s needs.

        Looking forward to great times ahead!

  21. Dan MilwardBy Dan Milward on 29 August, 2011

    Syed, That sounds a lot like our new Community Plugins page, that incidently just keeps on growing… people all around the world are translating our Plugin and submitting their own Plugins. Its the WordPress way through and through.

    Coincidentally we’re about to profile Nirav’s Plugin because it really does kick ass and it fills a niche that as the core Plugin developers, we’re not even allowed to fill, because our responsibility is to use and follow WP standards, including the UI standards that come with WP, one of the things Nirav’s Plugin does is change the UI so that it is a more “retail” ready UI…

    Nirav. We love your work :)

  22. Brian IrelandBy Brian Ireland on 30 August, 2011

    I’m a little suprised to not hear mention of the Shopp plugin for ecommerce through wordpress – I use it for all my ecommerce needs as it integrates well with almost all themes – it takes some getting used to but is so easy to use I wouldn’t consider using anything else. Have tried to use wpecomm but found it didn’t do what I needed to. Shopp isn’t perfect but it is actively developed and I wouldn’t use anything else.

    • M.K. SafiBy M.K. Safi on 30 August, 2011

      You don’t see a mention of Shopp because its creators don’t give a flying f–k about marketing. They don’t get involved, they don’t have an open community, and they don’t encourage others to write about or mention them. But I agree with you, their plugin is excellent and complete in many ways.

      I’m really impressed by how quickly Jigoshop gained popularity. I guess that’s the benefit of developing openly…but then we know what happened, lol! So maybe it’s either open up and get forked, or close up and remain obscure…

      • John N.By John N. on 31 August, 2011

        Actually I mentioned them earlier. I had a very positive experience for years, but I agree with M.K. that the “community” has grown in disappointing ways, particularly the last 1-2 years. There is an implication that if you really want your support issue dealt with you need to pay, and I’m just not a fan of that. I’ll pay for the plugin, but if it doesn’t work (I’m not talking customizations) than it should be fixed….

        I’m certainly actively looking for alternatives, and it looks like very soon we’ll have many excellent products to choose from.

  23. PatrickBy Patrick on 1 September, 2011

    There’s always been some tension in the opensource community around the commercialization (and forking) of projects. Ultimately, a healthy opensource community will evolve with this tension.

    However, I think it’s very important to not underestimate the importance of integrity and reputation in this community.

  24. JacksonBy Jackson on 1 September, 2011

    This is great that there’s more of a movement to make more work for the entire community of WordPress! bring it so we can bring it to our clients. Thanks so much YOAST you are very well written and love reading your POV.

  25. Ejaz SiddiquiBy Ejaz Siddiqui on 4 September, 2011

    Thanks Yoast for writing on such an important topic. Your POV has valid point but there is equally great discussion going on this thread. I wish best of luck to whole community.

    When your code is open source then you should open your mind for forking as well.

  26. David BellBy David Bell on 9 September, 2011

    I started this reply with what ended up as a long drawn out comment, but for me, it effectively boils down to this:

    It seems that WP-EC, Shopp* and others are trying to be everything to everybody, which is where I feel they fall down, where as Jigoshop and Shopperpress have decided exactly what they are going to do and then that’s it.

    For me its better to know what your limitations will be at the start rather than discovering them part way into the project.

    And to get away from all the “negativeness” that’s what I would suggest WP-EC and Shopp do.

    Decide what functionality they are going to support FULLY and also what other plugins/themes they will support FULLY and then stick to that.

    That way we all end up with a useful 100% working plugin.

    Then, when Version X.X.X is working as it should with the plugins it should work with, they can then extend.

    I’m available all week and my rates are reasonable(ish) :-)

    * Disclaimer: I did a thorough test of most WP ecom pluggins and I think Shopp is best (at this time) although it still has limitations.

  27. Dan ThorntonBy Dan Thornton on 13 September, 2011

    Just a quick comment to say that the latest version of Jigoshop (0.9.9) has now been released, with a number of improvements and features, including configurable products, which was one of the biggest additions requested since launch, and work is already well under way on lots more for 1.0.