Thanks to Automattic, who controls the universe of both wordpress.com and woocommerce.com, it is nearly impossible for the average website owner to supply their webmaster with access to their purchases and be able to manage their plugins purchased via WooCommerce without bumbling through unnecessary screens and headaches.
This is because they think that every person who wants to buy something for the first time at WooCommerce.com doesn’t yet have a website, and they want to create a free one on wordpress.com!
First of all, no client I’ve ever worked with really understands the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. When they’re prompted to start a new website using wordpress.com after creating credentials there, it leaves them confused with no other option. If they already have a domain name and website, they are even asked to transfer their domain! I just got an email this morning, after instructing the client to create an account on woocommerce.com and that they’d have to also create an account on wordpress.com and to ignore EVERYTHING (but it’s really impossible to ignore something like the following):
OK so I have to create a new account other than our wordpress account right?
Then it is asking me to transfer our domain name to wordpress, do I do that?
See? They don’t know what wordpress account they’re mentioning – they have a WordPress site and an account on there. I told them NOT to transfer the domain, to close all the windows and just log into woocommerce.com. Then I get this:
It says my site does not have wordpress installed.
I complain vociferously every time I have to deal with a client going through this horrifically complicated and 100% avoidable setup just to purchase a plugin for their site. Automattic needs to get it through their skulls that many WooCommerce sites are NOT managed by the site / store owner.
Then there’s payments. Sometimes I do purchase the plugins for the clients, just to avoid having them go through this blood-pressure-rising experience of confusion. However, you can only have one active credit card on file at a time, so I have to keep a watch out for anything auto-renewing being charged to the wrong client! Yes, it’s happened. It’s avoidable. Google Domains allows as many cards as you want on file, and assign them to any domain. So simple.
Their interface is extremely confusing. Of course you’d want to click “Get Started” but this is wrong! Don’t do it! If you click “Get Started” you end up with this:
NO NO NO! You do not want your clients going to this screen! Instead of Get Started they need to click “log in”. Counter-intuitive, right? Oh the horror.
From the Log in screen, they get this, which is where you want them, but buried way down the page in faint grey type, they can create a new account:
Heavens! Why not have ‘Create New account’ up there next to ‘Get Started’? What are they trying to sell?
Then once the account is created, you’re asked more bothersome questions:
If you bother to go through all these questions, the last page asks you to download WooCommerce.com. In most cases this is not necessary! The client needs to close or cancel these windows, go back to woocommerce.com and just purchase the plugin.
It was all much, much simpler back before Automattic got involved. You had an account with WooCommerce, and yes they’re based in South Africa (which gave pause to one of my credit cards) and yes one time their site got hacked… but it was still much preferable to this nonsense they make you go through now. Every support ticket I file complains about this system, yet nothing change to make it easier for the customer who matters… your client.