WooCommerce launches as a free plugin, new e-commerce monthly fee on the way

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WooThemes has launched WooCommerce, a free e-commerce plugin along with a handful of paid themes and extensions. WooCommerce has been the joint effort of Mike Jolley and Jay Koster of the newly launched WooLabs, which started up after WooThemes announced they would be forking Jigoshop into WooCommerce a month ago.

WooCommerce itself can be used on its own, though WooThemes has created themes specifically for use with their e-commerce plugin. The launch introduces Wootique, a free theme designed especially for user with the WooCommerce plugin, as well five other paid e-commerce themes. Nine new e-commerce extensions are also available for purchase, ranging from $15 for Sale Flash Pro integration to $50 for PayPal Pro gateway integration.

The launch of WooCommerce has brought with news of further membership options at WooThemes. Of the themes and extensions released today, three of the themes and all of the e-commerce extensions must be purchased on their own, with a WooThemes membership or without one. According to the announcement WooThemes has plans to offer an additional monthly fee to gain access to their full catalog of commerce products, which seemed to bother some of their members in comments on that post.

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WooThemes forks Jigoshop into WooCommerce, launches WooLabs

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Adii Pienaar announced earlier this afternoon that WooThemes has hired Mike Jolley and Jay Koster, and will be forking the Jigoshop e-commerce plugin (which we’ve covered) to become WooCommerce, their long awaited e-commerce offering.

WooThemes worked in collaboration with Jolley and Koster in the past to release FaultPress and SupportPress, two themes designed for tracking bugs and support tickets. Jolley and Koster will now head up a new division within WooThemes called WooLabs, where new services and products will be dreamed up. As Pienaar described:

Jay & Mike will head up this team and they will be contributing some of their agility in rolling out things on a more regular basis, whilst the rest of the WooTeam continues to design, develop & support new themes. They will also continue their development of some new application / niche themes and the next theme (only Pipeline for now) is already in the works.

Miniraffe will be one of the first WooLabs projects, as WooThemes has acquired it and will use it to release plugins in the future. Miniraffe was teased not long ago by Pienaar, and we previewed it before it launched.

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Miniraffe test site confirms plans for a WordPress plugin shop

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Adii Pienaar teased his next project Miniraffe this morning. Soon after we posted it a WPCandy reader alerted us that their in-development Miniraffe site is currently publicly viewable.

The full site design of Miniraffe, which you can view now at miniraffe.com/homepage/, seems to confirm that the next project from Pienaar and his partners James Koster and Mike Jolley will indeed be a commercial plugin shop. The gallery below contains the development pages, just in case the site is moved anytime soon.

Miniraffe pre-public website peek

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Adii Pienaar teases Miniraffe, an upcoming studio to produce WordPress goodies

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Adii Pienaar of WooThemes and Radiiate fame teased a new project this morning on Twitter. It’s called Miniraffe, features a cute yellow giraffe floating on a cloud, and describes itself as “a tiny studio dedicated to producing first-class WordPress goodies.”

Pienaar is working on the new project with James Koster and Mike Jolley, who WooThemes collaborated with on their FaultPress theme release earlier this year.

There isn’t much to go on right now—just the email subscription form sitting amongst the leaves on their landing page right now—but we can still make up our own crazy theories right? That’s sort of what we do. Although we can likely rule out a business plan revolving around the airborne transport of large African mammals. Most likely.

Your turn: what do you think Pienaar and company have planned for Miniraffe?