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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WPCandy Podcast 24: I am Crazy Draft Man edition

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I’m happy to be publishing episode 24 of the WPCandy Podcast. Brian Krogsgard joined me for the recording, as usual. We discuss the latest WordPress news and our thoughts on what’s been going on. Oh, and apologies for the poor audio quality on my end; my dog ate my mic’s recording and it’s the best I could do.

Jump straight into the podcast audio here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Link-wise, this week we covered:

Brian’s pick this week the WPAlchemy metabox class. My pick was Drafts Dropdown, a plugin I’ve started using recently.

Subscribe to the show on iTunes, or directly to the RSS feed. As always you can send any emails you would like to have included on the show to [email protected]. Download links are after the jump.

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Hitting all the e-commerce targets

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Jane Wells, user experience lead for WordPress and Automattic employee, in response to The Morality of Forking:

And if Woo just wanted to fork something, they might have been better off forking Shopp — it has a more consistent UI, less complex code, and better reporting. Then again, Jigoshop creates fewer tables and uses custom post types. Hm, but WP e-Commerce also uses CPTs, has way better reporting, and creates fewer tables than Shopp. This is the problem — everyone is doing something better than the others, but no one is hitting all the targets yet.

Jigoshop team and WordPress community members share thoughts on forking

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Last week WooThemes announced the hiring of Mike Jolley and Jay Koster, as well as the forking of Jigoshop e-commerce plugin into the soon-to-be-released WooCommerce. Jolley and Foster previously worked for Jigowatt, a WordPress and Magento development shop, spending the last year working on the core of Jigoshop.

The news brought a number of different reactions from the community, in comments here and on WooThemes’ own announcement post. To clarify their own stance on the situation and clear up confusion the Jigoshop team posted about the future of Jigoshop and their thoughts on what is happening.

The short of it: business as usual for Jigoshop, and they are confident in the team they have.

The long of it gets more complicated. It seems that Jigowatt views the forking of Jigowatt as “needless” and “sad”, and that the forking decision only came after an unsuccessful bid for purchasing their project that “grossly undervalued” their work.

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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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