Profiles in Woo introduces you to the people who power the community of WooCommerce
Meet Igor Benić, Developer at Grow Development
How do you do the Woo?
I build products for WooCommerce (eg extensions, SaaS, etc.).
Tell me a bit about what you do with Woo.
I develop and maintain several WooCommerce plugins that enhance the WooCommerce store. Some enhance fee management, some notifications about particular sales and some improve your subscriptions.
When not maintaining or developing new features, I work on various subscription-based stores where we work with various challenges that our clients face with subscriptions and custom/complex scenarios of selling their products.
What year did you start using WooCommerce?
I started somewhere around 2014.
Tell me the story of how you started using WooCommerce and why?
I think I started working with WooCommerce where I was offered I contract-job to work on a Football (Soccer) website where they wanted to sell tickets online and also other physical merchandise such as t-shirts and similar.
I decided to go with WooCommerce because the shipping was out of the box. That was my first serious attempt at using and developing with WooCommerce.
This project required me to build a custom product type for tickets and connect it with an API for a service that manages those tickets and syncs them with other devices.
Another thing I had to do was build a custom shipping method that will calculate the correct shipping price for a Croatian posting service (which did not have any open API at the time). They only had their documentation for the public on how they calculate shipping.
What is your favorite thing about Woo?
As a developer, I love the extensibility of WooCommerce and how you can customize pretty much anything.
Some sites do not even look like regular WooCommerce and you can’t tell that until you check the code.
The other thing is the community around it and also the amount of sites using it. This is something that gives you the opportunity to have a great job and also a way to test your ideas in e-commerce through extensions.
What is your biggest challenge with WooCommerce?
The biggest challenge with WooCommerce is the amount of data that it can handle. Since it still uses the default WordPress tables, when you have a lot of orders/subscriptions the speed of the admin side of your site can become slow.
Of course, that’s something that can be handled by further customization and server configuration but without that, managing orders and subscriptions could be a pain.
If you have one, share with me one of your most challenging or unique projects you have done with Woo?
One of the most challenging projects I have worked on is where we had to create shipping orders for subscriptions that ship every month even though they occur only every 3 or more months. We had to create shipping orders that are free of charge but used to track which packages were sent and such.
I’ve worked on a really interesting project at Grow Development, but I am not sure I can talk about it. This project showed me how WooCommerce is really extensible. With that project we have managed to reduce the load on orders or subscription admin pages by 50% or even more depending on how you use it.
Are there any trends that you see coming in the WooCommerce/eCommerce space?
I think the trend of decoupling the CMS from the frontend is something that is coming to eCommerce space even more and WooCommerce will be (if not already) hit by it.
I saw other people working on headless WordPress sites with WooCommerce and I have integrated WooCommerce on a headless setup myself. The biggest challenge here will be how the extensions will handle it.
What will you not buy online and still need to get in-person. And why?
I never buy something online that I can’t be sure it’s correct. That mostly applies on clothes and shoes because I can’t ever trust the size of it because different shoes/shirts with the same size do not fit me the same.
Sometimes I even go to the shop in-person, try some shoes and then later that day or the other day buy it from the online shop. Usually, they have some discount on the online shop and that’s how I tackle this issue that I have of not buying clothes/shoes online 😀
Developer at Grow Development