I’ve built more than 150 websites over the years – small and medium websites, mostly for therapists, medical doctors, art events, and a few WooCommerce shops. When a client asked me for help in redesigning a big WooCommerce Website (7000 products, 200+ pages), I accepted without knowing the challenges behind it. It took me 3 months to understand deeply the whole project, but it was too late to cancel.
The team involved an SEO specialist, a copyrighter, a marketing specialist, me as a web designer, and a PHP developer. But the main work was on me.
So, how can I handle all of this? Instead of quitting, I moved the focus to find solutions.
I pay attention to every experience to learn from it and I can say I am good at estimating. But for this project, my estimation was… very wrong. I wasn’t able to see every detail in the Discovery session.
- New branding (elements, color palette, fonts, imagery)
- The main functionalities without design
- Design (Figma & browser) for the main pages: Home, Shop, Archive, Product
- Organizing filters for Archive pages
- Design in browser for the rest of the pages
- The last functionalities
- Tests and launching.
What theme to choose for a large WooCommerce website?
Working on a redesign project, I chose to build with the same theme used for the first version of the website – Flatsome. It’s not perfect, and it has many downsides, but it’s stable in a long run.
Useful Plugins to manage large WooCommerce websites
- WP All Import for transferring the products and the posts;
- WP Sheet Editor (Bundle) for managing content in spreadsheets. This is GOLDEN for large websites and it’s not enough promoted as it helps us, making our work easier. Every WooCommerce field is editable in a different spreadsheet manually or using formulas for hundreds of products – there are tons of options. And the support is amazing: if you need something new, they try to find the best solution.
- Max Mega Menu (Pro)
- Category Order and Taxonomy Terms Order
- Sidebar Manager
- YITH WooCommerce Ajax Product Filter (Pro)
- WP Rocket
A few constraints I haven’t expected when organizing the products:
- YITH Product Filter is a great filter plugin from many points of view. BUT it doesn’t allow to use of Categories as a filter on the Archive page! There are tons of paid reviews on the internet, but nobody tells that. The solution: I added a custom taxonomy for filters.
- How to organize the attributes in an efficient way? Dealing with 7000 different products, there are tons of different attributes needed for filters. The solution: I used attributes just for common things (Color, Brand, Size etc.) and custom taxonomy for the singular ones.
A few things that helped me to keep a healthy mind along the long way
- Working on a specific type of task one time – design, development, organizing products – and not switching between them;
- Working on other simple projects at the same time;
- Taking one week break every 2 months;
- Have a goal for each day – but without pressure.
- No deadline pressure! Just clear goals for each day and each month.
These are a few ideas for re-designing a large WooCommerce website. I hope this case study will help someone who’s looking for real-life examples and recommendations.